Giving Your Android The Ubuntu Look

Have you heard there is a Ubuntu phone heading to the market sometime soon? Well, if you are a big fan of Linux, you can give your Android the Ubuntu look and feel right now.

Nope, this is not a tutorial on installing Ubuntu on your phone (that will come later). Here we are going to talk about some cosmetic changes to your Android OS to mimic the Ubuntu Touch interface, nothing more.

Launcher Theme

The easiest way to change the theme of your Android is by installing a home screen launcher that supports themeing. The home screen launcher we recommend for this is ADW.Launcher since there is a Ubuntu Theme available. However, if you are using other launchers like Nova and Apex, you can also use themes made for ADW.


After installing both ADW.Launcher and the ADW Ubuntu Theme, you will need to activate the theme in the home screen launcher settings. Once you do, you should see some changes to the application dock at the bottom of your screen. You can now proceed to the Wallpaper section to select a Ubuntu-like background for your home screen.

Unity Launch bar

The Unity Launch bar is another useful part of the Ubuntu desktop. To add this to your Android desktop, we have two options available for you. Unity Launcher and Glovebox. Both are great choices to add the launcher sidebar. Both are free and have paid upgrades if you really like them and want more features.

1. GloveBox

When installed, GloveBox will add the launcher dock to the left side of your screen. You can add up to 6 apps to it in the free version. To access the launcher dock, swipe your finger from the left screen’s edge toward the middle of the screen. Without picking up your finger, glide it toward the top or bottom to highlight the app to open and release your finger to open the app.


2. Unity Launcher

Unity Launcher offers most of the same features as GloveBox. Some of the differences are, with Unity Launcher, there are more locations to access the launcher bar, not just the left or right side. There is a setup tutorial walking you through the process of adding apps and how to use Unity Launcher. When you drag the launch bar open, it stays open. You also have the choice to add more than 6 apps in the free version. Another thing I like is the area used to drag out the launch bar is larger with Unity Launcher.


Final words

While these cosmetic changes are not the same as actually running Ubuntu on your phone, it can help you to get by until the actual release is available on a phone you can buy. If you have a rooted device, there are apps out there to help you install Ubuntu on your Android. If you really want an actual Linux OS, you can try out some of those for now.

Would you use an Ubuntu phone for your everyday uses?

Trevor Dobrygoski
Trevor Dobrygoski

Trevor is a freelance writer covering topics ranging from the Android OS to free web and desktop applications. When he is not writing about mobile productivity, He is coaching and playing the world's greatest game... Soccer.

Subscribe to our newsletter!

Our latest tutorials delivered straight to your inbox