Porting Ubuntu Touch for Motorola Photon Q


This post describes how to build Ubuntu Touch for Motorola Photon Q. It’s based on the official porting guide. If you face any issues or have doubts, please consult the official porting guide.


This guide assumes that you are using Ubuntu Linux as your host OS. All the commands are relevant to Ubuntu only.

Preparing the environment

Before you start with the actual build you will have to prepare the environment by installing the necessary tools and libraries:

  1. Install the phablet-tools package:
    sudo apt-get install phablet-tools

    Note: Prior Ubuntu 14.04 you will need to set up the tools PPA first.

  2. Then, install all the other packages, you will need:
    sudo apt-get install git gnupg flex bison gperf build-essential \
      zip bzr curl libc6-dev libncurses5-dev:i386 x11proto-core-dev \
      libx11-dev:i386 libreadline6-dev:i386 libgl1-mesa-glx:i386 \
      libgl1-mesa-dev g++-multilib mingw32 tofrodos \
      python-markdown libxml2-utils xsltproc zlib1g-dev:i386 schedtool \

Checkout Ubuntu and Android source

  1. Create a new “phablet” directory, that will contain the source code and checkout there:
    mkdir phablet
    phablet-dev-bootstrap phablet
  2. Edit the .repo/local_manifests/roomservice.xml file in order to add the git repositories that are specific to Photon Q:
    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
      <remote fetch="git://github.com/" name="gh"/>
      <project name="CyanogenMod/android_device_qcom_common" path="device/qcom/common" remote="gh" revision="stable/cm-11.0" />
      <project name="CyanogenMod/android_device_motorola_qcom-common" path="device/motorola/qcom-common" remote="gh" revision="stable/cm-11.0" />
      <project name="CyanogenMod/android_kernel_motorola_msm8960-common" path="kernel/motorola/msm8960-common" remote="gh" revision="stable/cm-11.0" />
      <project name="CyanogenMod/android_device_motorola_moto_msm8960" path="device/motorola/moto_msm8960" remote="gh" revision="cm-11.0-3.0" />
  3. Download the additional repositories, added above:
    phablet-dev-bootstrap phablet -c


Proprietary files

The following files were missing from my phone:
Download missing files https://gitlab.com/aosplus/platform_vendor_moto (or setup repository)

Photon Q specific changes

  1. Remove all java related projects, because they are not needed. I did that by searching for *.java files:
    find . -name *.java

    Go to the folders, returned by find and either rename all Android.mk files or erase the entire folder. I renamed the files Android.mk in the following folders:

  2. Create a vendorsetup.sh file, full_moto_msm8960 is the makefile
  3. Enable Ubuntu-specific kernel config options by executing:

    ./check-config kernel/motorola/msm8960-common/arch/arm/configs/msm8960_mmi_defconfig -w

    Note: check-config can be found here.

Actual Build

Build sequence:

. build/envsetup.sh
lunch full_moto_msm8960-userdebug
make -j8

Build issues

This section describes some of the changes, I’ve made for the code to build.
type sysfs_wake_lock, fs_type, sysfs_type;

vim hardware/qcom/display/msm8960/common.mk
common_includes += hardware/qcom/msm8960/kernel-headers

vim hardware/qcom/audio/legacy/alsa_sound/Android.mk
dd AudioUsbALSA.cpp \

cp device/motorola/moto_msm8960/include/private/android_filesystem_config.h device/motorola/qcom-common/include/private

Flashing the image

After the build is complete, the device specific images such as boot.img, system.img, recovery.img will be located in .
This images can be flashed using fastboot to the respective partitions.

As our Ubuntu image is not built by the Android build system, the best approach is to just flash it directly using rootstock, like described bellow (from bootloader):
fastboot boot out/target/product/mako/boot.img
fastboot recovery out/target/product/mako/recovery.img
bzr branch lp:project-rootstock-ng
cd project-rootstock-ng/
./rootstock-touch-install utopic-preinstalled-touch-armhf.tar.gz out/target/product/mako/system.img

Helpful Commands

Rebooting the phone

To reboot the device, press and hold the power key + volume down key for 10 to 20 seconds.

Mount the sdcard

In order to mount the sdcard:

adb shell
mount -o rw /dev/block/platform/msm_sdcc.3/mmcblk1p1 /mnt/sdcard/
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5 responses to “Porting Ubuntu Touch for Motorola Photon Q”

  1. Jonathan King says:

    Have you got this working? I’d love to try Ubuntu touch on my Razr M, if you’re willing to share files!

  2. Vladislav says:

    I don’t mind sharing the files, but unfortunately I wasn’t able to get Ubuntu Touch working. It’s booting fine, but the display doesn’t work, so you can only connect using adb.

  3. mifritsccher says:

    Do you have any details about the display issues?

  4. Vladislav says:

    The last issue was:
    E/qdmemalloc( 1567): clean_buffer: ION_IOC_CLEAN_INV_CACHES failed with error – Inappropriate ioctl for device

  5. aap je says:

    did u changed this?

    # Needs to be changed for M
    DEVICE_RESOLUTION := 720×1280
    #DEVICE_RESOLUTION := 540×960

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