Is there any way to install Ubuntu Touch inside a virtual machine on a regular Ubuntu computer instead of on a phone or tablet? Or is there an emulator, like the one the Android SDK comes with?
I'd recommend to you this official web page at Ubuntu Developer: http://developer.ubuntu.com/get-started/gomobile/
There you will learn what you need to know to get started developing for Ubuntu phone.
Finally, there is an emulator!
Using the Emulator
How to install on Ubuntu 14.04:
To run the emulator:
For Ubuntu 13.10 and older, you should just be able to install the deb from https://launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/android.
To update your emulator, run these commands:
WARNING: Do not uninstall and then use
For more details or how to build from source, see the wiki page.
However, using the emulator can be to complex if you just want to run a an app or test the unity8 shell. So, there are two other methods:
1. Running Ubuntu Touch Apps
You can now install the core touch applications directly on an computer running Ubuntu 12.10 or later (or one of the derivatives, such as Kubuntu) using a PPA.
First, add the Core Apps Daily PPA by running these commands in a terminal:
Then install the apps you want by running:
Or you can install all of them using
Here is a list of the core apps available:
2. Running the Unity 8 Shell
It is possible to run the mobile interface for Unity 8 on the desktop if you're running Ubuntu 13.10. To do this, install the unity8 package, either by clicking on the link or by typing the following command:
To run it, use this command:
Unfortunately, there is no way to run apps in the shell. Clicking on a desktop app will open it in its own window and clicking on a Ubuntu Touch app will do nothing.
There's now an experimental Emulator available. Check out https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Touch/Emulator