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The default Ubuntu image for phones is read-only (RO), and updates are applied over-the-air (OTA) rather than upgrading individual packages. RO here essentially means you cannot write to the file system.

For testing purposes only, I need to install a package on the image, and obviously I cannot do it in RO mode.

How can I switch my Ubuntu installation to read-write (RW) mode to install that package?

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1 Answer 1

up vote 2 down vote accepted

You can use the experimental writable flag, as explained in the system images announcement.

Note that once you've changed a RO installation to RW there is no going back: you will no longer be able to get OTA updates and the only way to go back to RO mode is to reflash your device with phablet-flash

All that said, here's how to switch your device's Ubuntu installation to RW mode:

  1. Ensure your device is connected to the host computer via USB.
  2. Start a terminal on your host computer with (Ctrl+Alt+t) and run the following commands:

    adb shell touch /userdata/.writable_image
    adb reboot

After reboot your device will be in RW mode and you should be able to write to the file system to e.g. install packages for testing.

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