Having recently bought an Ouya, and generally being interested in ARM-powered hardware, I realised that the Ouya could double up as an excellent little ARM Linux Desktop.

All I would need to do is connect an HD monitor, keyboard, and mouse – and well, somehow install a full Linux desktop environment such as Ubuntu GNOME. Any ideas on how to do this?

Edit: This is part of a larger problem of ARM desktop support, and my findings on this topic have deviated from the question I originally posed here. I have asked a more general question about ARM desktop hardware that works with Ubuntu: What is the best way of making an ARM Ubuntu desktop?

It's actually my original question, but I jumped straight to the Ouya thinking it was a good place to start.

1 Answer 1


Interesting question, I'm following it!

As for the answer, the OUYA runs a Quad-core 1.7 GHz ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore CPU inside a Nvidia Tegra 3 T33-P-A3 SOC. It uses the ARMv7 -A instruction set, so Ubuntu ARMEL should work, at least in theory.

Try looking at this question here: How to install Ubuntu on ARMv7 hardware? though it doesn't look like it got a marked answer.

There is a page for Ubuntu ARMEL on the Ubuntu Wiki (https://wiki.ubuntu.com/ARM) and you can download Ubuntu ARM images at http://www.ubuntu.com/download/arm.

There is a Reddit for Ubuntu on OUYA, though it doesn't have any real answers, just people expressing interest, so I didn't include the link (just google Ubuntu on OUYA and it should come up.)

Hopefully you can get it to run, this sounds like an interesting project.

  • I've had a good look around. It seems that it would take a fair bit of work to get Ubuntu to run properly on the Ouya. It turns out that ARM devices tend to need a custom build for each SoC/board combination, or something to that effect. Then there are drivers to worry about – I doubt Ubuntu supports the GPU, Bluetooth, and WiFi out-of-the-box. Unfortunately I think that it's unlikely that it'll even be supported by the next release, which is a shame because it's an LTS. I've been looking at other options for an ARM Linux desktop – see my edit. Dec 19, 2013 at 13:32
  • There might be mainline support coming if this is merged lkml.org/lkml/2020/10/4/105
    – tomodachi
    Oct 6, 2020 at 9:46

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