I would like to better understand the problems related to writable root file system and OTA updates. I have read many places that if you enable writable root file system, you will no longer get OTA updates.

How, then, will I get updates? Will the "same" updates be provided via apt-get?

If I decide to go back to a RO file system. How will those OTA updates affect my system? Is it a complete root file system replacing my old one? If so, I suppose no real harm is done, except I will lose changes I've made to my root fs.

What about re-flashing the phone. Can I simply flash a new root file system back onto the phone? If that is possible, I also suppose it will not affect any private data or installed apps. Will I then simply be able to boot up with the newly re-flashed root file system, and all apps, scopes and configurations will remain intact as if nothing had happened?

As mentioned, I have read many places warnings about "unknown consequences" by changing the root file system to RW mode and OTA updates not being an option anymore. But I have found nowhere a bit more in-depth description as the how's and why's of what really happens.


I'm gonna try to explain:

If you make your filesystem writable you can install every software with apt-get. You could then even delete and modify important system files by using sudo.

If you then make your file system RO again, you can go on receiving OTA Updates.

But the problem now is, you have a modified ubuntu-touch system and this could cause your system to hang or crash. In other words, modifying your phone could cause "unknown consequences", because OTA Updates could not be compible to your modified system.

So, trying to summerise my answer, I would say, making your phone writable and doing any changes in filesystem can cause any unknown consequences.

Now avaout reflashing: If you change the update-channel with "ubuntu-device-flash touch --channel=anyChannel", your personal apps and data will NOT be changed.

Im not shure at all, but I think, that if your device is in bootloader mode and you use this command: "ubuntu-device-flash touch --channel=myChannel --bootstrap" everything will be deleted.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.