Installing Ubuntu!

The Magic Guide to your Ubuntu Fairphone ;-)

 Latest update 28-03-2017


We take no responsibility for you using this manual, if you do decide to use it,make sure you have backups of all your data on the device before proceeding.
We tested this procedure multiple times without problems, but we cannot guarantee that your phone will be working.
If you follow the steps in this manual you do this entirely at your own risk.


If you want to test the pre-alpha Ubuntu image on your Fairphone 2,
Because following these steps will delete all your data of your device.
If you have a Fairphone with user data then we advise you to follow these steps: 

What is working in this pre-alpha image is:











Motion sensor


GSM / Mobile Data



Working (Except AGPS)

We are now working on making the software more stable and less power hungry. We still need your help!

Odoo CMS- Sample image floating

A thing or two to know before your start!

Don't let your phone fully run out of power!

The Fairphone 2 doesn't come with a charger! Because the Fairphone 2 is an intensive battery consuming device, the battery goes down pretty fast.

So keep it charged and don't let the phone to be fully discharged.
Use a 5V USB charger of 2 or 3 Amps (minimal 10 watts).

Note a: The current version of our image is constantly searching for devices (GSM/GPS) and therefore consumes a lot of battery power.
Note b: The Fairphone is only charging when the red light in the top left corner is lit, if not make sure it does.


  1. A Fairphone 2

  2. A PC/Laptop with Ubuntu (14.04 or later), Windows or Apple (OSX Sierra).

The Fairphone gives the following confirmation about in which mode it has been set:
Fastboot  →  Fairphone bootlogo 
Recovery mode  →  Shows recovery logo on top
Odoo CMS- Sample image floating

Don't reboot phone while connected to your computer!
It is possible that, while you're restarting your device, the phone goes into a “mount loop” while it's connected to your PC.

There will be “pop-ups errors” all over your screen. Even if you disconnect the USB cable, your phone looks like it is switched off due to a black screen. However, your device is still on and consuming power!

Solution: The solution is to disconnect from USB, open your device and remove the battery. Place the battery back and power up the phone. Connect the USB cable again when Ubuntu is already running.

Some Terminology

Before you start flashing, you first have to understand the following terminology:

Flashing your phone: Flashing is the process of loading (alternative) software onto the device, like a different operating system for your phone. It's called 'flashing' because you are writing the software onto a type of memory called Flash Memory.  It is able to retain data without power.

Adb: Android Debug Bridge (adb) is a versatile tool that acts like a “bridge” so developers can work out bugs in their Android applications. This is done by connecting a device that runs the software with a PC, and feeding it terminal commands. Adb lets you modify your device (or software) via a PC command line.

Fastboot mode: While your device is in fastboot mode you can modify the file system images from a computer over a USB connection.

Recovery mode: Special mode in which your phone has optional utilities to recover you phone. 

Custom recovery: Installing a custom recovery (such as TeamWin - TWRP or ClockworkMod) allows you to make a backup of any part of your phone, root your phone, install or flash zips containing a custom operating system and many others.

"Root" your phone: By default your phone is “UN-rooted”, which means there is no “root” user defined. Therefore, the applications on your phone don't have “root” rights. Rooting your phone means that you've enabled “root access”, allowing you to do things that are usually blocked because they require "super user" permission.

Stock firmware: With stock firmware you can restore the phone to it's original state. But it's always wise to make a backup from your data.

Two ways to flash Ubuntu on your Fairphone 2


1. Cross Platform Tool (CPT) for Windows, Apple (OSX Sierra), Linux (.deb)

    If you have any questions about this tool, don't hesitate to contact us.

2. Magic Device Tool (MDT) for Ubuntu desktop

    See below for the MDT instructions or watch the video.


Flashing Ubuntu on the Fairphone 2 using Magic Device Tool

We used the latest LTS version of Ubuntu Linux on our computer. The guide expects that you do to ;-)

Step 0: Connect your device to the computer with the USB cable.

Step 1

Open the Terminal (this can be found through different commands on your computer, such as Ctrl-Alt-T) of your computer and copy the repo down to your local machine from GitHub by typing:

git clone
Press Enter

Step 2

Cd into the new directory.

cd magic-device-tool
Press Enter

Step 3

Make the file executable so the script can run.

chmod +x
Press Enter

Step 4

Run the script.

sudo ./
Press Enter

Step 5: Choose your device


Choose [12] and press Enter.

Step 6: Installing Ubuntu

 Choose [1] and press Enter.

Step 7: Choose a channel to flash

 Choose [1] and press Enter.

The screen below will appear:

Choose [2] and press Enter.

Step 8: Booting to Fastboot mode

Enter "Y" when your device is in Fastboot mode and press Enter. The screen below will appear.


Step 9: Booting to Recovery mode

Enter Y when your device is in Recovery mode
If everything went well, you'll see the screen below

After a while you'll see the UBports logo on your Fairphone and Ubuntu will start!

Good luck!

If you have any questions about flashing your fairphone with the help of the Magic Device Tool you are welcome to join the telegram group: Don't update your Ubuntu Fairphone to the latest OTA!

In that case your phone will not work anymore, and then you will have to repeat this procedure again...