Canonical has released the official Ubuntu Touch Developer Preview, making the Linux-based mobile operating system available for the Galaxy Nexus, the Nexus 4, Nexus 7 and Nexus 10. Canonical warns that this release isn't yet fully functioning, and warns that the build is "intended to be used for development and evaluation purposes only." But users excited to give the developer preview a try can now officially download and flash their devices with this new mobile OS.
The process of installing Ubuntu Touch completely erases all data from the device, so users should backup and save all important data before attempting the install. On the Ubuntu installation instructions page, Canonical warns that this build does not yet have all the features of a retail phone and that restoring Android will not restore your personal data, so users are encouraged not to install Ubuntu on their primary devices.
The official launch of Ubuntu Touch isn't scheduled until next year, so Canonical is giving itself plenty of time to continually update, improve and add features to its mobile operating system. Since this is such an early version, there is always the possibility of "bricking" your device, rendering it completely useless. While it is possible to unbrick a device, usually these methods are much more complicated than installing a new OS.
Similar to Android, Canonical has released the Ubuntu Touch Developer Preview open source code alongside the software images, so developers can see and contribute to the code behind the scenes. The source code for Apple's iOS still remains hidden from developers.