Canonical have announced a new dual boot mode for using Ubuntu Touch and Android on the same device.

The new feature – a developer preview – will let developers quickly move between Google’s perennial Android mobile OS and Canonical’s fledgling Ubuntu mobile OS. Canonical say that the dual boot mode should work with a number of Android flavours – including stock releases and CyanogenMod – for Android 4.2 Jelly Bean and up.

The new feature comes with an app for both platforms that will let you install and reboot into Ubuntu Touch from Android and reboot back into Android from Ubuntu Touch whenever you wish.

So for developers who aren’t willing to or can’t make Ubuntu Touch their daily driver, this new feature puts Canonical’s mobile OS just one click away.

“Dual boot is not a feature suitable for regular users.”

Canonical, of course, caution that this should only be used by developers “comfortable with flashing devices and with their partition layout.” The dual boot feature will overwrite your Android recovery partition, so exercise caution if you’re a developer wanting to give this a shot.

The requirements include:

  • A Nexus 4 phone (other Nexus devices may work, but haven’t been tested)
  • Android 4.2 or higher with a stock, AOSP, or CyanogenMod-based release
  • 2.7GB of free storage on the device
  • Android’s adb tools installed on your PC
  • Bootloader unlocked
  • USB debugging enabled

Once you’ve satisfied the requirements, you can follow the steps provided in the Ubuntu Wiki below for setting up dual boot on your Nexus device.

How To Install Ubuntu/Android Dual Boot