This, folks, is Ubuntu on Android. An honest-to-goodness, not janky or VNC'd, full build of the Linux distro powered by an Android smartphone.
We'll let that sink in.
Canonical -- the company behind Ubuntu -- today announced that it's bringing the full Ubuntu experience to multi-core Android phones in the same way that Motorola has attempted to extend its hardware to a more traditional computing experience with Webtop. That is, you'll connect your phone to a keyboard and display, and from there have full control over a proper Ubuntu experience, all powered by the phone. Because your Android smartphone is already running a Linux kernel, the marriage between your phone and Ubuntu is darn near seamless. The Ubuntu build actually shares the kernel from your phone and boots in parallel.
Canonical gave us a walkthrough of the experience, and it really couldn't be more simple. Dock the phone, and Ubuntu Unity fires up. Photos and videos are instantly available in the desktop experience.
But photos and videos are chump change. You've got full Chromium and Thunderbird apps. VLC. The Ubuntu Music Player. If it's on Ubuntu, it can be on your phone.
But the real power is in the ability to launch your Android apps within that desktop experience. Same goes for contacts. Or your network settings. Or your notifications. It's Android within an Ubuntu experience. And it's pretty slick.
As for hardware requirements, you'll need a dual-core smartphone with at least a 1GHz processor and 512MB of RAM. You'll need 2GB of storage free as well, plus USB host mode and HDMI out (MHL adapters will work, Canonical tells us), plus video acceleration. Older phones need not apply, basically.
It's worth repeating that this is your phone powering Ubuntu -- not the Ubuntu desktop on your phone. We're going to get a close look at Mobile World Congress next week in Barcelona, Spain. Stay tuned. For now, we've got Canonical's full press release after the break.