Wednesday, February 25, 2015

My first Ubuntu Touch Scope

Ubuntu IT scope
Ubuntu IT scope

This time, instead of writing a review about  the BQ Aquaris 4.5 Ubuntu Phone,   I am going to tell you about  my first Ubuntu Touch Scope.
Yes, I made it! That's what's great about Ubuntu, you can be a "normal" user or you can hack on it and create your Apps and Scopes.
So, how did I do it? Well it's really easy, just follow what I did and you will be able to have your own scope on Ubuntu Touch too!

First of all you need to add a PPA for installing scopecreator, Scope-creator is a command line tool that can be used to get a scope running on your phone in a few minutes:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:cwayne18/ppa
sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install scopecreator

Now with Scope-creator installed,  let's create the scope:

scopecreator create [template] [package_name] [scope_name] 

template can be: youtube, twitter or rss
package_name is your package namespace  from
scope_name is the name of the scope you wish to create 

for instance, for my scope, I used:

$ scopecreator create youtube carla-sella ubuntuit

Now you cd to the directory created by scopecreator (remember to do this step, it's important) and launch:

$ scopecreator edit config

this way you will edit the manifest.json file for setting the configuration, this is what mine looks like:

    "name": "ubuntuit.carla-sella",
    "description": "Ubuntu IT scope",
    "framework": "ubuntu-sdk-14.10",
    "architecture": "armhf",
    "title": "Ubuntu IT",
    "hooks": {
        "ubuntuit": {
            "scope": "ubuntuit",
            "apparmor": "scope-security.json"
    "version": "0.1",
    "maintainer": "Carla Sella <>"


Next you need to set up the branding with:

$ scopecreator edit branding 

and here is my .ini file:

DisplayName=Ubuntu IT
Description=Canale Youtube di Ubuntu IT
Author=Canonical Ltd.


The appearance section contains colors and logos for you scope.

You need to replace the logo.png file under ubuntuit/images directory (in your case, it will be scope_name/images) with you logo for you scope.

Then you need to run:

$ scopecreator edit channels

for editing the channels.json file that contains the list of  playlists or channels that you will then find in the dropdown menu of the scope you are creating.

Here is my channels.json file:

    "maxResults": "20",
    "playlists": [
        "id": "PLwAH7Zr7rsAz2wco0Xo3aJq0hudob02xU",
        "reminder": "Ubuntu-it Q&A"
        "id": "PLwAH7Zr7rsAyavUegFH9ePMHXfSrBxU2c",
        "reminder": "Ubuntu-it News"
        "id": "PLwAH7Zr7rsAwZ9HOKxw76Q4ymiE0QeiZV",
        "reminder": "#contribuiamo"
        "id": "PLwAH7Zr7rsAz5mfP1S7GTcp33Qy_-qJSl",
        "reminder": "Release Parties!"
        "id": "PLwAH7Zr7rsAwqGypJwh-3r1mFh1eO_1FL",
        "reminder": "Promozione Ubuntu"
        "id": "PLFA125E510B290777",
        "reminder": "Screencast"
        "id": "PL960786605FC8BA7C",
        "reminder": "Liberi di..."


Ubuntu IT scope's dropdown menu

Finally, attach your ubuntu phone to your computer's USB port, and launch:

$ scopecreator build

This way scopecreator will install the scope on your phone so you can test it before asking to publish it in the Ubuntu Software Center.

Ubuntu IT scope in Ubuntu Software Center
Ubuntu IT scope in the Ubuntu Software Center

For publishing your scope you need to go to, log in or create an account and select "new application", fill in the required information and you're done!!

It's easy, so what are you waiting for ? go and create your scope :-D.

You can read more detailed information about creating scopes for Ubuntu here, I created my scope reading from here:


  1. Great ! I would like to test one of my own but I have no physical device, only an emulator. Is there a way (a command line or a process) to install the click package generated on an emulator ?

  2. The emulator is exactly as having a real device, when launched you should be able to do what you do with a physical device, same commands!

  3. My BQ Ubuntu Phone is connected to the USB port, but it looks like this:
    alex@C650:~/wlbi-auf-youtube$ scopecreator build
    WARNING:root:Ignoring missing framework "ubuntu-sdk-14.10"
    Successfully built package in './'.
    error: device not found
    error: device not found
    error: device not found

    why device not found?

    1. is your device connected via usb AND unlocked?

  4. how can you remove the scope from your telefon again?

  5. There are two possibilities for "removing" a scope from the phone:

    1 - Unfavourite a scope:
    If we access the 'Manage Dash' screen (via bottom edge gesture), you can tap on the star icon to remove any scope from the Dash (except the Apps Scope). After doing this, that scope will not be shonw as part of the Dash pagination. You can reverse the action by tapping on the star again.

    2 - Uninstall a scope:
    If we go to the Ubunut Store (accessible from the Apps Scope or by tapping on the Store icon on the Manage Dash header) and we search for a specific scope (e.g.: Today Scope), we can tap on the 'Uninstall' button to uninstall it from the system. A confirmation dialog will prompt you and if you confirm, the scope will be uninstalled and therefore removed permantly from the Dash (pagination) and the Manage Dash screen. You can reverse this action by installing the scope again (same steps as any other app in the store).

  6. Not working if uploaded for testing via scopecreator build command.

    1. You should ask for help on IRC channel #ubuntu-touch on Freenode.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. I found it.

    It requires two steps.

    First, get the full name of the click package.(mine was stored in Device/Opt/ On the device, as the phablet user:

    click list

    And find the full package name in the first column.

    Second, on the device as the root user (sudo):

    click unregister --user=phablet packagename

    Where is the full package name obtained in step 1.

  8. Hi,

    I can't install the Scopecreator... I can't get the ppa working either. I'm on ubuntu 15.10

    1. Looks like that PPA is not there anymore. You can try this to create a scope: