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Home » , , » Multi-Booting the Nexus 7 Tablet: adding ROMs to MultiROM.

Multi-Booting the Nexus 7 Tablet: adding ROMs to MultiROM.

Anyone who knows me well enough knows I love mobile devices.

Phones, tablets and other shiny glowing gadgets are almost an addiction for me.

I've talked about my addiction in other articles and columns, and Kyle Rankin even made fun of me once in a Point/Counterpoint column because my household has a bunch of iOS devices in it. Well.

I was fortunate enough to add an Android device to the mix recently—a Nexus 7 tablet. I actually won this device at the Southern California Linux Expo as part of the Rackspace Break/Fix Contest, but that's a different story.

Adding ROMs to MultiROM is fairly straightforward from here.

Just hook your tablet up to your computer, drop the .zip file for the ROM you want to install onto the root of the filesystem, and then shut down the tablet.

Restart your Nexus 7 in MultiROM by holding the "Volume Down" button while pushing the power switch. You'll see a screen with what appears to be the Android logo lying on its back (Figure 1).

This is the bootloader. Push the "Volume Down" button until the red arrow at the top of the screen indicates "Recovery Mode", then push the Power button. This will boot the Nexus 7 into MultiROM.

Android Bootloader Screen

Figure 1. Android Bootloader Screen

Now that your Nexus 7 is actually in MultiROM, select the "Advanced" button in the lower-left corner, then select "MultiROM" in the lower-right corner. Now, to install a ROM, touch "Add ROM" in the upper-left corner (Figure 2).

MultiROM Add ROM Screen

Figure 2. MultiROM "Add ROM" Screen

Accept the defaults (unless you're trying the Ubuntu Touch developer release), and just press Next. The next screen will ask you to select a ROM source. Touch the Zip file button, then pick the .zip file of whatever ROM you want to install. The system will go ahead and install it, and it'll let you know when it's complete. Push the Reboot button when the install is complete, and your tablet will reboot into the MultiROM selection screen (Figure 3).

MultiROM Boot Menu

Figure 3. MultiROM Boot Menu

Looking at my boot menu, you'll see I've got cm-10.0.0-grouper installed, otherwise known as CyanogenMod. To boot that, I simply touch it, then press the large blue Boot button at the bottom of the screen. It's as simple as that—the Nexus 7 will just start booting CyanogenMod. At one point, I had the stock ROM, CyanogenMod, AKOP and Ubuntu Touch on my Nexus 7, all coexisting nicely (but they took too much of my limited 16GB storage space, so I pruned back some).

If you decide a particular ROM isn't for you, you can get rid of it quite easily. Just go back to the MultiROM install by booting with the Power and Volume Down buttons depressed, then select Recovery, and press the Power button again. Dive back into the MultiROM menus, just like you're installing a ROM, but instead of pressing Add ROM, press List ROMs. Touch the ROM you want to delete, and then just select Delete from the buttons that pop up. This will let you keep your MultiROM install clean, with only the ROMs you want to test active at any given time.

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