I have a treadmill (manufacturer gone out of business so no support there) that runs on Ubuntu 14 (2016) Android version 4.4.4. Every time I power on it goes through the "Android is updating" process

I can run update packages through the file manager that I have previously saved to a thumb drive. I can't run app updates through Google Play. (I suspect a minimalized browser setup). It is connected through WiFi to the internet. I have tried setting up an SSH connection to control it from my PC but no success there (probably my ignorance). There are no other connection points (ethernet, RS232, etc.) that I'm aware of besides the USB input. I need the "treadmill" software to not be damaged as I do not have a system image backup.

Ok on to the questions. The way I see it is that:

  1. I need to make a system image backup before doing anything
  2. I need to be able to get remote access working so that I can identify exactly what is going wrong and then fix it
  3. I need to probably update to a newer version of Android/Ubuntu without losing the treadmill functionality (or find an alternative treadmill control program)
  4. Or I have to live with the constant updates :-)

Suggestions, please.

  • Hi, could you clarify on "Ubuntu 14 (2016) Android version 4.4.4"? Considering that Android is not Ubuntu/Linux, did you mean it is running dual-boot? Or is the Android inside Ubuntu? Or otherwise, could you mention the model of the treadmill, in case we need to research more about this?
    – Andrew T.
    Jul 23, 2021 at 4:49
  • It's Android (4.4.4) running a minimalistic Ubuntu kernel. The limited information provided is Kernel version 3.0.36+ root@es-ubuntu14 #73 Jan 13 2016. See amazon.com.au/Sport-Pro-Treadmill-FEEL-FIT/dp/B07Y5HGQPP (read my review too -great mechanically, appaling software)
    – Miles
    Jul 23, 2021 at 6:22
  • The combination of Android using an Ubuntu kernel is quite unusual. If I were you I would not take the risk of bricking the device. If the manual contains information about factory reset I would consider this as the maximum I would try. If you feel lucky you could try to get root (based on the kernel version the dirty cow exploit should work) just to learn how everything internally works but would not modify anything. The whole device too unusual to make any assumptions what can can be done without effects on the treadmill software.
    – Robert
    Jul 23, 2021 at 7:57

1 Answer 1


I rephrased the problem and posted it here https://unix.stackexchange.com/questions/659568/setup-ssh-to-android-device/659610#659610 to try and get SSH to work so that I could understand what was happening.

Spent way too long getting the problem sort of fixed. The problem is the minimalistic kernel and lack of pre-loaded apps especially the lack of support for Google apps. I deleted all apps that were flagged as "downloaded". This fixed the "Android is updating" boot message. I also stopped WiFi as I suspect it was sending usage statistics to a non-existing website. I turned off Bluetooth and location support. Finally, I went through all the developer options and turned force GPU, etc one at a time (reboot & next...). I added Google keyboard input but whilst it fixed the Chinese characters I got the boot updating message again.

The software is now usable for the main functionality with much less lag. Long term I probably have to control the treadmill through a new standard tablet. With the tweaks I can now watch videos while running (off the USB not live) should I choose.

Thanks, Robert for the advice. Yep I was worried about bricking the device.

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