Running Linux On Android Phones: Methods and Apps

The telephone in your pocket can do far more than simply run Android. And, if you happen to’re studying this, you in all probability are in search of methods to run Linux on Android.

Linux is an open-source working system and is free to make use of. Android relies on the Linux kernel. But what if you wish to re-purpose your Android cell to run Linux for a extra full desktop expertise?

For that, you’ll want to put in Linux in your Android telephone. And on this article, we’re going to just do that.

Let’s get began.

Reasons Why You Would Want to Run Linux on Android Devices

Before we go and listing the strategies and apps that allow you to run Linux on an Android telephone or pill, let’s study the advantages/causes for doing so.

#1. You Want a Tiny and Affordable Computer/Desktop Experience

Smartphones are extra highly effective than you possibly can consider. Even an previous Android machine holds sufficient computational energy to simply run a Linux working system (Linux being light-weight additionally helps).

So, if you would like an reasonably priced Linux-powered machine, you possibly can set up Linux on Android and use it in your every day actions. Even although this setup could possibly be extra optimum, it does give many customers on the market the choice to realize one thing.

After all, a cell machine runs Android, a Linux kernel able to interacting with the underlying cell phone {hardware}. Also, loads of easy-to-use and light-weight Linux distros are on the market, together with Ubuntu, Gentoo, and even Arch Linux.

#2. You Want to Do Experimentation

Technology in your arms isn’t just to observe senseless TikTook or Instagram. It additionally opens up the trail to experimentation. So, if you happen to wish to experiment, you need to use a cell machine with Linux to do many issues. For instance, you are able to do the next:

  • Install and run net server utilizing Nginx.
  • Use the machine as a hacking device by putting in Kali Linux
  • Use it as an academic tool-box by studying about Linux
  • Run a 24/7 low-powered torrent machine to share information
  • Run a neighborhood community Adblocker to dam adverts in your native wi-fi

These are only a few use instances of what you are able to do by operating Linux on an Android machine.

#3. Try Out Different Linux Flavors

You can even use an Android-powered cell machine to strive totally different Linux flavors.

Pre-requisite to Get Started

The first step is to examine whether or not your pill or telephone machine can run Linux. In most instances, your machine can run Linux. However, the method to creating Linux work on Android gadgets could differ relying in your Android machine’s root standing.

As for {hardware} functionality, all trendy gadgets, together with telephones or tablets, can run Linux as a consequence of its low {hardware} requirement and customizability. However, you want a rooted Android machine (jailbroken) if you would like full management over machine sources. If not, you possibly can nonetheless set up Linux with the assistance of Android apps akin to Andronix, UserLAnd, or Debian Noroot.

Installing Linux Without Root

If your telephone machine just isn’t jailbroken, you need to use the apps to get Linux operating in your telephone.

The greatest solution to get Linux is to make use of AndroNix, Termux, and VNC Viewer. 

AndroNix is a well-liked Android app that permits you to set up Linux on Android. You can use it to put in Linux without charge.

Termux, then again, is a robust terminal emulation that offers you entry to bash and zsh shells. Lastly, we’ve a VNC viewer, which we’ll want to hook up with our Linux session.

Let’s undergo the method of putting in Linux with out root.

Step 1: Pre-requisite (Optional)

Before you get began, you want an Android pill or telephone. However, connecting your machine to an exterior monitor, keyboard, and mouse is greatest to make sure optimum ease of use.

I’ll use my Samsung FE 21 5G Android telephone for this tutorial. Samsung is thought to offer a superb ecosystem. It gives entry to Samsung Dex, which helps you to multitask between gadgets. Once you join your trendy Samsung telephone to a pc, you get a working surroundings like a PC.

First, obtain Samsung Dex in your Windows machine and then join the telephone to the PC utilizing a USB cable.

Once carried out, you’ll see a desktop-like UI immediately in your PC.

Samsung galaxy s10e screenshot.

But what if you happen to don’t have entry to a Samsung machine? In that case, you possibly can nonetheless join wired or wirelessly.

You’ll want an OTG adapter and a USB hub to attach utilizing wires. With this, you’ll get entry to a number of USB ports essential to attach your wired mouse and keyboard. 

If you have got a wi-fi keyboard and mouse, you possibly can join them with Bluetooth.

YouTube video

Note: This step is solely optionally available. But, if you happen to work with Linux on an Android machine, it’s best to arrange a keyboard and mouse to enhance usability.

Step 2: Install AndroNix, Termux, and VNC Viewer

This step contains putting in three apps in your Android machine. Go to their respective Play Store web page and set up them.

A screenshot of the app menu on a pc.

Note: If your smartphone doesn’t assist these apps, you possibly can go on to their official web page to obtain their .apk file and set up it. In my case, Samsung didn’t assist Termux, so I went to their official site, downloaded the official .apk file, and put in it.

The adobe adobe adobe adobe adobe ado.
Install the newest obtainable signed Termux APK.

Step 2: Open Andronix and set up your favourite Linux distribution

Once you open Andronix, you’ll see the next display.

A screenshot of the androidox security app.

From right here, you possibly can click on on Linux Distribution and see an inventory of supported distros. These embrace:

  • Ubuntu
  • Manjaro
  • Debian
  • Kali Linux
  • Fedora
  • Void
  • Alpine
  • Arch Linux
Distro selection Andronix

All of those distros are official and not modified. For this tutorial, we’re going to put in Ubuntu. 

So, click on on Ubuntu, and it’ll ask you to pick out GUI.

A screenshot of the gif selection option on a pc. GUI selection. Andronix

Here, choose Desktop Environment, and it’ll then redirect you window the place it is advisable to select from the obtainable desktop environments, together with XFCE, LXQT, and LXDE. You can choose any of the obtainable choices. We’ll use XFCE for this tutorial as it’s light-weight and can run on low system sources.

A screenshot of the desktop environment settings.
Available desktop environments for Ubuntu official distro

As quickly as you click on Next, it’ll copy a command.

A screenshot of terminator exterminator.

For our collection of choices, it copied the next command for us.

pkg replace -y && pkg set up wget curl proot tar -y && wget -O && chmod +x && bash

Note: The code in your deployment may differ relying in your selections.

Step 3: Using Termux to run the command

You can open Termux by clicking on “Open Termux.”

A screenshot of a terminal window on a computer.

Now paste the command within the terminal and press ENTER.

Note: You can press the “middle” mouse button to stick the command. You additionally want your telephone machine to be related to the web to obtain the mandatory information.

A screen shot of a text editor on a computer.

It’ll begin downloading the mandatory file, and you might need to attend a couple of minutes for it to finish.

A screen shot of a python script on a computer.

Note: During the set up, you’ll get varied prompts. For all of them, press Enter to proceed. The set up may even immediate you to present Termux file permission. Allow it.

During the ultimate levels of the set up, the immediate will ask you to pick out language, keyboard format, and font bundle.

Please wait till it asks you to enter a brand new VNC password. We’ll come again to it afterward.

Step 4: Creating a VNC session

Open RealVNC Viewer and press on + to create a brand new VNC session. Now enter the deal with as “localhost:1” and the Name you want.

A new connection is shown on an iphone.

Step 5: Go again to Termus and end the set up

Now, add a brand new VNC password.

Once you do, you’ll see the AndroNix VNCserver decision choice. Here, you possibly can choose any choice based mostly in your liking. For this tutorial, let’s select the decision as HD-ready.

A screenshot of a computer screen with a blue screen.

And you’ll see your Ubuntu terminal! Run the next command to examine your self.

$ lsb_release -a

A screen shot of a computer with a black screen.

Step 6: Run the Ubuntu Desktop surroundings

To run Ubuntu’s desktop surroundings, return to RealVNC Viewer, open Ubuntu, and click on “Connect.”

Note: It’ll immediate you about an unencrypted connection. Just click on on proceed.

Now, enter the VNC password you set above.

A screenshot of the vswitch login screen.
A screen shot of a computer screen showing a program.

That’s it! You have put in Linux on an Android machine.

And that is the way it appears in your telephone.

A person holding up a phone with a program on it.

Installing Linux with Root

If you have got a jailbroken Android machine, you possibly can deploy Linux by following the steps beneath.

Step 1: Install BusyBox in your telephone. This’ll offer you higher management over root settings.

Step 2: Install any of those three apps, UserLAnd, AnLinux, or LinuxDeploy. These apps will show you how to deploy the Linux distro.

Step 3: Once you have got put in the app of your selection (for this objective, let’s use LinuxDeploy), run it. Also, make it possible for it has root permissions enabled.

Step 4: Go to the bottom-right of LinuxDeploy and faucet Settings.

Step 5: Here, choose the distro of your selection. You can select from Ubuntu, Fedora, Debian, and many others.

Step 6: Under GUI, examine Enable field.

Step 7: Under Graphics, choose VNC.

Step 8: It’ll then ask which GUI Setting you need. Choose a Desktop surroundings.

Step 9: Enter your identify and password.

Step 10: Go to the upper-right nook, and exit the menu.

Step 11: Select Install, and then faucet on OK

From right here, you’ll must open RealVNC Viewer and then deploy a session (just like how we did within the “Installing Linux without root Step 4”). However, you’ll must enter the deal with as localhost:5900.

Once carried out, hook up with the occasion and enter your Linux Desktop with the credentials you entered in Step 9.

Awesome! You have efficiently put in Linux on a rooted Android machine.

Using Apps

Android ecosystem offers you entry to loads of apps to run Linux on Android tablets or telephones. Let’s listing a number of of them beneath.



Andornix allows you to set up Linux on Android extra intuitively. It works excellently on non-rooted gadgets. And the very best half is that it’s free to make use of as a consequence of its open-source license.

Out of the field, you need to use it to put in 8 official Linux distributions. Earlier, we used Andronix to put in Ubuntu.

In addition to the free Linux distro distributions, it gives paid Andronix Modded OS. These are optimized for Android gadgets, offering higher stability and customizability. You can even get Andronix Premium with extra options akin to offline set up, command, and many others.

Download: Google Play Store



UserLAnd is a helpful open-source app that permits you to run Linux distro on Android. Just like Andronix, it really works on non-rooted gadgets. It gives a built-in terminal with assist for various shells. Additionally, you possibly can hook up with VNC to allow the graphics interface.

Download: Google Play



AnLinux is a useful app to run Linux on Android. It makes use of PRoot and Termux so to run the Xfce desktop surroundings and SSH. Similar to UserLAnd and Andronix, it doesn’t require root entry.

You can use it to run a number of distros with none battle.

Download: Google Play Store



AnrdoLinux is an open-source working system utilizing a GNOME desktop surroundings. This bundle offers you a whole Linux desktop expertise in your Android machine.

Under the hood, AndroLinux relies on CentOS and Fedora. It additionally gives good safety.

You can use AndroLinux to arrange an expert surroundings, as it will probably run Office apps, illustrations, and designs.

Download: Google Play Store



Termux offers you entry to a robust terminal with out putting in third-party information or companies. Once you put in it, you get entry to bash and zsh shells. After all, Android makes use of a Linux kernel, and therefore it will probably construct on high of it.

You can use Termux to put in Linux distros, entry servers over ssh, handle information, run text-based video games, and many others. 

Download: Google Play Store

Final Words

Running Linux on Android is enjoyable. It is a cool experiment you possibly can run on weekends.

The better part about Linux on Android is that Android itself makes use of a Linux kernel. That means huge assist for Android apps that may allow you to set up and strive totally different Linux distros. Furthermore, rooting your machine to make use of Linux on an Android machine is pointless. A jailbroken machine offers you extra freedom when configuring and utilizing Linux on an Android machine.

Next, you possibly can learn how one can set up Linux on Chromebook.

Vikash Gorayan

Vikash Gorayan is a technology enthusiast with a passion for gadgets and product management. He is constantly seeking new opportunities to learn and grow in his field.

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