The general trend in technology development is to get smaller and smaller. Users, from desktops to watches, appreciate a mobile computer without having to carry around a bag of cables and adapters.
This article will show you how to install a fully working Ubuntu Linux Operating System (OS) on your mobile phone. The first method we’ll describe requires you to root the device.
What is a root?
Android phones use the ownership and permissions of the Linux file system. The root is the superuser.
When you log into your device, you can perform certain functions on your phone depending on the user’s permissions. The root user or superuser has the right to do anything with any file, such as uninstalling an application.
Before you can grant yourself superuser rights, you must unlock the bootloader and install your own recovery.
Rooting a device adds a standard Linux feature that was removed by placing a small su (user switch) file with permissions on the system.
When you run the file without any other parameters, your permissions and credentials are switched from normal user to superuser with full control.
Use apps to root your Android device
For this method, you need to install three apps from the Google Play Store.
BusyBox gives your phone access to Linux commands that you usually don’t have. Many root applications need to work.
Linux Deploy is an open source software used to easily and quickly install Linux OS on an Android mobile phone.
It works by creating a disk image on a flash card, mounting it, and installing an OS distribution.
Open the app to make sure you have root access (required after installing BusyBox). Click the download button at the top or bottom right of the screen.
- You will now see the options menu. Leave most of the default settings. In the “Properties: Linux” section, select your distribution.
- Change the flavor of Linux by choosing an option from the distribution package.
- Select a desktop under Desktop Environment to change the appearance of the application.
- In the GUI preferences, select the Enable checkbox to have a GUI on your device. Go to GUI preferences to change options such as screen resolution.
- Under Properties, grant yourself superuser privileged access by setting your username to root.
To open the menu, click the three dots in the upper right corner of the screen. Select “Install” and click “OK” to start installing the application on your phone.
This process takes a little time as it installs the entire Linux distribution on your Android device.
Once the installation is complete, press START to open the fruit (subsection) and then press STOP when done.
The last app to install is VNC Viewer. This will turn your Android device into a remote desktop and allow you to browse the GUI.
Open the app, add a new connection, use localhost: 5900 as the address and click “Create”. This will open a new window for localhost. Click CONNECT.
Enter the password that you set earlier when prompted for authentication and click Finish. You should now be able to see Linux and use it.
Install Linux on your Android mobile with UserLAnd
Another way to install Linux OS on Android mobile phone is to use UserLAnd app. There is no need to root the device with this method.
Go to the Google Play Store, download and install UserLAnd The program will install a layer on your phone that allows you to run the Linux distribution of your choice.
Run the application, we will select Ubuntu and then click OK. Grant the app permissions by clicking ALLOW.
Provide your login details. Enter the username, password and VNC password for the Ubuntu session, then click CONTINUE> VNC> CONTINUE.
UserLand will download all the necessary resources for Ubuntu. The length of the process depends on the speed of your Internet.
You will use this for VNC and ssh access. Wait for the installation to complete, progress will be displayed.
At this point, UserLAnd will load all the necessary resources for the Ubuntu session. The length of the process will depend on the speed of your connection.
When the installation is complete, you will be redirected to the Google Play store to download bVNC
Click Install, then Back to return to the UserLAnd application. Give bVNC permission to access your files if asked and then click “Allow”.
If an option is available for Ubuntu, click on it to start a Linux session. If there is no option, tap Sessions at the bottom of the screen and then tap the + sign in the upper right corner.
Name the new Ubuntu session> select applications: Ubuntu for filesystem> select ssh for service type> Done.
To start a Linux session, tap Sessions at the bottom of the screen. A new session will open in the desktop environment.
To open applications, tap the Start menu located in the lower left corner of the screen. Install new Linux programs using a command terminal by clicking System Tools> LXTTerminal.
If you want to close the desktop, tap anywhere on the screen> three vertical dots> Disable.
The above methods show you how to install Linux OS on your smartphone. Linux is more flexible than Android because it allows users to perform functions such as advanced image editing, application development, and working in a real desktop environment.
The downside is that you are working on a tiny screen. However, if you want to be able to carry your desktop in your pocket, give it a try.