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As I understand, Android is basically a Java layer which runs over a Linux kernel.

Is Ubuntu for phone a pure Linux device, like the desktop distribution, or will it run on Java like Android?

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Yes, Ubuntu for Phones will be a pure Linux-based OS, like the desktop version of Ubuntu. Ubuntu for Phones does not use Java layer to run applications. But it does use the slightly modified version of the Linux kernel, written by the Android team.

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