I want to get full Linux with GUI and desktop on my android tab (rooted). I heard about apps called " Linux deploy" and "Complete Linux installer". However I have a few doubts :

1) Is it possible to get full Linux with gnome or unity or other on android ? I already have terminal emulator installed but I need full Linux.

2) Do these apps install Linux with gui etc on tablet or does this only install terminal kind of environment and uses remote login (like splashtop) to access a pc with linux and then display screen on our tablet ( I dont want this) ?

If they dont, then is there a way to get full Linux with vi, libreoffice etc on android ?


  • Complete Linux Installer: This project's aim is to bring a range of Linux distros to your Android device through a method known as 'chroot', see it has running a Linux distro within a virtual machine on your phone. Why might you want this? Well, my apps are designed to make the install and setup process as easy as possible (more so in the paid apps) while still giving you some flexibility. Once you have the distro up and running then you can pretty much run and install any Linux software you like (so long as there is a ARM port or it is not architecturally dependent).
    – karel
    Sep 14 '14 at 13:24
  • Linux Deploy: This application is open source software for quick and easy installation of the operating system (OS) GNU/Linux on your Android device. The application creates a disk image on the flash card, mount it and install there OS distribution. Applications of the new system are run in a chroot environment and working in parallel with platform Android. All changes made on the device are reversible, i.e. the application and components can be removed completely. Installation of a distribution kit is carried out on a network from the official mirrors online.
    – karel
    Sep 14 '14 at 13:27
  • @karel Yes. But one doubt. Do these apps in general install full Linux( with desktop and gui) or only allow access to a Linux pc through remote login ? I am asking this because all of them mention VNC. I am not fully aware what it is, but as far as I can understand from Wikipedia and Google, it's a remote login service allowing you to control linux pc from remote location. Please clarify on this issue (Please be sure about it). I don't need a remote login as mentioned, but a full Linux (with gui like gnome etc). Sep 14 '14 at 13:32
  • Regarding the use of chroot without VNC: How to Install Ubuntu Linux on Your Chromebook with Crouton Crouton which is used to install Ubuntu on Chromebooks does that. Regarding whether your question would be on topic at Android Enthusiasts Q&A, even if it is off topic here: What should we do about questions involving other operating systems on Android hardware?.
    – karel
    Sep 14 '14 at 13:59
  • 1
    There is also Ubuntu Touch. docs.ubuntu.com/phone/en/devices/installing-ubuntu-for-devices
    – skan
    Jul 20 '17 at 18:49

The answer's a bit delayed, but still:

The tools karel mentioned above are a local installations of Linux on the android device, though it might be technically incorrect to call them "full" installations.

Both tools install a chrooted environment on the android device which in which the a common desktop Linux distro can be run "on top" of the Android OS.

You could certainly make the case that this is not a "full" installation, as it makes use of the kernel elements of the android OS it runs on top of: that distinction, however, is a very fine one and would not be particularly salient to even most IT professionals.

For both tools, you would end up accessing the Desktop GUI through a VNC: this VNC, however, would be pointed at the Android device itself. Because the desktop distro will be running in the chrooted environment "on top" of the android OS (which controls the screen), it doesn't have a way a way to access the screen directly.
You're using VNC not because you need to access a screen remotely, but because you need to create a virtual screen.

  • 1
    Are there any alternatives offering "full" instalations directly on the mobile?
    – skan
    Jul 20 '17 at 18:50

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