Android Application To Run GNU/Linux Distributions Without Root! - Fosslicious

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Android Application To Run GNU/Linux Distributions Without Root!

Now is an era where smartphones are a necessity for everyone. And some developers make an application project, which can run Linux distributions on an Android device. Here are some applications that can run Linux distributions on Android without the root device!

1. Limbo PC Emulator
Limbo is one of the emulators to run .iso files from the operating system, either linux or windows. For those of you who are looking for an emulator for this purpose, you can try Limbo.

To run the .iso file from an operating system or Linux distro, Limbo does not require Android users to rooting devices like a most similar applications. In this case, I tried the latest version of Limbo. You can search on the official website or on Google play !.

I tried to run one of the lightest Linux distributions in the list of distributions that can run smoothly on this application.
Limbo PC Emulator

The picture above is the KolibriOS distro that I run using Limbo on android. I think, to operate a personal computer software, it's difficult without any additional devices such as the keyboard and mouse. By using a touchscreen, I can move the cursor on KolibriOS, but the results are not maximal. This operating system runs smoothly on Limbo. KolibriOS is one of the Linux distributions that has a small size, light and simple.

The second experiment, I tried using Slitaz. Slitaz is also one of the Linux distributions that has a small size of around 50MB. But, when trying to run .iso from this distribution, limbo takes a long time after choosing the desired boot type. In this experiment, Slitaz couldn't run properly using Limbo. I only saw a black screen after waiting a few minutes (or maybe about an hour waiting for the process).

If you want to try it, I suggest using an OS that has registered support and runs well on the Limbo PC Emulator. You can read a list of distributions that support on the official web.

But, when this article was written, the official website of this application is still down and not found. But you can try to install it via Google Play Store even if it's not the latest version.

2. UserLAnd
UserLAnd is an application that functions to run Linux distributions on Android. For now, this application only supports several distributions such as Ubuntu, Kali Linux, Debian, and Alpine OS. This application is simple and not complicated. We can run one of the Linux distributions in the options menu with VNC and it will look a cooler GUI.

UserLAnd android Ubuntu xfce4

One of the things that makes me like this application is that they don't advertise on the application, so it looks clean. UserLAnd is a recommendation for you besides Limbo.

3. AnLinux
Application to run Linux distributions like UserLAnd. But, when I try the initial settings of this application it looks complicated (maybe for new Linux users). And this application has advertisements.

However, in the description of the Play Store, this application can run without the need for rooting devices, and support using a desktop environment that is widely available on Linux platforms such as XFCE4, LXDE, MATE and etc.

The choice of distributions in the menu is also more than UserLAnd. So, I also recommend this application for those of you who want to run Linux on Android.

4. Termux
Termux is a terminal emulator application on Android, which also includes a Linux environment. The function is the same as in the terminal that is on GNU/Linux. And we can also install application packages provided for the Linux environment.

Some people use termux to learn programming languages, developing the web, and others. I have also tried installing and running Django in termux. Termux has a default appearance like a terminal. But there are some websites that discuss how to install the graphics environment for termux, one of them is the article on the Termux Wiki about Graphical Environment.

The three applications that I wrote above have their own advantages and disadvantages, you are free to choose which one is suitable for yourself. Hopefully useful, Enjoy!