1. GoldenSun3DS's Avatar
    I've seen sites that mention the ability to install Linux on Android devices, but can Linux on an Android device run everything that a regular PC on Linux could? (not counting performance like FPS)

    I'm planning on getting a Galaxy S6, and am interested in installing Linux on it if that means I can install desktop Linux programs on it.

    For example, the new 3DS emulator (work-in-progress) Citra, has no Android version, but it does have Linux versions. Or a desktop browser with Java and Flash Player for playing Runescape and flash games on it.
    03-27-2015 12:28 AM
  2. raptir's Avatar
    First, installing Linux on a phone isn't as simple as just downloading the install image and installing it on your phone. You'll need to find or make a build of the Linux distribution of your choice that will work on the phone, since smartphone hardware differs significantly from laptop/desktop hardware. If you are buying a phone specifically to install Linux (which I would not recommend) then you should do more research on what phones are well supported before you decide on a device. Buying the latest-and-greatest is not going to be your best option in this case, you'll want an older phone that's well supported.

    Second, you aren't going to be able to run just any Linux application. Most of the Linux ports for smartphones are running Ubuntu Touch, which has a much more limited set of applications available pre-compiled. You can always compile software yourself, but you'd need to compile all of the dependencies as well, so it would become a significant effort. You could also compile the software directly for Android.

    The biggest issue after all of that is going to be input. Most desktop applications expect that you'll have a mouse and keyboard, so you'll be rather limited in what is actually usable after you go through all of this.

    Linux on Android can be fun to play around with, but it's not a good solution for adding functionality that you feel is missing from your phone.
    Crashdamage likes this.
    03-27-2015 08:25 AM

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