Conan Troutman · Jul 21, 2012 at 10:00 pm

Got Linux? The Linux-on-Android Project Can Help

Linux—I’m sure most of you are familiar with it. In case you aren’t, here’s a quick visual guide. Due to the close ties between the Android OS and Linux, there are several different ways in which you can run a Linux-based OS on your Android device. However, the one I want to talk about here is one of the simplest, and aims to make Linux accessible to as many devices as possible.

The Linux-on-Android project, brainchild of XDA Recognized Developer zacthespack, is a simple and non-destructive way of running various Linux distros on your Android device. It uses the well-known method chrootand runs the distro within a virtual machine on your device. The main benefit of this is that nothing is changed or overwritten on your device, apart from obviously occupying some storage space, your current set up is left unaltered. It’s possible to use a VNC to access the GUI of your chosen distro. Alternatively, you can use terminal if you are a veteran linux user. The Linux distros currently supported are Ubuntu, Debian and Backtrack.

The accompanying application, known as “The Complete Linux Installer” is essentially a tool which will guide you through setting everything up as simply as possible. And when I say simple, I really mean it. The application will have you up and running in no time at all. For a more detailed description of the methodology and run down of the project then check out the original forum thread.

As you may have guessed, this requires root access. It should work on most medium/high spec devices and most ROMs. The developer is also keen to hear from any of you who have a Nexus 7 and want to test this out. He’d very much like to be able to support the device, but is currently unable to get hold of one himself and needs guinea pigs testers. So if you have a Nexus 7 and would like to test this method out, please stop by the thread and let him know how it works.


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