How to access Samsung DeX mode on Linux and Chrome OS

How to access Samsung DeX mode on Linux and Chrome OS

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Google has yet to offer a full-fledged desktop interface in Android, but you can access the hidden barebones version of it on some devices running Android 10. A handful of OEMs, on the other hand, offer their own implementations of the desktop mode, and Samsung’s DeX is inarguably the most polished and feature-rich option among them. The latest version of Samsung DeX can even seamlessly integrate itself with Macs and Windows PCs.

While Samsung did backport DeX for PC support to older flagships, they still don’t provide an official Linux (and Chrome OS) companion app corresponding to this handy feature. From the perspective of a regular Samsung user who uses Linux, it means that you could only access the DeX mode if you had an external display. There is no OS level limitation per se, so XDA Senior Member KMyers has decided to create a proof-of-concept technique that ultimately works as a Linux client for Samsung DeX.

The unofficial method doesn’t require root access, but you need some additional hardware accessories (a USB-C to HDMI dock, coupled with an HDMI “dummy” terminator) to streamline the process. The USB power brick-cable combo that comes with your Samsung Galaxy device is required as well. On the software side, the method relies on a free and open-source project called scrcpy, which helps you to expose the actual DeX interface from your Samsung phone to a PC running Linux or Chrome OS. Moreover, you need to setup Android Debug Bridge (ADB) on your PC, which is used by scrcpy as a connection tunnel.

samsung_dex_linux

Typical features like clipboard sharing and drag-and-drop installation of APK files are working without issue in this method, but sound routing is a bit messy. You might have to compile scrcpy from source, though, because the available build on the default package repository of Debian based operating systems (e.g., Ubuntu and the Crostini environment on Chrome OS) is usually outdated. This step can be particularly problematic on ARM-powered Chrome OS devices, so opt for cross-compiling instead.

Samsung Dex on Linux and ChromeOS: Tutorial || XDA Discussion Thread