Samsung phones soon can run true GNU/Linux distributions

Mike Turcotte-McCusker
Nov 8, 2017
Updated • May 22, 2018
Mobile Computing

Imagine being able to place your cellphone into a small little dock, and be able to run your favourite Linux distribution on a monitor with proper mouse and keyboard, use it as you desire, then switch over to android; still using the mouse and keyboard. Once all was said and done, you could undock the phone, and put it back in your pocket and walk away...

This ladies and gentlemen, is Linux on Galaxy, a new application as part of the new Samsung Ecosystem, DeX.

Users who own a DeX compatible phone, such as the S8, S8+ or Note 8, have the option of picking up this new technology, which allows the usage of your phone as a sort of PC. With the addition of 'Linux on Galaxy', users could run Ubuntu, or Linux Mint, on their phones. While it seems like something so simple and obvious that we should have; it also is going to have much larger implications for the technology world as well.

DeX @ Home

Think about this, if I'm a consumer who only uses a computer to surf facebook occaisionally, check emails, surf the web, or other very similar casual activities; what is my need for a desktop anymore if I have DeX?

Why do I want to buy an android box to stream my favourite videos? I can plug my phone into my DeX and voila, I have Android AND a proper GNU/Linux OS at my disposal.

Dex @ The Office

The possible usage in a business sense is extraordinary as well, being able to undock your cellphone from home, bring it to work, dock it, and voila, you have your notes, contacts, files, graphs, images, whatever, with you. Granted, I could also see this being bad news too, as this could give black-hats an even easier time with attacks-on-the-go.

Users have already started to make their own laptops for this, such as this video found on YouTube.

Dex @ The World

This is something that I truly feel will also help push the GNU/Linux world into the mainstream even further as well, as even though its generally meant for developers...When people realize the ease of use for many distributions, and the potential of what they could be doing (have a full fledged OS rather than your android one), this will open up SO many doors and possibilities. I think what Samsung has done, is catapult humanity another step forward. Not so much with the technology, but more with the idea.

Final Thoughts

If we look at this as the first generation of a device that later will become much more, how the iPod became the basis for iPod Touch, and iPhone even, then DeX with Linux on Galaxy could be the start of the next big thing in the technology of our societal use.

Also, it could eventually lead to a total trainwreck scenario causing massive collapse to what little social interaction our society really gets. Anyone seen Black Mirror season three, first episode?

What about you? What's your thoughts on this new tech from Samsung?

Samsung phones soon can run true GNU/Linux distributions
Article Name
Samsung phones soon can run true GNU/Linux distributions
Mike takes a look at Linux on Galaxy, a new application as part of the new Samsung Ecosystem, "DeX." which brings Linux to Samsung devices.
Ghacks Technology News

Tutorials & Tips

Previous Post: «
Next Post: «


  1. Tankman said on June 8, 2018 at 1:20 am

    TERMUX is Love.
    Termux is life.

    F-Droid > Termux
    Thank me later.

  2. Emily Post said on November 9, 2017 at 10:32 pm

    How about a quick spelling and grammar check before posting…

    1. Jody Thornton said on November 10, 2017 at 11:14 pm

      @Emulee Post

      Eye think a spell check wud bee a good thing to do, because compreehenshun iz so importunt.

  3. mikef90000 said on November 9, 2017 at 1:09 am

    Yawn …….
    I would be much more interested if this was applicable to an Android tablet with a physical keyboard option. I would prefer ‘regular’ LInux apps as the Play Store ecosystem is poorly managed (forgot better word) by Google.

    Doing more stuff on a smartphone with a tiny screen doesn’t thrill me at all.

    1. Jody Thornton said on November 9, 2017 at 3:30 am

      But that could be the case as well (or a further development down the road). Samsung does sell Galaxy Tablets too.

  4. Tinfoil_Hat said on November 8, 2017 at 8:22 pm

    Portable linux devices… there where many of them years ago despite being called PDA and lacking of phone functions. Many porting of linux where made: psilinux running on psion hardware, now called open psion, there was Palm and palm linux environment and so on
    I’m orphan of my beloved sharp zaurus SL 6000W…. Got stolen years ago and I still miss it despite the seemingly wide choice of portable device in 2017.

    If really samsung will made such smartphone available chances are I may consider it as a replacement for my beloved but…..
    android should be able to be turned off and multiboot enabled, must have a real linux kernel, must have a mass memory with full access to install/remove software, must be partitionable, USB full size an open bootloader and…. well maybe this is just too much, libreboot could be installed and run on it.
    Too much freedom to the user and, absit iniura verbis, he could really own his hardware!

  5. Gene Mosher said on November 8, 2017 at 8:17 pm

    OK, so I have a Raspberry Pi and the storage for everything that is software that makes it a computer is a 128 Gb Samsung EVO microSD. I also have an LG smartphone that Verizon offers to customers for free, the K20 V. It has a microSD slot, of course. I can easily duplicate my Raspberry Pi’s microSD card using a USB 3.0 adapter on my i3 NUC desktop computer. What I should be able to do, according to my way of thinking, is to insert my duplicate RPi microSD into my LG phone’s microSD slot and have a duplicate Raspberry Pi computer which could also run Android apps.

    Can Android APK files run on Linux?

  6. VictorD said on November 8, 2017 at 2:50 pm

    I’m starting to think innovation from big companies only happen when some random intern stumbles across an old xda post and decides to port what someone else has done.
    I mean, the Nexus 5 has had project Maru for over 3 years now, which is exactly this, and it is open source.

  7. What said on November 8, 2017 at 2:21 pm

    Linux on rooted android phones has already been done years ago. How is this news?

    1. Jody Thornton said on November 8, 2017 at 4:55 pm

      I think the idea is that you can now run a desktop distro and applications like a notebook.
      If that’s the case, the boundaries between a true desktop and a phone are slimming :o

  8. db said on November 8, 2017 at 10:45 am

    It will be a neat phone set with some excellent detail work that won’t be the ‘it’ thing from the season. Therefore Samsung will stop production early next year.. and there will be another orphan could have been. Running Linux just isn’t advertising enough.. gotta make it indispensible to normal people.

  9. aaabbbccc said on November 8, 2017 at 8:56 am

    There was ‘Ubuntu for Android’ a few years ago.

  10. Mike said on November 8, 2017 at 7:52 am

    I would consider another smartphone if it could run Linux. Would it still need Android for phone functions? And don’t know what that round thing is in the photo – is it one of those voice response computers, if so no thx.

    1. anon3 said on November 8, 2017 at 11:44 pm

      “I would consider another smartphone if it could run Linux.”

      Librem 5 is coming in 2019.

    2. jupe said on November 8, 2017 at 2:15 pm

      I think “that round thing” is the DeX cradle that you put your phone in.

      1. TelV said on November 8, 2017 at 3:42 pm

        Looks like a powder puff to me :D

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

We love comments and welcome thoughtful and civilized discussion. Rudeness and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please stay on-topic.
Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.