, 2 min read
Linux on Android Devices
Android is based on Linux. Unfortunately, the Linux on Android devices is severely restricted, in particular you cannot easily become the root user. Using Termux and the like you can get a little bit of the "usual" Linux feeling on Android devices. In addition to that, each hardware manufacturer, like Samsung etc., modify the Android system and use different kernels.
As of today there are some serious efforts to replace Android with a "real" Linux.
It is speculated that the postmarketOS approach is most promising. In below, I copy various citations from their website.
We are sick of not receiving updates shortly after buying new phones. Sick of the walled gardens deeply integrated into Android and iOS.
postmarketOS is based on Alpine Linux, which is so tiny (less than 10 MB in size) that development of pmOS can be done quickly on any Linux distribution.
The consequence of this:
The above design decisions make it feasible to keep the system up-to-date, for all devices at once! Compared to Android, it makes development more efficient ...
The rather cumbersome Android build system is not used:
We avoid Android's build system entirely. Instead of building a monolithic system image for each and every device, the whole OS is divided into small packages. These same package binaries can be installed on all devices that share the same CPU architecture. Device specific parts are kept as minimal as possible, ideally there is only one device package.
postmarketOS uses the ext4 filesystem!
From the FAQ: Will Android apps be supported?
We support Android apps through Waydroid!
The list of supported devices is quite impressive.
postmarketOS can use below user interfaces:
- Phosh based on GNOME
- Plasma Mobile based on KDE
- Sxmo, a tiling window manager
- MATE based on GNOME
- and others