I am using a terminal emulator on Android called "Termux". It comes with the APT command installed. However, the repository is very limited.
What I want to do, is to see if larger repositories like that of Ubuntu and Debian can be used with it.
Since I only want to use and install CLI programs (like cowsay), hopefully it shouldn't be a problem.
Is this a good idea? If yes, how can it be done?

If not, can individual packages be downloaded and installed any other easy way?

3 Answers 3


If you did not noticed already, android is a Linux kernel with completely different userland, so if you want to (re)use regular Linux binaries on it, you're probably out of luck. Android has a different filesystem layout and has no regular Unix standard files. It even lacks /tmp directory.

You can try to setup a chroot on it. It may become complicated, especially if it will require mounting custom filesystems inside it. Still, many many programs will be unable to be run on android, like those X11 ones requiring X11 server running, because android does not run any X11 server.

  • Well... that's disappointing. :(
    – AvZ
    Jan 14, 2016 at 12:59

Yes, you can. I already managed to update my Termux sources.list with Ubuntu sources and it worked. The only issue I found was a conflict between Termux and Ubuntu support for "vim" package. If you install it through apt-get, you'll find a conflict sometime.

About the sources, I first installed a chroot ubuntu on my device, then copy&pasted the sources to my Termux' sources.list, and also had to copy the gpg keys. But in the end it works very well.

  • 2
    Fred, How did you managed to update Termux sources list with Ubuntu ?
    – Farshid
    Mar 2, 2017 at 23:26

Userland app is a good option in 2022


It runs full Linux distros or specific applications on top of Android. Install and uninstall like a regular app. No root required to run a Linux distribution with UserLAnd

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