Ubuntu for Android seems to be missing in action.

I'm travelling tomorrow and I need to take a basic Linux machine with me. I'd rather just take my tablet than a laptop. So is there a reasonable simple Linux virtual machine that I can install as an Android app. and which I can ssh into with Putty from any PC I find (ideally via the USB cable)?

I'd like to be able to run at least emacs, git and rsync. And ideally Python.

  • With the limited amount of memory on your tablet/phone this seems a little counter productive to me.
    – mdpc
    Aug 26, 2013 at 3:39
  • If you're specifically looking for a Linux VM, you might consider amending the question title. If you're not, you might consider amending the question text.
    – calum_b
    Aug 26, 2013 at 9:08

6 Answers 6


Yes there is one VM called Linux-on-android. I have heard of it, few of my friends used it and they had good experience. You can find it on sourceforge.

  • Can you be more specific about where on sourceforge it can be found? That's a big site.
    – mattdm
    Aug 26, 2013 at 0:03
  • Otherwise Try this play.google.com/store/apps/…
    – karmicdice
    Aug 26, 2013 at 0:13
  • 1
    Thanks. I was kind of hoping to avoid having to root the device. I just want a simple unix environment with the tools I need. Not to have full unix control over the android device itself. (Not even looking for vnc or a gui desktop)
    – interstar
    Aug 26, 2013 at 3:03
  • 1
    @Alko As a personal opinion Its not good idea to run it on SE Live
    – karmicdice
    Aug 26, 2013 at 10:02

Read this how-to: Debian & Android Together on G1

There is arm debian, you can easy setup it on your android device, at least, you need root and 420Mb of free disk space (minimal lenny setup size).

In the second, there are many Qemu ports, browse market. One of it - Limbo is a PC Emulator (x86). In this way you need no root, but you lose the speed.


There's "debian noroot". May or may not work for you, it's a 200 MB download.

I just have it for SSH and to impress my friends.


On a rooted android phone you can install Linux Deploy. It is based on chroot and allows ssh and vnc to the VM.

Also, Termux is a terminal emulator which runs a small Linux VM, which supports apt to install packages. This works without a rooted android phone.


These days I'm very happy with UserLand : https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=tech.ula

It's exactly what I needed.


There is a recent Andronix app which allows running modified distributions without having to root the phone. However, there are many restrictions https://docs.andronix.app/get-started/limitations/ some of which may interfere with the intended usage scenario

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