There are a handful of reasons you might want to run a full-blown desktop Linux operating system on your smartphone or tablet. It allows you to use desktop apps such as Firefox or LibreOffice, for one thing. The best reason is probably because it’s an incredibly geeky thing to do. But that doesn’t mean it has to be difficult to set up.

Profclean2000 at xda-developers has come up with a simple tool for running Ubuntu Linux on an Android device. It uses a trick we’ve seen before, with a disc image hanging out on your SD card and a VNC client running on Android to let you login to your Ubuntu environment without exiting Android. But profclean2000’s tool will make the process of installing Android almost as easy as installing any app on your smartphone.

While the app was designed for the Dell Streak 5 and Dell Streak 7 tablets, it is reported to work on some other devices as well. You’ll need to root your phone or tablet though.

The app is expected to hit the Android Market soon under the name “Ubuntu Mobile,” but I wouldn’t be surprised if the name eventually changes. Canonical doesn’t take too kindly to other developers hijacking the name of its popular Linux distribution — even if this version is just Ubuntu designed to work on Android.

Update: The app is now live in the Android Market for $1.99. It allows you to install a customized version of Ubuntu 10.10 with Firefox,, and other desktop Linux apps preloaded.

via StreakDroid

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5 replies on “Ubuntu Mobile will make it easy to run Android and Ubuntu side-by-side”

  1. That’s awesome! Could we reverse the process? Run Android apps on a Ubuntu machine? If we could I would ditch windows on my netbook. 

    1. This has been possible for a while–there’s no reason ubuntu shouldn’t be able to run android apps just as well as windows.

      1. I’ve tried using WINE on Ubuntu to run several programs and it’s always a hassle.

        1. The article is about running ubuntu on an android device and vnc’ing into it….the reverse would be running ubuntu and and base and vnc’ing into android…I don’t see how this lets you run windows apps.

          If you want windows under ubuntu you can install virtualbox for free and install windows…its not vnc’ing (in fact the screen refresh is generally a little better) but you have windows and can run apps….obviously no gaming and you are sandboxed off in that virtual machine but its no less jaring that vnc’ing into ubuntu chroot’ed under android.

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