(Last Updated On: October 23, 2018)

There is this Android application released recently, called UserLAnd which enables you to run a Linux distribution or application on your Android device without a need to root the phone. UserLand is a fully free and Open source application and its source code is available on Github.

Features of UserLAnd

  • 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

There are two ways you can use UserLAnd

  1. Running it as single-click application
  2. Using user-defined custom sessions.

How to use UserLAnd as single-click application

Head over to PlayStore and search for an applicationUserLAnd, then install it.

After installing the App, launch it and click on the “Apps” menu. This will give you a list of Linux distributions that can be installed. As of this writing, available ones are Ubuntu & Debian.

On the first launch, grant UserLand application access to files, photos, and media content.

Select the distribution you want to install. For me, I’m doing Ubuntu installation. You’ll be required to provide user login details – username and password that will be created for you during installation.

This is what you’ll use for ssh & VNC access. Wait for the installation to complete, progress will be displayed.

If the installation was successful, head over to Sessions tab to create a new session for accessing installed Linux distribution.

Then use a created session to access the Distro shell

A terminal session should be active and you can start firing any Ubuntu & Linux commands, e.g installing a package with apt

To get a good terminal experience, install Termius on PlayStore. Termius gives you the best way to manage, UNIX and Linux systems, whether that would be a local machine, a remote service, Docker Container, VM, Raspberry Pi, or AWS instance. In other words, Termius is Putty for Android but with an awesome design.