*I would like to note that English is not my native language and understanding about Android system structure is little.

My question: is it possible to make Android to run without Google apps (Play Services and account manager etc.), and make it more alike Linux (different package system?). AFAIK, Android is using modified Linux kernel and is emulated by Java(?). I would like to keep some of applications from Android and take power from regular Linux distribution without feeling that I am being monitored all the time.

  • There are DEB, RPM, TGZ, ubuntu's upcoming native pkg system, and what not. I see no coherency in packages (pkg management) when it comes to Linux distros. Linux universally doesn't seem to have any package system. It's upon a developer group to decide. Debian took kernel and made it DEB compliant. RedHat made it RPM style, Slackware made it TGZ style, and Android made it apk style (though a general file from other "type" package can usually be used in Linux). I guess you need to be precise here for what you want. I may be wrong here, but the answer as Jaskaranbir stated would be no!
    – Firelord
    Jun 7, 2015 at 15:18
  • @Firelord: From Jaskaranbir's answer I understood that it is possible to seperate Google applications from Android, but it is not possible to. make Android work with, for example, Debian package manager. I guess, I didn't stated my question correctly.
    – user111756
    Jun 7, 2015 at 15:48

1 Answer 1


Yes. It is possible to have an Android OS without anything remotely related to Google.

First approach would be to root your phone. Then next step would be to install a custom ROM which is by default free of Google like Cyanogenmod.

Head over to XDA and find the forums corresponding to your phone which will have necessary tutorials and possibly even built roms like Cyanogenmod like I mentioned above.

Now there would be two steps for installing a custom ROM such as Cyanogenmod/Paranoid etc.

  • First step is to flash the ROM via recovery. We will follow this step and flash the ROM zip.

  • Second step would be to flash GAPPS (short for Google Apps). This is the Google apps package (i.e Play Store and other Google services/framework etc). You can skip flashing this and you will have a phone which won't have any Google apps.

Of course, you will need a third party market to install apps. Some common examples of this are: Mobogenie, F-Droid, Amazon etc.

In case you decide not to install custom ROM for whatever reason, then your only choice would be to root and manually remove Google apps and framework using App Managers like Root Uninstaller.

Although I didn't quite get what you meant here:

take power from regular Linux distribution

If you mean install packages like we do in usual Linux, that won't work in Android. Yes, Android is Linux-based but only at core. The rest is Google's own proprietary code smali. The apps run with Dalvik as VM which is a type of interpreter that executes files in Dex format. So although it's Linux at core, package installation and execution is somewhat different due to which you can't use Linux packages directly.

  • Your welcome :) Jun 7, 2015 at 15:14
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    This is a great answer. I'd like to add that the reason you can't install the exact same packages that you find on most native distributions is because the chip architecture, and therefore instruction set is different. The same package would have to be recompiled to run on the new instruction set (like ARM instead of x86) before you can even try to execute it. Jun 8, 2015 at 2:15
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    Sure Firelord :) Although my activity hasnt been much since past few days because of me working on some project, but I'll check it out regularly ;) Jul 13, 2015 at 7:51

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