I see that there are some projects about installing Linux on an Android Device, but how is the Hardware support?

If I install linux, can I have access to the hardware via Python, like in Android?

  • Bad/limited, Have you run A linux distro in a VM?, that's about as fast as you will get on these projects. Oct 31, 2011 at 1:21
  • 2
    Nit-pick: Android is Linux. It's easy to tell you're meaning an alternative userland, to get a classic "Linux district". I don't often agree with RMS wanting everyone to sat GNU/Linux, but with Android it highlights the distinction. Oct 31, 2011 at 8:52
  • You can enter the android shell by installing the Android SDK on your PC and running the Android-Debug-Bridge (adb). The closest you can get to a linux environment from within your device is by installing a terminal emulator (there are some in the Google Market), of course if you wish to gain super user privileges you will need to root your device.
    – svarog
    Jun 23, 2012 at 8:04
  • @AndrewAylett Android is not linux sorry! That is a very common pre-concept everybody gets wrong! From the aspect of license differences - the entire Linux from the definition of a "Linux Distro" is GPL, with lots of userspace binaries. Android is covered under Apache, using Linux kernel (which is a very small part of Android) and very minimal userland binaries, most of the command line stuff under Android is busybox and also, its a Dalvikvm from bootup and that's why.
    – t0mm13b
    Aug 17, 2012 at 23:19
  • 1
    @t0mm13b: let's be clear on the distinction. Linux refers only to the kernel, Android uses Linux kernel and that's why Android is Linux. What it's not is that Android is not a GNU/Linux, as most linux distros comes with tools written by the GNU project, but GNU project is distinct from the Linux project (GNU project originally was written for their own kernel, the GNU Hurd, which was a total failure).
    – Lie Ryan
    Aug 18, 2012 at 6:55

2 Answers 2


Technically you don't "run Linux on Android". In fact, every Android device runs "under" Linux (That is, Android uses the Linux Kernel). What happens when you install a Linux distribution (I think that is what you meant by refering to Linux) on Android is that the Android OS and the Linux dsitribution share the same Kernel. Even if you replace the Android installation with a pure (GNU/)Linux one, the used Kernel is "the same".

Therefore the HW API calls are identical, and you can access the hardware from e.g. Python without any difference.

  • 1
    Canonical has announced about Ubuntu over Android. And, its sharing Android's kernel.
    – iOS
    Aug 17, 2012 at 23:16
  • 2
    It's more like "Ubuntu besides Android" :)
    – Flow
    Aug 17, 2012 at 23:17
  • Also, there is a scripting support available for Android - SL4A ;)
    – t0mm13b
    Aug 17, 2012 at 23:21

An Android app now allows device users to add custom versions of multiple Linux OS.

Andronix allows unrooted Android users with > 2.5GB free and Termux on Android 5.1 or newer to install Ubuntu and other Linux OS with Xfce, MATE, LXDE, LXQt, and KDE desktop environments. The basic app is free and runs on devices with ARMv7, ARM64, and x64 CPUs; the publisher sells customized Linux distros through the Google Play Store.

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