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I'd like to entirely replace Android on my phone, which I plan to eventually root. I've learned so far that Linux Deploy can be used to run a full Linux distro alongside the Android OS, but really I want to replace Android OS. I'm willing to put Mobian (mobian-project.org) on there or just pure Debian. Is this possible yet in 2021?

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3 Answers 3

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Ubuntu Touch from UBPorts is basically at a daily driver state if you have the right hardware.

I've run it on a Pixel 3a as a "weekend driver" and the performance is impressive, especially considering where this project was started in December 2022.

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Short answer: NO.

Reasons:

  • Hardware drivers are proprietary
  • Building them without the source is extremely difficult
  • Requires a lot of expertise and time
  • Not possible unless you have low-level access to your device hardware (Meaning being able to flash without fastboot or EDL)

So yeah, stick to the answer that, NO, you can't replace Android entirely with Linux.

Something you can do is:

You can of course try using other AOSP-based OS like Lineage OS which are built on AOSP, so it is compatible with the default kernel for your device (This is also only possible if it is already built for your device)

If you want to run Linux alongside Android, there are a few ways:

  • As you said, you can use Linux Deploy. (I have personally not used this)
  • Or you can use PRoot with Termux which is a user-space implementation of chroot thus you can a virtualized Linux environment (similar to using chroot) but without the need for a rooted device. You can either use PRoot with scripts created by others via AnLinux or Andronix.
  • Or you could always learn how it works and manually set it up :>

And no, as time goes on, things won't change. You won't be able to install Linux on an Android device. This is not due to hardware incapability but rather it is how the smartphone industry works.

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I could be entirely wrong, but here I go.

With postmarketOS and in recent years, people have worked hard to bring Linux to phones. One of the examples is OnePlus 6 - one maintainer worked hard to get it running. But here we are. It's not yet really in a daily-driving state where one can replace it, but for example, calling works.

So to answer your question, you could but would you be happy with this yet buggy state of Linux?

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  • You could improve your answer by adding a link to the mentioned Linux for OnePlus 6 and also include more details on the problems of this release why it has to be considered not read for a daily use.
    – Robert
    Jul 6, 2022 at 7:31
  • You're right Robert, my bad, ill edit this once ill be home.
    – zero_gray
    Jul 7, 2022 at 20:04

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