Many people install Linux-based distros on USB drives to use for, largely, basic PC troubleshooting. Has anyone tried installing such a thing on their Android phone's SD card? That way instead of carrying about both a USB drive and a phone, one could simply plug their phone in, boot the PC from USB, and set about performing whatever actions are necessary. Does anyone have any recommendations for particular flavors of Linux which are best suited to this task?

  • That's a really esoteric use. From what I'm reading, the phone would be little more than the vehicle for the SD card (for purposes of this, anyway). You'd probably have better luck asking on unix.stackexchange.com. I'm not saying it's off-topic here, but it's certainly on-topic there.
    – ale
    Oct 22, 2010 at 20:14
  • Good idea. I hadn't realized (in retrospect, its obvious) that there's a *nix stack exchange.
    – GWLlosa
    Oct 23, 2010 at 15:17
  • 1
    I think this would be a really cool function for an Android phone. Al is right that you're probably more likely to get an answer over at unix.SE (maybe even SuperUser) but I think the question should remain open here because I look forward to seeing an answer and I'm sure other Android Enthusiasts would too.
    – Matt
    Oct 24, 2010 at 3:23
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    See: unix.stackexchange.com/questions/3441/…
    – ale
    Oct 24, 2010 at 13:54
  • @Al Should this question be closed and/or set as migrated?
    – gary
    Nov 9, 2010 at 16:48

2 Answers 2


As far as I know, there is no Android device that can be put into a USB-mass-storage-thumbdrive-compliant mode (to use the nontechnical term). The phone would need to have a special mode where it emulated a USB drive and handled reads/writes to the SD card and that sort of thing. I can't imagine any manufacturer modifying the hardware and writing the software necessary to support this when the expected return on investment would probably be 0.

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    Amon Ra's recovery could do this - so it's quite possible, just not stock.
    – Broam
    Aug 2, 2011 at 19:39
  • @Broam Really? That would be awesome. If you can find a source/details you should post that as an answer! Aug 2, 2011 at 19:41

Amon Ra's recovery (Here for Dream/G1, see that post for links to other supported phones) allows mounting the SD card as USB Mass Storage.

ClockworkMod Recovery may also allow this, but I'm more familiar with Amon Ra's patches.

You could boot the phone into recovery, turn on USB-MS, and boot from your phone.

NOTE OF CAUTION: My Dream(G1) and Magic (MyTouch 3G) do NOT charge when booted into recovery. I don't know if I'd recommend this for that reason alone.

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