This may be a fairly simple question, but I want to be sure. My guess is that it can't be done.

Question 1: For example, I have an executable for Linux (no GUI , just cmd line , it just makes some computations) and it works well in my x86 desktop and I want to be able to run it in my Android tablet. The tablet is running Ubuntu for Android. Is it possible to run the executable in the Ubuntu environment on Android?

Question 2: I have a standard commercial Linux app and I want to install and run it on Ubuntu for Android. Is that possible?

If it's not possible, is there any workaroud to this?

  • I'd take a look at Ubuntu's wiki page on the ARM platform. Commented May 30, 2012 at 21:09
  • If you have the source of the executable, you could probably re-compile it (on your tablet?) for the ARM architecture? I have no experience with this in Linux, I've only dealt with x86 and 64 bit in Windows.
    – Bryan Denny
    Commented May 31, 2012 at 4:10
  • I've cleaned up the comments here. If you don't find a particular comment useful then don't vote it up, no need to get up in arms about it. Commented May 31, 2012 at 18:59
  • 1
    A lot of Linux programs have ARM packages ready that you can install using apt-get
    – Fiksdal
    Commented Jun 12, 2016 at 14:48

2 Answers 2


The answer to both questions is no.

Your Android device most likely uses the ARM architecture, which is not compatible with the x86 architecture of your binaries.

In theory you could use Qemu on Android to emulate a x86 system, but the performance will be average at best. This has been done.


No, you need ARM executables (or whatever the underlying architecture of your device may be).

The only way to get around it, apart from compiling from source or finding an ARM version of the package, would be some sort of virtualization. I don't know of any virtualization tools built for ARM myself, but at least some versions have virtualization extensions so there is the possibility of hardware-accelerated VMs.

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