I am running a lower Android version and need to install a Linux proot container in Android. Another Term is the closest alternative, but how do I install it? It seems pretty hard.

2 Answers 2

  1. First, read the readme of AnotherTerm GitHub repo and this

You can run the stock install-linuxcontainers.sh you downloaded from the Git repo without tweaks for an automatic install. It gave me errors, that's why I did this Q&A style question to write the tutorial on how I got it to run on my old tablet.

Download Another Term from Play Store. If the Play Store version does not work, then go here and try previous versions that work on your device and issue the bug.

  1. Know yor phone architecture

  2. Download run-tpl (after downloading, make sure it has no extension), installshellscript (the file must be like install-linuxcontainers.sh), proot-android.tar.gz (download both if your architecture has 2 gunzips), and minitar.

As for the rootfs.tar.xz, google search images.linuxcontainers.org and enter. Upon entering, select Distro, then release.

For architectures, if your phone architecture is arm7-a, select "armhf", and if arm8-a, select "arm64". The same applies to i386 and amd64.

Then select default, then choose any build date you want, and then select rootfs.tar.xz, then the file will start downloading. After downloading all the files, download Simple HTTP Server app from the Play Store or any webserver app to host the files.

Copy or move minitar, rootfs.tar.xz, proot.tar.gz, and run-tpl to /android/data/com.phlox.simpleserver/files

Open the app and start the server. Launch your browser and go to your IP address and port specified in the app. On Chrome or whatever browser, long press to copy the download link address (if using a desktop right click) then go and edit the install-linuxcontainers.sh using a text editor and replace all URLs beginning which are like this and replace them with corresponding download URLs which you copy from your browser. If your ip local ip is then the url should look like .Make sure that all URLs have been replaced by your own URLs you copied from the browser and save the script.

Final Step

Install and open Another Term and click the + icon on top, name the shell profile and save (I did not edit anything).

Stop the webserver in the app

Start on the profile to start the terminal. Maybe you will notice too small or too big font, but you will change the font settings later. Tap on the keyboard icon (top-right leftmost icon) to switch to your default keyboard.

u0_a176@goyave3g:/data/data/green_green_avk.anotherterm.oldgood $ cd /storage/emulated/0/Download
u0_a176@goyave3g:/storage/emulated/0/Download $ ./install-linuxcontainers.sh Debian Buster

Installation subdir name proots/___ [linuxcontainers-Debian-Buster]:
Actual name: kgktk

To uninstall: run `rm -rf "$DATA_DIR/proots/kgktk"'

Creating favorites...

Arch: armv7a
Variant: -pre5
Root FS: Debian Buster


Getting minitar...
failed to connect to / (port 8080): connect failed: ECONNREFUSED (Connection refused)

Type your fake random directory name and enter.

Profile pop-ups will appear, but quit both and tap OK and Exit and you will return to the shell.

As you can see above, the variant shows "-pre5". If it's not, you are good to go. But if it's "-pre5", you must start the webserver, go to the browser, copy the download link of prootpre5.tar.gz, go and edit install shell script replacing the proot.tar.gz link with the new pre5 one, then save the script.

Don't stop the webserver.

The second Run:

u0_a176@goyave3g:/data/data/green_green_avk.anotherterm.oldgood $ cd /storage/emulated/0/Download
u0_a176@goyave3g:/storage/emulated/0/Download $ ./install-linuxcontainers.sh Debian Buster

Installation subdir name proots/___ [linuxcontainers-Debian-Buster]: Buster

Actual name: Buster

To uninstall: run `rm -rf "$DATA_DIR/proots/Buster"'

Creating favorites...

Arch: armv7a
Variant: -pre5
Root FS: Debian Buster


Getting minitar...
Getting PRoot...
Getting Linux root FS...

list:x:38:38:Mailing List Manager:/var/list:/usr/sbin/nologin
gnats:x:41:41:Gnats Bug-Reporting System (admin):/var/lib/gnats:/usr/sbin/nologin
systemd-timesync:x:101:102:systemd Time Synchronization,,,:/run/systemd:/usr/sbin/nologin
systemd-network:x:102:103:systemd Network Management,,,:/run/systemd:/usr/sbin/nologin
systemd-resolve:x:103:104:systemd Resolver,,,:/run/systemd:/usr/sbin/nologin
Regular user name [my_acct]: my_acct
Preferred shell [/bin/bash]: /bin/bash

Setting up run script...


u0_a176@goyave3g:/storage/emulated/0/Download $

Now we are going for the last time. Start the ./install-linuxcontainers.sh, type your distro and release as shown above.

Now, type the real subdirectory name of your pr choice. In my case, I chose to type Buster. This time, save & exit the two pop-up profiles. After saving, you will come back to the terminal and notice rootfs downloading progress. After that, you will be asked to type user and shell preferred, type the ones inside the [] brackets and enter, and you will notice it done.

Quit this shell by tapping back then long-pressing on it, and click terminate then confirm the termination. Tap on any of the shell profiles you save before name; Buster and Buster (Root) in my case and welcome to Debian, I mean your chosen distro.

By the way, I am in no way part of this project, but I'm just a Linux newbie who has found an amazing project he was searching for for quite a long time.

Shoutout to the devs for this amazing app.

Useful Screen shots:


For new android versions the script has been updated and no need to use the edited script and method except maybe if you want to have a backup of the files needed wenr you want a clean container. For "very old android versions" (e.g 4.4.4 range and maybe 5.0.0) you cam use this script because there is an error in old versions.


You can also choose a bit simpler way...


The process

  • Create a "local" profile with the "execute" field left set by default and launch it.

  • $TERMSH pick . to put the aforementioned wget by an Android file picker into the $DATA_DIR.

  • Create the $DATA_DIR/certs directory and put your up-to-date certs into it.

  • Fix your favorite installation script by replacing all the $TERMSH cat / copy / etc HTTPS stuff with appropriate wget --ca-directory="$DATA_DIR/certs" ...


I will create a ready-to-use script a bit later...

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