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Old 07-27-2013, 03:06 PM   #1
MirceaKitsune
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Fully replacing Android with ARM Linux


So I saw attempts to emulate Linux on Android, using a special console application on rooted phones. What I've been pondering on doing (in case such would be stable and functional) is switching my Android device to Linux. In other words, completely removing Android and installing a Linux distribution with ARM support. I'd like to know if at this day, such a thing is possible and safe to do.

What I'm really trying to achieve is being able to use PC Linux and software on my (originally) Android smartphone. Of course, the programs that can be compiled for ARM processors. I don't truly want my smartphone to be a phone, but more like a hand laptop, where I can use the same software as my PC whenever possible.

Since I'm a KDE fan, I'm looking for a distribution that uses KDE and Plasma Active. Although smartphones have small screens, I still wish to use KWin (or the appropriate window manager) and have windows, a launcher (such as kickoff launcher), a login manager with usernames... but of course all adapted for touchscreen manipulation.

Obviously, I still use it as a phone as well and need to make calls, send and receive SMS messages, take photos and movies with the camera, etc. So the Linux distribution would need to have packages for all those things. Also the ability to use the SIM card to its fullest and everything else. Not sure if Linux distributions for ARM include all mobile phone functionality, which is the other thing I'd like to know.

In short: Is it possible to entirely replace Android with Linux on a smartphone and tablet? Also, will such Linux distributions allow me to still use all features of the smartphone, except Samsung's proprietary stuff like Smart Stay? Any tutorials on how this is done also?
 
Old 07-28-2013, 01:17 PM   #2
jefro
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"Is it possible to entirely replace Android with Linux on a smartphone and tablet? "

Yes is mostly correct. That would assume a number of things so most can not easily be changed. There are web sites devoted to this change and many a broken phone has been made. Dumb DCMA may even make this illegal if you can imagine that.

Since you ask this, I'd have to suggest that you don't attempt this on a good or needed phone.
 
Old 07-29-2013, 05:37 PM   #3
angryfirelord
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You'll also have to take note which smartphone you plan on using. Some of the manufacturers may have some hardware oddities that aren't documented, which makes it more difficult to install something else on it.
 
Old 07-31-2013, 07:47 AM   #4
zeebra
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MirceaKitsune View Post
So I saw attempts to emulate Linux on Android, using a special console application on rooted phones. What I've been pondering on doing (in case such would be stable and functional) is switching my Android device to Linux. In other words, completely removing Android and installing a Linux distribution with ARM support. I'd like to know if at this day, such a thing is possible and safe to do.

What I'm really trying to achieve is being able to use PC Linux and software on my (originally) Android smartphone. Of course, the programs that can be compiled for ARM processors. I don't truly want my smartphone to be a phone, but more like a hand laptop, where I can use the same software as my PC whenever possible.

Since I'm a KDE fan, I'm looking for a distribution that uses KDE and Plasma Active. Although smartphones have small screens, I still wish to use KWin (or the appropriate window manager) and have windows, a launcher (such as kickoff launcher), a login manager with usernames... but of course all adapted for touchscreen manipulation.

Obviously, I still use it as a phone as well and need to make calls, send and receive SMS messages, take photos and movies with the camera, etc. So the Linux distribution would need to have packages for all those things. Also the ability to use the SIM card to its fullest and everything else. Not sure if Linux distributions for ARM include all mobile phone functionality, which is the other thing I'd like to know.

In short: Is it possible to entirely replace Android with Linux on a smartphone and tablet? Also, will such Linux distributions allow me to still use all features of the smartphone, except Samsung's proprietary stuff like Smart Stay? Any tutorials on how this is done also?
I would say no. Usually the firmware bit is extremely difficult to get working with anything else than the original system. you will therefore end up missing lots of hardware features!
If you are a kernel and firmware expert, then yes, it is possible.

Debian has an armel and arm version of its distro. Plasma active should be possible to install on Debian Arm.


If you manage to do it, please send me a private message on the forum, I would be very interested in doing the same! Plasma active looks far more interesting than all the poor desktop environments on todays tablets and smartphones.


Ooh, and don't expect to get UMTS or GSM installed, both those are proprietary (industry secret). If you do, then you are brilliant.

Last edited by zeebra; 07-31-2013 at 07:49 AM.
 
Old 09-29-2016, 02:59 AM   #5
Graham Harris
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Linux on Phone

I don't know that replacing Android on a phone with Linux is going to result in a very satisfactory experience, given the problems getting linux working with the phone hardware that is very closely tied to networks and proprietariness.

Also mobile service providors tend to sell data-only service at a premium to data+voice; they reason that data-only is a premium, business-only service sold alongside a data+voice service,

I would like to suggest a variant that might work better for most use cases.

Accept that your phone runs Android (or iOS). But it has a UI which is pretty crummy for other than the phone use case.

Your phone can act as a wifi, maybe Bluetooth, hotspot through which arbitrary devices can connect to the internet. So, use an arbitrary device with your phone. Like a tablet or convertible, running pure linux.

Now, is there a compelling tablet or convertible running native linux?
 
Old 09-29-2016, 08:35 AM   #6
IsaacKuo
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I have a few damaged 7" tablets I'd love to install Debian or Ubuntu on, rather than Android (bad touch sensors and/or bad screen). But I haven't even tried rooting and Android device yet, much less installing an alternative OS.

From what I've looked at, though, I do not think full mobile phone functionality is going to be really doable. As such, your best option may be to use Android, along with the Debian noroot app for running some linux commands. KDE is going to be sluggish, but if your phone is sufficiently powerful it might not be so bad.

Debian noroot is not a full "emulator", or a true install of Debian. Rather, it's a compatibility layer somewhat like WINE. But I have to say, it works nicely for a Debian experience. Apt-get works and XFCE4 works and various applications work. Conveniently for me, I already use XFCE4 on all of my other computers.

On my Galaxy Note II, it works...okay. X is laggy; I think it's using VNC to "remotely" view the X session on localhost. The Galaxy Note II isn't a speed demon by current standards, also.

https://www.androidpit.com/turn-your...ithout-rooting
 
Old 09-30-2016, 09:48 AM   #7
sundialsvcs
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There are, of course, several open-source telephone operating systems out there . . .
 
Old 10-20-2016, 10:20 AM   #8
zpimp
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im really fed up with this android/ios/arm crap
i just want linux on my mobile, prefferably x86, open standars with bios and wifi

using a rooted cyanogenmod with busybox
i want the gnu userland
already had to ditch stuff not available for arm
now i see not even god damn ps works right on the android junk
i can accept bloat i can accept price, but basic linux commands???
waste 8gb for a full linux distro just for a few binaries???
 
  


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