How to run Linux on Android without root using UserLAnd

Posted on 28 views

There is this Android application released recently, called UserLAnd which enables you to run a Linux distribution or application on your Android device without a need to root the phone. UserLand is a fully free and Open source application and its source code is available on Github.

Features of UserLAnd

  • It runs full Linux distros or specific applications on top of Android.
  • Install and uninstall like a regular app.
  • No root required to run a Linux distribution with UserLAnd

There are two ways you can use UserLAnd

  1. Running it as single-click application
  2. Using user-defined custom sessions.

How to use UserLAnd as single-click application

Head over to PlayStore and search for an applicationUserLAnd, then install it.

install-userland-android-playstore-min-485x1024

After installing the App, launch it and click on the “Apps” menu. This will give you a list of Linux distributions that can be installed. As of this writing, available ones are Ubuntu & Debian.

userland-install-linux-distribution-select-min-485x1024

 

On the first launch, grant UserLand application access to files, photos, and media content.

userland-install-linux-distribution-grant-access-min-485x1024

Select the distribution you want to install. For me, I’m doing Ubuntu installation. You’ll be required to provide user login details – username and password that will be created for you during installation.

userland-install-linux-distribution-create-user-min-485x1024

This is what you’ll use for ssh & VNC access. Wait for the installation to complete, progress will be displayed.

userland-install-linux-distribution-started-installation-min-485x1024

If the installation was successful, head over to Sessions tab to create a new session for accessing installed Linux distribution.

userland-install-ubuntu-create-session-min-485x1024

Then use a created session to access the Distro shell

userland-list-sessions-min-485x1024

A terminal session should be active and you can start firing any Ubuntu & Linux commands, e.g installing a package with apt

userland-install-linux-distribution-ssh-min-485x1024

To get a good terminal experience, install Termius on PlayStore.

Termius gives you the best way to manage, UNIX and Linux systems, whether that would be a local machine, a remote service, Docker Container, VM, Raspberry Pi, or AWS instance. In other words, Termius is Putty for Android but with an awesome design.

coffee

Gravatar Image
A systems engineer with excellent skills in systems administration, cloud computing, systems deployment, virtualization, containers, and a certified ethical hacker.