Anyone heard of Termux?


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Apr 14, 2021
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Greetings. I have recently discovered that Android phones actually run a Linux Kernal. This has led me to an app called Termux. Termux is called a terminal emulator, however, this is incorrect, because Termux interfaces directly with the real Linux Kernal running within the phone. There is a system folder within the built-in android OS. The binaries are roughly at ../../../../../../system/bin/. However, the Android system does not come logged in as a root user, in order to protect the system. This prevents most binaries from successfully operating anything useful such as chmod.

However, Android has included a single exception to the complete lockdown of the built-in Linux Kernal. On an Android system, an App has the authority to perform previously unauthorized operations within the confines of an app's data folder. This allows the binary proot to be executed. Proot is "pivot-root", and creates a new root instance if allowed based at the pivot folder. This allows Ubuntu to be installed natively on Android within Termux, the native nature of this setup allows full hardware accelerated native Ubuntu X11 and Opengl to operate on a non-rooted Android phone. Here is a video demonstration with more details on how to in the description.


Termux is called a terminal emulator, however, this is incorrect, because Termux interfaces directly with the real Linux Kernal running within the phone.

Just so you know, it's still a terminal emulator. It emulates a hardware terminal, that's what terminal emulator means. Historically, a terminal is a piece of hardware - a green screen and keyboard (amber, if you're wealthy).

That said, I've played with Termux on my phone. I used it long enough to install an OS and play with SSH and got bored. I'm really not much of a mobile user. I don't even browse on my phone unless I'm really, really bored.
So according to your logic, the Terminal in say desktop Kali Linux is called a Terminal Emulator? I have never heard that before. As far as I know, the Terminal application in Linux is called a Terminal.
And, yes, the 'terminal' you have on your computer is a terminal emulator.

You can get closer to a terminal with TTY by pressing (usually) CTRL + ALT + F3.

(Press left alt and the right arrow button multiple times to return to your desktop.)
Xubuntu On Android.jpg

Granted that I don't get the opportunity to use Xubuntu on Android often. But it's a nice idea that one day a phone could actually be your "desktop daily driver" if hooked up to a monitor, keyboard, mouse, with all day battery life thanks to ARM. An awesome future where you can be in front of your screen every waking hour of the day. Where AFK is never technically accurate. A future where you can do decent "hacking on the go" like Watch Dogs the game.

I would actually use it is when travelling (not wanting to carry much weight), and I have access to a desktop computer on plane, hotel, cafe for the small stuff. Or as my entertainment hub for places that don't have chromecast/netflix.

But here's a screenshot of Advance Wars on Retroarch on Xubuntu on Termux on Android on Samsung.

Pine Phone Pro seems to the be almost there. Best Native Linux Phone spec I've seen so far.
I'm just waiting for it to be less buggy/more usable? But in the meantime, this Termux thing i just a taste.