The Samsung DeX turns your Samsung Galaxy S8 or Note 8 into a full desktop experience. Now Samsung will be taking another step by running a full Linux desktop environment on the smartphone using the app Linux on Galaxy and the DeX dock.
You can actually install Linux on Android-based smartphones today; with both Ubuntu and Debian available. However this will be the first time an OEM brand is supporting the platform on an official capacity.
The app, Linux on Galaxy, will work with the DeX dock to enable a fully functional desktop environment anywhere you go. Just connect your keyboard, mouse and monitor – and you have a perfectly serviceable desktop. What makes it different than the DeX environment is Linux application compatibility. Because it is a full desktop, it does not have the limitations of mobile apps, such as UI, resolution and so on.
There are a couple of caveats. Firstly, you need the Samsung DeX. Secondly, you need to register with Samsung as the app is still not ready. The company will inform you when it is ready if you register yourself here.
Samsung’s official support for Linux on mobile gives some credence to the idea of a desktop in your pocket. The barrier to entry is unfortunately still high, and for now it looks to be a bit more limited.