How to install Ubuntu Linux on Android without root

How to install Ubuntu Linux on Android without root

Are you looking for a way to install and run Ubuntu 18.04 Linux server on your Android smartphone or tablet without rooting your phone?

Android being a very popular operating system for users, some experimenters continue to look for a way to easily install various Linux distributions on it. So far it has been a very tedious job to run Linux OS on Android, but now it’s different . With UserLand we can install Kali, Ubuntu, Arch Linux, Debian as minimal distributions on Android. It provides built-in shells and VNC sessions for graphical interaction. UserLand was developed by the Gnurroot Debian team and is a very popular application in the past.

Here we will show you how to install and run Ubuntu 18.04 minimal server on Android phone without any rooting process ( root ). This will help you to learn Linux directly on your phone without invalidating the warranty.

Note: the following steps also work for Debian and Kali Linux available in the UserLAnd.


Installation of Ubuntu Linux on android without root


Step 1: Download UserLAnd


This application is available at Google Play, report link to download it. There is no difficulty in installing it like any other, open the Play Market on your phone, or use this link or search here when UserLAnd appears to install it.

Step 2: Run UserLAnd to install Linux on Android


When the application opens, you will see several variants of Linux distributions along with their logos , such as KALI Linux , Ubuntu, Alpine, Arch Linux, Debian along with lightweight Debian-based desktops with Xfce and LXDE desktop environment . It also has some Linux development, games and apps to improve performance. Here we are just going to focus on the process of launching Ubuntu on Android. Click on Ubuntu.



Step 3: Setting up user name and password for user and VNC


When you click on Ubuntu or any other Linux distribution provided in UserLAnd, it will first ask you to set your VNC username, password and password.

Enter whatever you want and remember that all this will be installed as a standard user of your Android operating system Ubuntu. Then click on the render__block.



Step 4: Download Ubuntu for Android


Next thing we need to choose how we would like to connect the installed Linux OS Ubuntu on Android with SSH or VNC. I would like to use SSh which is simple and from the built-in UserLAnd terminal I can easily manage my Linux operating system. Further in this article we will also show how to use RealVNC to connect an existing Ubuntu, KALI or any other OS available in this Android app.

After that he will say that the Ubuntu files to download to Android are 80 MB and would like you to download it without Wi-Fi, click Continue if you want to download them to mobile data. It will take a few minutes to set up everything it will depend on your internet connection speed.


Step 5: enter Android under Ubuntu


After installation as we have chosen SSH the terminal window will open at the beginning. Now here, just like a regular Ubuntu server, enter the password you created above for your Android-based Ubuntu image.


Step 6: Ubuntu update works on Android


Besides a small one, unlike Windows 10 WSL, you will not feel any other differences on this Ubuntu Linux image emulated on an Android phone.

So now we can use the keyboard to enter the command into our Linux. Let’s update all its packages first. Perform the following command

sudo apt-get an update


Step 7: Set the password root for Ubuntu


How we know the default password for user root is missing, so use the following command to install it:

sudo passwd root

Enter Unix password twice what you want to set will be done…

Step 8: Install Linux Desktop Environment LXDE

By default, the OS will only have a command line interface, and to give it some graphical user interface, we need to install it manually. Here we install lightwieght LXDE for Ubuntu Linux to run the GUI on your Android phone.

sudo apt-get install lxde

Step 9: setting up VNC to access Ubuntu via GUI


Note: running the Linux GUI for Ubuntu on Android is not recommended unless you have a high-end smartphone.

In the shell command line of UserLAnd Ubuntu run the following commands:

We can use the XSDL application for Android to access the GUI desktop for Ubuntu, but this is a lag and that is why we decided not to use the RealVNC viewer.


sudo apt to establish tightvncserver

Note: during the installation it will ask you to set a password for authentication.

sudo vncserver :1-geometry 1920×1080

Note: I am installing it on OnePlus5 and it has full HD resolution, and use your resolution in the above command.

export display sudo=:1

startlxde &

Step 10: install the RealVNC application for Android


At this stage we have already configured the Linux VNC server on Ubuntu, and now it is time to download the Android app called RealVNC Viewer – Remote Desktop.


Step 11: connect VNC to Ubuntu LXDE desktop


Click+ on the VNC viewer to create a new connection. Enter 127.0.01:5901 and the name of the installed OS, in my case it was raj . Then click on Create.Since our connection is not encrypted it will warn you about this; here ignore this and just click on OK


Sep in the authentication field enter the password you created when installing TightVNC server above.


And finally, you will see the LXDE Linux desktop environment on Android for Ubuntu, which additionally installed the UserLAnd application on Android.


If you want to kill or stop vncservice, use the following command:

sudo vncserver-murder

So we can use this application to have Ubuntu for fun and experiment Linux on an Android phone or tablet.


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