KBOX: Miniature Linux for Non-Rooted Android Devices

Dmitri Popov

Productivity Sauce

Jul 19, 2012 GMT
Dmitri Popov

While it's possible to run Linux on Android, this usually means going through the rigmarole of rooting the system with the ever-present risk of bricking your precious Android device. If this proposition is not your cup of tea, you'll appreciate KBOX, a miniature single-user Linux distribution with an integrated terminal emulator that can be installed on non-rooted Android devices. KBOX is not available in the Google Play Store, so you have to download the apk file from the project's website and install it manually.

KBOX comes with an assortment of Busybox utilities (find, grep, tar, vi, etc.), an SSH server and client, and the scp tool. A handful of other packages are available as separate downloads, including vim and rsync. The latter can act both as a client and server. Installing packages on KBOX is done using the dpkg tool. To install, for example, the rsync package, grab it from the project's website and use the following command:

dpkg -i /sdcard/Download/rsync_3.0.8_kbox.deb

While KBOX has its limitations, it can come in handy in many situations. Install, for example, rsync, and you can use this powerful and flexible tool to back up files on your Android device to a remote server. And thanks to the supplied SSH server, you can access your Android device via an SSH connection.

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