Samsung to Bring Linux to the Galaxy Phone

Nov 01, 2017

Samsung is testing Linux desktop for its DeX experience.

The same year Canonical decide to pull out of the consumer space, Samsung is bringing a pure desktop Linux experience to PCs. Unlike Apple, Google, or Microsoft, Samsung doesn’t have any tightly integrated offering for professionals who need a desktop to get work done. Samsung came out with DeX, an accessory for Samsung Galaxy phones that connected with a monitor and offers a desktop-like interface. It’s an experience similar to Ubuntu Dock or Motorola Atrix Webtop.

However, the desktop experience was subpar compared with macOS or Windows. Samsung is now looking at desktop Linux for DeX. “Installed as an app, Linux on Galaxy gives smartphones the capability to run multiple operating systems, enabling developers to work with their preferred Linux-based distributions on their mobile devices. Whenever they need to use a function that is not available on the smartphone OS, users can simply switch to the app and run any program they need to in a Linux OS environment,” Samsung said in a press release.

Samsung is quite ambitious about the project, the company is also luring developers, a market that already has a strong hold on desktop Linux. “Now developers can code using their mobile on-the-go and seamlessly continue the task on a larger display with Samsung DeX,” said the company.

While it’s currently in the trial phase, Samsung plans to bring DeX to larger displays. If it does gain mindshare, Samsung might even consider desktop Linux-powered laptops.

One advantage Samsung has over traditional desktop Linux distributions is that Samsung owns the entire hardware chain, from touchscreen to storage. It will be relatively easier for Samsung to offer a fully polished desktop Linux experience compared with a community-based distro, where developers either rely on reverse engineering or are at the mercy of hardware vendors to offer drivers.

Desktop Linux users may finally see the year of Linux. “Linux on Galaxy is made even more powerful because it is DeX-enabled, giving developers the ability to create content on a large screen, powered only by their mobile devices. This represents a significant step forward for software developers, who can now set up a fully functional development environment with all the advantages of a desktop setting that is accessible anytime, anywhere. Samsung Linux on Galaxy is still a work in progress,” said Samsung.

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