[PLUG] Can I get these Linux capabilities on Android?

Mayuresh mayuresh at acm.org
Sat Oct 13 03:22:19 PDT 2012

I have been on the lookout for a Linux mobile phone, though haven't found
a match for this requirement (since Nokia N900).

A few more launches are expected in 2013, but that seems far away for the

Was reluctant to look at android based phones, though perhaps there isn't
much choice, so making up my mind to look at android phone. Hopefully
android will at least come close enough to Linux environment.

Kind of zeroed on a few models of Samsung - Galaxy Ace / S / Y etc and
might choose one of them.

Face a few questions, to which I don't find answers from average sales
guys or demo devices:

1. How easy/difficult it is to use xterm on such phones. Well, it seems to
be an installable app on android, though don't know how usable it is with
virtual keyboard occupying screen area. I occasionally use Xterm on N900,
but it has a keyboard that can be pulled out which makes it relatively
easy to use Xterm.

2. Do I get crontab on android which I can configure using classical text
specification? (and I am assuming you get vi editor.)

3. Can I do NFS/sshfs mounts to/from android phone?

4. List can be long. So cutting it short with just one more - how similar
/ different is system administration on Android against Linux -
particularly is there room for terminal based ways to do administration?

Would appreciate any other comparison points one can share.

I do not know whether all these expectations are out of fashion in mobile
world, though N900 has really shown what a Linux savvy user would want.
Only problem with N900 is its form factor. Hence the search for


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