Android Ideas
21Nov/120

Run Gentoo on Android via Chroot

Today Hammad Mazar posted a very interesting tutorial on running Gentoo on Android via chroot.

For a while I've been considering getting an Asus Transformer for its snap-in keyboard and ability to transform into a little laptop/netbook. For certain things however you need a more full-featured desktop OS. You could achieve this by using an online server, or by dual-booting which doesn't seem to be possible currently on the newer Transformer models.

To me the chroot approach seems potentially better than dual-booting because you have Android apps side by side with desktop Linux. I'm an avid user of Linux on the desktop, although I admit there is a lack of good software in some areas. Android would go a long way to filling in these gaps with a huge selection of apps that tend to be simple and user-friendly, especially by Linux standards.

It's interesting to imagine Android as a desktop distro and what further integration of the mobile and desktop worlds would look like. For instance what if Android apps could be run on a Linux desktop as if they were native applications, each with their own icons and taskbar items (kind of like VMware's "Unity mode").

The main concern with the chroot approach is probably RAM. The Nexus 10 has 2GB which is really generous by today's mobile standards, but when you consider that you're running 2 operating systems it's really not very much. Someday soon I bet 4GB will be the norm which would help a lot. For over 4GB I suppose we'll have to move to 64-bit.

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