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UserLAnd: run Debian Linux shell as an app under TinkerOS Android
#1
            (NOTE: This fit better in the Linux forum although it applies to the Android forum also)

I downloaded the .apk for UserLAnd from Google Play and installed it on TinkerOS Android on my Tinker Board S.  It worked surprisingly well, enough to get me wondering if it is worth using for a current project.  I would be curious to hear if others are using UserLAnd on TinkerOS Android, and how their experience has been.

There are currently five Linux distros that I was able to choose from to install (Debian, Ubunto, Alpine, Arch, and Kali) and I chose Debian thinking it would be most similar to TinkerOS Linux.  The UserLAnd web site  doesn't give much info at all, but I did see mentioned that they welcome contributors to follow the example and create an installer for the distro of your choice... for me that would be TinkerOS, but right now I'm not looking for another "hobby"... and I don't know if I have the skills to do it anyway... so Debian it is.

The first thing I looked for was a way to share files between Android and Linux.  I fumbled around and was able to by copying files to the >root>sdcard>DCIM folder (on Android, which was NOT the SD card but really the internal storage on the TBS - the eMMC).  The files appear in the Debian file system under /sdcard/DCIM

I tried several commands (see attached screen shot) for checking the OS and hardware:
uname -a    returned Linux localhost 4.4.112 .... Jan 3 11:20:52 CST 2019 armv71 GNU/Linux
lscpu          indicated armv71, Little Endian, 4 cpus, etc.

I added vim by:
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install vim

and that worked fine.  My real interest is gpio, and that is why I came here to see if anyone here was using UserLAnd.

One of the advantages of UserLAnd over other apps that allow some level of Linux on an Android platform is that it doesn't have to be "rooted".  Also the reviews seemed better than most of the others.  I also considered running "Anbox" or something similar, which would do the opposite and allow Android to be run within a Linux platform, but for Anbox anyway it sounded like if you have a 32-bit CPU (like the TBS) then only outdated versions of Android are supported.
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#2
I had to remove the links I had in the original post to get it to post (since I am a new poster here with less than 3 posts) but you can get additional info on UserLAnd by googling:

"github.com CypherpunkArmory UserLAnd" for the closest thing to a forum/support; code and issues
"userland.tech" for the site of UserLAnd
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#3
Your post is a bit confusing. There is no such thing as 'Linux on Android' involved. Android uses Linux as its kernel just like Debian does. Android does not include GNU however which is why USerLAnd exists as it allows running GNU based systems on top of Android without the overhead of an extra Linux kernel (or even a VM). Note that Alpine uses µlibc instead of the GNU libc which makes it smaller than a typical GNU system.

I tried USerLAnd as well. It works fine, but all graphical applications are running through VNC, so it was not that interesting for my case. If you want to run Android and GNU in parallel, probably this solution is indeed the best. Anbox is not working yet on ARM at all as far as I know. Tinker OS would be a copy of Debian if you'd run it through USerLAnd. Tinker OS mainly adds GPU and VPU acceleration, which are not supported on USerLAnd anyhow.

Sticking with Debian in your case makes the most sense if you'd consider switching between Android+USerLAnd+Debian and Tinker OS. You could also use Ubuntu if you need newer libraries and possibly switch with Armbian instead.

Note that recent versions of browsers like Chromium and Firefox are currently broken in Debian ARM (Tinker OS suffers from this as well), with Ubuntu you won't have that problem even though the rest is similar.
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#4
I guess more specifically I want to run a Linux shell environment on Android and execute command line programs that were compiled on and previously run on TinkerOS Linux.

I also considered trying Termux or AndroLinux, but went with UserLAnd since it sounded more likely to work easily. One concern was I saw a comment or two about graphical applications running slowly under UserLAnd, but that is minor since I don't intend to do anything graphical.
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