UserLAnd Technologies

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Developer(s)UserLAnd Technologies, LLC
Initial releaseOctober 17, 2018; 5 years ago (2018-10-17)
Stable release
2.7.3 / August 5, 2020; 3 years ago (2020-08-05)[1]
Written inKotlin and Java
Operating systemAndroid
Size14.04 MB
Available in10 languages
TypeCompatibility layer

UserLAnd Technologies is a free and open-source compatibility layer mobile app that allows Linux distributions, computer programs, computer games and numerical computing programs to run on mobile devices without requiring a root account. UserLAnd also provides a program library of popular free and open-source Linux-based programs to which additional programs and different versions of programs can be added.

The name "UserLAnd" is a reference to the concept of userland in modern computer operating systems.


Unlike other Linux compatibility layer mobile apps, UserLAnd does not require a root account.[2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10] UserLAnd's ability to function without root directories, also known as "rooting," avoids "bricking" or the non-functionality of the mobile device while the Linux program is in use, which in addition to making the mobile device non-functional may void the device's warranty.[4] Furthermore, the requirement of programs other than UserLAnd to "root" your mobile device has proven a formidable challenge for inexperienced Linux users.[6] A prior application, GNURoot Debian, attempted to similarly run Linux programs on mobile devices, but it has ceased to be maintained and, therefore, is no longer operational.[6]

UserLAnd allows those with a mobile device to run Linux programs, many of which aren't available as mobile apps.[2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10] Even for those Linux applications, e.g. Firefox, which have mobile versions available, people often find that their user experience with these mobile versions pales in comparison with their desktop.[11] UserLAnd allows its users to recreate that desktop experience on their mobile device.

UserLAnd currently only operates on Android mobile devices. UserLAnd is available for download on Google Play and F-Droid.[12][13]


To use UserLAnd, one must first download – typically from F-Droid or the Google Play Store – the application and then install it.[4][5][6][11] Once installed, a user selects an app to open.[4][5][6][11] When a program is selected, the user is prompted to enter login information and select a connection type.[4][5][6][11] Following this, the user gains access to their selected program.[4][5][6][11]

Program library[edit]

UserLAnd is pre-loaded with the distributions Alpine, Arch, Debian, Kali, and Ubuntu; the web browser Firefox; the desktop environments LXDE and Xfce; the deployment environments Git and IDLE; the text-based games Colossal Cave Adventure and Zork; the numerical computing programs gnuplot, GNU Octave and R; the office suite LibreOffice; and the graphics editors GIMP and Inkscape. Further Linux programs and different versions of programs may be added to this program library.


A review on listed UserLAnd's "Pro's": support for VNC X sessions, no "rooting" required, easy setup, and that it's free and open-source; and "Con's": its lack of support for Lollipop and the difficulty of use for non-technical users.[14] On the contrary, OS Journal found that the lack of a need to "root" your mobile device made using UserLAnd considerably easier than Linux compatibility layer applications, a position shared with SlashGear's review of UserLAnd.[6][8] OS Journal went on to state that with UserLAnd one could do "almost anything" and "you’re (only) limited by your insanity" with respect to what you can do with the application.[6] Linux Journal stated that "UserLAnd offers a quick and easy way to run an entire Linux distribution, or even just a Linux application or game, from your pocket."[3] SlashGear stated that UserLAnd is "absolutely super simple to use and requires little to no technical knowledge to get off the ground running."[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Release v2.7.3". Github. Retrieved 12 February 2021.
  2. ^ a b Okoi, Martins D. (2019-03-09). "UserLAnd – Run Linux Distros and Apps on Android Easily". FOSSMint. Retrieved 2019-07-26.
  3. ^ a b c Koutoupis, Petros (2018-07-09). "UserLAnd, a Turnkey Linux in Your Pocket". Linux Journal. Retrieved 2019-07-26.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Wallen, Jack (2018-03-06). "How to Run Linux On Android Devices". Lifewire. Retrieved 2019-07-26.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Mutai, Josphat (2018-10-21). "Install and run Linux distribution on Android without root using UserLAnd". Retrieved 2019-07-26.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Torres, JC (2018-11-11). "UserLAnd Review: a little Linux in your pocket". OS Journal. Retrieved 2019-07-26.
  7. ^ a b Verma, Adarsh (2018-10-22). "Want To Run Linux On Android Without Rooting? Using UserLAnd". Fossbytes. Retrieved 2019-07-26.
  8. ^ a b c d Burns, Chris (2018-10-18). "Suddenly Linux runs in Android". SlashGear. Retrieved 2019-07-26.
  9. ^ a b Padla, Rei (2018-10-19). "UserLand allows Linux apps, distributions run on Android". Retrieved 2019-07-26.
  10. ^ a b Korben (2019-06-17). "Dotez votre smartphone Android de plusieurs distribs Linux avec UserLand". Retrieved 2019-07-26.
  11. ^ a b c d e Basu, Sarbasish (2019-06-28). "UserLAnd: Install Git, IDLE, GIMP Linux PC based apps on Android". Retrieved 2019-07-27.
  12. ^ "UserLAnd on the Google Play Store". Retrieved 2019-08-17.
  13. ^ "UserLAnd on F-Droid". Retrieved 2019-08-17.
  14. ^ Julian; FerventSeker; Monika; ProfessionalIkuTurso; CromulentPellonPekko (2018-11-09). "Ways to Run Linux Applications on Android: UserLAnd - A Review". Retrieved 2019-07-27.