Late last year, Samsung and Canonical partnered with an app that allows select Galaxy phones to run full Linux desktop on top of Android. Less than a year later, Samsung announced that it was discontinuing Linux on DeX, coinciding with the update to Android 10.
One of the fantasy-style dreams many of us have had since the beginning of smartphones is the idea plug your phone into a desktop-sized monitor to get a desktop-style experience. Over the years, many have tried to take it seriously and Samsung's latest offering has taken an interesting approach.
For years, Samsung has been offering DeX hardware for its flagship Galaxy S and Note phones and tablets, which introduce a larger user interface for these devices, but the overall experience was still Android. Where DeX Linux was different was that the application downloaded and ran a full Ubuntu Linux environment, with some DeX-specific optimizations.
Our Damian Wild made an early attempt at DeX Linux, showing a surprising level of smoothness, with the occasional difficulty arising from the need for applications built for ARM64 (as is common in most androids) instead of x86 (as is found in most computers and Chromebooks).
 Despite the clear potential of Linux for DeX, especially for developers, Samsung today sent emails, including to Damien, announcing that the program has been terminated. This, of course, means that there will be no further updates to the application or version of Ubuntu used. More critically, Samsung has completely removed the functionality of with its Android 10 update, including the Beta version, which already appeared on Galaxy S10 phones this week.
Thank you for supporting Linux in DeX Beta. DeX's Linux development was driven by customer interest and valuable feedback. Unfortunately, we are announcing the end of our beta program and will no longer provide support for future OS and device releases.
NOTE: DeX Linux will not be supported on Android 10 Beta. After updating your device to Android OS 10, you will not be able to undo the Android Pie version. If you decide to update your device to Android 10 Beta, we recommend that you back up your data before updating.
Needless to say, the message is a disappointment for anyone who hoped that high-end flagship phones could benefit more from Android being Linux based or possibly even replacing the need for a dedicated laptop for some people. Similar DeX Linux applications are available, namely Linux Deploy (root required) and UserLAnd, but these applications are not as easy to configure for non-enthusiasts.
Have you ever used Linux on DeX on your Galaxy phone? Let us know in the comments.
See 9to5Google on YouTube for more news: