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Ubuntu Termux

What is Termux?

Termux is an open-source and free terminal emulator for Android devices which permits running a Linux environment on any Android device. Many software can also be installed using the package manager of the application.

It is the first terminal application of Android to contain a range of software, unlike several terminal emulators available in the market, in which only limited or small utilities are available that are offered by Android.

Termux automatically installs the least base system and additional packages are present with a package manager. Almost all commands that are available in Linux are handy and Bash built-in commands as well. Also, there are many other shells present like tcsh and Zsh.

Overview of Termux

The packages of Termux are cross-compiled along with Android NDK and they have many patches of compatibility for getting them operating on Android. Rooting is not needed since every file is installed on the application directory.

Multiple thousand packages could be downloaded and users could submit requests for fresh ones. Packages can alternatively be compiled through source because Termux provides its support for a range of build tools like CMake as well as many compilers for Go, Rust, C++, and many others. Also, Termux can install interpreters for several languages like JavaScript, Python, Ruby, etc.

Terminal-based editors like Vim and Emacs can be installed for editing and creating files using the terminal. Also, it is possible to run GUI applications with a VNC server in Termux and install any desktop environment (MATE, LXQt, Xfce) or window manager.

Termux User Interface

The user interface of Termux is simple and only shows the terminal output and extra keys row, handling sessions by swiping to the left side and manipulating a session of the Terminal by tapping, holding, and clicking more for bringing ten options. Also, it is possible to modify the font and color scheme using Termux:Styling.

Also, the extra keys row can be customized. Users can include more controls and function keys in the file, i.e., Termux has touch/mouse support which can be used for interacting with a few programs that could be used with the mouse like htop and other ncurses-based software, scrolling can also be implemented by swiping on the Terminal buffer.

Termux Configuration

Users can configure their Terminal in the file. The configuration of Termux is read in that file rather than using the graphical settings that users will need to use any text editor.


Also, Termux contains six add-ons which are listed as follows:

Ubuntu Termux
  • Termux:API- It discloses the Android functionality to many CLI applications.
  • Termux:Tasker- Plugin for integrating Tasker application to Termux
  • Termux:Float- It executes a session of the Terminal in the floating window.
  • Termux-Widget- It enables users to execute scripts inside a shortcut or a dedicated widget on the Home screen.
  • Termux:Boot- It runs the commands of Termux at boot.
  • Termux:Styling- It permits modification of the font and the color scheme of the Terminal.

Add-ons should be installed from a similar source because add-ons are signed with the same signature key for using the same User ID among these applications.

History of Termux

Initially, Termux was published in 2015. It already added a range of Linux software as its first launch. Support for many requesting features and packages was included from GitHub issues in the repository of the application. Also, people can contribute to this project by adding new packages and features.

The development team of Termux ended their support for devices executing Android 5-6 in January 2020 and Termux needed Android version 7 as a minimal operating system requirement.

Updates to the application from PlayStore are no longer accessible and as such with the policy modifications in the policies of Google Play. It is suggested for installing the application from alternative sources. Termux is managed by collaborators and the latest development were beyond the maintenance of Fornwall to the application as of 2021.

Installation of Termux

Termux extracts the archive of the bootstrap at the time of the installation process using the APK file, sets the accurate permissions for many executables, and sets up all directories such as the home directory.

Package distribution and management

In Termux, the packages are installed from the package manager of the application and by default apply the format, i.e., .deb. But basic Debian packages can't be installed because Termux is not compatible with FHS. Also, users can establish and submit packages.

Package repositories

Termux contains three repositories. Ones added in the default bootstrap installation of Termux include:

Ubuntu Termux
  • main is the primary repository including every CLI utility and other famous language interpreters/compilers and Linux tool
  • x11-repo includes X11-based graphical applications and packages.
  • root-repo includes packages that are helpful for only rooted devices. However, a few packages could be used without root but functionality might be somewhat limited.

Package availability

As of 2021, Termux contains 1000+ packages available. However, Termux is still comparatively small and a few packages cannot be ported because of the range of reasons which contain compilation if compared to several distribution packages.

Termux Google Play Updates

In Google Play Store, the 0.101 version of Termux is the last release to be updated. Google Play required applications for targeting API level 29 which breaks down the binary execution on the directory of the private application.

The development team of Termux recommends moving to F-Droid for continuing to receive updates.

Shutdown of Bintray

Bintray ended its services in May 2021 which has been the main hosting for Termux. Termux relocated to another hosting service and installing/updating packages causes 404/403 errors in previous Termux versions.

Features of Termux

Ubuntu Termux
  • Feature Packed: Take our pick between fish, Zsh, or Bash and Vim, nano, or Emacs. Grep from our SMS inbox. Use API endpoints using curl and apply rsync for storing backups of our contact list over a remote server.
  • Secure: Use remote servers with the ssh client using OpenSSH. Termux comprises standard packages along with proper terminal emulation in an open-source solution.
  • Customizable: Install what we wish from the APT package management system known from Ubuntu and Debian GNU/Linux.
  • Batteries Included: Termux has up-to-date versions of Node.js, Ruby, Python, and Pearl.
  • Explorable: In Termux, available packages are similar to those on Linux and Mac - install man pages on our phone and go through them in a single session while experiencing them in others.
  • Scale-up: If we need to link a Bluetooth keyboard and hook up our device to any external display, we can do it with Termux. Termux supports several keyboard shortcuts and contains full support for the mouse.
  • Tinkerable: Improve by compiling Swift, C, Rust, or Go files with Clang and create our projects with pkg-config and CMake. Both GDB/lldb and strace are present if we get stuck and require debugging.

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