How to use Ubuntu from your mobile phone or tablet (thanks to DistroSea)

How to use Ubuntu from your mobile

Although you can already see it in the image, I think that adding the parentheses to the headline loses the surprise factor. But, hey, this wasn't intended to be clickbait, and this way we saved ourselves trouble if someone wanted to use a Ubuntu complete on your mobile or tablet. Because yes, Ubuntu can be used in any web browser, but the user experience is… somewhat far from complete. Still, a lot can be done, and that is why we have decided to publish this article.

As already stated in the headline, the secret is to use DistroSea, the “new DistroTest”, and we are also going to explain how to move around the interface so that it is possible to do something. And among what we can do is use LibreOffice quite well or edit images with GIMP, this is already a little less well. As if this were not enough, now is it possible to connect to the internet, with which you can install more packages than are included by default and send jobs by mail or a messaging application.

What we can't do

First we go with the bad, and if we get past this point, what remains are only good things. At least at the time of writing this article, there is no sound. If someone was thinking of using Kodi, it's not an option. Speaking of Kodi, the performance is not the best it could be, and some videos that I have seen (seen, not heard) look choppy. We also don't have a hard drive to store much on.

Sound and performance aside, and well, the connections, for everything else we will be using a Live Session.

How to use Ubuntu on mobile

  1. The first thing we have to do is go to distrosea.com and identify us. Is it necessary to identify yourself? Let's see, if what we are looking for is to do something in Ubuntu to share it later, or we simply want to install new packages, yes; Only identified users have an Internet connection.

1-Go to DistroSea and identify yourself

  1. Then we scroll down, look for Ubuntu and tap on its logo. It can be done with any distro, but this is Ubunlog and today we are talking about Ubuntu.

2- Choose Ubuntu from the options

  1. Inside, we choose the Ubuntu option that we want to test. Since it's not a real installation, I think it's not a bad idea to choose the newer one.

3-Choose the version of Ubuntu to run

  1. We wait for it to do the security checks and so on, and when it's done, we start the test.

4-Wait for hag to prepare

some configurations

  1. Now that you're booted, much of it is the same as doing it on native Ubuntu or in a Live Session. The first thing will be to choose our language.

Choose Language

  1. In the next step, we tap on test and then on next.

Try Ubuntu

  1. And we are already inside. We touch the little arrow on the left to get the options and we make sure that it is in Local Scaling, which is a local scale. You can change this, and a hand would appear to drag around the interface, but I recommend the local scale, unless you need to see things bigger.

local scale

  1. Now it's time to move around the interface. By default it is with a 4:3 aspect ratio, and unless we have an old mobile or a tablet with that ratio, it is worth changing it to 16:9 or 16:10. If it looks good on your device, or you're just happy with what you see, you're done. If not, we will go to Settings, Monitors, Resolution and choose, for example, 1360×768. At the top right, we touch Apply.

Change resolution in Ubuntu

  1. If we like what we see, we tap on "Keep changes" to keep the changes. The result can already be seen in the following image, and also in the header with Neofetch.

Keep resolution changes

  1.  And that would be all.

Move around the Ubuntu interface from your mobile

We can have Ubuntu on our mobile, but we do not have a mouse or keyboard nor is there any possible way to connect it. So you'll have to learn how to navigate the interface.

  • Objects move as an option available on desktop computers: double click on the status bar or any item you select and initiate drag and drop mode. It is also possible, although not always, to start the movement with a press slightly longer than a click.
  • Clicks:
    • 1 touch: one click.
    • 2 taps: double click.
    • Two-finger tap: right click.
    • A press slightly longer than a click brings up menus (acts as a right click too).
  • To move up and down through documents or a web browser, you have to use two fingers on the screen.
  • If we want to use a keyboard, even if we are on a desktop that offers it by default, it is worth tapping on the options and then on the icon at the top: the native keyboard of the touch device will appear.

take out keyboard

I have done tests with an iPhone 7 Plus from 2016, and the keyboard would look like this:

Native mobile keyboard in Ubuntu

There will be keys that do not output what we expect, but that is because by default the English keyboard is active. If we want it to respect everything we write, we have to change the keyboard from the settings (it is not necessary to restart or log out).

Either because on occasion we may really need it (for example, because we need a complete LibreOffice) or simply out of curiosity, trying Ubuntu on mobile is something that must be done.


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