Ubuntu on DeX, a Full System - Convergence?

Thanks for the links, @GizmoChicken . Your last post there (your links) reminded me of Linux on DeX, so installed it to have a look. I write about Linux on DeX here, as the modified Ubuntu image there is a joint creation of Cannonial and Samsung. Samsung actually advertises Linux on DeX to developers. Developers are the one group of users that may use Linux on DeX to the fullest. (No need for WSL and still staying with an OS based on the Linux kernel.)

Ubuntu on Samsung DeX

Not very pretty though, but it works.

Samsung DeX by itself,

Nicer looking.

Here’s a video review on both Ubuntu on Samsung DeX and Samsung DeX itself.

Would be much nicer, if Unity8 would have been here.


There was (or still is) a feeling that Microsoft’s WSL is going to promote Linux, especially Ubuntu and make it even more popular. But that WSL never (would) give a gui Ubuntu, that’d never happen. It’d just keep the guys (developers) within the Windows platform.

Now, Samsung pretty well known in the world, with millions people using its mobile devices. It’s a very high probability that those supposed-to-be WSL users have a Samsung mobile device. They can have the mobile as the phone, while having a gui Ubuntu on another screen. They can use the mobile device as the keyboard or as the touchpad.

It can be used by anyone, not only by developers. You can carry your Ubuntu in your pocket or in your purse. That’s what we wanted once, with convergence. Here I am, sitting in my garden writing this comment on my portable Ubuntu. And, on an Android device, which of the Linux family!

And, it is not subsystem, but a full system!

I bought this Samsung device, just to get that full Ubuntu system on the mobile. It’s a lovely feeling to have this mobile/convergence Ubuntu!

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Convergence, I believe is not with Linux or Ubuntu here, but with Android itself, Samsung’s desktop experience. Linux part of it, LoD is sort of an app working inside a container. I’ve been working with this Ubuntu on DeX for sometime, and like what I found. I am glad I bought this device.

But, working with DeX itself is even nicer. I am used to Ubuntu, but never had an Android system as a desktop. And, on a separate screen, while the mobile device worked as a mobile device. And, as a touchpad, when needed. For the desktop, a monitor/screen is needed, just as a touchpad, mouse and a keyboard. Everything was there, and additionally the mobile. And, all that desktop experience from a small mobile device. Windows and Ubuntu tried convergence, but failed. Samsung had done it with its DeX and with Android. And, added to the lot Ubuntu!

A mobile and desktop experience of two different OSs from a small device, Lovely!

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Samsung surely couldn’t achieve this by itself. Canonical must’ve created that Ubuntu image that fit the criteria, and not as a community product. Are those Cannonical developers here by any chance?

Btw, got the left side panel to auto hide and installed Vivaldi Arm 64bit on it (2.7.1628.30 (Stable channel) (64-bit) Thanks to Gwen-Dragon at Vivaldi.
Also, there’s a pretty interesting CPU usage.

And GIMP too. GIMP boots up much faster than in a “normal” laptop!

Uninstalled Libreoffice as I don’t use such apps any more. I get the few word processing, spreadsheets and such like on the web these days. Also got rid of the “developer” tools, as I don’t need them. I don’t know how to code, anyway. Going to use this as a “normal” user does.

Unity on Ubuntu on DeX.

Unity is the default DE of Ubuntu 16.04 and the Ubuntu image in Linux on DeX is one of the 2 gnome flashbacks, so unity is still there. Maybe, there’s a chance to get Unity 8 going too.

It’d be interesting to get the default Ubuntu 16.04 image as it should be, rather than the Ubuntu Gnome Flashback, even though I like the Flashback. Most probably, Gnome shell could be achieved.

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Compiz is on. Cube is on, Wobbly windows is on and some other Compiz eye candy. Not all, but some.

As you can notice, Unity is not needed to get the Compiz effects. It can be had with Flashback too.

And, the wall.

Samsung 5Se with less than $10 bluetooth keyboard, plus my old usb mouse.

This distro is not made for touchscreens, meaning you can’t pinch, zoom like in the Android version. But, it is still quite interesting. I have two Ubuntu on DeX images now, one that I downloaded, and the one I tweaked with Unity. Still experimenting. Hope someone else here would join in!

Now with XFCE.
There’re so much possibilities. Hope the developers would create a stable image in time. With the help of Cannonical developers, I believe.

Few hours later,

a nicely tweaked XFCE system with Plank as the dock.

The nice part of Linux on DeX is that, you don’t have to install from an iso to have different Ubuntus with different DEs. Simply add the DE, tweak it the way you want. You can have any amount of tweaked images, which can be pasted in the container and use it. You can interchange them to any amount of times, and still have it fully tweaked as it was before. Right now, I have three, Gnome Flashback, Unity and XFCE.

I didn’t have such a jolly time for a long time! Very thankful to the Linux on DeX team at Samsung and the Cannonical developers, who created this Ubuntu for ARM. Heavy apps, such as GIMP starts much, much faster with ARM, than the Intel ones I have. And, what battery life! For the last 4 hours, only 23% of the battery had been used. This is my first Ubuntu on ARM, btw.

Few hours later;
The first try to get gnome shell running failed, but I am not that worried about that. But, I’m sure LXDE, Mate or Openbox would work. Its 20.15 now and he device has 31% battery power still. :slight_smile:


Few days later…,

As this image lives in an LXD container, this Ubuntu image is the fastest booting Ubuntu distro I’ve used up to now. It needs few clicks, that’s all. The other one is UBPort’s Ubuntu Touch, which never sleeps and fits in the pocket – the only finger-friendly mobile GNU OS I know of at the moment.

DeX is on the other hand, the mouse and keyboard friendly Android app that allows Ubuntu to run on an external monitor (and also on the same device), the convergence way. Maybe, Cannonical would come back to convergence again one day.

An interesting video on Samsung S9 on Linux on DeX for web development.

You can read about it here.


Nice to know Unity is running well on arm. Last time I checked it was broken.


Well, if I ever get a DeX-compatible device, I know which DE I’m going for :slight_smile:



It happened by chance. There are brand new devices available much cheaper. Thanks to @GizmoChicken for reminding me of LoD. And the journey started. Even pulled out the Nexus 5 and reinstalled Ubuntu Touch.

Nice old 16.04!
It was simply there in the image. The developers had simply forgot to clean the image. I’d have anyway tried to install Unity. It’s hard to believe Canonical dropping the best thing it ever made!

Even the Ubuntu image in LoD tries to mimic Unity with one panel on the left in gnome flashback. The left Unity Launcher had been the bulls-eye decision – everyone mimics it.

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I agree, wrting from it right now - pure joy!

I agree again, very sad!