Turn Your Phone Into A Debian Desktop With The Now Open Source Maru OS


Microsoft and Canonical have experimented with the concept of turning a smartphone into a full PC and so we were not surprised when Maru OS was unveiled earlier this year as a software project with the same aim: to allow users connect an Android smartphone to an external display, turning it into a Linux desktop computer.

Maru OS recently made a debut on GitHub offering its code to the open source community under the Apache License 2.0.

This is an interesting development because developers are already planning to port the software to support more smartphones focussing on the Google Nexus device and a few older LG and Motorola phones.

The phone-desktop combos (Continuum, Ubuntu Unity phone OS) rely on only one OS that operates differently depending on the hardware configuration. This Maru OS employs a different approach by mixing Android and Debian Linux, the two modes that go on to share your phone’s hardware, processing power, and storage.

Giving a brief explaation of how Maru OS works, here is what its GitHub page reads:

“It’s based on the Android Open Source Project and focuses on mobile hardware. It uses lightweight OS virtualization (containers) on Android to spin up virtual systems on demand, and provides a bridge into Android’s I/O framework for interactivity.”


Maru OS in particularly interesting because it allows for both desktop and phone’s environments to run simultaneously. All you have to do is pair a mouse and keyboard via Bluetooth and your desktop work environment is ready.

Right now Maru OS can perform simple tasks and run Linux desktop apps like Firefox, GIMP, LibreOffice,  etc.). Perhaps Maru OS will be able to replace a desktop computer entirely with time as smartphones continually gain more processing power and RAM.

Download MaruOS on GitHub and while you’re at it remember to leave your feedback in the comments section.

About The Author
Martins Okoi
Computer Science enthusiasts with a passion for learning new things. In my spare time, I listen to music, read like a compiler, and learn like an A.I algorithm.

Leave a Response