Recently I was looking for a way to run some commands that I used to do under Linux command line and I found the Termux app.

A few years back (well in 2009), I was very excited to see Nokia developing it’s own mobile OS called “Maemo” then “Meego”, a system based on Linux, sold with the Nokia N900, a smartphone with physical retractable keyboard and large screen.

I bought the phone and enjoyed having my Linux console in my pocket with all the useful allocations available.

When Nokia ditched its Linux OS, I turned to Android and at that time there was no proper alternative to provide a console to run Linux commands so I forgot about it.

Termux

When I needed to run some simple SSH commands from my phone two weeks ago, I found termux, a free application that provides a complete terminal interface on your phone.

https://www.termux.com

Good points

  • Running apt-get inside this app to install packages like ssh, dnsutils, nmap, etc.
  • Long press on the keyboard shortcut on the drawer menu adds some keyboard shortcuts on top of the Android keyboard.
  • Several sessions can be active simultaneously and it is possible to switch between them.
  • Copy/paste and kill process operations are available with a long tap on the terminal screen.

Limitations

  • You cannot install packages like iwconfig which would provide awesome information on your WiFi, because it needs root access.
  • I could not find how to repeat the last command quickly (i.e. equivalent of the up-arrow on a computer keyboard).

Conclusion

Check out the help pages of termux.com website to see what all the options are. It’s a light but powerful app to keep on your smartphone like a Swiss Army knife.

Termux
Termux
Developer: Fredrik Fornwall
Price: Free