Back when Samsung unveiled the Galaxy S8 in March, it showed off a new feature alongside the handset: DeX. Essentially, this is the Korean company’s version of Microsoft’s now-defunct Continuum. It allows users to turn their phones into a desktop computer, complete with monitor, keyboard, and mouse, using a special dock.
As was the case with Continuum, there’s still little incentive for using the dock over a real PC. But Samsung is offering Note 8, Galaxy S8, and S8+ owners a compelling reason to buy a device: Linux on Galaxy, an app that lets users run Linux distributions on a Galaxy handset.
As Linux software and apps are designed to be used with a keyboard, mouse, and large display, users will get the most out of Linux on Galaxy by using a DeX dock.
The app appears to be aimed primarily at developers who want to carry their work around with them. Samsung says it will let them “code using their mobile on-the-go and seamlessly continue the task on a larger display with Samsung DeX.”
"Linux on Galaxy gives smartphones the capability to run multiple operating systems, enabling developers to work with their preferred Linux-based distributions on their mobile devices," explained the phone maker.
"Whenever they need to use a function that is not available on the smartphone OS, users can simply switch to the app and run any program they need to in a Linux OS environment, utilizing the same Linux kernel that powers the Android OS."
No word yet on a release date—Samsung is still working on the app—but anyone interested in Linux for Galaxy can sign up for alerts about availability here.
Additionally, Samsung said it has teamed up with major game developers to add DeX support for mobile games, including Vainglory, Survival Arena, Eric Froemling's BombSquad, Lineage 2 Revolution, and Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition.