Ubuntu phones to come with a terminal - prepare your command line skills

Ubuntu logoThe Ubuntu phone operating system will come with a terminal application. That's right: experienced users will have access to the full power of the Linux system running underneath the phone's shiny graphical user interface.

While Ubuntu phone code hasn't been released publicly yet, it seems that development will take place somewhat in the open, with a wiki devoted to the platform's core applications, which include e-mail, calendar, clock/alarm, weather, file manager, document viewer, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter.

In addition, the terminal application will emulate the Linux terminal in an application window and perhaps have a special keyboard layout optimized for Linux commands. One of the key development requirements is that the terminal app integrate with BusyBox, a set of Unix tools. Developers are welcome to propose designs for the application. To get things started, Canonical has posted a few mockups contributed by community members, including this one:

Ubuntu phones to come with a terminal - prepare your command line skills

Linux-based Android doesn't include a terminal by default, but Android phone users can get access to the Linux command line by installing third-party terminal apps. Why use a terminal app on a phone? A GitHub Android terminal project notes that it lets users "access the entire /sdcard file system, and you can install and run Linux command-line applications in the parts of the /data file system that are accessible to the Android Terminal Emulator process. You can also run command-line programs that access the Internet."

It's perhaps not surprising to see Ubuntu plan for a terminal app to be included by default. Canonical has said Ubuntu for phones and Ubuntu for desktops will have the same code base, while offering different user interfaces and exposing different functionality depending on whether someone is using a phone or PC. Ubuntu phones will even become full PCs when docked with a monitor, mouse, and keyboard, so Canonical could theoretically put just about any application on an Ubuntu phone.

Source: Ars Technica

Tags: Linux, smartphones

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