XFCE4 running on Samsung Galaxy Note 9 [ Works fine with Dex ]


Dec 10, 2022
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I was able to get XFCE4 running smoothly (not blazing fast). It works perfectly with Samsung Dex, which surprises me. The wireless logitech keyboard and the mouse work perfectly in the XFCE environment, and I can quickly switch back to Android (DEX) seamlessly. VNC Viewer will not work in Dex, so I tried a few other VNC apps. MultiVNC from the Play Store works just fine. I installed everything using Termux (F-Droid version ). It took me a while to get it running as this is my first time trying to run linux on something other than a computer.


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Here are some of the XFCE4 on ubuntu. I am not using Openbox on this one. I used Andronix to get the code and pasted it into Termux. I'm still using Multi-VNC because it works with Samsung Dex


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Posts like this make me want to play with a Chromebook. Of course, at the same time, I don't actually want a Chromebook. I need to go the other direction, that is fewer devices instead of more.

But, I'm interested in the process. If you get both the time and motivation, could you drop some details about the process(es) you've used so far to get to where you are, like more specifics if you care to share them. I think your post would be of some benefit with more fleshing out.
Moving this to Laptops / Netbooks, where tablets are also covered.

Have fun.

Chris Turner
BTW, is it a Debian you are using, or if not, what?

I know what you mean about the Chromebook. If I had one lying around, I'd install some different distros on it. They are suited for it. The best way to install Linux on a Galaxy Note 9 and be able to use it with a monitor, mouse and keyboard is to use Termux. There are several different ways to do it. The first time I just copied and pasted source code from some websites until I got it running. Then I had to find a VNC Routing program that works with Samsung Dex[Multi-VNC], so I could use it like a Desktop. You'll need to download F-Droid(for many reasons, if you haven't already). Use F-Droid to install Termux(not the Play Store). It won't work with Play Store version. Install Termux. The second time I installed a linux distro, I used an app call Andronix(play store/free). It will almost walk you through the linux installation process. It also allows you to choose between different distros from Debian, Ubuntu, Mint, etc. After that you can choose you GUI(XFCE4, LXDE, etc). Let it install, and then use Multi-VNC to view your new Desktop. There are easy instructions for the VNC part. All you have to do is search Galaxy Note 9 and linux, and a bunch of ways will pop up. For some reason the Note 9 seems to be perfect for this type of project. In the VNC app the address should be [ Address: Port: 5901 ]. Let me know if you get stuck somewhere, or if you can't get the resolution of the desktop right. There are a few things that have to be sorted out depending on how you do things. Thanks for your interest in my project. I am not new to linux, but I am just now getting back into it after about 10 years not running it, or installing/administering it. Good Luck ! ! !
ALSO: I installed ubuntu on my Pixel 7 XFCE4 gui. Termux and Andronix are pretty much all you need. Then the VNC app. You can use any of the VNC apps really because you are not dealing with DEX. The Crappy part is that you are using a desktop os on a touchscreen and its pretty limited. There may be a way to cast the Display to a Smart TV or a TV with a ROKU. I do this with my Note 9. I use the Roku to Cast Ubuntu on to the TV. Then I plug the Note 9 into the USB to HDMI (generic DEX) unit. I plug the mouse and keyboard into it. I skip the HDMI cable, and cast DEX to the whatever display Im using. It can be a computer monitor with HDMI, that has a ROKU plugged into the HDMI port too. I cast it to my 65 inch 4K TV. If you want you can use any bluetooth keyboard with or without track pad. you can use a USB hub like I do with my Monitor set up. You can use bluetooth mice or usb mice, or any combination of wired and wireless peripherals to use this setup. Even the display can be wired or wireles (cast). Samsungs are the best for this. They have the Smart Things App, and Dex is one of the coolest things I've seen in a while. Anyone who has a Dex Phone should try it out. Its also what enables me to run these Linux Distros with wired keyboards, and monitors instead of my phones touch screen. Attached is a screenshot of just DEX on Note 9 Android 10.


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I thought dex was pretty neat, and i played with it before i got chromecast with google tv. Chromecast, in terms of a technology that lets you transmit whats on your phone, is a pretty crappy technology, btw. Google tv is pretty nice though.
BTW, is it a Debian you are using, or if not, what?


I used Debian the first time with XFCE4, Arch Linux with XFCE4 the second time, and now I have Ubuntu with XFCE4. I've tried the LXDE and LXQT environments too, just to check them out. Andronix makes it easy to use Termux to install numerous distros, and environments. I have not tried Gnome. It might be a little heavy on the resources. The first time I got linux running on the phone and properly routed through a Dex compatible VNC viewer I did not us Andronix. I found a forum somewhere and just used Termux to install it. Andronix populates your clipboard with everything you need to run in Termux. Multi-VNC is compatible with Dex. One thing I've noticed with the Note 9 and Dex, is there is a hundred ways to run linux on it.
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A few screenshots of how Andronix lays out the options for you.


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How easy is it to clean up the unused operating systems? You likely have fairly limited memory, like 128 GB for the whole device. Or are you maybe using USB memory?

I don't do a whole lot with my phone. I do have a VNC application on it and a terminal for when I want to SSH into a device while being exceptionally lazy.
Just a heads up @shadypark78 - don't click Reply in their post, as it stands, #13 is just repeating what David G. said with no new input from yourself.

Click in the empty reply pane at the bottom of your page and type there.


Yeah, I have 128 GB plus the SD Card, which is 32 GB. There are ways to uninstall everything through the Termux Command Line Interface[If you want to keep some settings the way they are]. When I want to try out a new distro, all I do is open up Termux App Info in Android and clear both "Data", and "Cache"[See attached file]. This basically restores everything to the beginning. I also have uninstalled F-Droid, and Termux and re-installed them after I did 4 or 5 distro installs. Great question, i would have never thought to include it.

Wizardfromoz Sorry about the reply fiasco, won't happen again.



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When I want to try out a new distro, all I do is open up Termux App Info in Android and clear both "Data", and "Cache"

That's the answer I was looking for. Thanks!

And don't stress, you'll get used to how the forum works in time. If one isn't used to forums, there's a learning curve. Wiz has got ya covered.
Thanks for your patience. I am starting to get used to the site, and frankly I am not a forum master by any means. Linux is just such an important and fun, free OS that I had to get involved with this forum. I also wanted to mention another Android program that is similar to Andronix, but has different distros, and desktop environments. Its called AnLinux and it works the same way. choose Distro, environment, the program facilitates the copying and pasting of everything you need into Termux. Then you Route in with a VNC Viewer. The difference with this app is that it offers SUSE and Parrot and a few other odd OS's.


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Linux is just such an important and fun, free OS that I had to get involved with this forum.

In case you were not aware, we're not actually affiliated with Linux. We're an independent forum staffed by volunteers from various locations and with various areas of expertise.

Do you run Linux on a desktop/laptop computer?
I do run it on various machines. I run Debian on my Desktop. I currently have a laptop that runs Ubuntu as well.
A few more screenshots with DEX and Linux running side by side.


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Update; I've been using this setup as my primary computer, and it pretty much can do most things a Windows X86 machine can do(minus the DirectX, GPU accelerated, CPU accelerated tasks), However, it is very fast. One thing that I've noticed is that sound does not work in chromium. Cromium often becomes unusable until a reboot occurs(about once per week). This is the only reason I reboot. Other than that, I love this setup (XFCE on Debian Linux). Heres a new screenshot.


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Cromium often becomes unusable until a reboot occurs(about once per week).

In the settings, disable hardware acceleration and restart the browser for it to take effect.

That may resolve the problem. HA doesn't work, so I'm not sure why it's enabled by default in Linux.

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