Samsung Trying Linux For The DeX Dock
Samsung give the impression they’d love nothing better than to ditch both Android and Google, so that their mobile products are fully Samsung’d up. However, a large part of the success of the Samsung Galaxy S8, Samsung Galaxy Tab S3, Samsung Galaxy Note 8, and even the Samsung Chromebook range, is because of the underlying Google parts of the operating system. Yes, Samsung modify – butcher – Android to “improve” the experience, but many customers wouldn’t be using a Galaxy-branded product if it were not for the Google Services under the TouchWiz interface.
Samsung’s latest attempt to replace Google is in the shape of their impressive-sounding Samsung DeX dock. I’ve already covered the Samsung DeX; it’s a nifty way of converting a flagship Samsung Galaxy device into something of a workstation by connecting it to a monitor, external keyboard, mouse, and other peripherals. The DeX’s weakness is in the software, as Samsung’s desktop software is not as ready as the rest of the device. In an attempt to shore up the Samsung DeX software interface, Samsung have updated the DeX dock with a new software platform, Linux. This new software, dubbed “Linux on Galaxy,” was showcased at the Samsung Developer Conference in late 2017.
The Samsung Linux on Galaxy is described as an application that enables multiple GNU / Linux operating systems to run on a connected Galaxy smartphone, when connected to the dock. Compared with current ways to run Linux on an Android device, Samsung’s implementation is described as “more sophisticated.” It sounds impressive as with the DeX hardware, customers can run Ubuntu 16.04 or another Linux distribution on their DeX dock.
Samsung’s expectations is that developers will flock to the new Samsung operating system and buy Samsung hardware, and that ultimately the new solution will encourage customers away from their current laptops and desktop hardware, and will want to run the platform from their Samsung Galaxy devices. And yes, Samsung DeX is a clever idea, but it isn’t currently properly implemented and it appears that Samsung is abandoning the current way to get customers to run a desktop from their smartphone, and is trying a new approach. At least it isn’t Tizen OS.