Why Android is Not Included in The List of Typical Linux Distributions

12/31/2014 By

The significant core part of the Android operating system is Linux, but you can't run the Android application on the typical Linux and vice versa. Have you ever wondered that why is it so?

The reason is that Android, Inc. has played very smartly and integrated only the Linux Kernel as the core part in the Android OS (that was acquired by Google) rather than including the typical Kernel.

To brief the aforementioned statement let's have an insight into the Linux and Linux Kernel.

How is the Linux Kernel different from the Linux

Different people have different manipulation for the terms “Linux” and “Linux Kernel”. Some believe that both the terms are the same since the major part of the OS is the kernel itself. However, some consider that since, the kernel is not the only part there, so it should be treated as a different identity.

The term “Linux” is often used to represent the Linux distributions like Ubuntu, Arch, Mint, etc. It includes the Linux Kernel plus the softwares like GNU shell utilities, GNOME desktop, GNU C library, Mozilla Firefox browser and so forth. And, this is why the Linux distribution is often also referred as GNU/Linux.

What else is included in the Android OS

Google has incorporated a few of the Linux libraries, softwares and Linux Kernel in Android that make it stand apart from the typical Linux distributions. The Linux Kernel (which is an integral part of the Android) lends the open source nature to the Android platform. This is the crucial factor that makes Android the most popular and admired operating system. Android Developers can easily tweak the integrated Linux kernel to cater their diverse business needs.

Elements incorporated in the Android OS but not in the Linux.
  • In Android, the Dalvik virtual machine is used to execute the Java applications.
  • Instead of the GNU C library, Android features the Bionic library.
The Linux Kernel is common between the typical Linux distributions and Android. But since, it doesn't include the major softwares that are common in the Linux distribution the, the Android is not included in the list of Linux distributions.

Factors that create bottlenecks while executing Linux applications on Android devices

There are several factors that hinder the execution of Linux applications over Android devices. Let's ponder into a few of them.
  • Though, like Linux the Android also possesses a shell, but it is not accessible. However, by downloading the Terminal Emulator for Android application from the Google Play, you can make the terminal easily accessible. Even then also it won't guarantee a complete root shell. This is because, although it will augment access to the terminal, but might not offer you all the regular commands.
  • The graphical X server and the standard GNU libraries are not integrated with the Android platform. These are certain basic facets essential for executing the Linux apps.
Factors that create bottlenecks while executing Android applications on the Linux desktop

We know that the Dalvik virtual machine is crucial for running an Android app. Now since, the Dalvik virtual machine has not been included in the Linux, you can't run an Android app simply in the Linux desktop.

However, this issue can be resolved if certain hard work is done at the developers' end. It is only possible to execute Android apps on the Linux, if developers can enable the Dalvik virtual machine to run on Linux.

Thus, considering the fact that Android doesn't feature all the standard softwares, libraries, APIs, etc., that are there in all the Linux distributions, the Android mobile OS is not included in the list.

Author Bio: Juana Steves is an Android developer by profession for Xicom Technologies Ltd - a leading Android App Development Services provider. If you are willing to avail Android app developers for hire, just get in touch with het to get the best assistance.
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