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Dual-Boot GNU/Linux and Android

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  • Planet Computers' clamshell phone can dual-boot Android and Linux

    Planet Computers' laptop-like Cosmo Communicator phone just became that much more useful to its audience of very particular power users. The Cosmo now supports a promised multi-boot function, letting you run Android (both regular and rooted), Debian Linux and TWRP on the same device without one replacing the other. You'll have to partition your storage and know your way around a boot menu, but this will give you a way to run Linux apps or otherwise experiment with your phone.

    You won't lose over-the-air updates for Android by installing Linux, Planet Computers said.

    The multi-boot firmware is available for free, and there are instructions for installing Debian and other software. This still isn't for the faint-hearted. However, it also represents one of the few instances where a phone maker has officially enabled support for operating systems besides the one that ships with the device. The Cosmo is also fairly well-suited to Linux thanks to its keyboard -- you won't have to jump through hoops to use the command line.

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Cosmo Communicator clamshell smartphone gets dual-boot

  • Cosmo Communicator clamshell smartphone gets dual-boot functionality

    Smartphones have evolved to the point where we are basically carrying a reasonably capable miniaturized PC in our pockets. However, mobile operating systems are limited and unable to run desktop apps.
    Planet Computers is changing the typical paradigm of a closed mobile-OS ecosystem. On Monday, it released a firmware update to its £665.83 ($860) Cosmo Communicator that allows users to install regular or rooted Debian Linux side-by-side with Android. The company had promised this feature was coming when it launched the stylish foldable in December 2018.

Linux now joins Android on Planet's little Cosmo Communicator

  • Linux now joins Android on Planet's little Cosmo Communicator computer-phone

    The Cosmo Communicator was promoted as being able to run Linux and Android but until now it didn't have dual-OS functionality, leaving Android as the default OS and no option to switch to Linux.

    The company has now announced that the Cosmo Communicator can run Debian Linux with KDE, which offers a full graphical interface.

    [...]

    The addition of Linux and KDE allows users to run more applications. Planet Computers highlights that devices that have been partitioned for dual-OS support can still receive over-the-air Android firmware updates.

    Planet Computers has provided instructions and links for downloading the firmware on its support pages.

    "Offering a viable alternative operating system on the Cosmo Communicator has been a cornerstone of all Planet devices. The Linux community has been instrumental in the firmware development and together we will continue to refine and enhance the Linux user experience," said Dr Janko Mrsic-Flogel, CEO of Planet Computers.

Cosmo Communicator Android PDA can now run Linux side-by-side

  • Cosmo Communicator Android PDA can now run Linux side-by-side

    There has been a recent uptick in interest in Linux-based smartphones but the newest breed of such devices is targeted at early testers and developers. For those who simply want a usable and polished Linux mobile device, the choices are extremely slim. A few years ago, Planet Computers launched two communicator-style Android PDAs that promised to support other operating systems, including Linux. Now the UK-based company is making good on that and is releasing multi-boot support for Linux as well as a rooted Android image.

    The Cosmo Communicator and its Gemini PDA predecessor are on a league of their own when it comes to mobile devices. Inspired by the old Psion handheld computers, these smartphones resembled miniature laptops like the “communicators” of yesteryears. More than just a nostalgia trip, however, Planet Computers promised a more open mobile experience as far as operating systems go and it has finally gotten the ball rolling for the 2019 Cosmo Communicator.

    The company just announced that they now support booting multiple operating systems in part thanks to the new TWRP support. It provides instructions on how to install Debian GNU/Linux running the popular KDE Plasma Desktop onto a separate partition. There are also instructions on doing the same for a rooted version of Android so that the main Android version remains untouched.

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