For travel I have a Raspberry Pi 4 that I setup as a mini server and secure router. I added a battery to it, and a screen to show basic system statistics. It works well, but it's kind of bulky and ugly. Than I thought, I don't really need the RPi4. What I need is a smart phone that can run Linux in a headless mode. A phone will have WiFi, a battery, and a screen, and it will be in a more portable and sleek package.

So I am looking for a phone (preferably under $100-150) that can run Ubuntu or similar natively. I would want to completely erase Android an have it run Linux directly. I don't really care for GUI, I only need CLI support an access to WiFi and USB for adding an Ethernet.

Alternatively, anything in a small, portable package that has a battery, WiFi, and can run Linux will do.

1 Answer 1


UBports makes a mobile version of Ubuntu for some select older phones.

The current version is Ubuntu 16.04, released on Oct. 23rd of 2019.

From the officially supported devices - for which they offer an automated installer for Windows, MacOS and Linux - the OnePlus One (2014) seems to be the one that's least underpowered. The BQ Aquaris M10 FHD is also compatible, if you want a larger screen.

I'm not sure about Ethernet compatibility for either of those though.

Another option might be the more common Windows tablets with processors like Intel's Z3735 and m3-7y30, but driver compatibility might be more of an issue there when installing Linux.

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