How the Terminal makes Ubuntu Touch worth using

One YouTube video showing the Ubuntu Touch Terminal app in action changed my mind about the mobile OS.


Sometimes it's the little things that make all the difference. Even something that seems completely inconsequential can take a project from “meh” to “awesome” with astonishing speed.

Take Ubuntu Touch, for example.

There is much about that system that I love. It's mostly Open Source (with very few exceptions) and allows me to have a Debian-based Linux distro right in the palm of my hands. Being able to “sudo apt-get install” on the go is just so incredibly handy. Damn near brings a tear to my eye.

On the flipside, there's much about the system that I really, really don't love. I don’t like the Unity user experience on mobile devices almost as much as I dislike it on desktop PC's, which, in case you were curious, is quite a lot.

As a result, lately I have been quite on the fence about the prospect of being able to run Ubuntu Touch on a future tablet or phone. So on the fence, in fact, that it seemed more and more likely that I'd simply stay with Android... no matter how much I'd like to support a more “Linux-like” mobile environment.

Then I saw the video below showcasing some of the available settings for the Terminal application in Ubuntu Touch, and something clicked. I want to run Ubuntu Touch on my tablet. And I want it now. Give it a watch and tell me if you don't have the same reaction – jump to about a minute in if you're feeling impatient (it's only a 2 ½ minute clip).

The video is running on an Ubuntu Desktop... but the application is the same on an Ubuntu Touch device.

This means that I can now fire up Ubuntu Touch on a tablet... and I have a full, Debian-based distro in my jacket pocket. And when I want to install new software, all I need to do is fire up my Terminal, which can emulate the look of an old CRT monitor with some serious envy-enducing, retro-styled goodness – and “apt-get” away.

I'm sold.

However, I still won't complain when I'm able to install a different desktop environment on there. Which environment? I call it “Anything-But-Unity-Oh-Please-Not-Unity.” ABUOPNU, for short.

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