Linux Without Root

I’ve been lurking on the forum quite a bit now and after some thought, I decided to share this cool hack with you. As the name suggest, we are gonna try running Linux on Android without Root.

No this is not a Debian No Root app that you can see in the playstore, but instead a Limbo PC Emulator. Limbo PC Emulator allows you to take a .iso file and boot into it from your Android phone. I think you could call this app a VM since as far as I can tell, it works like a VM.

With all that being said, I hope my first post on this forum is a good one and I’m open to feedback.

#What you’ll need:

  • Limbo PC Emulator
  • Android Phone (At least 2GB free disk space)
  • Bluetooth Keyboard
  • Image File (For this tutorial we are using Kali)
  • A brain (please)


First of all, unless you have a really good Android phone, head over and download the Kali Linux light image. Once downloaded, make sure you copy and paste it into you /sdcard. You’ll need it later.

The next step is to configure Limbo to boot into your image file.

Here’s the configuration I used:

  • Architecture: x64
  • CPU Cores: 4
  • RAM: 256 MB
  • Hard Disk A: Hit New and type in kali linux and set to 4 GB
  • CDROM: Path to Kali Light Image

I left the other settings unchanged, but depending on your device, you might need to adjust the settings to fit your needs. The higher the RAM the better your system will run, but if you set the RAM to high, the app will crash.


The last step is to boot into your new configured system by clicking on the arrow at the top.

Make sure you’ve selected your new system. You should be welcomed to the boot screen.
Now use your bluetooth keyboard and select live boot. You can install the system if you want to.

It depends on your system how fast Kali will boot. Be patient. On success, you should be welcomed to the login screen. Login using root as username and toor as the password.
Now you should be logged in. Good job. You just installed Kali without root on your Android phone.

#Final Thoughts

This is a really cool hack that I’ve managed to find and sharing this I hope will expose many to the wonders of Limbo. This hack works on many different OS and I’m still testing them out. Other than that, please share your thoughts down below and share any suggestions.

Thank you!

Thank you @ricksanchez for proofreading.


Cool article, def gonna check this out.
With architecture x64, I assume you mean ARM64, or do you mean x86_64?
I would assume emulating a CISC architecture on a RISC would be slow.

No, it just says x86 and x64.

I other words. I don’t know. lel.

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@IoTh1nkN0t official doku

Limbo provides via QEmu the following emulation Capabilities via a front end:

  • CPU (x86,x86 64bit)
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Ooh so x86_64 afterall, well I suppose the phone can manage it, nowadays phones are getting as fast as laptops.

Hi @Red_Joker,

Have you played with Kali using this setup?.. I believe most of the interesting tools won’t work unless your device is rooted.

For non rooted devices Proot is maybe less demanding and I believe you can get similar functionalities. You can also run tools from outside the chroot just setting properly your LD_LIBRARY_PATH and using your own dinamic linker, as explained here.

But this is indeed interesting if you need to run a Windows tool…

I like how simple this is. You don’t spoonfeed us, but you give us what we need to get the job done. Good job.

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It’s not working on redmi 5a. Will you please help me ?

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I don’t know the error… so what’s the error?


Why am I getting this error?

It’s not working on on mi5a device can uh please suggest which file should I download of Kali???

Funny, after @pry0cc posts a video about asking a question two posts later comes a dumb question.

How can you post a suggestion when there’s no valid explanation of why something doesn’t work. How can we help people if we don’t know what is wrong?

I personally love this community. I wish I had more time to post cool stuff but sadly I am stuck trying to build a career I’ve long awaited to have, and I’m stuck reading books. But for the sake of helping helpless people. @Kingshadow9033 try out alpine linux instead of Kali.