Linux support is coming to Samsung DeX, along with big-screen mobile gaming

samsung dex pre order s8
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

The Samsung DeX smartphone dock will soon be a bit more capable thanks to upcoming support for the Linux on Galaxy app. The application brings the Linux computing experience to mobile, and with Dex support, you’ll be able to use that mobile Linux platform on a larger display when needed.

The Samsung Dex (docking experience) puck is a small hub device that lets you use your new Samsung Galaxy S8 smartphone like a micro PC — you can run it to a monitor with full mouse and keyboard support. We had a look at it earlier this year and we were impressed. Performance is snappy and the setup is easy, though we did note that it could use more app support. Adding Linux on Galaxy will certainly go a ways toward addressing that.

The little device packs a pair of USB 2.0 Type-A ports for connectivity, as well as a USB Type-C port for charging purposes. It can also connect to your local network via an Ethernet connection and to your TV or monitor using HDMI.

Linux on Galaxy expands its software capabilities to make it possible to run multiple operating systems on a smartphone. And now, with added DeX support, you can run multiple operating systems through your phone, as a desktop. Software developers and Linux fans can utilize a desktop design interface wherever they go, whether it’s on their smart device’s small screen, or on a larger one at home.

Linux on Galaxy is still in the early stages of development, so, for now, it’s not widely available. Samsung is looking for those interested in it. Sign up here, to be given the first heads up when it becomes available.

Samsung has also been working on bringing mobile gaming to larger screens. In its announcement, it talks about bringing games like Super Evil Megacorp’s mobile Multiplayer online battle arena game Vainglory to a larger device, as well as Square Enix’s Final Fantasy XV: Pocket Edition. This support not only lets mobile gamers play on a more immersive display, but also leverages mouse and keyboard support.

The Samsung DeX currently retails at $150 from official sources, though at the time of writing, you can pick one up on Amazon for less than $100.

If you do plan to turn your new smartphone into a PC, you’ll need some accessories for full functionality. If you don’t have a PC already, you’ll need a keyboard and mouse and, ideally, a new monitor, too. Fortunately, we have a handy guide to some of the best peripherals you can pick up to make your new Galaxy docking experience as fluid as possible.

Amazon also has a handy list of extras you can buy with your S8, from cases to fast chargers. Here are a bunch of tricks you can do with your S8 smartphone, whether you’re running it on DeX or not.

Update: Added that Samsung’s DeX smartphone dock will add support for the Linux on Galaxy app.