Termux is like a minimal linux container running on your phone that you have full access to.

It used to be as simple as downloading from the Google Play store. That was sweet. Then Google changed some terms and locked that path.

Seems like now you need to install F-Droid first. It's a good resource to have anyway. Allows you to install things that you want to install.

From the motd: The Google Play version of the Termux app no longer receives updates. For more information, visit: https://wiki.termux.com/wiki/Termux_Google_Play

Steps for getting a termux install going

A physcial keyboard makes things a lot easier!

Early on, before you have a text editor available, it can be handy to use the script command to log what you're doing:

script -a test.txt

see also topic of interest for an example

Termux extras

Set up shared storage. Enable it for the app in android system settings. Then:


Termux configuration


The Termux terminal can be configured by creating the file ~/.termux/termux.properties. This file uses a simple key=value property syntax and allows configuring the properties listed below.

After changing the properties file the changes will take effect either by executing termux-reload-settings or by restarting the Termux app (closing all sessions and starting the app again).

I've included my copy of the configuration in this repository

mkdir .termux
cp public/system/android/termux.properties .termux/


# Open a new terminal with...
# 3 keys does not seem to work:
# shortcut.create-session = ctrl + shift + n
shortcut.create-session = ctrl + '

# Go one session down with ...
shortcut.next-session = ctrl + .

# Go one session up 
shortcut.previous-session = ctrl + ,

# Rename a session
shortcut.rename-session = ctrl + ;

Extra keys

Extra Keys row is also configurable in the same file: https://wiki.termux.com/wiki/Touch_Keyboard

extra-keys = [

extra-keys = [

extra-keys = [
['ESC','|','/',' ',' ','UP'],
[' ','TAB','CTRL','ALT','LEFT','DOWN','RIGHT']

extra-keys = [

Example configuration to enable 2-row (was in v0.65) extra keys:

extra-keys = [['ESC','/','-','HOME','UP','END','PGUP'],['TAB','CTRL','ALT','LEFT','DOWN','RIGHT','PGDN']]

The extra-keys definition itself can also be spread over multiple lines, if desired, by "backslash-escaping" the line feed at the end of each line, thus:

extra-keys = [

Core tools

pkg update

install git:

pkg install git

install emacs:

pkg install emacs

Check out repos locally. You'll need to use a git server to sychronize repositories. For ones that are public, put them in a public directory

mkdir public

For now there aren't any other apps that are making use of these files. No need to bury them deep (from Termux's home perspective) in the shared/ folder.

git clone https://github.com/charlesbrandt/system public/system

ln -s public/system/editors/emacs/.emacs.d/ .emacs.d
ln -s public/system/editors/emacs/.emacs .emacs


SSH is not available by default.

ssh charles@
The program 'ssh' is not installed. Install it by executing:
  pkg install dropbear
  pkg install openssh

TODO: not sure what dropbear is

pkg install openssh

This is also a good chance to generate ssh keys to simplify connecting to primary servers:

ssh-keygen -t rsa
ssh-copy-id demo@


Another good one to have

pkg install rsync

for 'ps' cli command in termux:

pkg install procps

Termux API

The termux API's require another app to be installed from the app store, but seem like they could be handy for interacting with the underlying system. Once that app is installed, enable it in termux with:

apt install termux-api

More info is available:



Current API implementations

termux-battery-status Get the status of the device battery. termux-brightness Set the screen brightness between 0 and 255. termux-call-log List call log history. termux-camera-info Get information about device camera(s). termux-camera-photo Take a photo and save it to a file in JPEG format. termux-clipboard-get Get the system clipboard text. termux-clipboard-set Set the system clipboard text. termux-contact-list List all contacts. termux-dialog Show a text entry dialog. termux-download Download a resource using the system download manager. termux-fingerprint Use fingerprint sensor on device to check for authentication. termux-infrared-frequencies Query the infrared transmitter's supported carrier frequencies. termux-infrared-transmit Transmit an infrared pattern. termux-job-scheduler Schedule a Termux script to run later, or periodically. termux-location Get the device location. termux-media-player Play media files. termux-media-scan MediaScanner interface, make file changes visible to Android Gallery termux-microphone-record Recording using microphone on your device. termux-notification Display a system notification. termux-notification-remove Remove a notification previously shown with termux-notification --id. termux-sensor Get information about types of sensors as well as live data. termux-share Share a file specified as argument or the text received on stdin. termux-sms-list List SMS messages. termux-sms-send Send a SMS message to the specified recipient number(s). termux-storage-get Request a file from the system and output it to the specified file. termux-telephony-call Call a telephony number. termux-telephony-cellinfo Get information about all observed cell information from all radios on the device including the primary and neighboring cells. termux-telephony-deviceinfo Get information about the telephony device. termux-toast Show a transient popup notification. termux-torch Toggle LED Torch on device. termux-tts-engines Get information about the available text-to-speech engines. termux-tts-speak Speak text with a system text-to-speech engine. termux-usb List or access USB devices. termux-vibrate Vibrate the device. termux-volume Change volume of audio stream. termux-wallpaper Change wallpaper on your device. termux-wifi-connectioninfo Get information about the current wifi connection. termux-wifi-enable Toggle Wi-Fi On/Off. termux-wifi-scaninfo Get information about the last wifi scan.


pkg install python pip install --upgrade pip python -V

pip install ipython

pip install pipenv


pkg install sqlite

Then can run it with command





pkg install tmux


Don't forget to run

apt list --upgradable


pkg upgrade

every now and again


It's a good idea to work within the same editor rather than different console tab. This way copy and paste are using the same buffer. Emacs / termux has a different clipboard buffer than the native android os.

Additionally, copying from termux using android often includes line continuation characters (''). Doesn't work well.


At this point you should be compiling the javascript application. hosting on a webserver somewhere.

develipment is better done on a full system. linux or mac. or virtual linux on windows.

see also userland.md()

both are similar in results for full node dev. (as of # 2019.08.25)

pkg install nodejs

Not all npm modules are compatible with Termux. Userland isn't any better (worse in many ways!). Nuxt has problems... next to try is a more simple approach with Vue.