The desktop environment that turns your Samsung phone or tablet into a PC when connected to an external display, nicknamed ‘DeX,’ has been around for a while now. Nearly a year ago, Samsung introduced the Linux on DeX beta, which could run a full Linux OS on top of DeX. Sadly, the project seems to have been discontinued.
Samsung is sending out an email to testers explaining that the beta program has ended, and that Linux on DeX will not be supported on devices running Android 10.
That’s definitely a bit of a shame. While I haven’t yet tried Dex on my brand new Note 10+, the idea of messing around with a full Linux distribution running on my phone was a neat and interesting concept.
I suppose it’s not surprising. For the few who would make regular use of this, relative to the cost of developing and maintaining things, they could probably more cheaply offer free VM access. Especially given the ubiquity of high speed broadband for Samsung’s target clients.
The key point is in your summary:
I had the Note9, and installed Linux at very early stages of the Beta. However I cannot count instances of using it with more than two handful of fingers. It was nice to have, but I had much better, and easier to use devices for Linux. And the Linux integration was mostly like a disconnected virtual machine. It was not a “GNOME UI on my Android data”. I can just remote desktop for the same functionality.
So the project had little following, and even less attention in those who followed it, along with relatively high cost of maintenance.
If you want to try a full Linux on a phone look no further than postmarketOS https://postmarketos.org/