maandag 26 april 2021

Data Journalism on the Samsung Tablet with Termux, Ubuntu and R

Can I turn my Tablet into a real work station? Apps are nice for small jobs, reading mail and bit of browsing. But for work…Office is a nice app and gives you all the standard Office tools like Word and Excel, lite versions of course, but working OK. But how about doing statistics with R? No R for Android so you need Linux environment. Installing Linux in a box in Android is possible with for example Linux Deploy app. However you need to root the machine. Generally I have no problem with that: I want full control on all machines. Rooting a machine has a consequence: losing the warrant. An secondly is a working root for this specific machine with that Android version available. And finally you run the risk in case of failure to turn you machine in a brick.


No rooting at the moment, but there is a nice solution available using Termux. Termux is an Android terminal emulator and Linux environment application that works directly with no rooting or setup required. A minimal base system is installed automatically, additional packages are available using the package manager. More on Termux, read the wiki: .

How to do an install for R is finding an example or discussion on the web. Here is a nice one: . I used the second option; the ‘ browser (jupyter) approach’.

The browser (jupyter) approach


    • install termux (google play) (As termux didn't run jupyter-IRkernel, I had to install ubuntu)

    • install ubuntu in termux (MFDGaming or Neo-Oli).

Installation steps for MFDGaming 

    1. Update termux: apt-get update && apt-get upgrade -y

    2. Install wget: apt-get install wget -yfor MFD

    3. Install proot: apt-get install proot -y

    4. Install git: apt-get install git -y

    5. Go to HOME folder: cd ~

    6. Download script: git clone

    7. Go to script folder: cd ubuntu-in-termux

    8. Give execution permission: chmod +x

    9. Run the script: ./ -y

    10. Now just start ubuntu: ./

    • run this in ubuntu:

    apt update && apt upgrade

    apt-get install apt-transport-https software-properties-common

    # add R repository

    add-apt-repository 'deb disco-cran35/'

    apt-key adv --keyserver --recv-keys E298A3A825C0D65DFD57CBB651716619E084DAB9

    apt update && apt upgrade


    apt install nodejs

    apt install npm # absence of this causes non-editable cells in jupyter

    apt install gfortran

    apt install liblapack-dev

    apt install libopenblas-dev


    # install R

    apt install r-base-dev # or r-base or r-base-core


    # install python package manager

    apt-get install python3-pip

    # install jupyter

    pip3 install jupyterlab

    # open R


    • Inside R:

    # Package necessary for jupyter




    • In ubuntu, run the jupyter lab

    jupyter lab --allow-root

    # as you will see you have to paste something like this in your internet browser 

Well it takes some time, but in the end it works. The S7 ready for some data journalism analysis in R.

I have Ubuntu running in terminal mode and use the command line to for jobs. And R running in terminal mode as well. More on R: .The R console has a steap learning curve, however Rstudio needs root access. An alternative to this whole operation is to install a Rstudio server on an other machine and then login from the tablet.

This script goes one step further: it installs a Jupyter notebook to run R or Python code. More on Jupyter: .

Here are some screenshots: