Back in 2017, Samsung introduced DeX as a feature of its then flagship Galaxy S8 and S8+ that allowed users to extend the functionality of their devices to connected displays by placing them on special dock stations.
Short for “desktop experience”, DeX mostly delivered on that premise, expanding on a vision that others, like Microsoft and its Continuum software, had already introduced the world to.
Today, DeX still exists, with expanded support for newer devices and even more features (users could use their devices as touch pads, for example).
For instance, instead of the odd docking station that was needed in order for one to turn their Galaxy S8 smartphone into a computer complete with peripheral devices like keyboard and mice, last year with the Galaxy Note 9, Samsung changed things further. One simply needed a compatible HDMI cable.
This year with the unveiling of the Galaxy Note 10, Samsung made things even better. You see, previously, one could only use DeX if they had an external display that accepted video input. With the Note 10, Samsung introduced a desktop client that lets users access DeX on their Windows and Mac computers by simply plugging in the same USB cable they’d use for normal data transfer.
In all this, did you notice something?
MacOS and Windows are not the only desktop computing platforms out there. There is Linux, remember? Now, what about it?
Well, it did take some time but Samsung finally did manage to bring DeX to Linux, demonstrating it to developers by the end of 2017. The experiment finally made it to the public with the Galaxy Note 9‘s release last year after extensive testing. It was still in beta at the time and has remained so ever since.
Unfortunately, from now on, not only is the beta programme being discontinued, Linux on DeX will be a bygone by the time Android 10, which Samsung is currently testing on a handful of its premium devices, starts rolling out to all users of its devices.
In an email to those that had enrolled in the Linux on DeX beta programme, Samsung notes that it will “will no longer provide support on future OS and device releases.”
What differentiated the Linux on DeX experience from that on Windows is that it provided a full-blown Linux experience (using a customized version of the Ubuntu distribution) and not just extending the Android experience on Samsung devices. As such, applications were then able to take full advantage of the power that comes with running on a full-scale desktop platform environment.
Well, of all that is in the past now.