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5 best terminal emulators for Android
Android can do a lot of things. There are apps for most tasks and most things are just a tap or a swipe away. However, power users may need to do some extra stuff via the command line and bring it all the way back to the early 1990s. Android can do that too. Most people looking for these types of apps already have a favorite in mind usually. However, it doesn’t hurt knowing about a few more. Here are the best terminal emulators, command-line apps, SSH apps, and ADB apps for Android.
The best terminal emulators for Android
CommandBot is a free and open source Secure Shell (SSH) client. It works like an SSH client should along with some extra features for you power users out there. You can manage multiple (and simultaneous) sessions, create secure tunnels, and do basic stuff like copy and paste between apps. It even stays initiated if you have to minimize the app and go to another for a moment. There isn’t much else to say, really. It’s good at what it does.
See also: The best Android tools and utility apps
Price: Free / $4.99
JuiceSSH is one of the more popular terminal emulators. It also comes with a ton of features. The app boasts support for SSH, Local Shell, Mosh, and Telnet. Additionally, it uses color, integrates gesture controls, supports external keyboards, and a lot more. The premium version adds some extra stuff as well, including automated AES-256 bit encryption to all of your connections and settings. It’s not perfect, but most seem to enjoy the app and its functions.
Price: Free / $99.99 per year
Termius is another larger option in the terminal emulators space. It has support for a ton of things, including the basics like Telnet and more complicated stuff like ECDSA, ed25519, and chacha20-poly1305. The app also has themes, 2-factor authentication, automatic OS recognition when you remote connect, and more. There is a premium version and it’s a subscription. It gives you cross-device syncing (with AES-256 bit encryption and a zero-knowledge cloud storage policy), terminal tabs, and some other stuff. This one is serious and unfortunately that also means its price tag, but it works quite well in our testing.
Terminal Emulator for Android
This is one of the original terminal emulators for Android. It has worked great for people for many years. It’s a super simple command line. It supports multiple windows, UTF-8 text, and more. It doesn’t come with a ton of commands because it just runs on your device. Thus, we only recommend this one to people who know what BusyBox and Debian chroot are and have them installed. This one hasn’t been updated since 2015 so we’re a little worried that it’ll just stop working someday. However, it still works now and it’s good for super basic stuff if you need it.
Termux is the most popular terminal emulator on the list by download count. It features a snazzy, colorful UI (as snazzy as a command line can be), support for bash and zsh shells, SSH support, and a python console. It does what you need it to do and it doesn’t really get in your way while you do it. It’s also free with no ads, in-app purchases, or anything nefarious.
LADB is an interesting tool and one of the newer terminal emulators on the list. This app bundles an ADB server within the app libraries and lets you do run ADB commands directly on your phone. It basically spoofs a wireless ADB connection and lets you do what you want. This is a great way to run basic ADB commands on your phone without the need of a PC. It takes a minute to set up so make sure you follow the instructions. It did work for us, but it also not a full command line and that’s why we’re listing it as a bonus here.
If we missed any great terminal emulators for Android, tell us about them in the comments! You can also click here to check out our latest Android app and game lists.
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