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ZShaolin :: GNU/Linux Android terminal


The Android ZSH powerup

zshwiki-logoZShaolin unleashes the power of GNU/Linux on your Android phone or tablet by installing a small and powerful shell environment.

It is an Android terminal app coming with applications to edit images, audio and video using batch scripts one can write and upload. It does not require rooting, not even an Internet connection to work.

Why a console terminal on Android? considered the power of phone and tablets today, limiting yourself to rub a touchscreen is like spending time cuddling a tiger…

…pretty cute, but hey! is that all there is!?

What you will find in ZShaolin:

  • FFMpeg to convert, decode and encode audio and video files
  • ImageMagick plus dcraw and jhead to convert and manipulate images
  • Sox to manipulate and convert audio files
  • OggZ for the manipulation of DRM free audio/video
  • LUA and Perl scripting languages
  • GNU Awk, Sed, Grep, Tmux and the awesome Z-Shell

ZShaolin featured logos

… and even smaller tools to make your life easier when using Android from terminal, this app is a sidekick toolbox for hackers to keep always at hand

  • Vim and Emacs advanced text editors with syntax highlight and more
  • Git distributed version control to keep track of documents
  • Rsync to reliably move large files across the network
  • OpenSSh client/daemon to log from and to your device
  • Ncdu, The Midnight Commander and Lynx textual web browser
  • GnuPG and Steghide to encrypt, decrypt and sign files and messages
  • Mongoose to browse files via http and webdav (all on LAN, no cloud!)


If you are new to the console terminal then you can start reading this manual about the command line, which is also available in Spanish.

If you are wondering what is better in Zsh compared to other shells, then find more about it on wikipedia and on the Zsh users wiki. ZShaolin comes with this fantastic shell pre-configured to speed up its usage with many aliases and macros here you can download a reference card of shortcuts (borrowed from the Grml distribution).

If you have ninja-powers with computers, ZShaolin gives you the ninja tools on Android.

You will find more details about image manipulation possibilities in the ImageMagick scripting documentation.

For audio manipulation refer to the SoX documentation.

For the video manipulation there is the FFMpeg documentation.

And never forget to ask your geek friends for help, scripting together can be a lot of fun!

Buy ZShaolin on the Android Market
Market QR code
Development of ZShaolin started recently. It can grow with your support, that’s why we are selling it for a coin on the Android Market. Meanwhile, all the sourcecode of ZShaolin is free and opensource, also the toolchain used to build it is made available for download on our FTP, so if you really want this app without paying then you can grab it and build it yourself… we can go in detail on Github/dyne/ZShaolin when there is time.

This webpage is updated stating the income of app sales on the Android Market and how they are reinvested in ZShaolin and similar projects aimed to make Android a decent environment for geeks.

Sales income

Recently our app surpassed the 650 sales, many factors helped: the Emacs org-mode community has discovered our Emacs works like a charm (as long one installs also the free Emacs app by Zielmicha which provides the lisp files on the sdcard) plus the XDA-DEV community has been very positive reviewing ZShaolin and I’ve started releasing an “XDA-light” version on their forums. Of course also the many positive reviews helped.

On some small and portable devices ZShaolin is being very handy for me, I hope for you too! ;^) Android ARM devices are very portable and affordable and with this app I can use it just like I used computers in the past 20 years. (Jaromil, dev)

As of the 1.0 release the income for sales is almost up to 2000$. Thanks everyone for chipping in! The very first investment has been an MK 802 computer running Android, which costed approx 60$ and helped a lot to ease the development process without involving a developer’s personal phone :^) Later an Acer Iconia tablet for 150$ was bought and used to test and a bluetooth Apple keyboard which became my favorite setup when travelling. After a while I’ve upgraded to a Nexus7 (approx 300$) and gave the slower Iconia tablet to my parents (their first tablet!) plus I bought another Iconia for my sister’s birthday present.

More recently I’ve visited our Museo dell’Informatica Funzionante in Sicily and we hifived InI bro’ Crash left me a new Nexus5 with broken screen, he had sex on it or so. I made it repaired for 200$ or so giving the money to young skilled guys running a repair shop in Haarlem. Now with the Nexu5 I hope to fix this soon. Meanwhile to celebrate release 1.0 I have bought an Acer Chromebook 2 equipped with a Tegra K1 ARM chip and a 13″ screen reaching full HD resolution (for approx 400$) – and I’m now studying to port ZShaolin also to Chrome OS for ARM devices. The rest of the money all goes to local taxes, some beerz and to the foundation supporting this project with infrastructure and love <3

Again a big THANKS to all those who bought this set of knives so far!! :^D

Rate ZShaolin on the Android Market

List of software in the latest ZShaolin version

Detailed bug-reports are welcome on but please make sure you know what you are talking about :^)

All the source code compiled in ZShaolin and hereby listed is made available on including our very special dyne toolchain for Android. On our Github one can find all build scripts.

Those who have suggestions, ideas, want to signal necessary updates, new software and what not, can join the ZShaolin user discussion forum.



No Risk Detected in app


This application re-distributes the works of many talented developers: it would have never been possible to have ZShaolin without them. While it is impossible to list all names here, you should consider ZShaolin as made by several hundreds of people in about 10 to 20 years time. At the bottom of this list the maintainer of ZShaolin, blacksmith of its toolchain and build scripts is Jaromil.

Special thanks go to Jack Palevich for the terminal emulator, Spartacus Rex for the system installer and INPORTB for BotBrew (we borrowed a few binaries for this release).


This product includes software developed by the OpenSSL Project
for use in the OpenSSL Toolkit, which is:
Copyright (c) 1998-2011 The OpenSSL Project.
Copyright (C) 1995-1998 Eric Young

It also includes GnuPG by Werner Koch and the GNUs.

Que Viva la Crypto Resistance. There is no Freedom if we don’t use it.

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