chromebook   linux   termux   gulp   nodemon  

Recently I've found a very neat Adnroid app which I can run on my Chromebook - Termux- "Termux combines powerful terminal emulation with an extensive Linux package collection."

In essence after installing it you will have a nice Linux distro on your Android device without root.

In my case I've decided to try if I can use Termux for Node development.

Node development

The initial plan was to install node inside Termux and to use it to install npm packages and run code.

After installing the app there is a need to run termux-setup-storage command from within Termux to get access to the Chromebook storage. After this I've tried to install some packages directly in the Downloads folder but unfortunately because Termux do not provide root access I was unable to install them.

The plan was changed then. I've decided to install npm packages inside Termux, write my code inside some editor (like Caret) and save it somewhere in the Downloads folder and then move only the code file(s) into Termux where the npm packages are installed and the server is running.

Installing the packages inside Termux and copying manually the main js file worked just fine but this needed to be more automated.


Since I was going to use Node I've decided to use Gulp for the automated copy (and for the other tasks as well). I'm using the code below to sync the files between source folder and destination folder with gulp-newer plugin (there are few other plungs that can be used as well)

var gulp = require('gulp');  
var newer = require('gulp-newer');

var source = '/data/data/com.termux/files/home/storage/downloads/nodetest';  
var destination = '../nodetest'

gulp.task('sync', function() {  
    return gulp.src(source + '/**/*')

gulp.task('watch', function() {  
    gulp.watch(source + '/**/*', ['sync']);

After starting the gulp watch task every time file in the source folder is changed it will be moved in the destination folder.


I've also installed nodemon so after every file change the server will be restarted automatically. In my case I've used --delay 2.5 as a parameter in nodemon to delay the restart with 2.5 seconds - just to make sure that all files are copied.


If Termux is used on phone or tabled to view your web app you just need to navigate to http://localhost. For Chromebooks the situation is a bit more different. You need to find the ip address of the Android instance. This can be done by executing the following command from Termux:

ip addr list

And look for the non-localhost address. (in my case this was


In conclusion I can say that Termux opens a lot of possibilities for Chromebook/Android developers without entering to Dev mode.

Hope you like it!