I'd like to give a hat tip to +Corbin Champion
and his GNU Root Debian application. This marvelous piece of work uses a ptrace-based environment to allow you to run a Debian environment on an Android tablet without needing to root it. I'm running it on my Pixel C, and so far I've used apt-get to install emacs, git, ssh, mosh --- even Nethack --- and it all works. The X environment doesn't work too well using just the Pixel C keyboard and touchscreen for the mouse, but I suspect if I used a bluetooth mouse it would work just fine. I haven't tried installing gcc yet, but I suspect that if I had an arm32 to arm64 cross compilation toolchain, and enough internal flash storage, I could build AOSP on my Pixel C. Very slowly no doubt, but oh so very Meta. :-)
There are some rough spots. Unfortunately the alt key isn't getting mapped correctly in the terminal version, but given that it is mapped when running in X (although unfortunately by default it's mapped to the Alt modifier as opposed to the more useful Meta modifier --- fixable using xmodmap) this appears to be something that should be able to fixed in the console mode by tweaking its terminal emulator.EDIT:
There is a preference mode which will allow the meta key to do the right thing. Unfortunately it also intercepts the "..." key on the Pixel C character, which is used to provide access to various special characters such as the pipe character, as well as the square and curly brace characters. TERMux gets this right, so hopefully a future version of GNURoot can follow TERMux's lead in this matter.
What I really like about this is I can now take notes using emacs from my tablet. Being able to use ssh and mosh without having to fight with some fancy GUI interface to set up keys, use host certificates, etc., is also awfully nice. And, of course, I can use apt-get to install anything that Debian has ported to the 32-bit armhf architecture.