How to Install Android OS to Run Favourite Games and Applications in Linux

Android (x86) is a project which aims to port the Android system to Intel x86 processors to let users install it easily on any computer, the way they do this is by taking an android source code, patching it to work on Intel x86 processors and some laptops and tablets.

In this article, you will learn how to install the latest version of Android OS on your VirtualBox platform on Linux. If you want, you can also install Android directly on your Linux, Windows or Mac system.

Step 1: Install VirtualBox in Linux

1. VirtualBox is available to install easily via official repositories in most Linux distributions, to install it on Debian-based Linux distributions run the following commands.

First, add the following line to your /etc/apt/sources.list file and according to your distribution release, make sure to replace '<mydist>' with your distribution release.

deb [arch=amd64] https://download.virtualbox.org/virtualbox/debian <mydist> contrib

Then import public key and install VirtualBox as shown.

$ wget -q https://www.virtualbox.org/download/oracle_vbox_2016.asc -O- | sudo apt-key add -
$ wget -q https://www.virtualbox.org/download/oracle_vbox.asc -O- | sudo apt-key add -
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install virtualbox-6.1

For other Linux distributions like RHEL, CentOS, and Fedora, use the following article to install Virtualbox.

  1. Install VirtualBox in RHEL, CentOS and Fedora

Step 2: Download and Install Android in Virtualbox

2. This is an easy step, go to the Android-x86 project and grab the latest Android version of Android-x86 64-bit ISO file for your architecture.

3. To install Android on VirtualBox, you need first to boot from the .iso image that you downloaded, to do so, open VirtualBox, Click on new to create a new virtual machine, and choose the settings as follows.

Create New Virtual Machine
Create a New Virtual Machine

4. Then it will ask you to choose a Memory size for the machine, Android needs 1GB of RAM to work perfectly, but I will choose 2GB since I only have 4GB of RAM on my computer.

Set Memory to Virtual Machine
Set Memory to Virtual Machine

5. Now select “Create a virtual hard drive now” to create a new one.

Create Hard Disk for Virtual Machine
Create Hard Disk for Virtual Machine

6. It will now ask you for the type of the new virtual hard drive, select VDI.

Set Hard Disk Type for Virtual Machine
Set Hard Disk Type for Virtual Machine
Set Storage for Virtual Machine
Set Storage for Virtual Machine

7. Now choose the size of the virtual hard drive, you may choose any size you want, no less than 10GB so the system can be installed correctly beside any future apps that you want to install.

Set Storage Size for Virtual Machine
Set Storage Size for Virtual Machine

8. Now that’s your first virtual machine is created, now to boot from the .iso file that you downloaded, select the virtual machine from the list on the left, click on Settings, and go for “storage”, do as follow, and select the .iso image of Android.

Add Android ISO to Boot
Add Android ISO to Boot

9. Click on OK, and start the machine to boot the .iso image, choose “Installation” to start installing the system on the virtual machine.

Install Android to Hard Disk
Install Android to Hard Disk

10. Please select a partition to install Android-x86.

Select Partition to Install Android
Select Partition to Install Android

11. Now you will be prompted cfdisk which is a partitioning tool that we will use to create a new hard drive, so we can install android on it, click on “New”.

Create New Partition for Android
Create a New Partition for Android

12. Choose “Primary” as partition type.

Choose Primary Partition Type
Choose Primary Partition Type

13. Next, select the size of the partition.

Set New Partition Size for Android
Set New Partition Size for Android

14. Now, we have to make the new hard drive bootable in order to be able to write changes to the disk, click on “Bootable” to give the bootable flag to the new partition, you won’t notice any changes in fact but the bootable flag will be given to that partition.

Make New Partition Bootable
Make New Partition Bootable

15. After that, click on “Write” to write the changes to the hard drive.

Apply Partition Changes
Apply Partition Changes

16. It will ask you if you are sure, write “yes”, and click on Enter.

Confirm Partition Changes
Confirm Partition Changes

17. Now that’s our new hard drive is created, now click on Quit and you will see something like this, select the partition that you created before in order to install android on it and hit Enter.

Select Partition to Install Android
Select Partition to Install Android

18. Choose “ext4” as a filesystem for the hard drive and format.

Select Partition Type
Select Partition Type
Format Partition
Format Partition

19. You will be asked now if you want to install GRUB bootloader, of course, you will select Yes because if you don’t, you won’t be able to boot the new system, so choose “Yes” and hit Enter.

Install Boot Loader
Install Boot Loader

20. Finally, you will be asked if you want to make the /system partition writeable, choose Yes, it will help in a lot of things later after you install the system.

Make Partition Writeable
Make Partition Writeable

21. The installer will start the installation process after the installer finishes the job, choose Reboot.

Android Installation Successful
Android Installation Successful

22. Now that’s we installed Android on our hard drive, the problem is now that VirtualBox will keep loading the .iso image file instead of booting from the virtual hard drive, so to fix this problem, go to Settings, under “storage” select the .iso file and remove it from the booting menu.

Remove Android ISO to Boot
Remove Android ISO to Boot

23. Now you can start the virtual machine with the installed android system.

Android Boot Menu
Android Boot Menu
Starting Android
Starting Android
Android Running on Virtual Machine
Android Running on Virtual Machine

Installing Android x86 will be good for you if you don’t have a smartphone and you want to use the Play Store apps easily, have you ever tried to install android x86? What were the results? Do you think that android may become a “real operation system” targeting PCs in the feature?

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51 thoughts on “How to Install Android OS to Run Favourite Games and Applications in Linux”

  1. Thanks for Article, but some things are going wrong. I followed all steps, mentioned above, but at the time of booting from the Hard disk.

    I am getting messages like this.

    Progress ; Detecting Android-86.... found at /dev/sda1
    Console:/ # ..
    

    What command I should write after:

    Console:/ # ..
    

    so that it boots finally from hard disk

    any suggestion ? … thanks in advance

    Reply
    • @Rakesh,

      Are you installing Android on VirtualBox? if yes, please enable “VBoxVGA” under Settings –> Display –> Graphic Controller.

      Reply
  2. You know right, that not all games support x8 platform. Not the best solution in regards to gaming, one should try emulators like Anbox, Shashlik, Genymotion, etc. I prefer genymotion over others as I have been using for 3+ years and looks most stable to me.

    Reply
  3. Hi, first of all, nice guide!

    My doubts/issues come in the cfdisk part. I’ve downloaded the latest version and it comes with cgdisk instead. (No clue about the differences)
    So in the 9th step, I’ve chosen to use the whole disk from the advanced options.

    Reply
  4. I have already installed Android x86 on several PCs directly via a bootable USB stick. Mounted with the RUFUS app. You just have to start the pc directly on the bootable key, select the hard drive you want to format, and start the installation!

    It’s a good operating system that could use some improvement. Easy and intuitive for the elderly or those who are new to computers. Where again for people who do not have the financial means to afford big pc, it is even in my opinion a solution to reuse old pc and break the digital divide of many countries without access to computer science!

    Reply
  5. When you said that you chose 2gb because your computer only has 2gb I think that you got confused.

    If your computer only has 2gb of ram then you should choose 1gb for the virtual machine.

    Reply
  6. I want to ask can the virtual android x86 recognize as phone or when i download the app from appstore it will show that i download it from virtual machine?

    Reply

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