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

  1. I’m having a ‘Connecting’ screen that won’t go away(its after the WiFi screen)…….And as for the kernel panic…..had it once…..all you need to do is enable virtualization technology in your BIOS settings

    Reply
  2. hi, i am not tech savvy, so forgive my lack of tech knowledge. i am running ubuntu mate, 14.04, trusty 32bit, memory 1.9gb, processor amd athlon 64 processor 3500+, its a relic system i believe a 10 yr old one. now coming to my issue, i am unable to go pass the step 9, after choosing installation in step 9. it keeps looping and rebooting. kindly advice.

    Reply
  3. Is it posible to run Android X86 as an instance of User Mode Linux? If this is true, it would be more faster or less faster than VirtualBox solution, and why?
    Many thanks for your article.
    David.

    Reply
  4. I’ve tried this a couple of times now but never got it to work for some reason. I have loads of RAM and disc and am running virtual box on ubuntu 14.04 on a couple of laptops.

    I seem to get a kernel panic and then just a reboot this attempt on this laptop. Previous attempt got to the android splash screen but then android bootlooped. Will keep on trying as it would be fun to explore the capabilities so any tips from anyone who managed to resolve this appreciated.

    Reply
    • Sorry i don’t know exactly, some games may work and some may don’t.
      You could try downloading it and installing it on any virtual machine program to test it.

      Reply
  5. Am I the only one that experiences errors/crashes when doing anything requiring 3d graphics or trying to access the gallery? Its also still really choppy for me. My video memory is maxed at 128 and tried 256 as well. Ram set at 2048. My host is windows 8.1 with Intel hd4400. Any insight on this is appreciated.

    Reply
  6. Thanks Hanny, this is a great tutorial – the pictures saved me a lot of guesswork. Running very well on Fedora 21 on a Dell laptop with i5 chip and Intel graphics. I gave it 1GB of RAM and 32GB of hard drive space. Thanks to @fgsfds for the tip on disabling mouse integration from the vbox “Machine” menu to get the mouse working – that’s a life saver.

    Reply
  7. Howdy. I am facing a problem. When i try to install on progress (45%) it gives error of space.
    I gave it 16GB space.
    Some help please.

    Reply

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