Android x86

Android can be simply understood as a software package. To elaborate more, Android is a Linux based operating system for mobile devices. Mobile devices can be tablet computers and smartphones or any other similar devices. To improve the mobile experience for the end-users, the android is used to create a successful real-world product. After becoming the most popular operating system for mobile devices, the challenge for Android was that its app was not supported natively by the desktop operating systems such as Mac, Linux, or Windows, thus we chose an alternative way to run Android applications on our computer, by using Android-x86 and VirtualBox. Being an open-source project, Android-x86 provides an unofficial installation of Google’s Android operating system. It runs on devices powered by AMD and Intel x86 processors. It is based on the Android Open Source Project (AOSP). To run the Android apps on our PC using Android-x86, we need to follow the below steps.

 

Step 1: The prerequisites:

  • Install VirtualBox: To run different operating systems on our existing Operating System, such as Mac, Linux, or Windows, the VirtualBox program is used. Being a full-blown operating system, Android-x86 requires VirtualBox to be installed to use Android-x86 alongside the existing OS. First, download and install the VirtualBox on the computer.
  • Download Android-x86: Now, download the ISO file of Android-x86 that comes in both 32-bit (x86) and 64-bit (x64) variants.

Step 2: Setting up the virtual machine:

  • Create a virtual machine (VM) inside the VirtualBox.
  • Open the VirtualBox.
  • Click the “New” icon.
  • A dialog box will appear asking for virtual machine details.
  • Provide a name to the virtual machine and use the below settings:
  • Operating system type: Linux
  • Operating system version: Linux 2.6/3.x/4.x (32-bit)
  • Memory size: 1024 MB
  • Hard disk:
  • Select “Create a virtual hard disk now”.
  • Choose a “Dynamic allocated” hard disk file.
  • A new virtual machine with the respective name will be created.

Step 3: installing Android-x86:

  • Double click on the virtual machine (power on).
  • It will ask for an ISO file to boot from.
  • Select the downloaded Android-x86 ISO file.
  • Press F12 when the virtual machine starts to boot, in case the above option is not shown.
  • To add an ISO file, right-click on the CD icon in the status bar.
  • Press the key shown on the screen to boot from CD.
  • Select the installation option by arrow key up/down, after the virtual machine boots up.
  • Press “Enter” to continue.
  • Select the “Create/Modify partitions” option to create a partition to install Android.
  • A text-based partition editing tool will be displayed.
  • Select the “New” option using the left/right arrow keys.
  • Press Enter.
  • Choose the “Primary” option.
  • Press Enter.
  • It will ask for the size of the partition.
  • Here, we installed an OS to the partition, thus making it bootable.
  • Select the “Bootable” option.
  • Press Enter.
  • To save the changes, select the “Write” option.
  • Input “yes” to confirm.
  • To quit the partition editor use the “Quit” option.
  • Select the partition where Android-x86 should be installed.
  • Press Enter.
  • Select the “ext4” file system.
  • Select “Yes” to format the disk.
  • Select “Yes” to install the boot loader GRUB.
  • Select “No” to skip installing the EFI version of GRUB.
  • Select “Yes” to install the /system partition as read-write.
  • It will take a few minutes to complete the installation.
  • Right-click the CD icon in the status bar after the installation completes.
  • Select “Remove disk from virtual drive”.
  • Select “Reboot”.
  • Press Enter.
  • If not done, we will end up booting from the ISO again, instead of the hard disk.
  • It will ask for the initial setup, just like a tablet or regular smartphone, after the reboot is completed.

Step 4: The initial setup:

A few oddities may appear while trying to set up Android.

  • If the mouse pointer doesn’t show up:
  • Disable mouse integration from the “Input” menu.
  • Now click on the VirtualBox window to use the mouse.
  • If the screen is too small to show the full Android screen:
  • Press Right Ctrl + F to go full screen.
  • Or use “Scaled Mode” by pressing Right Ctrl + C.
  • Exit from the full screen by pressing Right Ctrl + F again.
  • Complete the setup by signing into a valid Google account.
  • If a warning appears during the setup process, saying that there is no WI-Fi connection, we can skip it safely.
  • The home screen will appear, after the successful completion of the installation.
  • Finally, install the apps from the Google Play Store and start surfing the Internet.

 

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