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How to virtualize Android

More than one we have wanted to have Android installed on our computer, either simply to test an application or to “mess it up”. But so far the only possibilities that exist were some other emulator that left much to be desired. However, that is no longer a problem to worry about, because the Android x86 guys have opened up a wide range of possibilities by making Android compatible with 32-bit systems. Let's see how to install it on our personal computer in an easy way and without taking any risk.

Android x86
As we all know, Android is free, or almost free, and this allows it to be a very versatile Operating System. It is so versatile that we can run it on a PC without any problem.

There are several methods to run Android on a PC, such as Bluestack, but they are just simple emulators that are missing thousands of Android features. Because, Android x86 guys have modified the Green Robot Operating System to be able to run it on virtually all computers. And today we are going to see how to install it.

To be able to run it without problems we will use VirtualBox, a very useful virtualization tool, although we can install it in local mode.

Previous steps

Android download

The first thing we need, of course, is an Android image that runs on x86 systems (there are no problems if your CPU is 64-bit, you can also run it). For it we go to the download section of Android x86 and download an image. In this case we are going to use the last image that is from Verson 4.3. Android 4.4 is currently unavailable, but they are working on it.

Install VirtualBox

Our partner Miquel did a great tutorial about VirtualBox a while ago, in l you can find how to install it. I leave the link below.

Tutorial | Virtualbox

Configure VirtualBox

Once VirtualBox is installed on our PC we have to create a virtual machine to run Android. It's very simple, we just have to follow a series of steps:

Android VirtualBox

  • At the top right appears a blue star with the name of "new". Click here to create a new virtual machine.

  • We appear a window. That window is where we will indicate which Operating System we are going to install. In the name field we put Android. In the type we select Linux. And in the version, other Linux. We advance with the Next button.

  • Next we have to allocate the amount of RAM to use our machine. In this case we will assign 1024 MB.

  • We create the virtual disk in format VDI and with a storage that goes reserving dynamically.

  • We assign the size we want. It will be like the phone's internal memory. I have put 8GB.

Android VirtualBox

We already have our virtual machine created. Now only we have to tell you what is the image you have to load:

Select the created machine with double click and a window will appear. Inside that window is a symbol of a folder with a green arrow facing up that works like the typical Examine. Clicking on this folder will open another window in which we will look for the Android image. If we have just downloaded it, it will surely be in Downloads. After selecting it, click on Start to start the machine. This process is only done the first time. The other times we will only have to double click on the machine to start it.

Selecting image

Install Android on the virtual machine

When we start our machine we will see a menu with four options. The first three are to run Android in “live mode” and the last one is used to install Android. In this case, as what we want is to install it, we will select the option of Installation. Now we will have to follow a series of installation steps:

Installation Selection

  • In the “Choose partition” window we will select create / modify partitions. We can navigate between the options with the arrow keys, and Enter to accept.

  • Now we are inside the cfdisk, a Linux partition editor. We have to create a new primary partition of the size that we want without exceeding the size that we have assigned to the virtual machine. For it we select New, then Primary and finally the size we want.

  • Once the partition is created we have to make it bootable. We simply select the partition we just created (by default it is already selected) and click on Bootable.

Creating partition

  • Click on Write to write the partition table to disk.

  • Then click on Quit to return to the partition menu.

  • We select sda1 and we assign a file format of ext3.

  • After we have to always select And it is, except in the Grub option, which is optional.

After a few seconds of waiting, we already have Android running virtually on our computer. It's true that it doesn't run like a high-end smartphone, but it works really well.

Android Version

Note: I have found a bug, and sometimes it does not recognize the pointer. To remedy it simply we have to press Ctrl right + I and click inside the machine. And to get the virtual machine pointer we just have to press Ctrl right. If tennis some problem more, on the Android x86 page there are several tutorials with solutions to common problems.

Well, I hope you liked this little tutorial that opens up endless possibilities to be able to “mess up our Android”.

. (tagsToTranslate) Virtual machine (t) Android simulation (t) Virtual Box

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