How to Run Android in VirtualBox, VMWare

Yea, You heard that right, Its now possible to install Google Android (mobile based OS) to your Laptop/Netbook. In actual, you don’t even have to install, it’s as easy with this live CD method. All you have to do is create a Live CD image of Google Android.

Update: Install Android on PC, Netbook Natively

Update 2: Install Android Froyo on PC

Update 3: Run Android apps on Windows

A new Project has developed that will enable you to try this new Mobile OS  in a Virtual machine environment such as VirtualBox, VMWare or any other computer that could be booted of a CD or a USB stick.

It’s been known for some time that it is possible to run Android on x86 hardware with a port for the Netbooks like Asus EEE PC appearing earlier this year, but it was very difficult until now to get Android running on other hardware or virtual machines.

The project to create a Live CD of Android is called  LiveAndroid and can be found at Google Code: http://code.google.com/p/live-android/. The project has been running for just a couple of months, but they have already achieved an image that delivers Android, with support for the mouse since their v0.2 release.

Android image running inside Sun VirtualBox

Instructions:

Step 1. Download the CD ISO image that has been split into two parts, which then have to be combined. 

The files liveandroidv0.2.iso.001 and liveandroidv0.2.iso.002 from the project site.

On Windows, you can use PowerISO to combine the ISOs.

On Linux, you can run this command:

cat liveandroidv0.2.iso.001 liveandroidv0.2.iso.002 > liveandroidv0.2.iso

In case you have trouble doing it, check this.

Step 2. Now create a new “Virtual machine” in VirtualBox/VMWare. Click on “New” and Give a name like “Android Mobile”, select “Linux” for the operating system and “Linux 2.6″ for the version. When prompted for the base memory RAM size you can enter 300MB (300MB is more than what it would expect).

Note: You don’t need a virtual hard disc image for this machine, as the whole thing will run off the Live CD so when you are on the configuration page for this uncheck “Boot Hard Disk (Primary Master)” to stop VirtualBox creating any disc image. You will be shown a warning message about bootable media after this but just click “Continue”. Click “Finish” to complete basic set up of the virtual machine, now click on “Display” and check that the video memory is set to 8MB.

Step 3. Start the virtual machine for the first time, you will be prompted to boot from a CD image. Select the LiveAndroid CD image that you made earlier. You may have to Add this to the Virtual Media Manager first to make it available. With this selected you should see that Android boots up. :)

Step 4. For some reason you get a warning about 15% battery power left, but dismissing this gets you into the Android environment. Navigating your way around is done with a combination of using the mouse and some special keys, these are documented here. However I found some were different on my setup. I have my “host” key (the key that transfers control of the keyboard and mouse from the guest to the host OS and has some other functions) on VirtualBox set up as the right windows key, so got this layout:

Arrowsnavigation
Enterconfirm
Left Windows keyhome
Escapeback
Menu key (next to right Windows key)application menu
<Host Key> + F1Console mode
<Host Key> + F7Graphical mode

nJoy Android experience! If you need any assistance or latest tech tips, get a hold of me @geeknizer on twitter.

Lookin Beyond

It is quite interesting seeing Android running in a screen much larger than the mobile phone screens where we are more familiar with it. Will Android become commonplace on netbooks?

With the announcement of Chrome OS, an operating system designed to be a browser and not much else. Maybe Chrome OS will fill a similar niche and Android will be Google’s answer for more demanding applications. What do you think?

We write latest and greatest in Tech GuidesHackintoshAppleiPhoneTabletsAndroid,  Open Source, Latest in Tech, subscribe to us@geeknizer on Twitter OR on Facebook Fanpage:

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  • sunny

    thx, i`ll try today.
    BTW, whats ur take on virtualbox.
    Write a review!

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  • Pingback: How to Run Google Android in VirtualBox, VMWare on Netbooks « Jasper Blog

  • James

    What is a “host” key (I don’t run windows on x86 mac freebsd solaris or Linux yes, windows no)

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  • http://www.Taranfx.com Taranfx

    @James
    “Host” key refers to key tht takes u out of VM. For virtualbox it’s RIGHT CTRL. on VMWare, it’s left ALT+CTRL.

    @Sunny
    I am already writing one for virtualbox, standby for it.

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  • Jochem

    I’m playing with android for a few hours, but i can’t find an option where i can setup my Google account, so that i can see my contacts and calendar.

    Any suggestions?

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  • http://searchservervirtualization.techtarget.com Alex Barrett

    VMware confirmed that it will support Chrome OS running as a VM; I’m sure others will follow.

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  • http://www.superdomainhost.info technology

    I must say that I am impressed with your site. Top notch site, professional all the way, and very knowledgeable in this issue of technology. I will be blissful if you stop at my site at which is about technology. I have recommended you to many individuals and will stay to make so.,

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  • oid

    I downloaded v0.3. I didn't get a battery warning.

    Wondering why you suggested no HD for the VM. Doesn't this lead to problems with downloading apps? I had to manually change the permissions on /sdcard

    Any place to configure the key mappings? I can't seem to get to the menu

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  • D'oh

    On Windows you can also use: copy /b disc1.iso + disc2.iso filldisc.iso

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  • Ian

    But will the virtualized x86 Android be able download apk files and install them?
    I get “Parse Error There is a problem parsing the package”
    Can find the solution with Google

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  • Amit

    nice instructions got it working but i cant seem to have the network available .. even though i have the VM configured for it .. any ideas?

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  • Ian

    I'm also having network problems. Any suggestions?

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  • Hashiru

    Fresh info: VirtualBox 3.2.6 on MacOS X Snow Leopard. Got the VM running, but there is apparently no mouse driver. This problem seems unique to Android-Mobile. I have even managed to get a Haiku-OS VM up and running, albeit without GuestAdditions – the mouse works fine there and on every other VM I've configured on Mac OS X. I doubt anyone is paying attention by now, but if so: any ideas?

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    • nunya

      Open the “Machine” menu on your virtual machine and click “disable mouse integration”. You should see a different cursor show up when you mouse over the android desktop.

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  • philk

    Too bad I don't have a phone, I can see how great it would be with a touch screen. It works fine in virtual box for me, even the network connection.

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  • Andy

    Good stuff, use HJ-Split to join the files (its what they used to split them.

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  • Gary Jamaica

    there's a readmefirst text frile that has a bunch of links to the one iSO image including http://rapidshare.com/files/256343498/liveandro

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  • Shawn Hicks

    You don't have to install PowerISO on windows, the capability is built in.

    The command to join the two halves of the cd image on Windows is as follows:

    copy /b liveandroidv0.3.001+liveandroidv0.3.002 liveandroidv0.3.iso

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  • Pantleg

    You can combine the files natively in Windows too:

    copy /b liveandroidv0[1].2.iso* liveandroidv0.2.iso

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  • Aaaa

    is it also possible to run the emulator itself on virtualbox, so that eclipse will be able to communicate it through virtualbox?
    i really don't like qemu and how slow it is …

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    • http://jackyalcine.co.cc Jacky Alcine

      No, but there’s an emulator for the Android 2.2 and 2.3 on the Android SDK site.
      You can use that instead.
      If you’re using Eclipse to develop, they have a plugin for that as well.

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  • Hugh

    Isn’t this the right place to get it? http://www.android-x86.org/download

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  • Emidio F Brasil

    how to configure network in virtual box running android? internet access.

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  • Android Fan

    Nice. Like it.

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  • guest

    Hi
    I install Android v0.3 on Windows 7.
    the problem is I cant use the keys.
    Only three key works
    ALt+F1
    Alt+f7
    Right Ctrl

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  • guest

    Hi
    I install Android v0.3 on Windows 7.
    the problem is I cant use the keys.
    Only three key works
    ALt+F1
    Alt+f7
    Right Ctrl

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  • Mercier Sebastien

    For Windows, to combine the 2 files, use the following command (under DOS):
    copy /b liveandroidv0.3.iso.001 + liveandroidv0.3.iso.002 liveandroidv0.3.iso

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  • Jayesh Prajapati

    After getting live android boot-up screen it does nothing.

    Environment: VMWare Player latest till date, liveandroid usb 0.2 downloaded from project location.

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    • Atulquest99

      same problem over here ! While booting it live in vmware !

      it show “detecting android x86…found at dev/sro”

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    • Atulquest99

      same problem over here ! While booting it live in vmware !

      it show “detecting android x86…found at dev/sro”

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  • CS

    how I instal new .apk apps from my PC

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    • Luis Anton Imperial

      You can download .apk files directly from Browser, the web browser on Android.

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  • Gaurav Prakash

    hey i installed android in vm. but its wifi does not turn on. how do i use the inetrnet? pls help!!

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    • Luis Anton Imperial

      When I opened Browser, I can browse the internet even without Wi-Fi, 3G, 4G, LTE or any similar thing.

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  • http://www.twitter.com/jamesr404 James Kuypers

    Will this Android VM store it’s states between power cycles? I’m looking to set one up just so that I have my Android apps synced for offline use on my laptop (gmail client, RTM, Pocket, Youtube etc etc :D )

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