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 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.
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:
|Left Windows key||home|
|Menu key (next to right Windows key)||application menu|
|<Host Key> + F1||Console mode|
|<Host Key> + F7||Graphical mode|
nJoy Android experience! If you need any assistance or latest tech tips, get a hold of me @geeknizer on twitter.
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?