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A listing of random software, tips, tweaks, hacks, and tutorials I made for Ubuntu
Installing Android in VirtualBox
October 25, 2012Posted by on
There is a really interesting project named Android-x86 that ports android to 32-bit computers, and some people have successfully dual-booted Android and Ubuntu, but we will just install Android on VirtualBox, as installing it on a host machine is less certain to work.
First, you will need to install VirtualBox (if you haven’t already):
sudo apt-get install virtualbox
Then download Android x86 2.2 EEEPC edition (I found that the EEEPC edition was the only one that worked well on VirtualBox), and create a new virtual machine on virtualbox with these settings (settings that are not listed here are up to you to decide):
Operating System: Linux Version: Other Linux Base Memory Size: 256MB is minimum, but 512MB-1024MB is recommended (as Android is already slow on virtualbox, you don't want a RAM bottleneck)
Now select the newly created VM and press CTRL+S. The settings dialog should appear. Select “Storage”->”IDE Controller”->”Add CD/DVD Device” (looks like a CD with a plus icon), and select the Android ISO you downloaded earlier. This is the only required step in the settings, but feel free to check out the other settings.
Now that you have your VM all set-up, start it and immediately press F12, and once the menu pops up, press C. A nice GRUB menu should pop up presenting you with several options, so select the Install option and press ENTER. You will then see a nice dialog-style menu (probably is dialog), giving you the option of creating/modifying partitions or to detect devices. Since there is nothing to detect, just select create/modify partitions.
Select New, and then select Primary. It will then ask you to select the size of the partition (defaulting to the size of the virtual hard disk). I recommend saving at least 512MB for user data. After you’re done with that, select Bootable and then select Write. Type “yes” (without quotes) so that it will actually write it, and then select Quit.
You should now see the old dialog-style menu, but this time there should be an extra partition, so select it (if it is not already so). It will then ask you what you want to format it to, so select ext3 (don’t see why anyone would choose otherwise). Then select Yes when it asks you if you want to install GRUB, and No when it asks you if you want /system to be read/write (unless you develop android or if you want to root it).
Great! Android is now installed! I recommend creating a fake SD card so you can store user data (option available on the last screen of the installation). Now reboot the VM and press F12 and then 1 (so that the hard disk will load first). After that, you can safely unmount the image :).
Now that Android is installed, here are a few tips that I found useful when starting to use it.
- Disable mouse integration so that you can interact with android with your mouse (you can unlock your mouse by pressing right-control)
- Right click to go back
- Super/Windows to go home
- Menu to see the menu (menu key is at the left side of your keyboard, between ALT or Super and Control)
- I recommend using Rotation Locker to force all apps to be under portrait (unless you have Weston or a similar window manager that allows you to rotate your windows)
- NEVER kill virtualbox unless you absolutely have to. If you do so, not only can screw up your android installation, but all the RAM that android used will still be used in your host system (so it’s pretty much like as if you never closed virtualbox). You will reboot to free it.