Android, the popular Operating System for smartphones, now come in handy on PC. Some folks at Android-x86 project had port this little Green Buddy into PC. And thanks to them, we can enjoy the Android on our PC.

In this article, we will discuss about Android x86 installation on VirtualBox. For this, I use:

  1. Slackware64 14.0, although any Operating System is fine at least it can run VirtualBox
  2. VirtualBox.
  3. Android x86 ISO file

Obtaining the Materials

As said, we will do installation of Android on virtual machine using VirtualBox. Thus you have to make sure VirtualBox is installed and enable to run properly. For Slackware64, I have create a separated article about how to install VirtualBox on Slackware.

Another material we need is the Android x86 ISO itself. The ISO is provided by http://www.android-x86.org, the official site. The project had made many builds of Android OS for a quite. You can see many version with many architecture supported by them. The one we use is android x86 4.0 RC2 for asus laptop.

For some version provided there, they don’t work very well in VirtualBox. For example the “EEEPC” image for Android 4.0 has issues with the audio drivers and the network (it has no Ethernet support built in), etc. But fortunately, There is an ISO image which has been custom made to match with VirtualBox which I found on another people site. Although he said this is not his made, but thanks Kirsle! You can download the ISO from this site!

Create the Virtual Machine

Now come to the main business. Create a new machine for Android with this (minimum) specification:

  • Machine Name: “Android x86 ICS” (or anyname you want)
  • Machine Type: “Linux
  • Machine Version: “Linux 2.6”
  • Memory: 256 MB (but I use 1024 MB)
  • Hard disk: 12 GB (12 GB is enough, but mine is 16 GB)

Other setting on my Virtual Machine:

  • Networking:
    • Type: NAT
    • Adaptor: “Intel Pro/1000 MT Desktop (8254EM)”
  • Audio: Intel AC’97
  • Storage Layout:
    • IDE Controller: CD Device
    • SATA Controller: Hard disk
  • Video Memory: 16 MB

Boot and Install

Run the virtual machine, you should then see something similar to this:

android1

If you want to try the live CD, you can choose “Live CD – VESA mode” on boot menu. You will then see the screen like this:

android3

Another screenshot for Android x86 4.0:

android2

If you decide to install it, in boot menu (you should restart the machine if you are on Live CD mode) choose “Installation – install Android-x86 to harddisk”. Then you will see bunch of text on console and then be brought to partition menu. OK, get ready.

In this article we will use all the space we have and create only partition. You can also create more than one partition, but we won’t cover that here.

Choose “Create/Modify Partitions” which leads you into cfdisk. To do so do the following:

  1. Choose “[New]”
  2. Choose “[Primary]”
  3. Press enter to accept the default partition size
  4. Choose “[Bootable]”
  5. Choose “[Write]”
  6. Type “yes” to confirm writing
  7. Choose “[Quit]”

Now choose to install on the “sda1 device Linux VBOX HARDDISK”. Format it to “ext3”. Confirm “yes” on formatting. Confirm “yes” when it asks to install GRUB bootloader. Confirm “yes” when it asks to mount /system as read-write.

Now create a fake SD card when it prompts. I made 2074MB (the maximum allowed).

Reboot! Make sure you detach the ISO image from the virtual machine and boot the installed OS. If you still see “Installation” option again, then you are booting form ISO.

Disable Mouse Integration

To interact with GUI, you need to disable mouse integration. This can be done by choosing the “Machine” menu in the VM window and clicking “Disable Mouse Integration”. Another way is pressing HostKey + I.

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