Run Android x86 on VirtualBox

You're curious to try Android, the largest free operating system after Linux, but you can't afford to buy a smartphone or tablet with the system, so you can try Android x86, north of the system for the 32-bit platform. In this tutorial, we will learn how to get the system and how to install it in VirtualBox.

The Download

To get the system, simply choose one of the links from the download page. In particular, I recommend trying the Moonsman mirror, which offers deep links. The images are approximately 70MB and are daily builds, ie compiled every day, which ensures you will always get the most current version of the system.

Note that mirrors have images compiled for various devices, such as EeePCs. We are going to download the Generic image here, although the tutorial recommends using the image for Eee in Virtualbox.

Once downloaded, you can burn the image to a CD and boot it to your computer as it acts as a live cd. For this tutorial, let's keep the image in your ISO file.

Creating the virtual machine

If you do not have VirtualBox installed, look for the virtualbox-ose package in your district manager or download it from the official site.

After you install it, create a virtual machine by clicking the New button. In the Virtual Machine Wizard, select Linux on Operating System and Linux 2.6 on Verse. Click on Next. Reserve a minimum of 512MB of memory for the machine. Next In Virtual Hard Disk, check Boot Hard Disk and Create New Hard Disk. Next I recommend that you set aside at least 10GB for the disk. Confirm the other boxes and finish creating the virtual machine.

Now in the VirtualBox interface, select the newly created machine and click System. Place CD / DVD-Rom in the first position in Boot Order. Still on this screen, it is very important that you uncheck Enable absolute pointing device, because if you leave it checked, the mouse will not work on the virtual machine.

Click Storage and the icon with the image of a CD under IDE Controller. In the Attributes pane, click the CD image icon next to the CD / DVD Drive box, and then click Select a virtual CD / DVD file. In the box that will open, select the ISO image you downloaded.

In Audio, make sure Enable Audio is checked and choose SoundBlaster 16 under Audio Controller. In Network, leave the option Connected to in NAT. Click Advanced, and under Card Type select PCnet-FAST III (although here the network has worked by default). Finally, click OK to close the settings window.


Let's install Android x86 on the virtual machine's hard drive. To do this, select the virtual machine and click Start. You will see the following screen:

Navigate with the arrows to Installation and press Enter. After a few moments you will go to the text mode installer. Like the blank hard drive, it will say that there is no partition to install the system and open cfdisk. Create a Linux Native partition that takes up all the hard disk space; It is not necessary to create a SWAP partition. You will then go to a screen to select the partition you created:

The next screen lets you choose the file system in which the partition will be formatted:

Note that the wizard lets you install the system on NTFS or FAT32 parties, but the system cannot save data to that system. Choose the good old Ext3.

On the next screen, he will ask if you want to install GRUB (yes) and will start copying the system. Finally, restart the machine and the system is installed.

First adjustments

Since Android was originally designed for touchscreen interfaces, you might get a little lost on how to interact with it. Here are the tips: To use the Android interface, you will depend on three key keys:

Hotkey (next to the right Ctrl): This key opens the navigation menu at the bottom of the screen where you can change the background, search, add gadgets, and change system settings.

Left Winkey: closes all windows and returns to the home page.

Esc: Corresponds Back key.

F5: Opens the system shutdown menu. In my computer, sometimes F5, sometimes F7, trying from F5 to F8.

Now, let's leave the system in Portugus. Press the Shortcut key and go to Settings (using the arrow keys and pressing Enter or the mouse), Language & Keyboard, Select language and search for Portuguese (Brazil). It is recommended to restart the system so that the language is fully applied.

Lastly. Let's set Android to accept installation of apps outside of Android Market. Press the Shortcut key, Application Settings and check Unknown Fonts.

The four balls you see at the bottom of the screen are workspaces that you can toggle using the left and right arrows. A very interesting tip is that if you press Alt + F1 you will fall into Android text mode and be able to explore the system further.

Since the system is running on a virtual machine, it is normal for it to say that it is out of service and that the telephony functions will not work. The dock on the right side of the screen has three icons: the globe triggers the web browser. The squares will go to a screen where you have access to applications installed on the system, including the App Store and the phone would allow you to make calls if that were possible.

Have a good time!