How to install Android in VirtualBox By Bas Wijdenes

Android running in VirtualBox.

In this blog post I explain how you can install Android in VirtualBox. If you have Windows 10 Pro or higher, you can also use a built-in Windows Feature Hyper-v. I also wrote a blog post for Android in Hyper-V.

If you do not have Windows 10 Pro, you can use VirtualBox as a virtualization tool. A Virtualization tool such as VirtualBox or Hyper-V lets you run different OS without having to install it directly on your PC.

In this post we will look at Android in VirtualBox. There are many Android Emulators on the internet such as Bluestacks, but these applications are often slow and require a lot of resources from your computer.

If you install Android in VirtualBox you have an empty installation without extras. This allows you to test applications, or use Android only applications on your Windows Device.


run android in virtualbox | what do we need?
  • …VirtualBox, download here (Windows) directly or go to virtualbox.org.
  • An Android ISO. Download here (sourceforge) directly or go to android-x86.org.
  • A main OS with at least 5Gb Hard drive and 512Mb RAM.

Installing VirtualBox. 

Click on run and follow the next steps.

welcome to oracle VM

Keep all options, it does not use too much space.

Custom setup

Warning: Network interfaces | This will disconnect your network be sure you have saved everything that has to do with your internet connection.

warning network interfaces

The options below are what you prefer.

custom setup 2

Click on ‘install’ to ‘install’ ‘Oracle VM VirtualBox 5.0.4 Setup’…

ready to install

You’ve finished the Setup Wizard. Keep ‘Start Oracle VM’ checked and click on finish.

VM installation is complete

In this screen you can create a new VM to run an operating system in.

virtualbox-new-android

Name and operating system

  • Name: Pick whatever you like. I’m naming mine Android.
  • Type: Pick Linux.
  • version: Pick highest  Linux 2.6.

android-linux

You need at least 512Mb to run Android, but the more RAM the smoother your Android VM will run.

RAM virtual machine

Create a virtual hard disk now…

create virtual machine hard disk

Choose VDI as hard disk type. It’s just for testing anyway.

hard disk file type

Read the explanation and pick what you like better. I’m going for dynamically allocated.

storage on physical hard disk

As you can see I’m going for 8Gb. This is an option you can always change later. (Ever had trouble with not enough space for new apps?)

File Location and size android

  1. Make sure you’ve clicked on the Android VM.
  2. Click on ‘settings’.

Open settings

Follow the numbers and open the Android ISO.

Choose ISO

Start your Android VM with the ‘start’ button.

Select ‘Installation – Install Android-x86 to hard disk‘  with the arrow keys.

android live installation

Select the virtual hard disk you made in VirtualBox.

Virtualbox harddik

Select ext3 as file system.

android vm ext3

Select Yes to continue

Chose to format sda to ext3 yes

Do you want to install boot loader GRUB? Select Yes to continue.

install-boot-loader-grub

Select yes

EF1 GRUB2

Select yes again…

Chose to format sda to ext3 yes

It’s because I’ve been screenshot-ting everything I’m screenshot-ting this. Select Yes

install as read-write

Select yes since you’ve had to select at least 4Gb of space a few steps back.

free-512mb

Ok I missed a screenshot here.. please click select, and ‘run android-x86’ after that.

run android -x86

Remove the ISO from the CD/DVD -drive or your Android VM will boot the ISO again. Please follow the numbers.

remove ISO

Congratulations! you’ve installed Android in VirtualBox. From here you can follow the steps yourself since this are personal preference. 

Welcome to android

You’ve installed a complete Android device. Complete with Gmail, Google Maps, and more. You even have the Play store to install more Apps! Remember that the operating system is for touchscreen devices. Your mouse and cursor will work, but not smooth.

It’s quite easy isn’t it? Please leave a comment below with tips and tricks you’re using! Also if this post has helped you, please share it on social media!

Published by

Bas

My name is Bas Wijdenes and I work full-time as a Services Engineer. In my spare time I write about the error messages that I encounter during my work. Furthermore, I am currently occupied with Office 365, Azure infra, and PowerShell for automating daily tasks.

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