New Version Of Androidx86 Emulates ARM Processors, Supports More Apps

androidx86 icon   New Version Of Androidx86 Emulates ARM Processors, Supports More AppsSet up Android on your netbook or install it on your PC in VirtualBox. Run games like Angry Birds or Amazing Alex perfectly, or just try out Android apps without the need for an Android device.

I showed you guys how to run Android on your netbook and since then you’ve flooded me with comments and questions. This surprised me – I expected the post to be a niche topic for a few people to look at – but it was a good surprise because I love helping people do stuff like this.

A new version of Androidx86 is here – 4.0-RC2 – with a variety of new drivers and support for emulating ARM-only software. This means that apps that didn’t work before now work without any problems, and that some previously unsupported computers may work now.

What’s New

There are a few new features you guys asked for, including the ability to pick your physical keyboard layout. A newer Linux kernel is used, and some 3G modems are now supported. Apps should run faster.

androidx86 main   New Version Of Androidx86 Emulates ARM Processors, Supports More Apps

But the most exciting thing is the new ARM translator. Setting this up is a little bit of work, but it makes it possible to run software that previously didn’t work on Androidx86.

For example, with this you can run a piece of software many readers requested – Angry Birds. Here’s a quick video I made of Angry Birds running on my EEE PC:

As you can see it runs smoothly, even if I’m bad at the game; so did Amazing Alex. You’ll need to make some tweaks to get this working, however, so lets go over that.

Installing Androidx86

I outlined how to install Androidx86 in this article, including how to dual-boot easily by installing Android to an SD card. Follow those instructions and you should be fine; I highly recommend installing to an SD card.

Setting Up The ARM Translator

How do you set this up? There are a few steps.

The first takes place when you’re setting up Androidx86, and is very important. You will be asked whether you’d like to make your system read/write; the default setting will be no. Make sure you set this to yes!

Once you’ve done that, you will need to download some files from Builddroid and move them to the appropriate places. In my experience this needs to happen from an operating system besides Androidx86; use an Ubuntu live CD if you didn’t set up a dual-boot system.

Here are the files and where they need to go:

  • Download libhoudini.so and put it in /system/lib/
  • Download libdvm_houdini.so and put it in /system/lib/
  • Download the arm libs and extract the files. Put all files in a folder named “arm“, and move that folder to /system/lib

Once you do this Angry Birds and other ARM-only software should launch without problems. Check that you’ve done everything correctly if the apps don’t work.

Thanks to Webupd8 for the easy-to-understand directions in a part of the computing world filled with jargon.

Will My Computer Work?

There’s no current list of computers that work with Androidx86, but this list provides a good approximation. Check it out before asking for help in the comments below.

It’s also very easy to get Androidx86 set up in Virtualbox, but you’ll need this custom ISO to do so. That ISO has the ARM translator built in as well, though games run very poorly in Virtualbox. Thanks to Rob M for the build and Webupd8 for pointing it out to me.

Apps That Worked For Me

androidx86 evernote   New Version Of Androidx86 Emulates ARM Processors, Supports More Apps

I tested this out extensively, and got the following apps to work without any problems:

  • Gmail
  • Google Voice
  • Google Maps
  • Google Calendar
  • Evernote
  • Dropbox
  • Google Drive
  • Feedly
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Wunderlist
  • Evernote
  • Angry Birds (with translator)
  • Angry Birds Space (with translator)
  • Amazing Alex (with translator)

This build, like the previous one, supports the Android Market, now known as Google Play. Only apps supported by Androidx86 will be installable, although some of these supposedly working apps will require the translator in order to function.

androidx86 market   New Version Of Androidx86 Emulates ARM Processors, Supports More Apps

Be sure to let me know of any apps that don’t work in the comments below.

Annoyances/Solutions

A couple of quick annoyances, and solutions for them:

  • To suspend your computer press and hold the power button; a single press will merely “lock” your computer.
  • To turn off your computer press the power button twice; a dialogue will show up. Do this too quickly and your system will merely “lock”.
  • Many apps cause the screen to rotate, which can be annoying. This app helps a great deal; it forces some apps to work in landscape mode.

Conclusion

This is a great update. Many apps that didn’t work before are working now, and the system feels a great deal more stable overall. Some apps, like Chrome and Firefox, still don’t work; perhaps that will come with a future version. For now I’m just happy to be getting updates for this great alternative operating system.

Let me know what you think in the comments below, along with any questions you might have. I can’t answer questions about whether your hardware will work, sorry, I simply don’t have access to enough computers to test things. For what it’s worth, I got everything working on an EEE PC 900a.

The comments were closed because the article is more than 180 days old.

If you have any questions related to what's mentioned in the article or need help with any computer issue, ask it on MakeUseOf Answers—We and our community will be more than happy to help.

47 Comments -

0 votes

Charlie Player

looking cool

0 votes

amrit

man this is cool

0 votes

App Crush

Great article!

0 votes

MerVzter Balacuit

nice

0 votes

Gaurav Rajasekar

The last time I tried running Android was in the days of Donut and Eclair…. didn’t realize that they’ve kept it going till 4.0

0 votes

Justin Pot

Yep, updates are sometimes infrequent but they keep working on it. Lots of fun.

0 votes

Yew Zhi Yong

Could you please tell me which version should I install on my Toshiba Satellite L210? Thanks! (Couldn’t find any info on Google, but some guys apparently managed to do it.)

0 votes

Justin Pot

Sorry: I have no idea. You could try ASUS laptop, but no promises! Older versions of Androidx86 offered a “generic” version with laptop drivers; current versions do not.

0 votes

Reymaz

Can be installed on a Raspberry Pi ???

0 votes

Luke Brannon

tbh I think that would be a great idea! the hardware is capable as the RasPi was built around smartphone specs so I’d say if you did a google search you’ll probably find a few youtube videos on how to install it :)

0 votes

Justin Pot

I don’t think the Pi uses an Intel processor, so Androidx86 is a no-go. It seems like there should be a community project for this out there somewhere, though…

0 votes

Brayan Habid

That’s an arm device, afaik. So, what you have to do is to download the android source, and compile it in your device. I dont know if there is an iso for that case, though.

0 votes

Tiago

I was wandering. I have a Asus EEE PC 900 and was wandering if maybe it might be a smart idea to do a clean wipe of that and change the OS for this and that to have a Android notebook. I assume with the same ID I can have all the apps already paid for in parallel. Any reasons why this would not be a good idea? Would need to find a step by step guide to find out how to do it

0 votes

Justin Pot

I would try out Android from a live CD or SD before doing this, but yes: you can install Androidx86 to your primary hard drive. This article outlines how, but if you want to run ARM-only apps you will also need to follow the instructions above:

http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/install-android-netbook/

I’m not sure I’d use this as my primary operating system myself, but it is fun to play with.

0 votes

GodSponge

Just installed into VirtualBox and set it to 1280×800. Looking really nice. You seem to have to disable mouse integration to get the cursor to appear, but that’s not really a big deal.

0 votes

Justin Pot

Yeah, the mouse integration thing would be nice but it’s not a huge deal.

0 votes

Yash Desai

i was just wondering, i know the name of the os is androidx86 but will it also work on x64 devices, like any other os would?

0 votes

Justin Pot

Most 64-bit processors can emulate x86 mode, so it should work but I can’t make any promises. With Androidx86 it’s very much “try it and see”; it’s not the best documented operating system on the web.

0 votes

Benny Teo

Having android on the computer is great, is there any way to sync data between the phone and computer as well? that would make it awesome.

0 votes

Daniel Escasa

Disclaimer: in theory, you could use Android’s sync capabilities to sync your address book, calendar, and maybe the data in some apps. Evernote, certainly, which auto-syncs with all the devices on which it’s installed.

0 votes

Justin Pot

Any app with built-in syncing works in my experience, and if you use Google’s services the mail/calendar/address book will sync with that. Your phone and all of its installed apps and settings will not, however.

0 votes

Doug

I have installed the Androidx86 on my netbook successfully about 6 times! But I am having a problem getting the files to the ARM translator moving. I use Ubuntu as per the instructions, but am told I don’t have permission to move the files. Hence the multiple installs of the android. I am never asked if I want to make the system read/write. Where do you find that?

0 votes

Justin Pot

It asked the question early during the installation, after you pick which drive to install Android onto. Sometimes you’ll miss it if you use the Android installer to format your drive.

0 votes

Doug

Thank you Justin. I changed from Li li to the other linux installer, and didn’t format to Fat32, and got the question! Now, however, I have Ubuntu live running of off the USB, and have opened the ARM translator files, and when I try to move them into the system/lib file, I get a error saying i don ‘t have permission to do that action. What up with that? Thanks!

0 votes

Justin Pot

You need to move the files as sudo. Do so from the command line, if you know how. Alternatively you can hit “Alt” and “F2″ and type “gksu nautilus”. Type your password and move the files with the window that opens.

0 votes

Doug

Justin, I placed the AndroidX86 on my netbook, and aside from the games that needed the ARM translator, ran like a charm. I placed Ubuntu on my USB drive, and I placed the ARM files on an SD card. I unzipped the files like you instructed. I then went into Unbuntu, and found I had 2 mounted drives, the SD drive with the files, and the AndroidX86. I then made myself the admin with password, logged out, then back in. I did the “Alt” and “F2″, then password, and came to an open window. I was able to place both mounted drives in 2 separate tabs. I then moved the ARM folder, and the “houdini” files into the system/lib of AndroidX86. I then unmounted the drives. logged out, turned the machine off. I removed the USB device, started the machine, and no matter what I do, all I get now is an error 17. Any suggestions? Thanks!

0 votes

Steven Kim

very informative,thanks!

0 votes

Juan Paulo Ducut

how about installing android as a secondary OS? that would take a long time, except if the guys from Acer will provide the code they used on putting android on Aspire One d250

0 votes

Justin Pot

The fast way to do this is to install Android onto an SD card. The long way to do this is to install a bootloader, such as GRUB, after you’ve installed Androidx86. I don’t recommend trying that unless you’ve got experience with Linux.

0 votes

Harron Subhani

Andriod devices left this article made it.

0 votes

Ashwin Ramesh

cool! should try it out!

0 votes

Justin Pot

Let us know how you like it if you do.

0 votes

BB

Hi, maybe you can help me:
I have a tegav2 tablet, after installing RC2 everything works fine except wifi. I can’t even turn on the adapter, maybe you know a solution?

0 votes
0 votes

harry krishna

i have an augen netbook – arm netbook with android 2.1. my problem is i’m only seeing 7″ on the 10″ screen (and, of course, i got it on ebay). this thing works some/most of the time. i’ve been fooling with it since last fall, but other than rooting it, i’m getting nowhere. since i see the reduced screen from the augen 108 splash into the android splash, i’m thinking i need to replace the linux part. just can’t get anything to load. any ideas?

0 votes

Justin Pot

I’m afraid I can’t help with this, and people reading this article probably won’t be able to either: it’s an article about installing Android on Intel computers and tablets. You could try MakeUseOf Answers, however:

makeuseof.com/answers

0 votes

Dougie Vantran

Sounds cool to play with! Will try!

0 votes

Mas Giong

i give a try Android-x86 4.0 RC2 amd_brazos version on my Lifebook PH521 that running on AMD E450, its very simple install.
but I cant find physical keyboard layout though i can adjust sound volume & brightness from my keyboard, any idea?
my bluetooth failed to turn-on too, since i expect this for my mobile modem to connect to internet because no wifi around me.
should i try asus or eepc version?
thanks justin, sorry for my bad english.

0 votes

Tina

Mas,

If you still require help with this, I recommend posting a question on MakeUseOf Answers. Good luck!

0 votes

Matt

Is it possible that the translator works for some apps and not others? Angry birds works, Amazing Alex doesn’t. Ideas? Great tutorial by the way.

0 votes

Justin Pot

It might be so, but I had Amazing Alex working perfectly so I don’t think that’s the case in your situation. Make sure you close a number of open programs before you try to open a big game like Amazing Alex, and outside that I’m not sure what the problem could be.

0 votes

Kalin Tonev

Justin please can you help me ,to get skype working on my eee pc 1001HA,I install the skype but when put my user name and pass and just quit.

0 votes

Kalin Tonev

HI Justin I’m running Android 4 RC2 on my Asus Eee PC 1001HA
Everything seems to work fine, including regular camera apps (though a choppy) except Skype. It loads to login and a second or two into logging in it just quits to the home screen, doesn’t even say the app crashed, it just quits out. If there is a way to fix this, please help ….

0 votes

Justin Pot

I haven’t gotten Skype to work, but I’m curious: did you install the ARM emulator?

0 votes

Pramod

I have the same issue. Eee Pc with RC2 installed in the 4gb SSD. Skype is installed but quits after few seconds of signing in. Also, adobe flash is not working.It is installed but when tried with CNN video, it asks to install 10.1 or higher and it already has 11.1. Any suggestion would be greatly appreciated. I have installed the ARM emulator.
Thanks
Pramod

0 votes

Ankit Shah

Can i try it on PC instead of netbook.
As the netbooks and pc are almost same.
wats difference does it make b/w pc or laptop, as we can install linux, android should be same.
Please help me I have an Intel Core 2 duo.
Should i give it a try.

0 votes

Justin Pot

The team works hard to make sure certain netbooks are supported, but there are no promises for standard laptops. You could try if you wanted, but there are no promises.

If you just want to try Android out I recommend doing so in VirtualBox.