How to Install and Run Android on PC using VirtualBox

Android is a great platform and everybody is looking forward to test or use it somehow. There is an online project that is porting Android to X86 based system.

Right now, the recent news says that Android 4.0 IceCream Sandwich and Android KitKat 4.4 can also be downloaded to install and run on PC using the VirtualBox. In this tutorial, I will be telling you every step or do how required for installing Android in VirtualBox, a freely available virtualization software.

Tip: Install Android Market on Amazon Kindle Fire.

Though, we have discussed another method of installing Android at your PC while discussing about how to run WhatsApp on PC (the BlueStacks method), this method is more advanced and upgraded as it can give you the complete experience of an Android OS within from your PC or Laptop.
Install and Run Android on Windows PC
Google has open sourced Android Operating system and that’s why developers can change the source code to port the Android OS to X86 based PC. VirtualBox provides a safe platform to test the Android without disturbing the setup of your Windows PC. Let’s go ahead and install VirtualBox and run Android on it.

How to Run Android Live in VirtualBox

  1. You will need to download VirtualBox here. And Download the version of Android you want to test from here. You can download x86 version of Android from the provided link. The file will be a .iso disk image, ready to burn on CD or you can keep the .iso file to install on VirtualBox.
  2. Once you download the VirtualBox, create a Virtual Machine by clicking the New button on the top header area of the VirtualBox App. You can name it as Android and choose the OS type as other and version too as other.
  3. Now, you will need to setup different properties of Virtual machine. Set the RAM to atleast 1GB so that you can run games etc on the virtual machine. Create a Virtual disk space at least 2GB. Once created save the virtual machine.
  4. Now, right-Click the Virtual machine and click start. This will automatically pop up a First Run Wizard. You can choose the select installation Media and go ahead. Now Browser to the Android ISO file we have downloaded.
  5. You can choose to install the Android-X86 on Virtual hard disk. Also, there is a great option to run the Android Live without installing. Choose the best for you and go ahead.
  6. Once you finish installing, restart the virtual PC. You’ll get the Android running on your PC.

This makes you ready to use the Android as an operating system. Beside that you can use keyboard, music speakers, and your LAN/Wi-Fi internet connection.

Step-by-Step Guide to Install Android in VirtualBox

Instead of running the Android live in your VirtualBox, you might want to install the Android operating system in your virtualzation software. If so, here is a step-by-step guide on how to install Android in VirtualBox as well as other virtual interfaces like VMware Workstation.
If you’ve already installed the VirtualBox or VMware Workstation in your computer, download the latest version of Android-x86 from here.
Once downloaded, first create a virtual machine for Android in your VirtualBox.

Creating Android Virtual Machine in VirtualBox

Open VirtualBox and create a new virtual machine by following the onscreen wizards with the following configurations:

  • Operating System type : Linux
  • Operating System version: Linux 2.6
  • Memory: 512 MB
  • Hard Drive Size: 5 GB or more


Installing Android in VirtualBox

Once you created the Android Virtual machine in your VirtualBox, start the machine and select the downloaded ISO file as the virtual CD/DVD disk image from the “Devices” menu.
Restart the new machine again and you should see the screen similar to this.
Now, navigate (use ↑ or ↓ keys) to the last option where it says “Installation – Install Android-x86 to Harddisk” and hit the Enter key. The installation process would start immediately. You need to create a partition for the Android installation. Simply choose “Create/Modify partitions” option.
Now, a black screen appears. Select “New” using the arrow keys (← , →) from your keyboard and hit the Enter key to create a new partition at the free space.
Highlight the “Primary” option and hit the Enter key.
This will ask you to enter the size of the partition. Hit the “Enter” key again to allocate the full space for the partition. Now choose “Bootable” and hit Enter again. Now, move to the “Write” option and hit Enter. This will ask you to confirm the formatting process. Simply, type “yes” and hit Enter. Once the writing job is done, highlight the “Quit” option and hit Enter to quit. This time you will see the partition that you’ve just created at the top of the screen. It will be selected by default. Hit the Enter key to start installing Android onto this partition.
Select the ext3 as the file system and hit the Enter and select “Yes” to confirm. Hit the Enter key again.
Now it will start formatting and after completion, it will ask for whether you want to install boot loader GRUB. Select “Yes” and hit the Enter key.
Again select “Yes” to install /system directory as read-write.
Once done, remove the ISO file and restart the Virtual machine for Android.
Now the Android OS will boot from your virtual machine as like as the other operating system. In the welcome screen, choose the Language and go forward. It will take some time to initiate. Wait for a while and you will be asked for turning the Wi-Fi on. Simply skip this step as it will automatically use the standard internet connection of your virtual machine.
Now put your Google id and password to get started with your Android machine and follow the onscreen wizards to complete the initialization process.
Once done you can use the Android OS just like you do in your smart phone. You can even play Temple Run 2 on your computer.
You would love to run Android on PC, if you like the interface or the usability, you can buy an Android phone. Android is getting popularity so rapidly and has captured a big chunk of smartphone market(43% according to recent Study). Also, you can install Android 4.0 on a Netbook and keep it as a permanent Netbook OS.
Are you still thinking about how to install and run Android on your PC? Check this tutorial out and let me know your experiences.