Android 9 on Linux

Jarret B

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Many people would sometimes like to have access to Android. In this article, I will cover the steps to install Android 9 on a Virtual Box machine.

Having access to Android on your system can make it easier for accessing apps that are only available on Android.

Prerequisites

To start, I will assume you have Oracle’s Virtual Box installed on your system. Make sure that you have the most up-to-date version as well as the Extension Pack, which shouldn't make a difference, but never hurts to install.

Next, you’ll need to download the Android 9.0 ISO file at https://mirrors.xtom.com/osdn//android-x86/71931/android-x86-9.0-r2.iso. Be sure to save the file in an easily accessible location on the hard drive (one that you can find again).

NOTE: Be sure to check that you have the headers installed for your current Linux kernel version. Use 'uname -a’ to see your kernel version. Use the command ‘sudo apt install linux-headers-#.##.#-##-generic’. If they are already installed, then you should be fine. If VirtualBox gives you an error, then run ‘sudo /sbin/vboxconfig’.

Finally, we should be ready to start.

Setting up the Virtual Box Machine

The steps I set out here are very important. Do not change any other settings than those I list or the virtual machine most likely will not start,

Start Oracle’s Virtual Box and select ‘New’ to create a new machine.

For the 'Name' use any valid name such as 'Android 9'. The 'Machine Folder' should be fine at the default unless you need to place it somewhere else. Set the 'Type' field to 'Linux'. For the 'Version' set it 'Other Linux (64-bit)'. Press 'Next'.

The next screen allows you to specify the Memory Size. The value should be ‘4096’ if your system can spare the RAM. Select ‘Next’.

Select the ‘Create’ button to accept the default to create a virtual disk.

The default option of ‘VDI (VirtualBox Disk Image)’ is fine. Press ‘Next’.

You should now be able to specify if the drive is ‘Dynamically Allocated’ or a ‘Fixed Size’. Leave the default of ‘Dynamically Allocated’ and press ‘Next’.

Next, you can specify the maximum size of the virtual disk. The default of '8 GB' is fine. Select 'Create'.

The Machine has been created, but there are a few more settings to configure.

Make sure you select the ‘Android 9’ machine in the left pane and press ‘Settings’ at the top of the screen.

In the left pane, select ‘System’. In the right pane, uncheck ‘Floppy’. Select the ‘Processor’ tab and set the machine to use at least 2 processors if they are available. Select the ‘Acceleration’ tab and set the ‘Paravirtualization Interface’ to ‘KVM’.

Select 'Display' in the left pane. Change the 'Video Memory' to '128 MB'. Change the 'Graphic Controller' to 'VboxSVGA'. If an error for 'Invalid settings detected' appears at the bottom of the window, disregard it.

Just below 'Display' in the left pane, select 'Storage'. Select the 'Empty' optical drive in the middle pane. In the right pane, click on the CD with the down arrow to the right of the image. From the drop-down list, select 'Choose a disk file…'. Find the Android 9 ISO file you downloaded previously and select it. Unless you changed it, the filename should be 'android-x86-9.0-r2.iso'.

Select 'OK' from the bottom right of the window. The machine should be updated and saved. You can now press 'Start' to power up the virtual machine.

Once the machine boots, you should be given four options on a menu. Choose 'Advanced Options…' which is the last item on the menu.

On the next screen, choose ‘Auto_Installation – Auto Install to specified harddisk’.

A few items should start processing and then you will be given another menu. The virtual disk will be erased and used for the installation. Choose ‘Yes’. More processing should follow.

Another menu appears to ask if you want to run Android or reboot. Choose ‘Run Android-x86’ and select ‘OK’.

Android 9 should now start and take the steps of setting it up. Similar to when you first turn on an Android tablet or phone.

Select your language on the first screen.

The next screen will want to connect you to the Internet. Select the option for ‘More Options’. On the next screen choose ‘VirtWifi’. Android should now check for updates which could take a few minutes.

The next screen will prompt you to copy data from another device. Choose ‘Don’t Copy’.

Next, you will be prompted to sign in to Google. You can use an existing account you have or create a new one. You also have the option to ‘Skip’ this step. If you skip the step, you cannot download apps from the Play Store.

You should be prompted to set your Time Zone as well as the date and time for the system. Click 'Next' when you have made any necessary changes.

The next screen prompts you for Google Services. You can change these options as you wish. Click ‘More’ to see more options. Once you get to the bottom of the page of information, click on ‘Accept’ to continue.

You should now be prompted to set up security for Android. You can choose a screen pattern, PIN or Password to start Android. You can also select ‘Not now’ to skip setting up logon security.

Finishing touches should be made to the system. A small window should appear asking for a 'Home App'. Choose 'Quickstep'

Android should now start and be configured. You can make further changes to Android such as screen timeout (which can be set as long as 30 minutes).

Configuring

If you want to try other changes in Virtual Box, make any changes, but if it doesn’t work put the settings back to what they were.

Some changes may work, but the settings I specified do work together.

Once you power down the virtual machine, open the ‘Storage’ settings for the machine. Choose the CD from the center pane (android-x86-9.0-r2,iso). From the CD drop-down option in the right pane, choose 'Remove Disk from Virtual Drive'. Now, when you start the machine again, you will not be prompted to reinstall Android.

Conclusion

You should have a working copy of Android 9 running in a Virtual Box.

I hope this article can help you see how useful Virtual Box can be for a user. Not just useful for running various Linux systems without having to overwrite your existing Linux OS, but also running other Operating Systems.
 


brickwizard

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bequietarnold

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I'm fairly comfortable with Debian-based distro's, though Mint Cinnamon is the one I keep installed always. I would like to try this VM Android per your guide but I'm worried how it'll perform as I only have 4Gb RAM and haven't used SWAP since Ubuntu stopped needing it. Would half the RAM you advise will be enough to run it, or am I asking for problems? Mint copes really well even under stress, but I know my system is getting on and I don't want to kill it yet! I'd be grateful for your thoughts.
 
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Jarret B

Jarret B

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Best advice, just try and see. It may work ok enough to your satisfaction.

Glad you would like to try Android on VBox.
 
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