Monday, December 19, 2011

Try Android x86 4.0 on VirtualBox

Android Ice Cream Sandwich
UPDATE: Guide to have Internet access and installing Android apps on Android VM. Read more here.

Aside trying out the Galaxy Nexus Android Ice Cream Sandwich How-To Simulator, you can actually test drive the real thing Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich Operating System right in your Computer. We will use the VirtualBox to virtually run the Android OS within your computer OS because it's safer and avoid data loss to your current OS if anything went wrong while installing another new OS such as disk partitioning.

This article will guide you to setup the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich in VirtualBox. Stuffs you need are VirtualBox and Android x86 iso image file.

  1. You can get VirtualBox here. VirtualBox is available for Windows, OS X, Linux, and Solaris.
  2. Download the Android x86 4.0 iso image file. Choose the one which is compatible to your system. In my case, I choose android-x86-4.0-asus_laptop-20111209.iso because I'm using Asus laptop. If there is none for your system, you may choose the one which is closest to your system. For example: HP netbook can use the iso for ASUS Eee PC family. Drawback is it might not fully compatible such as wireless card might not supported but all in all your system still able to run the Android.
  3. After downloaded, open VirtualBox and created a new virtual machine name it any name you like, select Linux as Operating System, and Other Linux as version. I allocated 512MB for Base Memory, 8GB Fixed-size storage in a vdi file.
  4. Before installation, make sure your parameters are set as below:
  5. VirtualBox - Android-x86 4.0
  6. Click Settings of the virtual machine, select Storage. Click Add CD/DVD Device icon next to IDE Controller to mount the downloaded iso. Then click OK.
  7. VirtualBox - Storage
  8. Make sure VirtualBox will boot CD rom first.
  9. VirtualBox - System
  10. Click Start, and hit Installation - Install Android-x86 to harddisk. (You may choose Live CD - Run Android-x86 without installation, it direct enters Android OS but all save changes you made in Android will lost after rebooted the system because it is for Live Demo purpose)
  11. VirtualBox - Android-x86 grub menu
  12. In Partitioning Tool, select Create/Modify partitions.
  13. VirtualBox - Android-x86 Partitioning Tool
  14. Highlight the Free Space, and use arrow keys to select New, select Primary, use all partition size for sda1 (or your preferred size). For your information, 1GB equals 1024MB.
  15. Select Beginning, select Bootable, select Write, and type yes to comfirm. After that, select Quit.
  16. Now you're back to the Partitioning Tool with a new option, select sda1 and choose OK.
  17. VirtualBox - Android-x86 Partition
  18. Format sda1 as ext3 and OK to format the partition.
  19. VirtualBox - Android-x86 filesystem format
  20. Select Yes to install boot loader GRUB.
  21. Select Yes to install /system directory as read-write. The installation will begin.
  22. After the installation completed, select Create a fake SD card. Creating a fake SD card will enables you to launch Gallery, Music Player, etc in Android. Set the fake SD card size as many your want but maximum value is 2047MB.
  23. VirtualBox - Android-x86 Create fake SD card
  24. Finally, the fake SD card has created. Before reboot, remember that you still have an Android installation iso image loaded as virtual boot CD-rom. So you have to click Settings of your virtual machine in VirtualBox, select Storage to remove the Android iso image file. Or, simply uncheck the CD/DVD-ROM box and make boot Hard Disk first.
  25. VirtualBox - Android-x86 System
  26. Now select Reboot.
  27. After reboot, GRUB loader screen will appear. Choose Android-x86 2011-12-09.
  28. VirtualBox - Android-x86 GNU GRUB
  29. Voila, the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich is running on you computer. One more thing, click Machine to Disable Mouse Integration which should be already as default. Click any part in Android screen to allow it capture your mouse pointer. To regain mouse control outside virtual Android, simply press right ctrl.
  30. VirtualBox - Android-x86 Welcome Page
  31. Enjoy the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.
  32. VirtualBox - Android-x86 Menu
To shut down the virtual Android, click Machine, and select ACPI shutdown, then OK.
VirtualBox - Android-x86 Shut Down

Unfortunately, I'm unable to setup Internet connection in the VirtualBox.

Here are some Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich screenshots:
VirtualBox - Android-x86 LoadingVirtualBox - Android-x86 Lock Screen
VirtualBox - Android-x86 Home ScreenVirtualBox - Settings Shortcut
VirtualBox - Android-x86 Widgets MenuVirtualBox - Android-x86 Settings
VirtualBox - Android-x86 MessagesVirtualBox - Android-x86 Notes


  1. I was having hard time configuring Internet in VirtualBox. However, I get Internet connection when running the same Android ISO file Live CD.

    Maybe you can give it a try on a pre-made .vdi Android 4.0 file with a little configuration. You should get Internet connection to work on Android OS. The file and guide can be found here.

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  2. How to get internet connection?

  3. its nt running in my virtual machine..!!
    it shows warning stating that its an unknown tablet and unknown model wat shud i do...??

  4. after step 7 I'm unable to get step 8..... indeed i'm getting only ........... typing throughout d window for about 5 min n den a blank screen... any1 help me, by suggesting wat i have done wrong....??

  5. I'm using windows 7(64 bit ver)
    so what do i have to set as guest operating system i tried linox n other linux as version..... plz help!!!!!

  6. hi , i Can't press when i try to press yes the cursor doesn't go beyond , i can type only ye not yes. What to do ?

  7. Hi...Your tutorial is really good. Did all the installing, but after stage 19, I get stuck. After booting, I only get an unresponsive black screen. I guess it is my laptop, a hp 635. It is not supported I believe. But I am now downloading the asus eepc to see what will happen. Thank you.

  8. Hi....I must say i am so grateful to you. The asus epcc version works like a charm...atleast not fully...but I can't complain. I am noe running android on my computer! Though I get a slight warning that 'this is not an asus product' but after the warning, the os loads smoothly. I am so happy and I am bookmarking your blog. Kudos.

  9. Thank you for bookmarking my blog. :) Hope Android-x86 ICS will supports more hardware in future. For now, have fun running Android on your computer.

  10. Hi...Jus wondering...I am not a computer expert so pardon me please...Now that I am running android on my computer, am I in a position to create an application? 

  11. No, app developers use Android Software Development Kit (SDK) to create Android apps. Or, you can simply Android app from website like Andromo. That's all I know because I never create apps before.

  12. Hello.....Can anyone help me?
    Actually I have Dell Inspiron 15R when i installed Android 4.0 after installation i m unable to connect the network in android 4.0 my laptop is connected through the WiFi and it has Intel 1030 wan anyone have any idea how can i run internet on android 4.0........PLS help me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. Go into settings / ethernet and change the adapter to eth0

  14. The iso from Android-x86 doesn't have this option. Are you using another Android iso with new patch to fix DHCP?

  15. Very useful! Thanks a lot!

  16. Thanks for the generous compliment.

  17. how internet connection will this.

  18. Hi, try the new Android 4.0.4 for VirtualBox. The Internet connection works. Click here for the guide of how to setup the VM.

  19. Hi I don't really understand step 16 can u pls. Further specify

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