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.
- You can get VirtualBox here. VirtualBox is available for Windows, OS X, Linux, and Solaris.
- 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.
- 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.
- Before installation, make sure your parameters are set as below:
- 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.
- Make sure VirtualBox will boot CD rom first.
- 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)
- In Partitioning Tool, select Create/Modify partitions.
- 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.
- Select Beginning, select Bootable, select Write, and type yes to comfirm. After that, select Quit.
- Now you're back to the Partitioning Tool with a new option, select sda1 and choose OK.
- Format sda1 as ext3 and OK to format the partition.
- Select Yes to install boot loader GRUB.
- Select Yes to install /system directory as read-write. The installation will begin.
- 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.
- 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.
- Now select Reboot.
- After reboot, GRUB loader screen will appear. Choose Android-x86 2011-12-09.
- 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.
- Enjoy the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.
Unfortunately, I'm unable to setup Internet connection in the VirtualBox.
Here are some Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich screenshots: