Sunday, April 28, 2013

Install Android x86 4.2 Jelly Bean on USB flash drive

The Android-x86 project is a project that aims to deliver the Android supports to various X86 platforms.

The features of Android-x86 Jelly Bean 4.2 test build 20130228 includes:
  • Linux kernel 3.8.0 to support more drivers.
  • OpenGL ES hardware acceleration for AMD Radeon and Intel chipsets.
  • Multi-touch, Wifi, Audio, G-sensor, Camera and Backlight control supports.
  • Simulate SDCard by internal storage.
  • Auto mount USB drivers and SDcards.
  • Multi-user support (Max 8 users).
  • Support Ethernet (DHCP only).
  • Support VM like Virtual Box.

However, the test build 20130228 does not support ARM translator which means you cannot use many Android applications and games in Google Play. To have ARM app compatibility and much stable Android-x86, you have to go with the older version Ice Cream Sandwich RC2.

Things you need are 2 units of USB Flash Drives - at least 256MB flash drive as Android USB installer, and preferably 1GB or more flash drive storing Android OS will do.


  1. Download Android-x86 image file.
  2. Create Android's USB installer stick with UNetbootin.
  3. Plug in the second USB Flash Drive.
  4. Restart computer and boot the Android USB installer stick.
  5. Choose Install Android-x86 to harddisk.
  6. Choose the USB flash drive you want to install Android-x86. Usually either sdb1 or sdc1, make sure you know the correct one. It's different in different computer.
  7. Choose Yes to format the partition.
  8. Choose Yes to install boot loader GRUB.
  9. Choose Yes to create a disk image to save the user data.
  10. Input minimum 512MB, or can be max up to 2047MB to define the storage size of disk image to save user data.
  11. Choose Run Android-x86 or Reboot.
  12. Voila, everything is all set.

Please note that running on USB flash drive is a few times slower than the same operation on traditional hard drive, especially the first loading. After hours of playing the 'Android Jelly Bean mini PC', the main issue is many drivers are still unsupported yet. Other known issues are:
  • Suspend and resume (lock screen) doesn't work.
  • Some apps stuck on i915/i965 devices.
  • Bluetooth not work.
  • Not support Arm translator.


  1. An alternate method is to install the new YUMI-based 2013 USB multiboot collection which includes Android X86 20130228 4.2.2, a few Linux distributions, and utilities.

  2. Android-x86 to run ARM applications: libhoudini.rar

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