VirtualBox HowTo | Android-x86 (2023)

Run Android on your PC

VirtualBox How To

The following are instructions on how to run Android-x86 inside VirtualBox.
Note: For optimal performance, make sure you have enabled either VT-x or AMD-V in your host operating system's BIOS.

Android-x86 versions tested against Virtualbox versions.

Date Tested Virtualbox Host OS Android-x86 Result
??2.2.4Windows XP??Good
??3.0.2Fedora 11??Good
Nov. 2 20175.2.0Windows 106.0-r3 32/64 bitGood


Download an ISO of Android-x86 from here.

If you are using Android-x86 for debugging purposes, some binaries (gdb for example) are built for 32-bit architectures and will not support debugging 64-bit binaries such as the Android app host. Download a 32-bit distribution instead.

Create a new VM

If you have not already created a VirtualBox virtual machine for Android-x86 yet, do so as follows:

  1. Click the "New" button, and name your new virtual machine however you like. Set Type to Linux, and Version to Linux 2.6 / 3.x / 4.x. Note that you should choose the appropriate bit type for the version of Android-x86 that you downloaded.
  2. Specify how much RAM will be allocated to your virtual machine when you run it. Android doesn't specify a bare-minimum requirement for memory, just keep in mind what apps you plan on running. 2GB (2048MB) is a good place to start, and you can change this later if you need to.
  3. Create a new Hard disk image which will act as your machine's storage. The recommended starting size of 8GB is enough. Click through the rest of the options for creating your Hard disk.
Your virtual machine has now been created. It still needs to be initially installed at this point.


Tested on VirtualBox 64-bit for Windows, version 5.2.0. Android-x86 version 6.0-r3, both 32-bit and 64-bit.

Select your machine, then click the Settings button and refer to the below recommended configuration to make sure your settings match.

  • [System] Recommended: Processor(s) should be set above 1 if you have more than one virtual processor in your host system. Failure to do so means every single app (like Google Chrome) might crush if you try to use it.
  • [Display]:
    1. Optional: Video Memory may be increased beyond the minimum selected automatically. The affects of this are unknown.
    2. Mandatory: Unless guest additions are installed[1], change the default VMSVGA to VBoxVGA.
    3. Optional: Enable 3D Acceleration may be checked. The Linux Guest Additions must (VirtualBox v6.1+) / may (VirtualBox v6.0 and below) need to be installed[2][1] to get any benefit from this.
    4. Failure to do so means you won't even be able to launch Android-X86 in the first place.[3]
  • [Storage] Find the first "Empty" item (this should have an icon of a CD). In the Attributes, click on the CD icon with a small down arrow, and pick "Choose Optical Virtual Disk File...". Specify the Android-x86 ISO that you downloaded.
  • [Audio] Intel HD Audio seems to be natively supported in Android-x86.
  • [Network] By default, your installation of Android-x86 will be able to automatically connect to the internet. If not, you can try to enable WiFi in Settings/Network & Internet, and connect to showing VirtWifi. If you do not want to connect to the internet in VirtualBox, uncheck Enable Network Adapter under the Adapter 1 tab.


Click the green Start arrow to power-on your virtual machine. You'll be presented with a list of options. Use the arrow keys to pick which one you want, then press Enter once the one you want is selected.

  1. If you don't want to install Android-x86 yet and just want to test it, pick one of the Live CD options (except for Debug mode).
  2. Pick the Installation option if you want your system to be installed to the virtual hard drive.
If you want to use higher resolution, you can edit the boot option by pressing TAB, change vga=788 (800x600) to vga=791 (1024x768) or vga=794 (1280x1024), and press Enter. You can also use vga=ask to see all available modes. But please note Android will only work under 16-bit mode.


When you are prompted to Choose a partition:

  1. If you upgrade Android-x86 from a previous version, just select the existing partition. Agree to overwrite it when prompted.
  2. If this is a new VM, choose to Create/Modify partitions. Use Bootable but not GPT! This will cause the GRUB installation to fail later.
You may partition your disk however you see fit. If you just want a simple installation, create one partition taking up the entire disk and format it as ext4.

Continue through the installation. You should install GRUB when it prompts you to. You may also leave /system as read and write when prompted.
Once the installation is complete, force close/shut down the virtual machine and remove the ISO from the virtual CD drive.
Finaly, start Android-x86. If it's a new machine, once loaded you can perform the Android setup to begin using your machine.


Custom partitions, SDCard

When booting Android-x86, you may specify which partitions represent the data and sdcard. On the boot menu, select an entry you would like to boot from, press TAB, then add the following as it suits your needs:

DATA=sda1 SDCARD=sda2 Press Enter to boot. These options specify user data (your setting, your uploaded applications, ...) go into /dev/sda1, and data saved in sdcard go into /dev/sda2.

If you build the ISO from source, you can add these options to bootable/newinstaller/boot/isolinux/isolinux.cfg.

Here is a note from David when using fdisk:

  1. Create a new virtual machine with a hard disk.
  2. Launch the Live ISO in Debug mode (I used android-x86-2.2-generic.iso) to get the command prompt.
  3. "fdisk /dev/sda", then type:
    1. "n" (new partition)
    2. "p" (primary partition)
    3. "1" (1st partition)
    4. "1" (first cylinder)
    5. "xx" (choose the last cylinder, leaving room for a 2nd partition)
    6. "w" (write the partition)
  4. Repeat #3, but call it partition 2, and use the remaining cylinders.
  5. "mdev -s"
  6. "mke2fs -j -L DATA /dev/sda1"
  7. "mke2fs -j -L SDCARD /dev/sda2"
  8. Reboot ("reboot -f")
  9. At the boot menu, choose VESA, then hit TAB and type so that the end of the line reads: "DATA=sda1 SDCARD=sda2". (Only need for the generic target images, for VM target images, this is not needed)
  10. After booting (and of course disabling mouse integration via the machine menu), the SD card is read as unformatted, but you can format it by going to Settings > SD card & phone settings > Format SD Card, then Mount SD card.
  11. The SD card should now work!
Note: for the step 7, if you want to format to vfat only, then you can do :

newfs_msdos /dev/sda2

Also remember the partition type has to be fat32 (b or c). By using vfat, the step 10 is not needed.

DevTools application has a MediaScanner which (re)indexes your SD card for cases where you manually copied media over. This ensures that you see new images and/or music in the apps without having to reboot.

If you downloaded it from within android, the application asks the relevant service to index new files.

Playing music

This section describes two ways to upload music files into Android running on a vbox so you can play them by the Music app. Of course, you can save the files to the virtual disk mounted at /sdcard, as described above.

Upload files by adb

Adb is Android Debug Bridge, a tool to debug Android system. If you compile from source, it is located in out/host/linux-x86/bin/adb. Otherwise you can get it from Android SDK. Suppose the network of your vbox is OK, you can upload a file from your host by

ADBHOST=<ip of vbox> out/host/linux-x86/bin/adb push <a music file> /sdcard

You need to know the ip of your vbox. You can get it by Alt-F1 and netcfg. You may also need to reboot Android to see the uploaded files. Of course in this way you have to mount /sdcard to a virtual disk partion.

For complex network settings of the VirtualBox VM, you should refer to Debug How To on how to connect adb to the VM.

Upload files by wget

You can also upload files by wget in the debug mode. In the debug mode shell, before entering Android,

# cd /android/sdcard
# netcfg eth0 dhcp
# wget <url of a music file>

Then type exit to enter Android.

Debug with adb

This section describes the way to debug Android with adb via network.

If we want to debug with adb via network, we should ensure the ip of vbox can be accessed by host machine. So we should change the Network Adapter type of vbox to Bridged Adapter. After starting the android-x86, we should follow the above Settings/[Network] section to ensure the network of android-x86 is enabled, and enable USB debugging in Settings/System/Developer Options. Then we can get the device ip from Settings/System/About tablet/IP address. For example, if we see the ip address is, then we can use following command to connect android-x86 in vbox from host machine.

adb connect

Then you can use adb command to debug android-x86 such as get log, and dump system information.


  1. ^ a b VirtualBox currently has no Guest Additions for Android.
  2. ^ VirtualBox v6.1.0 states: "old style 3D support (with VBoxVGA) has been completely removed"
  3. ^ VirtualBox states: "Note that you must install the Guest Additions on the guest VM to specify the VBoxSVGA or VMSVGA graphics controller."


How to connect two computers in VirtualBox? ›

How to Network Two Virtual Machines Using Virtual Box
  1. Open the VirtualBox Network Manager by heading to File > Tools > Network Manager. ...
  2. Open the NAT Network tab, then click Create at the top to create a new network. ...
  3. Click the Apply button to save your network.
Mar 4, 2023

What is the difference between VirtualBox and VMware? ›

VirtualBox and VMware are both connected to virtualization. The primary distinction between VirtualBox and VMware is that VirtualBox is a free and open-source hypervisor which Oracle Corporation creates. In contrast, VMware is a cloud computing and platform virtualization software and services, provider.

How do I run a virtual machine in VirtualBox? ›

The process of VirtualBox installation is not difficult and is similar for all supported operating systems.
  1. Enable CPU virtualization features.
  2. Download the VirtualBox installer.
  3. Run the installer and define the installation options.
  4. Creating a Virtual Machine.
  5. Creating a Virtual Hard Disk.
  6. Installing a guest OS.
Jun 1, 2023

Can I run Android apps on VirtualBox? ›

Open VirtualBox and click on “New” to create a new virtual machine. Give the VM a name (e.g. Android) and choose “Linux” as the type and “Other Linux (64-bit)” as the version. Next, set the amount of memory you want to allocate to the VM. For running Android smoothly, allocate at least 2GB RAM.

Is it possible to install Android on VirtualBox? ›

Download the Android x86 ISO File

Wherein two RPM files are for Linux users and the K49 ISO file is for VMWare. The 32-bit and 64-bit ISO are what you need. You can use the two files to install Android on VirtualBox or physical devices.

Can you run Android in a VM? ›

The installation algorithm is quite simple – you need to download the ISO image, create a new VM, boot the Android installer from the ISO image mounted to the VM, create a new bootable partition on the virtual disk, and install the Android operating system.

How to install OS from USB in VirtualBox? ›

How to Add a USB Device to VirtualBox
  1. Launch any web browser on your host machine. ...
  2. Scroll down and locate the VirtualBox 6.1. ...
  3. Open the file download location and double-click on the VirtualBox extension pack file. ...
  4. Click on the Install button. ...
  5. UAC will pop up.
Oct 7, 2022

Can VirtualBox run ISO files? ›

If you use VirtualBox, you can connect ISO files in at least two ways through the VirtualBox Manager or from the virtual machine interface when the guest operating system is running. This guide will teach you two ways to insert an ISO file into a VirtualBox virtual machine on Windows 10 (or 11).

What is promiscuous mode VirtualBox? ›

The promiscuous mode makes it possible for a physical network adapter to have multiple MAC addresses, allowing all incoming traffic to pass the physical network adapter of the host machine and reach the virtual network adapter of the VM which has its own MAC address that is represented on the host adapter, even if that ...

How do I access my VM from the outside? ›

Azure Bastion host

Arguably, the preferred way to access Azure VM from outside is the Azure Bastion host PaaS service. This is a relatively newer service from Microsoft that allows users to access internal VMs without using an external IP address on the internal virtual machines.

What are the limitations of VirtualBox? ›

VirtualBox has limited support for 3D graphics (up to OpenGL 3.0, Direct3D 9). 3D acceleration must be enabled in the VM settings manually. A maximum 128 MB of video memory is supported. Graphics drivers must be installed on the host machine, and VirtualBox Guest Additions must be installed on the guest machine.

What is VirtualBox good for? ›

VirtualBox allows any system to install and operate as many virtual machines as its memory and disc space allow. Depending on the host system's configuration, one can use this solution to deploy anything from desktop-class machines and small embedded systems to cloud environments and large datacenter deployments.

Why VM is better than container? ›

VMs solve infrastructure problems by letting organizations get more out of servers and facilitate limited workload portability. Containers solve application problems by improving DevOps, enabling microservices, increasing portability, and further improving resource utilization.

Is VirtualBox a hypervisor? ›

A well-known example of a hosted hypervisor is Oracle VM VirtualBox. Others include VMware Server and Workstation, Microsoft Virtual PC, KVM, QEMU and Parallels.

How to create virtual machine step by step? ›

  1. Step 1: Prepare your computer for Virtualization. ...
  2. Step 2: Install Hypervisor (Virtualization Tool) ...
  3. Step 3: Import a Virtual Machine. ...
  4. Step 4: Start the Virtual Machine. ...
  5. Step 5: Using the Virtual Machine. ...
  6. Step 6: Shut down the Virtual Machine.

Can you use a virtual machine as a server? ›

You can have many virtual servers running from one physical machine. They're completely separated from each other and from the physical machine. There are many benefits of using virtual servers instead of physical hardware, and setting up a virtual server should be something every enterprise considers as it grows.

What is Android VirtualBox vs BlueStacks? ›

BlueStacks is an android emulator whereas virtual box is like an virtual machine where you can use virtual OS , virtual emulator and so on.. Virtual Box is a software that let you run any othet operating system with in your Running OS.. even you can run android too in virtualBox.

Which virtual machine does Android OS use? ›

VMOS is a virtual machine app that runs on Android, which can run another Android OS as the guest operating system. Users can optionally run the guest Android VM as a rooted Android OS. The VMOS guest Android operating system has access to the Google Play Store and other Google apps.

What is Waydroid? ›

Waydroid is the modern approach to run Android apps on Linux. It is similar to Anbox, but it works with Wayland and is more performant. Waydroid is available in postmarketOS v21.

How to install operating system on virtual machine? ›

Install the operating system on the virtual machine

Right-click the VM > Connect to virtual machine. Select Yes to start the VM. On the Remote Control menu, select Special Keys and then select Send Ctrl+Alt+Delete. Install the operating system on the VM.

Is Oracle VM safe? ›

Yes, VirtualBox is safe to use on any supported platform. It was developed by Oracle, one of the biggest software companies. It is not a security threat to your computer out of the box.

Can I install multiple OS in VirtualBox? ›

Running multiple operating systems simultaneously.

Oracle VM VirtualBox enables you to run more than one OS at a time. This way, you can run software written for one OS on another, such as Windows software on Linux or a Mac, without having to reboot to use it.

How to install APK on Android virtual machine? ›

To install an APK file on the emulated device, drag an APK file onto the emulator screen. An APK Installer dialog appears. When the installation completes, you can view the app in your apps list. To add a file to the emulated device, drag the file onto the emulator screen.

How to create a virtual machine for Android? ›

Create an AVD
  1. Open the Device Manager.
  2. Click Create Device. The Select Hardware window appears. ...
  3. Select a hardware profile, then click Next. ...
  4. Select the system image for a particular API level, and then click Next.
  5. Change the AVD properties as needed, and then click Finish.

What is the best Android emulator for Linux? ›

One of the top choices to run an Android application on Linux is Testsigma. Being a cloud-based test automation platform supporting emulators, all you need is a browser and an account to operate the application. It eliminates the need to download and install multiple binaries for different OS.

What is the difference between Android VM and emulator? ›

The Main Difference Between Virtualization and Emulation

The main difference between the virtual machine and emulator is that the virtual machine runs code directly with a different set of domains in use language. The basic emulation requires an interpreter.

Can you run a virtual machine with any operating system? ›

Once you have set up a host machine and a host operating system, you can run nearly any OS of your choosing in a virtual machine. The majority of virtual machine programs will walk you through the process of creating a virtual machine and installing a guest OS using the operating system's installation disc.

Why does Android use a VM? ›

There are many reason that Google engineers decide to use Android with VM, but two main reason is: Security: In theory, app code is totally isolated by the VM and cannot even “see” the host OS. So app code that contains malware cannot affect system directly, make app and system more robust and reliable.

Can I boot from USB in VirtualBox? ›

By default VirtualBox does not support USB Booting. However, you can make the VM Virtual Machine USB Boot by creating and mapping a virtual machine (. vmdk file) to the USB Drive.

Does VirtualBox have access to USB? ›

In addition to allowing a guest access to your local USB devices, Oracle VM VirtualBox even enables your guests to connect to remote USB devices by use of the VirtualBox Remote Desktop Extension (VRDE). See Remote USB. To enable USB for a VM, select the Enable USB Controller check box.

Can VirtualBox run on USB? ›

Install the Extension Pack

The first thing that must be done is the installation of the VirtualBox Extension Pack. There is a catch here. The open-source Extension Pack only supports USB 1.0. If you need USB 2.0 or 3.0 support, you must install the closed-source version released by Oracle.

What is EFI in VirtualBox? ›

Oracle VM VirtualBox includes experimental support for the Extensible Firmware Interface (EFI), which is an industry standard intended to replace the legacy BIOS as the primary interface for bootstrapping computers and certain system services later.

Why won't VirtualBox boot from ISO? ›

Sometimes a VM cannot boot from an ISO image when the hard disk on which the ISO image is stored gets damaged. If some fragments of the ISO disk image are located on bad (damaged) blocks of the HDD (hard disk drive), the ISO file can become unreadable and a VM will not be able to boot from this ISO file.

How to install Linux on VirtualBox? ›

How to Install Linux on Your Windows Using VirtualBox
  1. Introduction: How to Install Linux on Your Windows Using VirtualBox. Hello,,, ...
  2. Step 1: Choose System Type. ...
  3. Step 2: Select the Amount of RAM. ...
  4. Step 3: Hard Disk Setting. ...
  5. Step 4: Choose Liunx ISO File. ...
  6. Step 5: Install Linux and Make Account. ...
  7. Step 6: Congratulations.

What is the difference between NAT and bridged adapter? ›

With bridged networking, the VM is accessible from the network. "NAT" on the other hand shares the hosts network connection by assigning the VMs an IP address from a private network, and translates network requests from the guest. This way the host appears as a single system to the network.

What is NAT in VirtualBox? ›

Network Address Translation (NAT) is the simplest way of accessing an external network from a virtual machine. Usually, it does not require any configuration on the host network and guest system. For this reason, it is the default networking mode in Oracle VM VirtualBox.

Can you use a VM as a router? ›

One easy way to create a virtual router is to set up a VM and then configure the VM to act as a router. There are numerous software options to create a virtual router on top of the VM.

What are the three types of VMs supported by VirtualBox? ›

Devices and peripherals. VirtualBox emulates hard disks in three formats: the native VDI (Virtual Disk Image), VMware's VMDK, and Microsoft's VHD.

What is the difference between clone full and linked VirtualBox? ›

A full clone can operate fully without the source VM. Linked Clone: Creates new differencing disk images based on the source VM disk images. If you select the current state of the source VM as the clone point, Oracle VM VirtualBox creates a new snapshot.

What is the difference between bridge mode and NAT mode? ›

NAT mode is ideal if you want to keep your VM private and secure, or if you have limited IP addresses on your network. Bridge mode should be considered if you want to make your VM public and accessible, or if you need to run network-intensive applications or services.

Does virtual machine have its own IP address? ›

VM interfaces are assigned IP addresses from the subnet that they are connected to. Each VM interface has one primary internal IPv4 address, which is assigned from the subnet's primary IPv4 range.

Can you be tracked through a VM? ›

Short answer: yes, as any regular computer would. A little more detail: VMs are computers like any other. VMs can have one IP address, public or private. VMs can even have more than one IP address.

What is the IP address of my VirtualBox VM? ›

First Start your Virtual machine in the Virtual box and login with the credentials. In the output look for "inet address". That your system IP. Hope this helps.

What is VirtualBox and how do you use it? ›

VirtualBox allows any system to install and operate as many virtual machines as its memory and disc space allow. Depending on the host system's configuration, one can use this solution to deploy anything from desktop-class machines and small embedded systems to cloud environments and large datacenter deployments.

How to install Windows 10 on VirtualBox step by step? ›

VirtualBox Installation
  1. Download the Windows 10 ISO. ...
  2. Create a new virtual machine. ...
  3. Allocate RAM. ...
  4. Create a virtual drive. ...
  5. Locate the Windows 10 ISO. ...
  6. Configure video settings. ...
  7. Launch the installer. ...
  8. Install VirtualBox guest additions.
Jun 13, 2023

How do I host a website on VirtualBox? ›

How to Create a Server on VirtualBox
  1. Step 1: Install VirtualBox on your server host. ...
  2. Step 2: Download Ubuntu Desktop. ...
  3. Step 3: Create and configure a new VirtualBox virtual machine. ...
  4. Step 4: Install Ubuntu Server. ...
  5. Step 5: Update your server. ...
  6. Step 6: Passwordless sudo. ...
  7. Step 7: Fix vi. ...
  8. Step 8: Enable SSH.

What is the point of VirtualBox? ›

Oracle VM VirtualBox is cross-platform virtualization software. It allows users to extend their existing computer to run multiple operating systems including Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, and Oracle Solaris, at the same time.

Why do people use VirtualBox? ›

One of the most common uses for VirtualBox is to try a new operating system. Let's say you're currently on Windows 10 and would like to try out Windows 11. Installing Windows 11 VirtualBox allows you to experience Windows 11 without actually installing it on your bare-metal hardware.

What is the difference between virtual machine and VirtualBox? ›

VirtualBox is an Oracle hypervisor for running virtual machines (VMs), whereas VMware has many products for running VMs in various scenarios. Both platforms are quick and dependable, and they have a lot of cool features. Some of these features are shared by both platforms, but others are exclusive to each.

How to install programs on VirtualBox? ›

Just like a physical machine, you install a program by running its install program in the vm. If it is on CD you put the CD in the host machine's CD drive and tell the vm to use the host drive. If it is an ISO file you can assign the ISO directly to the optical drive of the vm. So far just like installing the OS.

Can I use Windows 10 in VirtualBox? ›

Browse to the location where you have downloaded the Windows 10 ISO file. Copy the location and paste it. Once this is done, other settings can be changed also or can be kept default. Browse to the location where you have downloaded the Windows 10 ISO file and select it so that Windows 10 gets installed on VirtualBox.

How do I use VirtualBox on Windows 10 home? ›

Installing VirtualBox on Windows 10
  1. Download VirtualBox for Windows hosts.
  2. Launch setup to install VirtualBox on Windows.
  3. Welcome message.
  4. Customize VirtualBox installation.
  5. Custom setup options.
  6. The Network Interfaces Warning Message.
  7. Click to install VirtualBox on Windows 10.
  8. Closing the Wizard.
Sep 23, 2022

What is virtual machine for beginners? ›

A virtual machine is a computer file, typically called an image, that behaves like an actual computer. It can run in a window as a separate computing environment, often to run a different operating system—or even to function as the user's entire computer experience—as is common on many people's work computers.

How do I setup and install a virtual machine? ›

Setting up a Virtual Machine (VirtualBox)
  1. Create a new virtual machine. Next you will have to choose which OS you plan on installing. ...
  2. Configure the virtual machine. ...
  3. Start the virtual machine. ...
  4. Install the operating system on the virtual machine. ...
  5. Windows 10 is successfully running inside a virtual machine.
Dec 19, 2019

What is required for a virtual machine to run? ›

Virtual Machine Requirements

You generally must have a fast enough processor, enough RAM and a big enough hard drive to install the system and application software you want to run, just as you would if you were installing it directly on your physical machine.

Can I use VirtualBox as a server? ›

Oracle VM VirtualBox can be used to host an entire Oracle VM 3 environment using VirtualBox virtual machines to simulate bare metal servers. Oracle VirtualBox will allow the virtual machines containing Oracle VM 3 Manager and Servers to communicate with the desktop (and more) on the hosting platform.

Does VirtualBox have a web GUI? ›

The VirtualBox Web Console (VBoxWeb) is an open source project implementing a prototype AJAX version of the popular VirtualBox user interface. As a modern web interface, it allows you to access and control remote VirtualBox instances.


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