What is the Android emulator for Ubuntu

3 ways to emulate Android apps on Linux

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If you're an avid Android fan, you probably know that your preferred mobile operating system comes from Linux. We've covered in the past how Android is based on open source components. Is Android really open source? And is it even important? Is Android really open source? And is it even important? Here we explore whether or not Android is really open source. After all, it is based on Linux! Read More It stands to reason that when they're this close, it should be relatively easy to run Android apps on Linux.

As it turns out, that's correct. Usually, apps for an operating system are difficult to run. But there are a number of methods Linux users can use to run Android apps that make things comparatively easy. Let's take a look at it.

Make methods available for Android on other operating systems

We have shown a few ways in the past to run Android or its apps on other operating systems. These typically take one of two forms:

  1. The first is to use a virtual machine (VM) of some sort, sometimes called an emulator. In short, it is software that mimics an entire Android system. What is a virtual machine? What is a virtual machine? Virtual machines allow you to run other operating systems in your current operating system, but why does it matter? What are the pros and cons? Continue reading . An example of this is the emulator in Android Studio, which we used extensively when creating a simple Android app. How To Build An Android App: Everything You Need To Know How To Build An Android App: All You Need To Know If You Want To Start by building your own Android app. This guide contains everything you need. Continue reading . You can also use a universal VM tool like VirtualBox. Using VirtualBox: User Guide Using VirtualBox: User Guide With VirtualBox, you can easily install and test multiple operating systems. We'll show you how to set up Windows 10 and Ubuntu Linux as a virtual machine. Read More to use you know how. Continue reading . Finally, BlueStacks How to Emulate Android and Launch Android Applications on Your PC How to Emulate Android and Run Android Applications on Your PC It is actually pretty easy to have Android apps running on your desktop or laptop! Here we will walk you through the best methods. Read More
  2. The second method is to use compatibility software. While their exact methods vary, they are designed to translate the Android software's input and output into something that the host computer can understand. One approach uses the Chrome browser with an add-on called ARChon Running Android apps in Chrome on Mac / Linux / Windows Running Android apps in Chrome on Mac / Linux / Windows It is now possible to run Android apps in Chrome -Browser run - it just takes a little work. Read More

In the following sections, we'll explore the following Linux-native solutions that use the above options to varying degrees:

  • Anbox, which uses Ubuntu's snap package format. It works more like a compatibility layer and launches applications from a kind of "control panel".
  • Shashlik using an optimized VM based on QEMU. It creates entries for Android apps in your regular system launcher.
  • Genymotion, which uses an optimized VM based on VirtualBox. It performs a full virtual device interface.

We'll examine each of these options in more detail.

1. Anbox

Anbox, as the name suggests, describes itself as "Android in a box". It is a Linux application that has a complete Android software stack in one Container similar to how Docker works. How to Safely Test Desktop Applications in a Secure Container with Docker Testing Desktop Applications in a Secure Container with Docker Docker is a popular platform for developing and testing server-based applications. But did you know that you can also use it to safely and securely run new programs on your desktop? Continue reading . Distributed like a snap package How Ubuntu 16.04's new package format enables software to be included How Ubuntu 16.04's new package format makes it easier to install software In version 16.04, Ubuntu is hoping for a balance between stability and sincerity -date, with a new way to Install apps. Let's find out how "snapshots" work. Read More Ubuntu Snaps vs Red Hat Flatpaks, what's the difference? Linux distributions distribute apps in many formats. The two most popular ones for years have been .debs and .rpms, but that could start to change with Ubuntu Snap packages and Red Hat Flatpak. Read More

You can search for it in your software center or use a command command like the following for Ubuntu:

After the Snap system is installed, download and install it from the Anbox website using the command:

The terminal-based installation script does everything for you. It starts with some admin functions like adding a new software repository and installing prerequisites. It will then download and install the Anbox Snap package (shown below).

Once it is installed, you can confirm that it is running with the following command:

Once Anbox is installed, you can start it from your main menu. It appeared in the "Lost and Found" category for me, but it should come up with a text search. After a few moments, the "Anbox Application Manager" should appear on the screen.

The project's website states that it is still in strong development. You will feel this when it is time to install your first app. There's no nice graphical drag-and-drop option - you have to use the Android Debug Bridge (ADB) to use ADB and Fastboot on Android (and why you should) the way you use ADB and Fastboot on Android (and why You should) Learning to master ADB and Fastboot can make your Android experience a lot better. Continue reading . This tool is part of Android Studio. If it's already installed, you're done. If not, you can install Android Studio (since it provides its own emulator, another option) or see if they are available from your package manager.

Here's what you get on Ubuntu:

Now you can install an app for which you have an APK file on hand. The following command installs Orgzly, a note-and-to-do app:

adb install com.orgzly_83.apk

Finally, the app's icon will appear in the Anbox window. When you click on it, the app will open as you imagine it (the picture below shows the Orgzly app that we installed above):

The Esc- Button acts like the back button, which you can use to close the apps.

2. Shish kebab

Shashlik is another option and is similar to anbox. While the latter uses the container technology of snap packages, Shashlik actually includes a lightweight virtual machine based on QEMU 3 Ways To Run A Virtual Machine On Linux 3 Ways To Run A Virtual Machine On Linux If you're running a second operating system on yours want Linux machine without rebooting to switch between them, a virtual machine is your only answer. Continue reading .

After downloading the fierce DEB package, you can install it on an Ubuntu system using the following command:

The installation of apps in Shashlik is also in the works. But the installation command is a little more direct:

Once that completes you will get a nice little popup saying it was successful.

You'll also get an entry in the Launcher menu (under the Android Apps category), and clicking on it will launch the app. The start-up time for Shashlik is significantly longer than for Anbox, as it actually starts a real VM:

Eventually, your app will open in what is likely a very small window. There are some QEMU settings in * / opt / shashlik / android / hardware-qemu.inithat you can tweak to get a bigger screen.

Overall, the experience seems a little easier to install and set up Shashlik with some apps if you're okay with the slower start-up.

3. Genymotion

Genymotion is slightly different from the two options above.

First, it's a commercial product, so if you want to use it long term you'll need to pony up some cash. This also means that you will need an account with Genymotion to download the trial version. After all, it's positioned as a developer tool, which means it's not really intended as a convenient way to launch apps, but rather as a full-featured system for testing. If none of these things put you off, you can start by filling out a simple form and signing up for an account:

After logging back into your account, click the Test button at the top right of the page. You will be taken to a download page where you can select a version of Genymotion for your system. While this is downloading, you should also make sure that you have VirtualBox installed as Genymotion uses it.

Once you're done, make sure you give the BIN file executable rights. One of the Most Important Tools in Linux - Understanding Chmod One of the Most Important Tools in Linux - Understanding Chmod There are many features that make Linux special, but one of them makes it so safe is its permissions system. You can have fine-grained control of all the files in your system and ... Read More

The simple setup is finished quickly and informs you about the available command "/ opt / genymobile / genymotion / genymotion". When you do this, the application will start:

The trial version will ask for authentication or a license. Sign in and provide your account credentials. After accepting the EULA, you will be prompted to create a virtual device:

The app offers a selection of old and new devices. If you choose one and click twice Further click, the process starts and the new device is downloaded and set up.

After installation, you just have to select the new device from the list in the main window of the app and hit the button begin click:

Once it's up and running, you'll see what a full-fledged Android device pops up in a window.

But at first it only contains a minimum of apps. Fortunately, Genymotion allows you to use a graphical method (drag and drop) to install new ones. When you drag an APK file into the window, it will automatically be transferred to the virtual device, installed and executed. In the picture below we see Orgzly (again), this time in a higher resolution:

Which is the best?

The answer to that is simple: the one running the app (s) you need. And as is often the case, don't think that you just have to pick one. If you have an app working like a charm in Anbox, another one that hums in Shashlik, and another that needs the full power of Genymotion, use them all! Feel free to toss the Android Studio Emulator there too, just for the good measure!

Do you have Android apps that you absolutely must have on your desktop?Have you used any of the above solutions?How do they compare to BlueStacks?Stop using your thoughts and tips in the comments section below!