Remix OS: Android Based Free and Portable Operating System for Computers
Did you ever want to install and use Google Android operating system in your Desktop PC or laptop? We know that Android is an OS specifically made for mobile phones and tablets but its very lightweight and if we could install and use it on our computers, it would have been an awesome thing as we could download and install our favorite apps from Google Play Store and could use this free and lightweight OS as the primary OS on our computers.
Installing Android on computers is not a new thing. We have told you long time back about Android-x86 project which allows you to enjoy Google Android OS on your computer:
But the user interface of Android OS designed for mobile phones doesn't quite work on computers. It lacks many features and functionality which is required for an ideal OS for computers.
That's why today in this article, we are going to share a new operating system for computers which is based on Android-x86 project but works like Windows, Linux and Mac OS.
"Remix OS" is a free, lightweight and portable operating system developed by Jide which can be installed on a USB drive and can be used as a live operating system on PCs and laptops. Its based on Android 5.1 Lollipop version but has been enhanced and tweaked to provide Windows OS style UI to users. It comes with Start Menu, Taskbar and proper program windows with titlebar and caption buttons (minimize, maximize and close).
Remix OS is very lightweight and can be used on any computer. If you have an old PC, you can try Remix OS on it as well and it'll work without any problem. The user interface is very clean and minimal and provides a nice feeling of stock Android OS.
It comes preinstalled with many useful apps such as Microsoft Office apps, Google Chrome, email program, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Evernote and many more. It also comes with Google Play Store so you can always install your favorite apps or games on this OS using Play Store.
You can use your mouse similar to Windows, Linux and Mac OS. You can left-click, double-click or right-click to perform operations, you can check notifications using built-in Notification Center similar to Windows 10 OS.
All apps and settings have been perfectly organized in form of a Start Menu which can be accessed by clicking on the Jide logo (aka Start button) present on the bottom-left corner of the Taskbar. You'll get all installed program shortcuts as well as power options to restart or shut down your computer.
It also comes with an advanced and clean File Manager program which works similar to Windows or File Explorer in Windows. The UI is very neat and clean and it works flawlessly and smoothly. File Manager also contains left-side Navigation pane to access useful shortcuts and folders.
You can run multiple programs at the same time so multitasking is not an issue. Since all program windows contain titlebar and caption buttons, you'll get an awesome feeling while using this OS.
The Taskbar works very well. It contains Notification area (or system tray) which shows icons such as volume, network, clock, etc similar to Windows and other OS.
It comes with all traditional keyboard shortcuts such as Ctrl+N to create new document, Ctrl+S to save document, Alt+F4 to close window, Alt+Tab to switch between running programs, etc.
The company also claims that they'll keep releasing update for the OS regularly to provide security updates, bug fixes and to upgrade Android version.
The most awesome thing about this OS is the portability. You can put it on a USB drive and then boot any computer using the USB drive (you'll need to change BIOS settings to allow your computer to boot using USB drives under legacy boot mode). Now it'll work as a live and portable operating system.
It comes with 2 modes:
- Guest Mode
- Resident Mode
Guest Mode works as a live OS and no data or customized settings are saved. Every time you start Guest Mode, you'll get a fresh clean OS. You can select this mode to test the OS.
Resident Mode works like the persistent OS (similar to persistent Linux Live USB) in which all data and settings are saved. So you can use this mode to use Remix OS as your primary OS.
Once started, you can use Remix OS just like any other OS like Windows, Mac or Linux distros. While using Remix OS, it gives a feeling like using Chrome OS. Just give this new OS a try and you'll love it.
How to Download Remix OS?
Remix OS is available for free download. It provides the full offline ISO file of the OS as well as the USB creation tool which will help you in installing Remix OS on your USB drive.
On the Remix OS website, click on "Free download" or "Download Now" button and then select the "I am a developer and have read the above message" checkbox and then click on "Download" button. It'll start downloading a ZIP file containing ISO file and USB creation tool.
How to Install Remix OS on USB Flash Drive to Use as Live Portable OS?
After downloading, you can extract the ZIP file using any file archive utility such as 7-Zip and then run the "Remix OS USB Tool" program. It'll automatically detect your attached USB drive. Just select Remix OS .ISO file using Browse button and click on OK button.
It'll take a few minutes in installing the OS on the USB flash drive. Once the process finishes, you can boot your computer using USB flash drive (press F12 key at startup to choose USB storage device as boot option) and enjoy Remix OS.
Just make sure your computer BIOS settings are set to allow legacy boot options and you have at least 8GB USB 3.0 flash drive.
How to Install Remix OS on Your Hard Disk for Dual Booting? (Experts Only!)
Our reader "Abby" suggested that you can also install Remix OS on your hard disk partition to make a dual boot system. In this way you'll not need to use the USB flash drive each time you want to start Remix OS. It'll be permanently installed on your hard disk drive just like Windows operating system and you'll be able to dual-boot between Remix OS and Windows OS.
!!! WARNING !!! Be very careful while using this method! If you are unsure about managing hard disk partitions, do not install Remix OS on your hard disk using this method otherwise it may delete or format existing data on an important partition.
To install Remix OS on your hard disk, boot using the USB flash drive and when you get the boot mode selection screen (Guest and Resident mode), press Tab key to modify boot parameters and replace existing parameters with following:
/kernel initrd=/initrd.img root=/dev/ram0 androidboot.hardware=android_x86 INSTALL=1 DEBUG=
Press Enter to execute the boot command and now you'll be able to select an existing partition of your hard disk drive to install Remix OS. You can create/modify existing partitions using the partition manager as shown in following screenshot:
PS: The safest way to use Remix OS is to install it on your USB drive and use it as a portable OS.
Posted in: Software
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