[Tip] How to Install or Test Drive Google Android OS in Your Computer?

We all know about Google Android operating system which comes installed in almost all latest smartphones whether its Samsung Galaxy S5 or Google Nexus. You'll find Android OS in almost all latest touch-enabled mobile phones. It has become the most popular operating system for mobile phones and tablets.

Did you know you can install or test Google Android OS in your PC? People who don't have an Android mobile phone but want to test Android OS in their Desktop computer or laptop, will definitely find this article useful.

If you remember, we have shared a software "BlueStacks" in past which works like an Android emulator and allows you to install and run almost all Google Android apps on your Windows PC. But it doesn't provide a full experience of Google Android OS.

Today in this topic, we are going to share a fully functional Google Android OS copy which can be installed in your PC and can be used as a primary operating system just like you install Windows or Linux operating systems. And if you don't want to install it on your hard disk drive, you can test it without installing it.

"Android-x86" is a very popular project which releases Google Android ISO image files to be installed or tested on computers. You'll find almost all Google Android versions from old 1.6 (Donut) to the latest 4.4 (KitKat).

You can install or test it in both 32-bit (x86) and 64-bit (x64) computer systems.

You just need to follow a few simple steps to enjoy Google Android OS running on your PC:

STEP 1: Download Google Android OS

First of all download the desired Android version's ISO image file from Android-x86 website:

Download Google Android ISO Files

You'll find separate ISO files of each Android version whether its an old Android version such as Eclair, Gingerbread, Honeycomb or a new version such as Jelly Bean or KitKat.

STEP 2: Write ISO Image File to CD/DVD or USB Drive

Now write the ISO file to a CD/DVD or USB drive. If you want to write the ISO file to CD/DVD, you can simply right-click on the ISO file and select "Burn disc image" option. It'll launch Windows built-in "Disc Image Burner" program which allows you to burn ISO files to CD/DVD. Alternatively, you can take help of 3rd party disk burning software to burn ISO file to CD/DVD.

If you don't want to write ISO file to CD/DVD or if you don't have an optical drive in your computer, you can create a bootable USB drive of the downloaded ISO file.

To write the ISO file to a USB drive, you can take help of following utilities:

Rufus: Free Portable Utility to Write Bootable ISO or IMG Files to USB Drives

Collection of Freeware to Create Bootable USB Drive to Install Windows and Linux

We used "Rufus" utility to write the ISO image file to our USB drive and it worked without any problem. Just attach your USB drive to your computer, run Rufus tool, enable "Create a bootable disk using ISO Image" option and select the downloaded Android ISO image file. Don't change anything else and click on "Start" button. It'll create the bootable USB drive of Android within a few moments.

STEP 3: Boot Your Computer Using CD/DVD or USB Drive

Once you create a bootable CD/DVD or USB drive to test Android, restart your PC and it should now boot using the CD/DVD or USB drive. If it doesn't, make sure the option to boot using optical drives or removable media is enabled in BIOS settings. You can access BIOS settings by pressing Del or F2 key at startup in most of the computers.

Some Desktops and laptops provide a direct hotkey such as F12 to select boot order at startup. Press the hotkey as soon as your computer starts and you'll be able to select the desired drive as boot media.

STEP 4: Install or Test Run Google Android in Your Computer

Once your computer starts using the CD/DVD or USB drive, it'll show following screen to install or test Google Android OS in your PC:

Install_Test_Run_Google_Android_PC.png

If you don't want to install Google Android OS in your computer but want to test it virtually, select the "Live CD - Run Android-x86 without installation" option. It'll not install the OS on your hard disk but will run the OS virtually so that you can enjoy its features without worrying about your other installed OS.

But if you are ready to install Android OS in your system, choose the last option "Installation - Install Android-x86 to harddisk".

WARNING: Install Android OS on your hard disk at your own risk. We have tested and installed it in various Desktop PCs and laptops and didn't face any problem. But its an unofficial port of Android OS and may harm to your hard disk data. So take a backup of your important data first before installing Android on your hard disk.

STEP 5: Running Google Android OS in Your PC

If you selected the first option "Live CD" to test drive Android in your computer, it'll take a few seconds and will start Google Android OS in front of you. You'll be able to test all features of Android OS including installing apps, etc.

If you select the option to install Android in your computer, you'll need to follow a small setup wizard which will ask you to select the partition to install Android OS, to install Grub boot loader to dual boot between Android and other installed OS (click on YES button), etc. Select the partition and other things carefully and the setup wizard will finish in a few moments.

That's it. Now you are ready to enjoy fully functional Google Android operating system in your laptop or Desktop PC. You can also access Google Play Store to download and install apps.

Google_Android_Running_on_PC.png

PS: If you install Google Android in a touch-enabled computer, the touch will work perfectly. We tested it in our Dell Inspiron 15R Touch laptop and it worked like a charm.

NOTE 1:

If you selected "Live CD" option, nothing will be changed in your computer system and you'll get your old system and operating system back once you start your computer normally without booting using Android CD/DVD or USB drive.

If you installed Android using "Installation" option, you'll get GRUB loader screen at every system startup which will allow you to start Google Android OS or your previously installed OS such as Windows, Linux, etc.

NOTE 2:

If you decide to uninstall Android OS from your PC in future, you can follow the steps given in following tutorial:

How to Remove Linux Boot Loader from Computer Startup?

The steps given in above mentioned tutorial will work fine in removing Android boot loader from startup and Android OS from your PC.

BONUS TIP:

You can also use a virtualization software such as Virtual Box or built-in Hyper-V feature to test drive Google Android OS within Windows. Just create a new virtual image of downloaded Android ISO file and get ready to run Android within Windows. Check out following articles to learn more about creating virtual images using an ISO file:

How to Install Windows 8 in Virtual Box or VMware Workstation?

[Tip] Install and Test Operating Systems Virtually in Windows Using Hyper-V

Also Check:

Remix OS: Android Based Free and Portable Operating System for Computers





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Comments

  • But how do I use internet within the Android OS?

  • VG

    ^^ It'll detect your Wi-Fi Internet connection.

  • nice :)

  • Looks good but I'll not love this OS in my PC.

  • Did it detect mobile broadband connection (USB Data Card) and also, will it start in 64 Bit PC?
    Thanks for help

  • VG

    ^^ Cant tell about data cards because I didnt try them. And it'll run in 64-bit PC as well. In fact it works in touch-enabled 64-bit laptops such as Dell Inspiron. The touch works perfectly.

  • here is another great tool...........
    androvm.org/blog/download/

  • i try to install in vBox, and i got this oi58.tinypic.com/2a00nr8.jpg can any one help?

  • VG, does it support OpenGL Driver on GPUs? I want to install this as my second OS and test out several Android apps.

  • Is there anyway that I can install android os on pc just like windows?

  • VG

    ^^ Thats what this ISO does. It installs Android OS on your PC just like you install Windows or Linux.

    @aportz19
    Cant confirm but I think it does. You can try its live CD option first.

    @call me B
    Its working fine here in Virtual Box. Make sure you are using latest version of Virtual Box. Also try with a different Android version ISO.

  • Is there anyway that after installing i can connect computers hard disk so large applications can be installed with out downloading from play store and while installation it shows all the hard disk partitions name same how to differentiate them?

  • Hi Vishal. My desktop computer has windows 8.1 installed. Can I dual boot it with Android ? And later on How to remove it, in case I don't like it ?

  • Hi VG...my laptop does not have an inbuilt wifi device! But have an external wifi device! Works fine with windows 7! But not on android!! How could i fix it?

  • Nice, its like OS on the go. and also works on 64 bit pc's. awesome!

  • Nice, but I have a question.Will it install android only to test it //or// we can install apps like angry birds, Granny Smith etc ? I have used official android emulator on Windows 8.It lags a lot.Not suitable for playing games.Tried Genymotion also but it is also not good for gaming.So far Bluestack is the best. Android x86 is new thing for me.I just want to play android games on laptop. Please Clarify my doubt.Thank you, love your site very much.

  • VG

    ^^ Yes. You can install almost all apps without any problem. You can consider it as a fully functional OS.

    @Mehalai
    Sorry but I think its a driver problem. Nothing can be done.

    @Pradeep
    Yes. You can. I have done it in a computer having Windows Vista, 7 and 8.1.

    @Anil
    It'll utilize whole partition space so you should not worry about the space. Regarding hard disk partition name, they are numbered in Linux format.

  • Okay installation went perfect...but I did not install GRUB, instead I created a boot menu using NeoGRUB Bootloader and added the Android Linux partition.
    I want to know what that 'data.img' was about and how much space do I get in Android? Is it similar to that of the partition size?

  • Any idea how to do this on Mac?

  • We have to format the partition in ext3, right? GRUB doesn't show up...so I tried adding bootmenu entry using NeoGRUB, but that doesn't work.....
    Linux Type - GRUB 2, drive to be automatically located and added the entry...still no result.
    Help me Vishal.

  • VG

    ^^ You dont need to format the partition. Are you facing any problem in accessing other installed OS?

    @James
    No.

    @Kittu
    That file is created to store Android apps and other data.

  • I took the Live CD for a spin and working without a hitch. No probs in recognizing my Wi-Fi connection. I was considering a full install, but I already have a Samsung Tablet with the OS, so will give it a pass.

  • Oh, BTW, VG thanks for this.

  • This does not work worth a darn on my XP professional.
    Right click on the ISO file that was downloaded did not give me option to burn the ISO as follows:
    you can simply right-click on the ISO file and select "Burn disc image" option.

    Also using the Rufus program, gave me a "device being used by another program".
    No other programs were using the USB Flash drive. And removing and replacing the flash drive did not work.

    Gave up trying to use this procedure to install on a flash drive.

    Also, a different topic, I found a way to stop the Windows XP OS from using 100% of the CP time on SVCHOST.exe. An On going problem for XP users. It has to do with the automatic updates even though it is no longer used. I used regedit to stop it from loading.

    VG, contact me if you want the procedure I used.
    My CP is only using high level of CP time when I am in Firefox, but goes down to almost nothing after a while.

    It involves modifying the regester if anyone wants to try it out.

    Lee J.

  • VG, how do we use it if we install? How do we use controls, with mouse? Keyboard? Or we need to have a touch device in order to use this?

  • VG

    ^^ It works like normal OS on Desktops and laptops. You can use your mouse to navigate and keyboard to type. If you have a touch-enabled laptop or other device, it'll support the touch.

  • Sir but how to uninstall or replace grub with the original boot loader,I've googled it but i just found lot of crappy stuff ,so sir how to un-install or replace grub bootloader

  • tried running it from live cd on my acer laptop, it seems to boot but gets to a screen where word android is in middle of screen and stays like that, seemingly doing nothing. what am i doing wrong? any advice please ta

  • VG

    ^^ Try the other listed Live CD options such as VESA mode and Debug mode.

    @Ashish
    Try following:

    http://www.askvg.com/how-to-remove-linux-boot-loader-from-startup-after-deleting-linux-partition-on-a-dual-boot-system/

  • Ok so got it to install in a virtualbox...but all it does is put 'android' on a black screen...what am i missing?

  • Thanks VG! can i use my ethernet as my connection, or it just wi-fi only?

  • VG

    ^^ I think only Wi-Fi will work. Not tried with Ethernet connection.

    @Scott
    Please do as mentioned in the beginning of my previous comment.

  • can I root this OS? and how?

  • @haeddy

    You can only root with USB and an a Windows/Mac computer.. I'd say no.

  • It is useless to try android with 1 GB RAM. It doesn't work. You need to have minimum 4 GB RAM in your laptop/PC. I tried it and the system went damn slow. Also I would advice to use the other way of installing virtual box method. It is much easier. Just install the virtual box in your pc and follow the step. I tried the virtual box method and tried to run the android 4.4, but it didn't work. So I uninstalled everything from virtual box to everything. It's all about memory that is RAM. It wants lots of RAM. So think before installing ANDROID in PC. You need to have good amount of RAM. Thanks

  • Android is designed for tablets, it doesn't matter if you can run it on a desktop. The problem is the apps on Android still behave as if their on a mobile device, this is especially true for games.

  • Hi, I tried both Bootable USB and CD methods but still cannot install android. When I arrive to the boot menu, I choose USB then it says there is no bootable USB and it exits the boot menu and starts Windows. The problem is the same when I try it with the CD.

    I created the USB using Rufus, and the CD by burning the iso file on it.

    I don't understand where is the problem, am I missing something?

  • Hi! Thank you very much for this tutorial. It helped me a lot. I have a question though. I have installed android 4.4 on a partition that has 50GB of free storage, expecting to take advantage of that huge space. But when I checked the Storage settings on Android, it shows me only 1GB of storage available for usage. Is it possible to extend its storage to upto 50GB (more or less)? Thanks in advance for your reply. Cheers!

  • VG

    ^^ No because its a limitation of the OS.

  • To Mohammed Basheer and all
    On the Android live cd has various option to format Partition Ext2, Ext3,Ext4,...NTFS but has a bug the only system format that working is Ext2 and this not work for a large partition.
    You have to use to use a other Linux Live CD like Ubuntu and format to Ext3 or Ext4, them install Android. But first on the ubuntu live CD with try Ubuntu
    Then run sudo fdisk -l to view the partition table
    Them use Gparted to format to ext3 or Ext4
    Now you can isntall Android OS
    OBS: If the other OS is installed in a GPT the correct format is Ext4 because others don't recognize the GPT partition.
    1-Insert the Live cd or liveusb
    2 and move to select Install Android not hit enter
    3 press tab to edit the grub them add:
    DATA=sda3 (sa3 is a example use the number of the your partition formated to ext3 or 4 to install)

    and than hit F10 to run the installation, on the next sert select a partitio that you have previously formatted and hit enter, on the next select do not format and the next select yes to install with ready and write and the next select install Grub and wait instalation process finish and exit, and now you can select Windows or Android OS.

    If you Have Grub2 instaled use this process but select do not install grub. and on the Linux OS you have to ad Android os to grub2 editin the file 40_custon
    Open terminal and put this
    sudo gedit /etc/grub.d/40_custom
    In the file opened put like this on the final line

    menuentry "Android-x86" {
    set root=(hd0,3)
    linux /android-4.4-r1/kernel quiet root=/dev/ram0 androidboot_hardware=generic_x86 acpi_sleep=s3_bios,s3_mode SRC=/android-4.4-r1 DATA= video=6 DPI=120
    initrd /android-4.4-r1/initrd.img
    }

    menuentry "Android-x86 (Debug mode)" {
    set root='(hd0,3)'
    linux /android-4.4-r1/kernel quiet root=/dev/ram0 androidboot.hardware=generic_x86 acpi_sleep=s3_bios,s3_mode DEBUG=1 SRC=/android-4.4-r1 DATA= video=-6 DPI=120
    initrd /android-4.4-r1/initrd.img
    }

    save and exit

    Now in the teminal digite
    sudo chmod +x etc/grub.d/40_custom hit enter and then

    sudo update-grub

    If is Ububntu instaled as a unic OS you have to install grub customizer.

    Sorry my bad english.

  • Sorry in the first entry on 40_custom is video=-6
    And if you try to install Android x86 5 and above use Ext4 because others format cause GAPPS erros, I have 4.4-r1 fullyworking on my laptop with dual core with openGl intel and 5.1.1 on other desktop with dual core E2200

  • Update : Android 5.1 released

  • How can i install apps in my pc after install android with iso image ????????

  • apps installs in 5.1 ???

  • Got a new hard drive and want to know Android program I can install as os

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