[HOW-TO] Install Android x86 on any media ! [OPTIMA-TEAM]

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F4uzan

Inactive Recognized Contributor
Jul 20, 2012
3,572
3,165
Featured on XDA-Portal

Hi all !

Welcome to the tutorial of how to install Android x86 !
I've written this extensive guide, it is as detailed as possible and it is written as easy and as understandable for new user.
This guide is, however does not put guarantee of any action you've done outside the guide itself. Anything such as partitioning, OS installing or uninstalling is not guaranteed by me or by anyone at XDA. You're doing this at your own will.

Preparations :

1. Any computer / device that supports installation via flash driver / disc (or have enough space for VM)
2. Any media that is mentioned below (either flash drive, CD / DVD, or VM)
3. Android x86 ISO
4. 2 GB of free or clean partition is recommended (you can use more than 2 GB to increase internal storage)

1. Download Android x86 ISO.
You can download it here
If your device isn't listed there, download Generic ICS build here : Click ! [You need to unzip after download]
The newest KitKat build is unified and it's also generic. It supports wider range of hardware, but it does not support LAN device (yet). You can download it here
Follow the guide with your preferred installation method.

If you're using USB stick / Flash Drive :

2. Download UNetbootin
You can download it here : Click !
On Ubuntu (11.04 and higher, or its derivatives) you can type : sudo apt-get install unetbootin
On Arch (or its derivatives) type : pacman -S unetbootin

3. Run UNetbootin, select the Android x86 ISO
4. Select USB drive (make sure you don't select your HDD partition), then click OK
5. The UNetbootin will copy and install Android x86 live image & installer to your flash drive
6. Reboot your device after the process is completed
7. Boot to Boot Device Selection (in BIOS image), after you entered it, select your flash drive
8. There will be a GRUB menu generated by UNetbootin, select Install Android x86 to hard disk
9. Wait until it loads
10. Select partition to install Android x86
11. If you're unsure, don't format the partition
12. There will be a prompt, 'Install GRUB bla-bla-bla', if you use Windows, select yes. Another prompt will appear, select yes again.
If you've installed GRUB, do not select yes.
13. Another prompt, 'make system r/w', select yes (this enables root and read write access to your system partition)
14. If you're using Android x86 4.0.3 and older, you'll be prompted to install virtual sdcard, input 2GB (maximum size)
15. Reboot your device

If you're using CD / DVD

2. Burn the Android x86 ISO
3. Reboot your device, go to Boot Device Selection menu, select the CD / DVD
4. You will see Android x86 GRUB menu, select Install Android x86 to hard disk
5. Wait until it loads
6. Select partition to install Android x86
7. If you're unsure, don't format the partition
8. There will be a prompt, 'Install GRUB bla-bla-bla', if you use Windows, select yes. Another prompt will appear, select yes again.
If you've installed GRUB select no (installing it will break your GRUB configs)
9. Another prompt, 'Make system r/w', select yes (if you like modifying your Android x86)
10. If you're using Android x86 4.0.3 and older, you'll be prompted to install virtual SDCard, input 2 GB (maximum)
11. Reboot your device

If you're using it as virtual machine :

2. Set up the VM (RAM set to min 512 MB), tweak the configuration to match your need
3. Make sure you've loaded the ISO file in the VM menu, load the VM
4. A GRUB menu generated by Android x86 will appear, select the last option (Installation - Install Android x86 to hard disk)
5. Wait until it loads
6. Create a new partition (Navigate to New, , set to maximum size, navigate to write, done, navigate to quit)
7. Install Android x86 to the new partition
8. Format the partition to ext4
9. Answer 'yes' to 'Install bootloader GRUB bla-bla-bla'
10. Answer 'yes' again to 'make system r/w' (enables root and read write access to your partition)
11. If you're asked for sdcard, then input 2GB (the maximum size is 2GB, if your partition is smaller input suitable size for your partition)
12. Reboot when the process is done

How to add Android x86 to GRUB Menu

For GRUB 1.97 - 1.99 / 2.00

1. To make it easy, install GRUB Customizer
Type these into terminal emulator :
Code:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:danielrichter2007/grub-customizer
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install grub-customizer
2. Open GRUB customizer, make a new GRUB entry.

3. Open 'Sources' tab, type these :
Code:
[B]set root='(hd0,4)'[/B]
search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=[B]root e1f9de05-8d18-48aa-8f08-f0377f663de3[/B]
linux [B]androidx86[/B]/kernel root=UUID=[B]e1f9de05-8d18-48aa-8f08-f0377f663de3[/B] quiet [B]androidboot.hardware=generic_x86[/B] SRC=[B]/androidx86[/B] acpi_sleep=s3_bios,s3_mode
initrd [B]androidx86[/B]/initrd.img
Pay attention for the bolded part, here's what to change :

1. set root='(hd0,4)' : Change the (hd0,4) to partiton Android x86 is installed.
The hd0 means sda, so if you install it to sdb, it'll be hd1 and so on.
The hd0,4 means the partition number, in my case, hd0,4 means sda4. So if you install it on sda6, it'll be hd0,6.

2. --set=root e1f9de05-8d18-48aa-8f08-f0377f663de3 : The random number here is the UUID of partition Android x86 is installed
You must change it to correct UUID, you can easily got UUID by creating new entry in GRUB Customizer then go to Options tab, then select the 'Linux' option in dropdown. You'll see partition dropdown, select your partition. Open the source tab, you'll see the UUID there.

3. androidx86/ : The root of Android x86
Change it into your Android x86 root. You can see what's your Android x86 root by navigating to Android x86 partition, and you'll see a folder name started with 'android', that's the root of your Android x86

4. androidboot.hardware : Your device, of course.
Note : If you're using Android 2.3 - 4.0.3, change it to androidboot_hardware
Here's the list of hardware :

Code:
- generic_x86 : If your hardware isn't listed, use this
- eeepc : EEEPC laptops
- asus_laptop : ASUS laptops (supported ASUS laptops only)


GRUB 2.0 tutorial is the same like GRUB 1.97-1.99.



-------------
FAQ
-------------

Q : Does this work on my device ?
A : Try it ! There's generic build which supports many device.

Q : Which release should I pick ?
A : Generic is recommended (if your device isn't listed in download list), if your device is supported (like EEEPCs for example), pick one for your device. Do take a note that newer builds uses unified image, which means it supports wide range of hardware.

Q : Will this overwrite my old OS ?
A : As long as you install it in different partition and you did the right setup, you are good to go !

Q : Why does my network / touchscreen / mouse / etc, doesn't work ?
A : Mostly this is a driver problem. Try to use newer / older release. If it doesn't work, try different build for other device (there's a chance this will fix your problem)

Q : Does Android x86 works on USB disk (as a Live Image / as an OS itself) ?
A : It does, I have tested it on Gingerbread and ICS release.

Q : Why deep sleep / suspend doesn't work on my device ?
A : This is one of the issue on Android x86. The developer might be working on a fix.

Q : It doesn't work on a VM setup !
A : Check your configuration and virtual disk, Android needs at least 2GB of free space.

Q : Why does games feel choppy when played ?
A : This is because the game uses ARM libs / libraries which is not optimized for Android x86 (which uses ARM to x86 translator by Intel). On newer build, like unofficial Lollipop release doesn't include ARM to x86 translator, so it can't execute any ARM libraries or binaries.

Q : Android 4.4.2 RC-1 hangs on bootscreen (the flashing Android logo / tty1 terminal) !
A : Check your hardware, if you're using x64 probably the x64 isn't supported yet. Also, try using older release.

Q : There's no Play Store !
A : Sometimes, nighlies build (as Custom ROMs user calls it) is uploaded, this type of build doesn't have GApps. Also, if you're using deprecated release (old release), they have Android Market instead of Playstore.

Q : Can you flash .zips in this ?
A : You can, but it's not recommended.

Q : Play Store only have small amount of app !
A : Because Play Store detects your device as Android with a x86 CPU. This kind of CPU isn't widely used by apps in Play Store (most CPU in Android phone is ARM)
 
Last edited:

dodgebizkit

Senior Member
Sep 9, 2011
1,408
246
Kent
Hi All !

I'm going to post a tutorial, how to install Android x86 to your laptop & netbooks (works on Personal Computer too).
So, let's start !

Preparations :

1. A working laptop & netbooks
2. R/W CD / Bootable USB stick (flashdisk)
3. Android x86 ISO
4. Free partition :
- 2 GB for Froyo - ICS
- 8 GB for JellyBean 4.2 - JellyBean 4.3
- 10 GB for KitKat 4.4.2

1. Download Android x86 ISO.
You can download it here : Click !
If your device brand is listed there, download Generic ICS build here : Click ! [You need to unzip after download]


If you're using USB stick :

2. Download UNetbootin
You can download it here : Click !
On Ubuntu (11.04 and higher) you can type : sudo apt-get install unetbootin

3. Run Unetbootin, select the Android x86 ISO

4. Select USB drive (instead of Hard Disk), then click OK
5. The UNetbootin will install Android x86 live image & installer to your USB stick
6. Reboot your device after the installation is completed.
7. Boot to Boot Device Selection (in BIOS image), after you entered it, select USB2.0 / USB4.0 / USB Disk (or something similiar)
8. There will be a GRUB like menu generated by UNetbootin, select Install Android x86 to hard disk
9. Wait until it to load
10. Select partition to install Android x86
11. If you're unsure, don't format the partition
12. There will be a prompt, 'Install GRUB bla-bla-bla', if you use Windows, select yes. Another prompt will appear, select yes again.
If you're using Ubuntu, select no
13. Another prompt, 'Make system r/w', select yes (if you like modifying your Android x86)
14. If you're using Android x86 4.0.3 and older, you'll be prompted to install virtual SDCard, input 1800 MB / 1.8 GB
15. Reboot your device

If you're using CD R/W

2. Burn the Android x86 ISO
3. Reboot your device, go to Boot Device Selection menu, select the CD / DVD
4. You will see Android x86 GRUB menu, select Install Android x86 to hard disk
5. Wait until it to load
6. Select partition to install Android x86
7. If you're unsure, don't format the partition
8. There will be a prompt, 'Install GRUB bla-bla-bla', if you use Windows, select yes. Another prompt will appear, select yes again.
If you're using Ubuntu, select no
9. Another prompt, 'Make system r/w', select yes (if you like modifying your Android x86)
10. If you're using Android x86 4.0.3 and older, you'll be prompted to install virtual SDCard, input 1800 MB / 1.8 GB
11. Reboot your device


I'll add tutorial how to add Android x86 to Ubuntu's GRUB menu. Stay tuned !
There's no screenshot, because the result may vary with your device.

Sorry if this has already been asked/answered but would this work on a Surface Pro (1st gen) or a Dell Venue 8 pro? :)
 
Last edited:

raghav kapur

Senior Member
Aug 1, 2012
477
107
Bloomington, IN
Sorry if this has already been asked/answered but would this work on a Surface Pro (1st gen) or a Dell Venue 8 pro? :)

Yes, it will work on both. Not sure about the touchscreen and the keyboard covers though

---------- Post added at 11:37 PM ---------- Previous post was at 11:35 PM ----------

And this doesn't delete windows right?

If you overwrite this Android installation over the Windows, then IT WILL DELETE WINDOWS.
But, if you create separate partitions for Windows and Android, then you can dual-boot.

I suggest that you run Android in a virtual machine rather than installing this way
 

midi_1996

Senior Member
Aug 8, 2011
304
63
If you want Ubuntu Grub entry, see here : https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/android-x86/GrPdnpa6XBM
Use Li's kernel from here IF YOU ARE USING 4.4 on an UEFI system (<efivar> KP): https://groups.google.com/d/msg/android-x86/GrPdnpa6XBM/dA1ChqU1vu4J
All credits goes to there owners (not to me :p).
GOOD LUCK

BTW, I have Vaio S (SVS 2012) and I can get WiFi working of I boot from legacy mode BIOS from an external HD w/ the original kernel, while it doesn't work of I boot it from UEFI w/ the custom kernel (since it can't boot w/out it) and doesn't work w/ either 4.3.X or 4.2.X. Can someone help me? (using Intel Centrino Advanced N 6235)
Thanks
 

jarusss

New member
Apr 3, 2014
3
0
Anyone try to run this as a VM using either VMWare or VirtualBox?

sent from my hsvxo out in cbciioebd

Yep, I did... But when I tried to boot it it shows only attachment and stock on Android logo :(
 

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gerciolisz

Senior Member
Feb 22, 2013
933
343
Gdańsk
i tell you sth.. i was able to make 2gb data partition only... and trying to change data.img in other programs to make it bigger but never succeded.. maybe there is some workaround to make data partition bigger... or to use swap with usb stick or sth..

i had installed android x86 kitkat on usb 8gb drive and works perfectly:) some apps just had problems with mouse pointer.. (i think those designed for android 2.3) just had this problem with only 2gb data partition...
 

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  • 112
    Featured on XDA-Portal

    Hi all !

    Welcome to the tutorial of how to install Android x86 !
    I've written this extensive guide, it is as detailed as possible and it is written as easy and as understandable for new user.
    This guide is, however does not put guarantee of any action you've done outside the guide itself. Anything such as partitioning, OS installing or uninstalling is not guaranteed by me or by anyone at XDA. You're doing this at your own will.

    Preparations :

    1. Any computer / device that supports installation via flash driver / disc (or have enough space for VM)
    2. Any media that is mentioned below (either flash drive, CD / DVD, or VM)
    3. Android x86 ISO
    4. 2 GB of free or clean partition is recommended (you can use more than 2 GB to increase internal storage)

    1. Download Android x86 ISO.
    You can download it here
    If your device isn't listed there, download Generic ICS build here : Click ! [You need to unzip after download]
    The newest KitKat build is unified and it's also generic. It supports wider range of hardware, but it does not support LAN device (yet). You can download it here
    Follow the guide with your preferred installation method.

    If you're using USB stick / Flash Drive :

    2. Download UNetbootin
    You can download it here : Click !
    On Ubuntu (11.04 and higher, or its derivatives) you can type : sudo apt-get install unetbootin
    On Arch (or its derivatives) type : pacman -S unetbootin

    3. Run UNetbootin, select the Android x86 ISO
    4. Select USB drive (make sure you don't select your HDD partition), then click OK
    5. The UNetbootin will copy and install Android x86 live image & installer to your flash drive
    6. Reboot your device after the process is completed
    7. Boot to Boot Device Selection (in BIOS image), after you entered it, select your flash drive
    8. There will be a GRUB menu generated by UNetbootin, select Install Android x86 to hard disk
    9. Wait until it loads
    10. Select partition to install Android x86
    11. If you're unsure, don't format the partition
    12. There will be a prompt, 'Install GRUB bla-bla-bla', if you use Windows, select yes. Another prompt will appear, select yes again.
    If you've installed GRUB, do not select yes.
    13. Another prompt, 'make system r/w', select yes (this enables root and read write access to your system partition)
    14. If you're using Android x86 4.0.3 and older, you'll be prompted to install virtual sdcard, input 2GB (maximum size)
    15. Reboot your device

    If you're using CD / DVD

    2. Burn the Android x86 ISO
    3. Reboot your device, go to Boot Device Selection menu, select the CD / DVD
    4. You will see Android x86 GRUB menu, select Install Android x86 to hard disk
    5. Wait until it loads
    6. Select partition to install Android x86
    7. If you're unsure, don't format the partition
    8. There will be a prompt, 'Install GRUB bla-bla-bla', if you use Windows, select yes. Another prompt will appear, select yes again.
    If you've installed GRUB select no (installing it will break your GRUB configs)
    9. Another prompt, 'Make system r/w', select yes (if you like modifying your Android x86)
    10. If you're using Android x86 4.0.3 and older, you'll be prompted to install virtual SDCard, input 2 GB (maximum)
    11. Reboot your device

    If you're using it as virtual machine :

    2. Set up the VM (RAM set to min 512 MB), tweak the configuration to match your need
    3. Make sure you've loaded the ISO file in the VM menu, load the VM
    4. A GRUB menu generated by Android x86 will appear, select the last option (Installation - Install Android x86 to hard disk)
    5. Wait until it loads
    6. Create a new partition (Navigate to New, , set to maximum size, navigate to write, done, navigate to quit)
    7. Install Android x86 to the new partition
    8. Format the partition to ext4
    9. Answer 'yes' to 'Install bootloader GRUB bla-bla-bla'
    10. Answer 'yes' again to 'make system r/w' (enables root and read write access to your partition)
    11. If you're asked for sdcard, then input 2GB (the maximum size is 2GB, if your partition is smaller input suitable size for your partition)
    12. Reboot when the process is done

    How to add Android x86 to GRUB Menu

    For GRUB 1.97 - 1.99 / 2.00

    1. To make it easy, install GRUB Customizer
    Type these into terminal emulator :
    Code:
    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:danielrichter2007/grub-customizer
    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get install grub-customizer
    2. Open GRUB customizer, make a new GRUB entry.

    3. Open 'Sources' tab, type these :
    Code:
    [B]set root='(hd0,4)'[/B]
    search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=[B]root e1f9de05-8d18-48aa-8f08-f0377f663de3[/B]
    linux [B]androidx86[/B]/kernel root=UUID=[B]e1f9de05-8d18-48aa-8f08-f0377f663de3[/B] quiet [B]androidboot.hardware=generic_x86[/B] SRC=[B]/androidx86[/B] acpi_sleep=s3_bios,s3_mode
    initrd [B]androidx86[/B]/initrd.img
    Pay attention for the bolded part, here's what to change :

    1. set root='(hd0,4)' : Change the (hd0,4) to partiton Android x86 is installed.
    The hd0 means sda, so if you install it to sdb, it'll be hd1 and so on.
    The hd0,4 means the partition number, in my case, hd0,4 means sda4. So if you install it on sda6, it'll be hd0,6.

    2. --set=root e1f9de05-8d18-48aa-8f08-f0377f663de3 : The random number here is the UUID of partition Android x86 is installed
    You must change it to correct UUID, you can easily got UUID by creating new entry in GRUB Customizer then go to Options tab, then select the 'Linux' option in dropdown. You'll see partition dropdown, select your partition. Open the source tab, you'll see the UUID there.

    3. androidx86/ : The root of Android x86
    Change it into your Android x86 root. You can see what's your Android x86 root by navigating to Android x86 partition, and you'll see a folder name started with 'android', that's the root of your Android x86

    4. androidboot.hardware : Your device, of course.
    Note : If you're using Android 2.3 - 4.0.3, change it to androidboot_hardware
    Here's the list of hardware :

    Code:
    - generic_x86 : If your hardware isn't listed, use this
    - eeepc : EEEPC laptops
    - asus_laptop : ASUS laptops (supported ASUS laptops only)


    GRUB 2.0 tutorial is the same like GRUB 1.97-1.99.



    -------------
    FAQ
    -------------

    Q : Does this work on my device ?
    A : Try it ! There's generic build which supports many device.

    Q : Which release should I pick ?
    A : Generic is recommended (if your device isn't listed in download list), if your device is supported (like EEEPCs for example), pick one for your device. Do take a note that newer builds uses unified image, which means it supports wide range of hardware.

    Q : Will this overwrite my old OS ?
    A : As long as you install it in different partition and you did the right setup, you are good to go !

    Q : Why does my network / touchscreen / mouse / etc, doesn't work ?
    A : Mostly this is a driver problem. Try to use newer / older release. If it doesn't work, try different build for other device (there's a chance this will fix your problem)

    Q : Does Android x86 works on USB disk (as a Live Image / as an OS itself) ?
    A : It does, I have tested it on Gingerbread and ICS release.

    Q : Why deep sleep / suspend doesn't work on my device ?
    A : This is one of the issue on Android x86. The developer might be working on a fix.

    Q : It doesn't work on a VM setup !
    A : Check your configuration and virtual disk, Android needs at least 2GB of free space.

    Q : Why does games feel choppy when played ?
    A : This is because the game uses ARM libs / libraries which is not optimized for Android x86 (which uses ARM to x86 translator by Intel). On newer build, like unofficial Lollipop release doesn't include ARM to x86 translator, so it can't execute any ARM libraries or binaries.

    Q : Android 4.4.2 RC-1 hangs on bootscreen (the flashing Android logo / tty1 terminal) !
    A : Check your hardware, if you're using x64 probably the x64 isn't supported yet. Also, try using older release.

    Q : There's no Play Store !
    A : Sometimes, nighlies build (as Custom ROMs user calls it) is uploaded, this type of build doesn't have GApps. Also, if you're using deprecated release (old release), they have Android Market instead of Playstore.

    Q : Can you flash .zips in this ?
    A : You can, but it's not recommended.

    Q : Play Store only have small amount of app !
    A : Because Play Store detects your device as Android with a x86 CPU. This kind of CPU isn't widely used by apps in Play Store (most CPU in Android phone is ARM)
    7
    Hi guys !
    I managed to boot Lollipop (5.0) with GRUB 2, I'll be updating the tutorial soon !
    4
    If you want Ubuntu Grub entry, see here : https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/android-x86/GrPdnpa6XBM
    Use Li's kernel from here IF YOU ARE USING 4.4 on an UEFI system (<efivar> KP): https://groups.google.com/d/msg/android-x86/GrPdnpa6XBM/dA1ChqU1vu4J
    All credits goes to there owners (not to me :p).
    GOOD LUCK

    BTW, I have Vaio S (SVS 2012) and I can get WiFi working of I boot from legacy mode BIOS from an external HD w/ the original kernel, while it doesn't work of I boot it from UEFI w/ the custom kernel (since it can't boot w/out it) and doesn't work w/ either 4.3.X or 4.2.X. Can someone help me? (using Intel Centrino Advanced N 6235)
    Thanks
    3
    Im having a issue booting the 4.4 rc1 it hangs on boot with the android boot screen only am I missing something?
    my pc is running windows 7 x64 4gb ram core 2 duo intel graphics

    Try using other build. KitKat 4.4.2 is still experimental. Also, x64 have issues with Android x86.
    2
    Does this also work on a desktop?

    Bro, any computer. Be it a desktop, netbook, ultrabook, MacBook, Linux computer, etc
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