Wei's Memo

A programmer's log.

Run Android in VirtualBox

Android emulator is VERY slow, because it emulates an ARM processor.

Install VirtualBox

Install VirtualBox if you have not. Download the binary here.

Download the Android x86 ISO file

Download an ISO file here

Create Your Android vm in VirtualBox Manager

Create a vm with 2G+ hard disk, from storage options mount the iso as the cd/dvd. Use bridged network.

Add custom screen sizes

If you want to android in portrait mode (i.e., a phone), use the following command to add a custom resolution to the .vbox file.

VBoxManage setextradata "YourVMName" "CustomVideoMode1" "480x800x16"

If the vm is running, you must poweroff and start the virtual machine to load the changed configuration (i.e., a simple reboot may not work)

Boot the virtual machine and choose “Installation - Install Android-x86 to harddisk”

  • Create partition, format it with ext3
  • install boot loader GRUB
  • mount system as readwrite

Edit the grub menu

Boot the vm and start in debug mode. If /dev/sda1 is not mount in rw mode, mount -o remount,rw /mnt edit the /mnt/grub/menu.lst file, append the following to the kernel parameters.

DPI=240 UVESA_MODE=480x800 


DPI=240 vga=ask 

(you can choose the screen size on boot)

Get the IP address of the emulator

Press Alt+F1, you will get a console. Type netcfg and write down the ip address. Press Alt+F7 to go back to GUI.

Connect with adb

adb connect [ip of the emulator] Then the emulator will show up in adb devices

Host+U is the sleep/awake button.