In a recent article, we talked about android emulators for Ubuntu or Linux in general. Most of the time we need to play a game or try some applications on android or even when we don’t have a smartphone we opt to use an emulator to try applications. A fan on facebook let us know about Anbox and asked for the tutorial on Anbox installation in Linux. So here you have how to install Anbox in Linux.
As it said on Anbox official site “Anbox puts the Android operating system into a container, abstracts hardware access and integrates core system services into a GNU/Linux system. Every Android application will be integrated with your operating system like any other native application”.
Anbox is built on top of LXC (Linux Containers) technologies to separate system from the host, the system is always updated with the latest version of the android open source project.
The project is Open Source - The whole source code is available as Open Source and licensed under the terms of the Apache and GPLv3 license;
It has no limitations - As Anbox is running an entire Android system, conceptually any application can run;
Secure - Anbox puts Android apps into a tightly sealed box without direct access to hardware or your data;
Performant - Runs Android without hardware virtualization and seamlessly bridges over hardware acceleration features;
Integrated - Tightly integrated with the host operating system to offer a rich feature set;
Convergent - Anbox scales across different form factors similar to Android does. It works on a laptop and a mobile phone.
Anbox vs emulators
One big difference between Anbox and other emulators (for example Genymotion) is that while others need to run on an emulator that creates its own system, with its own kernel, virtual hardware, etc., Anbox runs android system using the same kernel, hardware, etc., to host without any emulation layer, allowing better integration with host operating system.
Installation of android apps
While the installation of play store is generally possible, Anbox doesn't come with it installed because google doesn’t allow anyone to ship their applications on a uncertified device and vendor didn’t sign an agreement with them.
So you might me asking, why should I install a software that supports other apps but, I can't install them? You can solve your problem if you have ADB installed on your system and then you just need to do:
$ adb install path/to/my-app.apk
And your software will be integrated with the host system launching system.
How To Install Anbox On Linux System?
Anbox is only distributed as .snap application. Developers have chosen this option because of it easy approach to distribute the software to users, regular and delta updates, fast and easy packaging, and other options. There is no plan to create a Flatpak by Anbox team but they accept contributor who would like to port it to Flatpak.
Since Anbox still not in the stable list of distribution, it doesn’t use proper confinement for snaps. Now it is only possible to install on devmode (which is a not very secure mode to install that disables confinement of applications installed), but this will be resolved in the coming months.
To install it on your system without using snaps you would have to follow a few steps:
Out-of-tree kernel modules for binder and ashmem as no distribution kernel ships both enabled.
A udev rule to set correct permissions for /dev/binder and /dev/ashmem;
An upstart job which starts the Anbox session manager as part of a user session.
But since snaps are available, this command is available on “anbox-installer”. To install, you just have to do:
$ snap install --classic anbox-installer
Or fetch the script:
$ wget https://raw.githubusercontent.com/anbox/anbox-installer/master/installer.sh -O anbox-installer
To proceed installation:
A note from the developers:
NOTE: Anbox is currently in a pre-alpha development state. Don't expect a fully working system for a production system with all features you need. You will for sure see bugs and crashes. If you do so, please don't hesitate and report them!
Supported Linux Distributions For Anbox
Below are the list of supported distros:
Ubuntu 16.04 (xenial).
Untested but likely to work:
Ubuntu 14.04 (trusty);
Ubuntu 16.10 (yakkety);
Ubuntu 17.04 (zesty).
Android has evolved a lot from games to good applications, so don’t get surprised if you see people developing solutions to try android on not the desktop computer without emulators or ChromeOS and RemixOS or any other android like OS. Finally thanks for throwing your query. I'm looking forward to more such interesting or even uninteresting questions(laugh) from our followers.
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