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Let’s face it. Android is becoming more and more important for businesses. Even Microsoft acknowledges this by planning to make the Android version of its touch-first Office available before the Windows edition.
If you don’t want to abuse your own phone or tablet as a test environment, you should consider installing Android on VirtualBox or another virtualization solution. Doing so is not a big deal, but there are a few traps along the way.
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- Download the Android ISO file.
In this guide, I used the android-x86-4.3-20130725.iso file, but the instructions here should also work with different Android versions.
- Create a VirtualBox virtual machine.
Choose Linux as the type and Linux 2.6 as the version. The default settings of the wizard should be fine. Feel free to change the hardware specs to your liking.
- Boot the VM.
When you start the VM, VirtualBox will ask for the startup disk. Select the ISO file you downloaded in step 1.
- Select Installation.
You can run Android from the ISO without installation, but that is not very useful for a lab. Thus, select the installation option.
- Create a partition.
On the next screen, select “Create/Modify partitions.”
- Select New.
Move the cursor to the right to select “New.”
- Create a primary partition.
Just press Enter to create a primary partition.
- Choose the partition size.
- Make the partition bootable.
Yes, we want to boot from the partition. After you press “Bootable,” the boot flag should appear in the table.
- Write the changes to the disk.
Move the cursor to the right until you reach “Write,” and press Enter.
- Confirm changes.
Confirm the changes by typing “yes” and pressing Enter.
- Quit the cfdisk tool.
After the cfdisk tool is finished with writing the changes to the disk, select “Quit.”
- Select the partition for your Android installation.
On the next screen, you should now see the partition (sda1) you just created. Press OK to install Android.
- Format with ext3.
We format the virtual disk with the ext3 filesystem.
- Confirm formatting.
- Install GRUB.
We’ll also need the boot loader GRUB.
- Enable read-write.
Yes, we want to install the /system directory as read-write.
- Confirm Android installation.
After installation completes, you should see the screenshot below.
In my next post, I will show you how to configure Android and give a few tips how to manage Android in a VirtualBox environment.
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