How To Install Android on a PC


So, If you are like me, you won’t be having an android phone but will have a passion of trying out different things with your computer. Today, my fingers kept tingling me to install a non-pc operating system to the computer. I’ve already tried out iOS and Android using the official SDK and simulators given by Apple and Google. But this time, I wanted to install Android natively in my PC. And here’s how I did it:

First things, first:

Before we get started, you need to know several things.

  • What you are about to do, is not illegal since Android is a open source project.
  • Android is a mobile operating system, so don’t expect it to run to its full potential as on a mobile phone. You’ll have glitches when you try to use the camera, music, gallery and gps enabled apps. And you cannot play high end android apps also, since you don’t have the right hardware. You can’t rotate the screen when you need to.
  • You are not a qualified Google Android Vendor. So, Android Market will not work. Instead, a third party app called AndAppStore, does that work for you. It’s pre-installed if you follow the steps below.
  • Android runs on a variety of mobile processors like ARM, SPARC, etc. Now, we are trying to Install on a Intel-Based x86 PC. So some apps might not run as you expect unless you have the skill to port them to x86 yourself.
  • Last but not the least, you are trying this tutorial at your OWN RISK. I’m not responsible if you mess anything with your system but don’t worry, things will work out pretty well if you follow along. Besides, this is VERY EASY to do.

Now, that you know the essential things, Let’s get started.

Step 1: Essential Downloads

  • First we need to download the required ISO image for Android. At the time of this writing, the latest Android available for x86 was Android 2.2 and you can download it from here or http://via.parithi.com/mAyPpO.
  • Next, we need to download UNetbootin which will help us to create a Live USB. You don’t need it if you are planning to run it on a virtual machine or if you are going to burn the ISO to a CD. But I recommend using this, if you wish to have your Android as a portable operating system. You can get UNetbootin from http://unetbootin.sourceforge.net/

Step 2: Preparing the Live USB

  • After you download and install UNetbootin, open it and follow these instructions to create the Live USB for your portable Android.

  • Insert Your Fully-Formatted USB flash drive to your PC and select ‘Diskimage’ and browse the ISO file you downloaded for your android.
  • Select the Type as ‘USB Drive’ and Drive Letter (On Windows – X:\ where X is the drive letter of your USB drive and in Linux and Mac, take a look at the screenshot).
  • After reviewing your parameters, click on OK.
  • It will extract the contents to your USB drive.

  • After its done, Click Exit.

Step 3 : Android Installation

  • Restart your PC and set it to boot it from the USB flash drive. (In most PCs, it will be the F10 key)
  • If everything goes well, your PC will boot from the USB drive and you’ll be shown with the Android Boot Screen.
  • Now, its upto your choice.
    • You can try Android from your device WITHOUT installing it to your USB/Harddrive. For this select OPTION 1 and Press Enter. You can jump to the Step 4 now. 
    • You can install it to your USB/Harddrive if you wish to have your settings saved on your device so that you need not change it again and again if you are planning it to use on multiple devices. This also helps to store your music/images/apps that you install on your USB.
    • Select the USB Flash drive’s partition to start installing. Others who plan to install it on their Harddisk, use the Create/Modify Partition to create a partition for your android drive. I’m going to select my USB drive named ‘Cruzer Blade’ and Press Enter.
    • Select the type of Filesystem which you prefer and press Enter. I’m going with ext3 filesystem.  Press ‘Yes’ when asked for ‘deleting all data on the flash drive’ (ALL DATA WILL BE LOST) and Press ‘YES’ when asked to install GRUB on it.
    • Then you asked to make the /System folder Read/Write. I’m not planning to debug anything, so I’m clicking NO. This question is upto you.
    • After this, Android will be installed to your system and its time to create the Fake SD Card. Click on ‘Create Fake SD Card’.
    • Input the size of your SD card – I’m going with the default 2047 MB.
    • After its done, You will be shown the Success Dialog box. Press ‘Reboot’.

Step 4 : Android on Our PC!!

  • Android gets Booted Up and you see a lovely Android Boot Up logo.
  • After booting, we are welcomed with the Lock screen. Drag the green lock icon with your mouse and move it up to unlock it.

That’s it! We’ve made it to the Android Homescreen!Step 5 : But still some things have to be taken care of before you start playing with it

  • First, the default keyboard language it set to Chinese. You need to disable that. Goto to the Menu Icon > Settings > Language & Keyboard Settings and Uncheck the Chinese Keyboard.
  • Next we need to change the Application Source settings to install third party apps. For that Goto Menu > Settings > Applications. Check ‘Unknown Sources’ to install non-market applications. Click ‘OK’ when asked.
  • Remember, you’re not running android on a mobile. So we don’t want the display to go off after 30 seconds during standby. For changing that, Goto Menu > Settings > Display > Screen Timeout. And set it to 30 minutes.

Few More Tips :

  • The Right Mouse Button functions as the ‘Back’ button for your phone and your Windows Key or Apple Key (Mac) functions as the ‘Home’ Button.
  • You can use the AndAppStore to download and install applications to your Android. eg. Angry Birds!!

Thats it for this tutorial. Hope you had great fun with Android on your PC. If you want more stuff like this, don’t forget to Subscribe/Follow/Like this blog using the links given on the top. And also post your comments below if you have any problems and found your workarounds for this android.

 

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ElamParithi Arul is Editor At Large and the Owner of Tech Twinklers. He is the founder of the Parithi Network. Basically being a 23 year old Whizkid, He's A Mac User. An Adventurer. A Tech Enthusiast, An Avid PC and PlayStation Gamer, A Hobbyist Photographer and a Nature Lover. His basic interests are developing Websites, Apps and coming up with various creative ideas for a better vibrant tomorrow. He is a professional blogger for about 4 years and writes blogs regarding technology, gaming, and about his own personal life. You can follow him on Twitter at @Parithi

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3 Comments

  • Mike Wish
    September 29, 2011 at 3:25 PM

    Tried this on an intel Dual Core E5400 64bit and it worked well, installed and booted from a usb stick.
    Had not used Android but found my way around and managed to open google browser and even post a message on a site. 🙂

    Thank you very much

    • Parithi
      September 29, 2011 at 3:29 PM

      Hope you loved it 🙂

  • Rajat
    January 5, 2013 at 9:24 PM

    sir,
    But how would i connect to the internet??
    nd also, how did you qualify for the google adsense please post…

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