Android X86, React Native and the Android SDK. The goal of this assignment is to load our code into a virtual phone running in VirtualBox.

See also:


Here are some videos related to this assignment.

Native with Android SDK

Here is expo running in Android 7.1 hosted in VirtualBox:

Expo Android X86 in Virtual Box

Here is our app running in Expo on Android 7.1 hosted on VirtualBox:

Android X86 hosting Git Explorer

Install Android X86

Android X86 is a project that lets you run Android on standard X86 computers. Perhaps you could, for instance, delete Windows and just run Android X86 instead. But we will run the Android X86 in VirtualBox.

NOTE: The sticking point here is that Android is typically designed to run on the kind ARM processors found on phones. It is not designed to run on the kind of hardware we find on our laptops or desktops. Android is an open source project, so some developers have taken that open source code and got it to run on X86 machines.

Download my version of the Android X86 Nougat (Android 7.1) build as an OVA file:

Download my ancient Android X86 6.0.3 OVA:

Double click on the downloaded file to load it into VirtualBox. Be sure to choose to Re-Initialize the MAC address. Run the Pristine Android. Once you reach the Welcome follow the steps in the wizard and log in.

Android Studio

The simplest way to the the Android SDK is to install Android Studio. All we really need is the Android SDK, but the raw Android SDK has only a command line interface, and Android Studio can help us debug our apps. As a result, you probably need Android Studio (or here) unless you have an old version of the SDK already installed.

Android studio comes as a zip file. Unzip it. This should create a folder called android_studio. Move it to your ~/bin directory for save keeping. Navigate to ~/bin/android-studio/bin and run studio.sh like this ./studio.sh. Create a new Android project. Choose the Android Stuff thing at the bottom. Oreo 8.1.

You probably don’t need to do this:

sudo apt-get install libc6:i386 libncurses5:i386 libstdc++6:i386 lib32z1 libbz2-1.0:i386

Quick Run

Start the Android virtual machine. Get its IP address from the “About Tablet” section of the Settings app.

Connect to Android X86 from Pristine Lubuntu or where ever you are doing your development. You do this with **adb connect ** and check your work with **adb devices**:

$ adb connect
connected to
$ adb devices
List of devices attached	device

The Android SDK

Here are the commands to connect to our instance of Android X86 once you have installed and configured with (Android Studio) the SDK.

adb connect

Of coure, you have to use your Andriod X86 IP address. To confirm you are connected:

adb devices

Of course, you should use Bridged Adapter for your version version of Android X86. To the get the IP, use the Phone’s menu. Its something like About tablet and then Status .

Android X86 Status screen for a table

Android Studio runs fine in VirtualBox, it is the emulator it includes that will not, to my knowledge, work in VirtualBox.


Choose **Input Mouse Integration** from the VirtualBox menu.

Exit the Android X86 Instance

In the File menu of VirtualBox, choose **Close Send the shutdown signal**. A prompt will appear in the VM. Choose to shutdown the tablet.


Now run adb devices:

$ adb devices
List of devices attached
e8e5bc06	device

If you need to connect to a Virtual Instance, get its IP and:

adb connect

Like this:

$ adb connect
connected to
$ adb devices
List of devices attached	device

Run app:

npm start


yarn start

Turn it in

Take a screen shot of the Android Native application you built that you are most proud of running in the Android X86 VM.

Build from ISO

There are many releases on the Android X86 site. I’ve picked out a version of Android Nougat (7.1).

You can grab either one one on that page, but perhaps this one is easiest to use:

Download the 64 bit version:

No Expo

Note the underscore, not hyphen, for the application name:

npm install -g react-native-cli
react-native init native_lastname
react-native run-android

I thought I had this working, but…

Turn on Debugging

On your phone, go to About Device. Find the build number. Tap it seven times.

Phone Connection

Plug in your phone and lsusb:

$ lsusb
Bus 002 Device 002: ID 8087:8001 Intel Corp.
Bus 002 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
Bus 006 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0003 Linux Foundation 3.0 root hub
Bus 005 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
Bus 001 Device 002: ID 8087:8009 Intel Corp.
Bus 001 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
Bus 004 Device 002: ID 0bc2:ab34 Seagate RSS LLC
Bus 004 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0003 Linux Foundation 3.0 root hub
Bus 003 Device 032: ID 046d:c041 Logitech, Inc. G5 Laser Mouse
Bus 003 Device 004: ID 045e:00db Microsoft Corp. Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000 V1.0
Bus 003 Device 003: ID 0557:7000 ATEN International Co., Ltd Hub
Bus 003 Device 021: ID 04e8:6860 Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd Galaxy (MTP)
Bus 003 Device 019: ID 05e3:0610 Genesys Logic, Inc. 4-port hub
Bus 003 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub