1. Home
  2. Linux

4 best Android emulators on Linux

Are you looking to emulate Android apps on Linux? Tried out a few apps in the past but not sure what ones are good to use? We can help! Here are the 4 best Android emulators to use on Linux!

1. Anbox

Anbox is a powerful, open-source emulation system for Linux. It works by placing the entire Android operating system into a container. This container allows it to tightly integrate with the Linux kernel, and offer impressive Android app emulation.

There are many different Android emulators on Linux, as it has become trendy to figure out how to run apps on the PC. However, with Anbox’s fantastic performance, and deep Linux integrations, it should be your first choice for emulation.

Notable features

  • Anbox containerizes the entire Android operating system, which means that almost any Android application can run out of the box.
  • Since Anbox runs inside of a container, the Android system cannot access your Linux operating system directly. As a result, Anbox is very secure.
  • Anbox tightly integrates with the host operating system allowing for fast, responsive Android emulation.
  • Anbox can emulate Android apps without the need for hardware virtualization, which makes apps run near-native on Linux.

Download – Anbox

As the Anbox Android emulator is a complicated program to get running on Linux, it is best installed via the Ubuntu Snap Store.

To get your hands on the Anbox Android emulator, head over to this link here. Or, if you don’t understand how to set up Anbox and need guidance, follow our guide on the subject.

2. ARChon

ARChon is a runtime for Linux, Mac OSX, and Windows. It runs in the Chrome web browser, and users can use it to convert any Android application into a PC-compatible app.

The ARChon runtime isn’t an Android emulator. Instead, it makes use of Google’s own Android/PC runtime and allows users to take advantage of it. Still, despite not being an emulator, it manages to run Android apps on Linux quite well, and is worth checking out!

Notable features

  • ARChon can convert nearly any existing Android application from a non-PC compatible app to one that runs within Google’s own Android emulation technology in Chrome.
  • ARChon runs Android apps within the Google Chrome browser, instead of a complicated runtime that requires Linux command-line knowledge to set up.
  • ARChon not only works on Linux, but can also work on Chrome OS, Windows, and Mac, ensuring the same experience no matter what platform.
  • The code is open-source, hosted on GitHub, and any user can contribute code to improve the project.

Download – ARChon

If you’re looking to use ARChon on your Linux PC, you will need first to install the Google Chrome web browser. To install it, head to Google’s Chrome download page. After getting Chrome going, head over to ARChon’s website, and follow the installation instructed listed on the page to get it working on your Linux PC.

3. Genymotion

Genymotion is a commercial Android emulator for Android app developers. It works on Mac, Windows, and Linux. However, even though Genymotion is targeted at developers, it also works for consumers looking to get high-quality app emulation on the PC.

Since Genymotion costs money, it has many exciting features, like app screencasting, screenshotting, OpenGL graphics acceleration, a command-line tool, and so much more. Suffice it to say, if you’re serious about Android emulation and the free apps on Linux don’t cut it, go with Genymotion!

Notable features

  • Genymotion allows users to re-size Android emulation windows, which is very rare in Android emulation in other programs.
  • Genymotion lets users take screenshots and screencast the emulated operating system with ease.
  • With Genymotion, users can “drag ‘n’ drop” to install apps, eliminating the tedious process of downloading APKS from the internet, and poking around in the Android system like in other emulators.
  • Genymotion supports CPU and OpenGL virtualization, as well as device sensor emulation (GPS, Camera, etc.)

Download – Genymotion

As stated earlier, Genymotion is not free software. It’s a high-quality Android development software. If you’re in desperate need of an excellent Android emulator for the Linux platform and don’t mind the cost, head over to the pricing page on Genymotion.com. Currently, they charge 136$ per year for their “Indie” plan and 412$ per user for their “Business” plan.

4. Android X86 via VirtualBox

Android X86 is not an emulator. Instead, it is the full Android operating system that can install on a computer. Still, it is possible to run this OS in a virtual machine on Linux, making it very similar to a lot of the Android emulators on Linux.

The most persuasive argument for Android X86 is that it is not emulating the Android OS. Users are given the entire OS to use, and it can run anything an Android phone or tablet can, which is highly advantageous for developers who need an X86 device, or for those looking to run Android apps that just don’t run under traditional emulation.

Notable features

  • Android X86, when running in VirtualBox, performs much faster than any Android emulator on the Linux desktop.
  • Since Android X86 is not an emulator, it is not challenging to install Google Play Services, which many apps today depend on.
  • Android X86 can be installed on a computer and run like any other operating system if you decide not to virtualize it in a VirtualBox virtual machine.
  • Android X86 gets regular Android updates, so you’ll always have a relatively recent version of the operating system.

Download – Android X86

To get your hands on the Android X86 operating system for emulation, head over to OSBoxes.org. They have pre-configured virtual machines ready to use in VirtualBox. Alternatively, download the OS image from the official Android X86 website if you prefer to set it up on your own.

Conclusion

In this list, we went over some of the best Android emulators for Linux. That said, these 4 apps aren’t the only ways it is possible to run Android on Linux. What is your favorite Android emulator to use on the Linux platform? Sound off in the comment section below!

Leave a comment