Hello, my Linux bros! Welcome back to Emulator Info: the emulator encyclopedia. We all know Linux is an amazing but lesser-used operating system. That also means the programs and software easily available for Windows or even macOS are difficult to get for Linux. This software also includes emulators.
So to solve this issue, we bring you Anbox: an Android emulator Exclusively for Linux OS. This cool new emulator has many features and can run practically any android app. That being said, in this article, we will discuss How to Download and Install Anbox Emulator on Linux along with the many aspects.
Anbox: Android in a Box
Released on 11th April 2017, Anbox was just a fun project to mess around with android apps on a Linux system. It was gracefully accepted with great response in the gaming community.
Anbox is an amazing all-purpose Android emulator for Linux. It has a cloud architecture that enables it to run ALL android apps. It has quite satisfactory performance without the need for Hardware acceleration.
Anbox gets completely integrated with the Operating system. Despite all the pros, there’s one limitation to Anbox it can run only on Ubuntu devices. Linux from any other distributor will not run Anbox. It is absolutely necessary to have either an Ubuntu server or an Ubuntu cloud. You need to create a separate 50GB block volume for OS files.
On the Anbox official website, the team quotes “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 behave integrated into your operating system like any other native application”. The Anbox is tightly sealed in LXC containers for maximum security and data protection
- Anbox Cloud is supported only on the Ubuntu operating system.
- Sadly, Other Linux-based OS does not support Anbox.
- Even in Ubuntu, Anbox works if you are running either the server or the cloud variant of Ubuntu.
- An Ubuntu Desktop installation does not support Running Anbox Cloud.
- For information about the supported Ubuntu versions, See Supported Ubuntu versions for Anbox Cloud Appliance
Minimum hardware requirements for Anbox Cloud Appliance:
- 64-bit x86 or Arm CPU
- At least 4 CPU cores
- 8 GB of RAM
- Around 40 GB of disk space for OS files.
- Recommended more than 50GB block volume for container storage
Download and Install Anbox
- Your system needs to support snaps in order to install Anbox
- Officially, Anbox is created to be exclusive for Ubuntu but the community has made packages for other distributors too
- But this also means it is the community packager’s responsibility to update the version with new changes accordingly and Anbox cannot be held accountable
- To know more about snaps, go to snapcraft.io
- You can also find the installation guide to install support for them on your distribution
Install the Anbox snap
- Enter the terminal and:
$ sudo snap install --devmode --edge anbox
- We need to use –devmode since Anbox snap is not fully confined for now. Anbox will soon be confined since the work has started with the upstream snapd project.
- The drawback of using the – devmode is that the Anbox Snap will not auto-update. To update, run:
$ snap refresh --edge --devmode anbox
- Information on the currently available versions of Anbox snap is viewable by:
$ snap info anbox
Features of Anbox
- Open-source and free
- Written in C++
- Anbox can run any Android application
- Anbox consumes fewer device resources compared to similar apps
- Runs android without Hardware virtualization
- Works both as a phone and a laptop
- You can choose any Android version from Cupcake to Oreo
Some FAQs on Anbox
What makes Anbox better than emulators such as Shashlik or Genimobile?
Shashlik and Genimobile use emulators to stimulate the Android experience. The emulator creates a complete Android environment with its own kernel whereas Anbox runs under the same kernel as the host operating system (Linux). An emulation layer is not required. The whole emulation system runs on the hardware itself. This allows better and complete integration of Anbox with the Linux OS.
Can I install Google Play Store on Anbox?
Yes, you can. But cannot install apps/games from the play store since it is against Google policy to ship their applications without the certification of that device to do so. In such a case, the vendor will have to sign an agreement with Google.
How can I install applications into the Anbox runtime?
Unfortunately, for now, there exists no easy and direct way to do so on Anbox. One method is to use the Android Debug Bridge (adb). Once adb is installed on your host system, applications can be installed with the command:
$ adb install path/to/my-app.apk
My favorite Android application doesn’t work. What should I do?
Anbox supports practically all android apps due to its cloud nature. There are always some exceptions though. Your app MIGHT not run if it’s working depending on functionalities like Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or telephony. The Anbox code needs some more work and a few updates later in the future will resolve this issue too.
Why does Anbox not start on my device?
Anbox is still in its early development phase. We haven’t tested its compatibility with the vast variety of devices. If Anbox doesn’t run on your device, file a bug report by following these steps here so that the dev can fix it up
Why is Anbox only distributed as a snap?
As of now, Anbox is exclusively distributed as a snap as snaps are very convenient, fast and easy while package as well as distribution too! It also lets the developer launch regular updates.
Flatpak is another possible option for the same but the developers haven’t explored that domain. And from the looks of it, neither they are planning to any time soon.
Does Anbox require a separate Android image for each device?
No, anbox is developed to be device-independent. This means you don’t have to install any additional files or modify any settings for any device. This also means Anbox do not require any Android image. The Anbox package will already contain Android images for different architectures (amd64, armhf, arm64).
How to Uninstall Anbox?
- Remove the snap first
- Note that all data within the snap is permanently lost with this.
$ snap remove anbox
- Next, remove DKMS files if installed
$ sudo apt install ppa-purge
$ sudo ppa-purge ppa:morphis/anbox-support
- Anbox is removed from your system
- Only for Ubuntu. Works with no other Linux distributor
- Not just the physical Ubuntu system but Server or cloud version of Ubuntu is required
- In PCs with low specs, the performance output of games suffers
Emulator Info’s Words
Anbox is not an emulator but a container-based approach to loading/booting a complete Android operating system on Linux. This creates an Android environment in your Linux PC which enables you to play Android games and use other apps quite efficiently.
This Container style design gives Anbox amazing security as it integrates Android OS into the Linux system for a smooth and versatile emulation. This integration gives better accessibility and greater game playability than other such emulators. We give Anbox 4.8 Stars as it runs basically every single Android application.