How to Run an Android Emulator on Linux?

Whether you are a developer or just someone playing around with Android apps, having an emulator can be helpful, especially while testing new apps. While it's relatively easy to find an Android emulator for Windows PCs, if you're a Linux fan, the road gets bumpy for you.

There aren't many options for you to choose from, and most don't even run without VirtualBox. But if you are willing to work with VirtualBox, you can install a few different options and see which Android Emulator Linux you like best. Otherwise, you can use the alternative and AirDroid web to use an Android device on your Linux.

Part 1: Can You Run an Android Emulator on Linux?

Yes, you can run different kinds of emulators on your Linux. Some options allow you to create an Android environment to run and test other Android apps and features from your Linux machine. This is excellent news for developers who love using Linux but are often faced with the limitations of its resources.

Even though Android itself is based on a Linux core, Android is mainly compiled in Java, and Linux is famously known not to support Java. Therefore, it can't run any Android apps on its system. But using Android emulators for Linux, you can mimic the environment of an Android device and run your Android apps however you wish.

Part 2: 5 Android Emulators for Linux

From gamers to developers, anyone might want to use some Android apps on your Linux device. Here are a few ways to emulate Android on Linux

1. Anbox

Anbox or "Android in a box" is exactly what the name suggests. It runs Android in a box on your Linux device. If you want to use different Android apps on your Linux to play games or use them like any other app, then Anbox is an excellent option. However, it does not give you access to run Google Play.

Once you install it, you can use the ADB tool to download different APK files and run Android apps on your Linux system. It works like a compatibility layer on your Linux. It utilizes the host kernel and doesn't create an emulated system. So this is the best option for those who want to run apps. It also works for Windows apps.

2. Android Virtual Device(Android Studio)

If you are more of a developer or want to play around with Android emulation on Linux, then good old Android studio is also a great bet. It emulates the entire environment of an Android and is basically like having a separate Android device on your computer. It works with the Android Studio IDE, so you can use this to create and test new Android apps and features.

You can go as far as simulating phone calls and text messages on this emulator, and it even allows you to choose different phone models to test out. This is Google's Android emulator for Linux and other operating systems, so you can trust it. If you are a developer, you've probably used it already.

However, this software is resource-heavy and can be slow on specific systems. It's also complicated to use since it is mainly meant for developers and not casual use.

3. Android-86

For a complete Android operating system that runs on your Linux machine, using the Android-86 software is a great deal. It uses your hardware and has a separate ISO to run on its own as a stand-alone operating system.

You will need to use it with VirtualBox since it is an all-inclusive OS. You'll also need to allocate at least 2GB of RAM on your hard drive and 8GB of storage space. Once you install and run it, you can use it like a separate operating system and even change the interface to a more Windows-style UI rather than the traditional Android phone style.

4. Arc Welder

Regarding Linux emulators for Android, there are different versions for different needs. Arc Welder is a chrome extension version for an emulator of Android on Linux. It allows you to run other Android applications from your Chrome browser once you install the APK version of the app.

Though initially developed for testers to test how different apps run on Chrome OS, you can also use Arc Welder for personal use. With this option, you do not get access to Google Play, but most apps will have an APK version available online, which isn't hard to get. However, this extension can be a bit buggy since it was last updated in 2018.

5. Genymotion

If you are looking for more of a serious Linux emulator Android and want to use it for professional purposes, then you can try out Genymotion. It's not free and has a subscription fee, but it gives you a great experience and many features for developers.

It also works with the Android Studio IDE, so you can use this to test out bugs and features in your Android apps. Since it's a paid product, it gets regular updates and has excellent security. It also supports Wi-Fi, SD Card, and even GPS.

The best part about this software is that it also has a fully-functional cloud version. So if your system isn't too great in the hardware section, you can efficiently run resource-heavy programs using the cloud version of Genymotion. You can run the emulator online without needing to build an expensive PC with high specs.

Part 3: Run Android Apps on Linux without Android Emulator

There's also a much easier way to run an Android on a Linux system, and it doesn't require installing any emulator or software! With AirDroid Web, you can use any browser on Linux to simulate your Android phone's environment.

AirDroid has a Remote Control feature that allows you to control your Android phone from your PC or any other device. As long as you have an Android phone with the AirDroid app installed, there's no need for an Android Linux emulator.

Here's how to use it:

Step 1: Download and Install AirDroid on Your Phone

Go to Google Play Store on your Android phone and then download and install the AirDroid app. Use your credentials to create a new account if you don't have one already.

Step 2: Allow Remote Control on Phone

Next, you need to turn on the Remote Control Feature. Go to the AirDroid app on your phone and tap on the bottom right icon titled Me. On that list, tap on Security and Remote Features. Then tap on the Remote Control option and allow all the permissions the app asks for.

You will need to install the AirDroid Add-On from the Google Play store. Follow the instructions on the screen and the app will guide you through it. Once you have given all the permissions to the app to allow remote control, you can access it from another device.

Step 3: Go to AirDroid Web

Now all that's left is for you to log in to the same AirDroid account from your Linux device's browser using AirDroid Web. Select the Control icon, and you can see your Android screen pop up in your browser and control it as you would your phone!

Part 4: Conclusion

Though Linux does not support Android apps, there are now many different ways to get around this and continue using your Android apps on your Linux system using Android Emulators Linux. Whether you want to launch apps, run the entire Android OS on your system, or even use cloud resources to run Android games, you can do it all.

If you don't want to install a bunch of software, you can also use apps like AirDroid to run an Android from your browser without installing an emulator! And the best part is, you can do it for free. Thanks for stopping by. And until next time, farewell.


Do emulators fall under rooted devices?
Yes, the Linux Android emulator is under the rooted category. Since most users interested in this feature use it for development purposes, it is easy to fetch a root ADB shell.
Which Linux can run Android apps?
Since there are so many versions of Linux Systems, you might be wondering if any of them support Android apps. But as mentioned above, due to the nature of Android systems, it cannot run on Linux. All Android systems run on Java. So there is no particular Linux that supports Android apps.
Can you run Kali Linux on Android?
Yes, you can run any Linux system starting from Ubuntu to Kali Linux on Android. The Linux deployment team has finally integrated Linux systems on advanced RISC machine devices. So there is now a Kali Linux version that you can run on your Android.
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