Do you want to use Android applications on Linux? Why not try out some Android games? There are other possibilities, but Anbox is the most effective. This is an utility that allows you to run your favorite Android applications on Ubuntu and other Linux distributions without the need for emulation.
Today, I’ll show you how to utilize Anbox to run Android applications on your Linux PC.
Meet Anbox, Your “Android in a Box”
The ability to use your favorite Android applications and games adds an exciting new degree of productivity to Linux. By definition, mobile applications are far simpler than those available on desktop operating systems.
This could be just what you’re searching for to boost desktop productivity!
In the meanwhile, smartphone games are growing more complex. It’s understandable if you’d like to continue playing on a separate device. This is particularly true given a phone’s or tablet’s short battery life.
Several macOS and Windows programs (such as Bluestacks) are available for running Android applications, however this is not accessible for Linux.
Anbox should be used instead to run Android applications on Linux. This is a free and open source utility for installing and running Android applications on Linux. It is built on the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) and provides a windowed Android experience.
Anbox separates Android from the host operating system, allowing you to run Android games on Linux.
That’s not all; Anbox has no restrictions, so you can theoretically run any Android software on Linux. However, since there is no hardware virtualization, Anbox will struggle on older computers.
Which Linux Distros Support Snap?
Anbox is a snap package that is free to use. This implies that the binaries and its dependencies are packaged together, making installation easier. Unfortunately, this implies that your Linux OS will be unable to utilize Anbox unless it is capable of unpacking and installing snaps.
Snap support is available for most Linux distros, including:
- Arch Linux
- Linux Mint
Snap is pre-installed in Ubuntu 22.04 LTS. The Snapcraft website has complete information for your distribution.
Meanwhile, if your distribution doesn’t come with Snap, visit our tutorial on how to install Snap.
Install Anbox on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS and Later
Anbox must be installed on a machine running Ubuntu 20.04 LTS or later. Anbox might run on older Ubuntu versions, but they are no longer supported.
To begin, verify that snap is installed. It should be because you’re running a current Ubuntu build, but verify with:
snap find hello
This will show a list of “hello world” snaps, indicating that the snap is installed.
You can then proceed to install the beta version of Anbox:
sudo snap install
Wait while this installs then restart your computer.
How to Download and Run APK Files on Your Linux PC
After restarting your computer, Anbox should be visible in the desktop menu. When you click it, the Anbox window will appear.
If nothing occurs, or if you are stopped on the splash screen with the Starting message, cancel or wait for it to finish. Then open a new terminal and type in
Then, under the menu, click the symbol once again. Anbox should start up in a few seconds, but you may need to click the icon again.
Anbox will provide a list of the basic Android applications that can be launched on Linux, such as Calendar and Email. Simply left-click on these icons to open them; they will open in new windows that you may resize as needed. The WebView Shell is supplied if you need a browser.
Install Android Apps From Google Play and Beyond
To add your own applications and games, just download (or transfer from another device) the necessary APK files (What Is an APK?). These are installer files, similar to DEB (or snap) files in Linux or EXE files in Windows. When you run an APK using Anbox on Ubuntu, it will install just like any other Android app.
You have two options for installing apps on Anbox:
- Install Google Play
Let’s look at them each in turn.
Sideload Android Apps on Anbox
Sideloading is a straightforward process. To add applications to Anbox, you may utilize the browser and these Google Play alternatives. If you want to sideload APKs, you must allow installation from unknown sources:
- From the apps screen, go to the Settings menu.
- Click Security
- Enable Unknown Sources
- Click OK to accept
The app should now be installed and ready to use.
How to Use Anbox to Install Android Apps From Google Play
If you prefer Google Play, Anbox Playstore Installer is a GitHub project that makes installing applications in Anbox as simple as it is on your phone or tablet.
To start, ensure your Linux system has wget installed:
sudo apt install wget curl lzip tar unzip squashfs-tools
Next, download the Anbox Play Store script:
Make it executable:
chmod +x install-playstore.sh
Then run the script:
Run Anbox if it doesn’t load automatically:
Then, set the correct permissions in Android.
- Open Settings
- Go to Google Play Services > Apps.
- Enable all rights by tapping Permissions.
- Rep this process for Apps > Google Play.
You can now install Android apps in Anbox from Google Play.
How Run Android Apps on Linux Without Anbox
While Anbox is a dependable alternative, it is not the only method to run Android applications on Linux. There are several Android emulators for Linux.
- Android Studio
There are two Android-based operating systems that are compatible with x86 PCs and allow you to install Android apps:
Each solution has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Now You Can Run Android APKs on Linux
Anbox may have some stability concerns. However, knowing how easy it is to set up, install, and run Android applications on Linux Ubuntu using Anbox is comforting.
- Confirm that your distribution supports snap packages.
- Update or install the snapd service.
- Install Anbox.
- Anbox may be launched from your Linux desktop.
- Download and launch APK files.
- Wait for the APK file to install.
- To launch Android applications on your Linux desktop, click.
Anbox is not the only solution to run Android on Linux distributions, but we believe it is the most straightforward.
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