Try Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich in Virtualbox for a lag-free experience

I have earlier made a post on how to try out Android 4.0 through the AVD manager, it works, but its rather slow. So I figured I would test the Android-x86 project now that they a couple of hours ago released an Android 4.0 image.

This article will guide you through the setup of Android 4.0 in virtualbox. It will work a lot smoother than through the AVD.

There are a couple of steps in this guide, but they are straightforward and easy to follow.

  1. Start by downloading the iso image android-x86-4.0-tegav2-20111209.iso from here. (updated, you can now also use the Android 4.2 image android-x86-4.2-20121225.iso)
  2. In Virtualbox, create a new virtual machine, select Linux as Operating System, and Other Linux as the version.
  3. You can now press next all the way, to finish the creation. Default settings will work.
  4. Go into settings for the virtual machine, and put the downloaded iso into the “cd-tray”
  5.  Start up the virtual machine, and hit Install android-x86 to harddisk
  6. Go to Create/modify partitions, new, primary, just use the default size, then click bootable to set the bootable flah on the partition. Click Write, type yes, and then hit Enter. And Quit.
  7. We have now created the partition to use, and you will see this image:
  8. Select the sda1 Linux partition, and hit ok. Choose ext3 as filesystem, and hit ok.
  9. When asked if you want to do a format, select yes, also say yes to installing grub, but no to install /system as read-write.
  10. At the end, select Run android-x86 and your Android 4.0 virtual machine will come to life!
  11. While booting, it will show a lot of text and commands like this:

    That was where my booting stopped. To be able to interact with the virtual machine with your mouse, you have to first turn off the mouse capturing in the virtual machines window:

    To be able to escape the mouse from the capturing (if you have clicked inside the virtual machine), press your right CTRL key on your keyboard.
  12. Since I was stuck while booting, I clicked Machine -> ACPI Shutdown.
    Android 4.0 then made a jump to the welcome screen, and asked me if I wanted to power off my device, since it had now gotten to the welcome screen, I selected Cancel, and continued through the welcome setup. Weird!
  13. After just walking through the short welcome process, I got to the homescreen, and could finally play around!

When you are done playing around, and want to shut down the virtual machine, just go to Machine -> ACPI shutdown.

The performance is a lot better using this method, rather than the emulation that comes with the Android SDK.

Although as a little downside, I have not found any way to enable networking to the virtual machine.

Here are a couple of other screencaps :)

  • Krijoh

    When I do it, it says “ERROR. Cannot mount /dev/sdal Do you want to format it?” What should I do?

    • EnvyAndroid

      Select Yes, to format it, and choose ext3 as filesystem :) (step 9)

      • Rogersluke8383

        same problem, when I click yes it brings me back the format screen. I select ext3 and it says “ERROR. Cannot mount /dev/sdal Do you want to format it?” it will do this over and over.

        • EnvyAndroid

          Hmm, weird, I have no idea what the cause might be. I did exatly these steps, and it worked for me :/

          I found other having the same problem, but I didnt find any solution.

          • Hamzamunir77

            whats the password???

          • EnvyAndroid

            what password?

          • Back_bencher

            login password

          • EnvyAndroid

            I’m sorry, I dont understand where you need a password?
            Do you mean the google login? just skip it with the “not now” button.

          • Melvinleo

            1. Set the Network Adapter for the VM to NAT
            2. Open Terminal Type the following;
            “VBoxManage modifyvm {Virtual Machine Name} –natpf1 adb,tcp,*,5555,*,5555″

            I solve this on my end!

          • Bebobosy

            i am sorry how you type this in the terminal emulator.can you explain more, i am a beginner.thank you

          • Dhani

            open Terminal on your host, not inside Android itself and type that command

          • Goodbnh

            Password is 1111.

        • http://eazyigz.wordpress.com Igor Ganapolsky

          I am having the same problem. It may indeed be an AMD issue vs. Intel.

          • EnvyAndroid

            Yes, that is a possibility :)

  • Guest

    it works,


  • GH

    Looks like AMD hardware is an issue. So far I have only been able to create android vm’s on intel systems.

  • Guest

    it wont let me type yes just ye

    • http://eazyigz.wordpress.com Igor Ganapolsky

      Dude, look on the following line and you will see ‘s’.

  • Guest

    i selected yes on format and grub but when i selected yes on grub it just took me to the step 7 picture.

  • Karthi344

    i installed 4.0 successfully but i can’t connect to internet ….can u help plz

    • EnvyAndroid

      It says in the article that I havent found any way to connect to the internet. And unfortunately, I still havent. I havent had much time to try :/

    • Guest

      1. Set the Network Adapter for the VM to NAT
      2. Open Terminal Type the following;
      “VBoxManage modifyvm {Virtual Machine Name} –natpf1 adb,tcp,*,5555,*,5555″

      I solve this on my end!

  • Eugenix

    Work! … obviously without net

  • http://eazyigz.wordpress.com Igor Ganapolsky

    When I select ext3 filesystem to format sda1, I get an error: “Cannot mount /dev/sda1″. What should I do??

  • Avrkvarma

    How to install Ethernet Configuring app

  • Sad

    No joy here either AMD processor and it will apparently format but not mount the vdi. What a shame. I have an Android 2.2 image running that isn’t even x86, so I know it’s not my Virtualbox installation.

  • Rpangrazio

    I got my AMD laptop running Virtualbox to work using the eepc install disk.

  • Shs_r

    Hey i have installed as mentioned…but at step.12…it says “emergency call”…instead of enter password….after that am not able to do anything….any solutions….

  • mustbepbs

    People with AMD processors, follow this guide: http://www.android-x86.org/documents/virtualboxhowto

    Download and use the eeepc.iso

  • http://www.compubuddy.co.za/ Craig Faraday

    Links no longer work

  • Karanjagad

    unfortunately setup wizrd has stoped m getin this error plz help

  • Nuhendra

    how to mount sdcard in virtualbox?It will be a great help if u can tell me..thnks in advance

  • Simon Whitehead

    ISO link is dead

    • ROFLsoisoisoi

      No it isnt.

      • EnvyAndroid

        I Updated the link a couple of days ago :)

  • Lorenzo Croce (ITA)

    How can I enable the internet to install the apps? (sorry for any errors but i’m italian and i don’t speak english very well)

    • Awesome Guest

      I’m not sure, but your english is better than a lot of native speakers. Good job with that. I’m having the same problem as this person is. Please help!

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  • ROFLsoisoisoi

    Every time i install, the kernel panics.