This post will show you how to enable hardware acceleration for your Android emulator. It will supercharge developing and testing apps and make it a much better experience.

You need:

  • Android SDK
  • An x86 image of the Android emulator you wish to run (not the regular ARM version)
    Install via the Android SDK.
  • Intel HAXM (Hardware Accelerated Execution Manager)
  • Intel cpu with support for VT-x, EM64T, and Execute Disable Bit (can be enabled in the bios if supported)
  • Eclipse (Optionally, but makes it easier to create apps, and monitor output from the Android device)

Intel HAXM can be installed either via the Android SDK manger, or by downloading the file from Intel directly.

  1. Start by installing the Android SDK and downloading the Intel x86 Atom System Image for the  right android version you want to use.
  2. Install Intel HAXM from the file you donwloaded from Intel. It is pretty straight forward.
  3. Create a new Android virtual device (AVD) using the Intel x86 image, and enabling GPU acceleration.
  4. Launch your new AVD and check for the text:  HAX is working and emulator runs in fast virt mode in the console output.

Be aware that there is a problem with Intel HAXM on Macs, but Intel has released a patch on their download site (linked above). You can look here and here for more details and troubleshooting.

That should be it, and your Android emulator should be running lightning fast! It really does make development and testing of apps much easier!