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:

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