Running Android 4.0 (ICS) on Virtualbox

Debugging things on the Android Emulator (incluced in the SDK) can be a very slow and cumbersome process. Thanks to the Android-x86 Project it’s quite easy to run Android in VirtualBox. This is highly useful when you need to test mobile apps and websites from the Android Browser (as well as Chrome Mobile).

  1. Download an Ethernet enabled ISO from Tablets x86

    transmission android-x86-4.0-eth0-generic_x86-20120426.iso.torrent

  2. Create new ViratualBox VM
    VM Settings 1
    VM Settings 2
    VM Settings 3
    Important Settings (see screenshots)

    • OS: Linux, Version: Linux 2.6
    • Enable VTx/AMD-V
    • Use Bridged Network Adapter (if you want to allow direct Internet Access)
  3. Mount the ISO file downloaded previosly and start the VM
    Install dialog
  4. Create the Root Filesystem (ext3) on the VBox .vdi created with the new VM, mark as bootable
  5. Write the Filesystem changes to disk (VDI) and format the disk
  6. Install GRUB Boatloader
  7. Copy files from ISO to VDI
  8. Unmount the ISO image and reboot
  9. Note: You need to disable the mouse pointer integration (if you have installed VirtualBox Client Add-ons) in the menu of Virtualbox (‘Machine’ –> ‘Disable Mouse Integration’) when you start the VM (see screenshot). I have not found a way to disable this by default on Virtualbox on Ubuntu (If anybody has managed this I would love to know how !)

    Disable Mouse Integration

  10. Start the Android Setup Wizard to set locale and you should be up and running (network should already function to test external sites from Android browser) !

Author: Leo Gaggl

ict business owner specialising in mobile learning systems. interests: sustainability, internet of things, ict for development, open innovation, agriculture

4 thoughts on “Running Android 4.0 (ICS) on Virtualbox”

  1. I am running Linux Mint 13 Cinnamon 64 Bit on my HP Pavillion dv7 with Virtualbox v4.1.12 and no matter what I try, including your instructions, I can not get ICS to install. I have tried several ISO’s and keep getting the following errors, can not format /dev/sda1, tried all options, If I use ntfs it will format, BUT, then it says failed to create data.img
    I know that the problem is likely the short between the seat and the keyboard, but any help would be nice. And thank you for your time.

  2. @CJW293: not sure on this, but is the virtual disk already partitioned ? if not delete the partitions first and create during install.

  3. Hi to all Android-virtualization experts!
    I have the same problem like CJW293 states and I also think that it´s only a little thing I´ve overlooked by now. Any help is appreciated!
    I use VMWare Server V1.0.10 on an old MSI-Machine (2GHz, 2GB RAM) wih XP Home (I know how disgusting…), but my ambitious aim is to get Android 4.x running, including Google Play!
    I try to use the latest Asus-Laptop ISO 4.0RC2 from, but the integration of an .vmdk Harddisk always fails. At least I can´t create the data.img-File. Now I will tryout the .OVA-Images from, but first I have to convert them to old VMware Server wich will take now some time…
    Of course I could go easier with my modern ASUS Notebook + VirtualBox + using the predefined .OVA-VMs directly there, but why shouldn´t it be possible to get that stuff running on my old system?
    If someone has a hint for me, I am sending many thanks in advance!

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