5 Best Android Emulators for Linux – Linux may not be as popular as an operating system like Windows among daily laptop and computer users, however, the Linux operating system is used by most of the server computers, this is because linux server is a robust and safe operating system to run servers.
However, many desktop users are already interested linux operating system, squeezed ubuntu linux although not as big as Windows or MacOS. And if you are a linux user and someone looking to develop or learn about coding for Android, you must be wondering what is the best Android emulator to run on Linux.
After all, while Windows and macOS have a large number of Android emulators that users can try out, Linux has its fundamentals. However, there are a few Android emulators that are worth checking out, whether it’s for checking out new games, trying apps, or even for testing the Android app you’re currently developing. So, here are the 5 best Android Emulators which you can use on a Linux based operating system.
Genymotion is one of the most popular Android emulators available on Linux (it is also available on Windows and macOS) that you can try, and is by far one of the best android emulators on Linux out there. Unlike most emulators, Genymotion features a beautiful interface that will make you feel right at home. You can create virtual devices and log in right away. By default, virtual devices on Genymotion come with barebones, but if you want to install apps from the Play Store, Genymotion gives you a handy button to install Open Gapps on your virtual device in just a few clicks. It’s really cool, and once you have Gapps installed, you can basically install almost any application you want to try.
Genymotion is perfect not only for randomly trying Android apps that you come across or interested in, but it’s also great for testing apps you are developing yourself. Genymotion comes with lots of amazing features aimed at developers including the fact that it is fully supported by Android Studio, so you can run your app directly from within Android Studio and open it in the Genymotion emulator. That’s helped by the fact that emulators run Android version 4.1, up to Android 9.0 Pie and various form factors from smartphones to tablets, and even custom screen sizes which might come in handy if you’re checking how your app looks across different form factors.
If you are looking for an emulator for playing Android games, Genymotion may not be the one for you. I tried installing PUBG Mobile and Free Fire using Genymotion, but it turns out that there is an incompatible device notification (maybe this is because of the emulator). Then I installed Pigeon Pop on Genymotion, and it worked fine, but there was a noticeable input delay, which is unacceptable if you’re trying to game.
Furthermore, when I tried to install Genymotion on a running HP Envy Ubuntu 18.04.1, it’s having problems with Virtual Box even though Virtual Box is installed properly. If you encounter the same problem, it could be because your system has UEFI secure boot enabled. As it turns out, that’s what caused the problem with Virtual Box. To fix this, you can use mokutil, and disable secure boot on your laptop, after which Virtual Box will work fine and you will be able to run Genymotion easily. You can check out the page Ubuntu wiki here for a detailed tutorial on how to use mokutil to disable secure boot.
The next choice for the best emulator on linux is Android-x86. Android-x86 is probably what you’re looking for. This software is actually meant to be an Android port for x86-based systems, which you’ll likely be using. This is an open-source project, meaning you can check out the codebase if you want. However, the best part about the Android-x86 project is that it is updated quite frequently, and currently has a stable release available for Android Oreo.
Installing Android-x86 on your Linux system is fairly straightforward, which is certainly very good. You just need to download the Android-x86 ISO file to your system, create a new virtual machine in Virtual Box and set the ISO to be a boot-up device. With that, you can easily install Android on your VM. Overall, Android-x86 feels a little less responsive than Genymotion, but it’s not a problem, especially if you’re only going to use it to test apps. If you’re into gaming, maybe Android-x86 isn’t the emulator you’re looking for. Even though you can play the games in it, in my experience you will not have a smooth and smooth experience here.
3. Android SDK
If you’re a developer and you want to use an emulator that’s officially supported by Google and lets you create multiple virtual devices running everything from Android Lollipop to Android Pie, WearOS, and even Android TV, the official “Android Virtual Device” (or AVD Manager) ) included, then with Android Studio (Android SDK) is the right one for you.
You only need to install Android Studio on a Linux based operating system, and once you open the software you can head straight to ‘Tools → AVD Manager‘to create your first virtual device in Android Studio. However, the biggest reason why many developers prefer to use third-party emulators over the official ones from Google, is because this software loads very slowly. Sure, things have improved over time, but it doesn’t load as fast as Genymotion.
However, for developers, this is definitely the most flexible option to use. After all, it not only offers the ability to create multiple virtual devices running anything from Android 5 to Android 9 Pie, this software also lets you create virtual Android TV devices, and virtual wearOS devices, so you can test all apps from Google’s system. most commonly used operations. Apart from that, this software comes with all the features you might need to test your application. You can play the emulator, change the location, battery and network conditions, use the camera, and do a lot more with the Android Studio emulator. If you are a developer, you should give it a try before checking out other android emulators.
Anbox is one of the more unique Android emulators on this list. This is not an emulator because it is a kind of Sanboxed Android Run Time (ART) which works on GNU / Linux systems. It comes with Android 7.1, which is great for emulators, and it’s also responsive enough, so you won’t be bothered by the way most people get annoyed with the Android Studio emulator.
The only reason Anbox is the number 4 emulator from this list is that it has some glaring problems. For example, anbox doesn’t come with Google Apps installed on it, which means no Play Store, no Play Services, etc. So, if you plan on installing, tell PUBG Mobile about this, you will run into a lot of trouble. I tried installing a casual game (Pigeon Pop) and it requires Play Games to be installed on the device, and Anbox doesn’t support it. So yes, there are a few problems. Plus, if you’re a developer trying to test your own app on Anbox, you won’t be able to just drag and drop to install it. Instead, you have to use ADB to install the APK on Anbox using the ‘adb install’ command.
What’s worse, though, installing Anbox can be a bit of a pain for novice Linux users. It’s a two-step process where you have to install a few Kernel modules first, then download the Anbox ‘snap’ yourself before you can launch the runtime. Fortunately, the Anbox website does a pretty solid job of providing guidance on how you can do all of that. Beware, if you are having trouble loading the Kernel module, you may be facing the same problem I described with Genymotion, so try using the same solution.
If you want to run Android apps on your Linux system without having to install a separate emulator for them, ARChon might be something that interests you. Basically ARChon lets you run Android apps on Chrome, so you can check apps without the need to download emulators, create virtual devices, or secure UEFI boot issues that are the problem in Genymotion. You just have to install ARChon as a Chrome extension on your linux computer (there are instructions on the website that you can follow) until it’s done, you can use one of the various tools mentioned on the website to turn your Android application into an ARChon compatible application and just you need to run it directly in Chrome.
I tried this with the sample app 2048 that ARChon provided, and it worked pretty well, and I’m pretty sure that most other simple apps like this will run without problems using ARChon.
Yes, those are the 5 best Android emulators for Linux that I think you can try one by one. Whether you want to test an app you develop, or you just want to try new Android apps on your Linux PC, this emulator should live up to your expectations. I’m also trying to find an android emulator here that I can recommend for playing games too, but unfortunately nothing caught my attention because of the problems I mentioned above. Having said that, if you know of an Android emulator for Linux that performs well in gaming, please let me know in the comments below and I’ll be sure to have a look and include in this article.