There are few Android emulators available on the Internet to test and get the Android experience. Those are emulators, not the real Android OS like on the phone or tablet. With the modification and patch hosting, you can install and use the Android on Windows or Mac computer with the VirtualBox. It is called Android-x86. Let me show how to install the latest Android 8.1 Oreo on VirtualBox with the pre-installed image. That means you do not need to prepare and install the OS. It is already installed and prepared for the VirtualBox platform.
We can simply download, extract and import it into VirtualBox as a virtual machine. You can’t expect the same performance and user experience as an Android device inside the Virtual machine, but it is still okay to test the Android OS on PC and the apps if you do not have any Android device or can’t have the latest 8.1 version.
Simple Steps to Install Android 8.1 Oreo on VirtualBox as Pre Installed VDI Disk
Make sure you have the latest version of VirtualBox.
1) Download the latest Android Pre Installed VDI for VirtualBox here.
As of now, the Android 8.1 Oreo is the latest Android-x86 version you can download from this website.
Select the VirtualBox and 32 or 64-bit version. If your Windows 10 or 8.1 is 64bit version OS, then you can have both 64bit or 32bit. Remember which version you are downloading, because we need to set up the virtual machine accordingly. I used the 64bit version.
2) Extract the files, you will be needing an unzipping program like 7zip or WinRAR for this.
3) Create new Virtual machine with following configuration in Oracle VirtualBox
OS Type – Linux
Version – Other Linux/Linux 2.6/Oracle – Make sure to select the correct bit version either 32 or 64 based on the file you downloaded earlier.
Memory – 512MB or more – I configured 2GB
Video Memory: 12MB or more
IO APCI: enabled
3) While setting up the hard disk of the virtual machine, select the existing disk option and browse the extracted VDI file of the pre-installed Android 8.1 version.
4) That’s it, simple and easy. Start the Android virtual machine now. You will be excited to see this OS in larger screen than any smartphone.
Boot with the default option. You will land on the Android Oreo version homepage after a few seconds.
You might get stuck with the mouse movements inside the VM and releasing it to host Windows machine. For better mouse integration, disable (untick) the mouse integration of the VM as shown below.
Once it is disabled, you will notice the mouse improvements inside the Android virtual machine, but it will not automatically release to host OS when you move the mouse outside the virtual machine. In this case, you need to manually release the mouse from guest VM to host computer, by pressing the Right Ctrl key – you can see that option at the right bottom of the VM console.
Network and the Internet work fine inside the VM, that will allow you to connect the Play store and install the apps.