Home Linux Top 10 Android Emulators for Linux To Enjoy Android Apps in Linux

Top 10 Android Emulators for Linux To Enjoy Android Apps in Linux

Since smartphone came into our life, it has been influencing almost every spectrum of our socio-cultural movements. As a Linux power user, being able to run smartphone applications right into your computer means a lot to many. Android, the de-facto smartphone operating system used by people worldwide also leverages the Linux ecosystem to achieve its objectives. Android emulators are pieces of computer applications that let you run your favorite Android apps or games directly from your Linux system. In this guide, we’ll outline the top 10 best Android Emulators for Linux that you can use today to run playstore apps right into your Linux machine.

Best Android Emulators for Linux


Android emulators are, in essence, run as a sandbox software where they simulate the internal hierarchy of your regular Android smartphone. Due to resource constraints, many Android devices are unable to run the most trending games or apps smoothly in their smartphone. Emulators come in handy in such situations as they let users run such resource consuming apps in their computers, which usually have more than enough resource for such purposes.

1. Genymotion


If you’re searching for the best Android Emulators for Linux, chances are you’ll stumble across the name Genymotion almost everywhere. It’s a versatile Linux Android emulator which lets users run Android virtual devices not only in the desktop but also on the cloud. The powerful desktop version offers all the services you’d look for in a top-notch emulator. Genymotion makes sure their users get what they want by providing the option of 3000+ virtual Android device configurations.

Genymotion Android Emulator

It doesn’t matter which Android device you want to emulate; you can find pre-configured images of different Android versions and device images without any hassle in Genymotion. You can allocate resources like memory, storage space, I/O units just as much as you want to your Android emulator Linux. Genymotion also lets users test how their app reacts to changes in various battery levels quite intuitively.

Highlights of Genymotion

  • App developers can set interruptions for call or SMS when testing whether their application works correctly or not.
  • The built-in disk IO throttling feature of this Linux Android emulator lets even emulate devices with very slow internal storage.
  • You can easily forward sensor events like gyroscope data from any Android device to your Linux machine with this powerful Android emulator Linux.
  • Genymotion is pixel perfect, meaning it can display any Android application on your screen precisely at its original size.
  • This Linux Android emulator is a hundred percent compatible with Android SDK tools and Studio.
  • This multi-platform emulator lets developers test their websites in several Android browsers right from their Linux system.

Download Genymotion

2. Andro VM


The Andro VM project also comes from the developers at Genymotion, and it indeed shows their intention of bringing the best Linux Android emulator for us. Like Genymotion, this awe-inspiring Android emulator Linux packs so much power into a single package and is definitely falls among one of the best Android Emulators for Linux. Offline connectivity is where Andro VM triumphs Genymotion. When you run your Android apps or games inside the Genymotion emulator, a stable internet connection is mandatory. However, Andro VM lets you run such applications seamlessly without needing any sort of network connectivity.

Android Emulator

As Genymotion’s parent project, Ando VM contains many similar functionalities such as compatibility to Android SDK, sensor events following, and among many others. But, the offline operating mode is what makes this powerful Linux Android emulator stand out from its counterpart.

Highlights of Andro VM

  • This Android Emulator Linux comes with built-in support for OpenGL – which, in turn, equipped with adequate PC resources allows for a far more powerful rendering than you’ll get in your everyday Android device.
  • Although very striking in terms of performance and efficiency, this fantastic Android emulator requires you to have Virtual Box installed and configured in your Linux machine.
  • Andro VM features default support for Net Sharing from guest to host, a powerful feature missing in many popular Android Emulators for Linux
  • This enigmatic Linux Android emulator is available for both 32 bit and 64 bit systems – thus able to run smoothly in almost every Linux system despite variation in instruction length of your kernel.
  • Contrary to many Linux Android Emulator, Andro VM works smoothly even without any kind of network connectivity.

Download Andro VM

3. Anbox


Anbox is one of those Android emulators for Linux which were developed specially for playing with Android applications directly in your Linux system. One of the most modern emulators in this list, Anbox has been enjoying a cult following since its inception into the mainstream emulation world. Even the motto of this amazing emulation platform is to enable every developer to run their favorite Android apps in their Linux system irrespective of differing distros. If you are looking for the best Linux Android Emulator that will let you play even the most resource intensive games natively, Anbox is here for you.

Anbox Android Emulator

This powerful Android emulator Linux places the core Android OS into a containerized platform while abstracting low-level hardware accesses so you don’t have to worry about performance metrics. Anbox integrates the core system services of Android directly into your existing Linux operating system, thus allowing for a far more accessible and optimized emulation. No matter what Android application you install in your system, it will act like and perform like a native Linux software.

Highlights of Anbox

  • Anbox puts every component of the Android OS into an optimized container and mixes its core services with directly that of your Linux machine.
  • This modern-day Linux Android Emulator leverages the standard Linux technologies like containers (LXC) to differentiate between the emulator and your Linux system.
  • You can select from any Android version to use with this versatile Android emulator – from Cupcake to Oreo.
  • The open source nature of this Android emulation project caters to the demand of post-modern developers who like to play with their software and add convenient packages for fun.
  • The containerized design of Anbox makes it exceptionally secure compared to most other Android Emulator Linux.

Download Anbox

4. Android-x86


Android-x86 is one of those pioneer Android emulators for Linux that aim to make it possible running your Android emulation directly into your PC hardware. Their objective was to deliver a top-notch Android emulator for Linux which will take the Android ecosystem out of the traditional ARM chips used in smartphones and will run efficiently in both AMD and x86 based hardware. And after succeeding to run abundant resource intensive Android apps without slightest of lags ourself, we can assure you that this powerful Android emulator lives up to its prognosis.

Android-x86 Emulator

One of the best open source Linux projects for Android devs, Android-x86 enables us open source fanatics to modify the emulator as we see fit. Plus, like Andro VM, you can deploy your apps and play with them as you like without the need of any network connection. Although this Linux Android emulator requires you to install and configure the Virtual Box sandbox for running the emulator, the free downloadable ISO image lets you create your own Live Android distro quite easily.

Highlights of Android-x86

  • The Android-x86 requires a Virtual Machine installation to run Android apps but can be installed as a standalone Live system, thanks to the convenient ISO image.
  • The default support for netbook native resolution helps this Linux Android emulator to adjust appropriately to your PC screen and thus utilizes resources in a much more optimized manner.
  • Android-x86 comes with in-built support for Wi-Fi and provides an intuitive GUI to access and configure your network connections.
  • If you want to mount your existing Android memory storage directly to your Android emulator Linux, you can do so pretty quickly with the Android-x86.
  • The default debug mode features busybox and will come in handy when locating bugs in your Android apps.

Download Android-x86

5. Shashlik


The fifth feature in our list hit the market targeting people like you who want to get up and running with their Linux Android emulator as fast as possible. Contrary to most Android Emulators for Linux, Shashlik doesn’t require you to install a Virtual Machine in your Linux system to function. Instead, it utilizes an incredibly stripped down Android base consisting of only the core components and combines it directly into your current system session. As a result, this Android emulator Linux outperform many of its competitors in term of performance.

Shashlik Emulator for Linux

However, the project is still in its development phase, and the beta versions are often cradled with some unavoidable bugs, leading many users to choose from other Android Emulators for Linux. Don’t lose excitement though, Shashlik still supports many surprising and useful Android apps and can be used to emulate even the most resource massive games. We suggest you give this fantastic Linux Android emulator a try before settling with any other.

Highlights of Shashlik

  • Instead of running itself inside a Virtual Machine, Shashlik integrates the core Android packages into your active Linux session and acts like native software.
  • Shashlik leverages the OpenGL infrastructure of your Linux system in order to render the graphics, thus leading to a smooth experience when running newer games.
  • Although usable in most mainstream Linux distros, Shashlik developers recommend you run it on the KDE Plasma environment.
  • One thing where Shashlik seriously falls short is the inability to run apps that utilize Google Play Services, so if your app requires a lot of these services we recommend you look forth.

Get Shashlik

6. ARChon


ARChon is a rather unusual Linux Android emulator that will leave you awe-struck. This is one of the unique Android emulators for Linux by our judgment. ARChon doesn’t function inside a Virtual Machine and not like any other emulator that you install in your Linux system. Instead, it utilizes the Chrome browser’s powerful runtime and hitches the emulation compounds into it directly. So, no matter what version of Kernel you’re running or what Linux build you’re using, you can run this Android emulator Linux effectively in every system.

Android Emulators for Linux browsers

ARChon already supports quite an impressive number of Android games and applications, while support for more mainstream applications are in the process as we speak. Just install the ARChon Runtime in your chrome browser and type “chrome://apps” on the address bar and press Enter. You will need to configure the settings as per your need, and you can then get started trying out the real fun. You can even repackage your own Android apps for Chrome to use via ARChon by utilizing some powerful NodeJS modules.

Highlights of ARChon

  • Rather than providing full-fledged virtualization of the entire Android OS, ARChon comes into play inside the Google Chrome runtime.
  • Although app support is still minimal till the writing of this guide, developers can quickly re-build their Android applications for running in this Linux Android Emulator.
  • The open source nature of this enigmatic Android emulator Linux lets developers experiment with the software and modify it according to their liking.
  • The ability to emulate Android apps without the need for any dedicated Virtual Machine places ARChon among the best Android Emulators for Linux to run into older systems.

Download ARChon

7. Android SDK


This is arguably one of the best Android emulators for Linux that you can get your hands on. If you’re looking for official documentation and support directly from Google, the creator of Android; Android SDK is the way for you to go. Almost anybody that takes Android app development professionally ends up utilizing this powerful Linux Android Emulator to test and run their awe-inspiring Android apps. From surfing the internet to play around latest games, Android SDK opens up a whole new world of Android emulation right in your Linux machine.

SDK from Google

Although quite a resource-intensive itself, this amazing Android emulator Linux equips a lot of firepowers to enable you a seamless experience of native Android systems and will be more than enough to run traditional Android apps quite smoothly. On the plus side, the sufficient high-quality documentation and online tutorials of Android SDK make it exceptionally easy to adapt to for even the newest of developers. So, if you’re in search for an official Android Emulators for Linux, we whole-heartedly suggest you try out the Android SDK at least once.

Highlights of Android SDK

  • As the official Android development utility, Android SDK comes with built-in support for all the Android functionalities including SD Card support, convenient file transfer, Wi-Fi, GPS, Sensors, and many more.
  • Android SDK outshines most Android Emulators for Linux in terms of the number of application supported.
  • The emulation is comparably faster than contemporary emulators and can simulate different configurations and features, including ARCore – Google’s augmented reality platform.
  • Android SDK gives developers the ability to customize their build as they see fit, leading to more productive app developments.

Download Official Android SDK

8. Andy OS


If you are looking for a powerful Linux Android emulator to take your smartphone gaming skills to the next level, Andy OS will arguably turn out to the best bet for you. This powerful yet sleek Android emulator aims to hit the spot with gamers and is undoubtedly a success in doing so. Apart from its gaming performance, Andy OS has already proven itself as one of the best Android emulators for Linux in terms of overall performance. We strongly suggest you check out this mesmerizing Android emulator if all you want to do is play your favorite Android games in max settings.

Andy OS Emulator

Although still in its beta release, Andy OS supports comes out with a lot of built-in features to enable you to take the most out of your Linux Android Emulator. It reads the sensor events relentlessly and offers a much better visual experience compared to your regular Android smartphone. Overall, Andy OS is one of those flexible Android emulators for Linux that succeeds in bringing your favorite Android apps directly onto your PC screen.

Highlights of Andy OS

  • Andy OS lets you sync your regular Android smartphone with the emulator.
  • You can use your phone as a controller to your Emulator and can send Desktop Push Notifications and Keyboard Mappings pretty easily.
  • The ability to use your Android device as a remote or gesture controller when playing games makes this Linux Android emulator far more exciting.
  • You will be able to run all of your communication apps such as Snapchat, Viber, and WhatsApp directly from your Linux machine with Andy OS
  • Andy OS gives users the opportunity to extend their storage space on demand, contrary to most other Android Emulators for Linux

Get Andy OS

9. Jar of Beans


Originally developed for the Windows operating system, thanks to WINE, Jar of Beans can be easily run on your Linux machine. So, basically, it’s a Linux Android Emulator that’s been emulated by WINE. Installing this resource-heavy Android Emulator Linux can pose some serious hassles though. Thus we only recommend to you if you’re comfortable installing and configuring non-Linux software through the WINE. Apart from the initial inconveniences, Jar of Beans offers quite a lot of powerful features that you’d expect in most everyday Android emulators for Linux.

jar of beans

Jar of Beans lets users install Android applications directly from the Google Play Store, which is a plus if you don’t want to go through loads of re-builds to run your favorite apps. The native support for SD card in Jar of Beans lets you easily mount your existing Android device storage to the Linux Android Emulator itself. Although powerful, Jar of Beans has its own share of disappointments associated with it, and we’ll only suggest it for people who have very few options left for running their Android apps.

Highlights of Jar of Beans

  • Jar of Beans comes out with in-built support for Intel Hardware Accelerated Execution Manager (HAXM), which helps this Android Emulator to improve overall hardware acceleration.
  • This Android emulator is exceptionally portable which makes this an ideal solution for developers who are always on the run.
  • You can select and modify the screen resolution as you see fit in Jar of Beans and can switch easily between regular Android mode and Tablet mode.
  • The most recent multi-user support lets Jar of Beans users save their own customized settings without any obstacles.

10. Bliss


Bliss is a powerful open source OS based on Android that aims to run your favorite applications natively in your Linux system. It is one of those Android Emulators for Linux that gives users the power to utilize their system resources more efficiently when running even the most resource intensive games. The developers have curated out a really impressive package that lets almost any Linux users run their favorite Play Store apps like a system level software.

Bliss Emulator

Bliss offers quite a number of ROMs and GSI builds among which the x86 variant is the one you’ll use to run your Android apps in your Linux Machine. It supports booting from either MBR or UEFI type of bootloaders, thus is guaranteed to run smoothly in about every Linux computer. A project from the renowned XDA developers, Bliss is fun to use and powerful when considering performance metrics.

Highlights of Bliss

  • Bliss comes with a considerable number of customization opportunities so you can easily modify the look and feel of your Linux Android emulator.
  • It has been optimized to be as much resource-friendly as possible.
  • The performance focused design and implementation makes it possible to run even the most demanding Android apps fluently in Bliss.
  • Bliss takes security quite seriously and features regular AOSP updates to stop malicious apps from cradling your system.

Get Bliss ROM

Ending Thoughts


If you’re a seasoned Linux system user; you should know how hard it is to find the best Android Emulators for Linux. Most professional emulation systems like Bluestacks and NOX aren’t available on Linux, and people quickly end up running old and out of fashion Linux Android Emulator. Our expert team has curated this guide after long hours of research so you can run your Android apps in your regular Linux system as smoothly as possible. We found many of these Android emulators more than capable of handling everyday Android apps, while some like ARChon offers a more creative solution to Android emulation. We hope this guide serves you well in your quest to find the best Android emulator for your Linux system.

9 COMMENTS

  1. 21-Sep-2019

    @ papi
    Thanks for the research.
    But you are just you, and therefore limited.
    I allways do my own research, been computing since 1980.
    So I read a lot of other opinions about the subject.
    And it always takes time and patience.
    And a strong will to make it work your way.

    The solution that seemed worth trying in the end was android-x86.
    I have got android-x86 (64-bit) working good (so far) in qemu/kvm Virtual Machine on Debian host.
    Installed from ‘android-x86_64-8.1-r2.iso’.
    I did not try any games, so that’s for somebody else to try.

    @ Kay
    Yes! datestamp comments please.

  2. Task: install an Android emulator with Google Play / Play Store support to log in and install a game to test it as a “simple user”.

    Tested host: AMD Threadripper 1950X Debian 9 Stretch 49GB ECC RAM Sapphire RX580 8GB VRAM

    Facts without all that “enigmatic” blah-blah-blah

    Fact00: Before reading an article, read the comments first, that saves 99.999% time; if comments are blocked/pre-moderated/deleted – do not read the article and black-list the resource;

    (01) https://www.genymotion.com/pricing-desktop/

    Genymotion starts at USD 136/yr which is probably great for corporate/business users, but not suitable for startups to test their free game/app and/or just to install Genymotion to make sure it works without having to pay first, as this doesn’t make sense:


    All Desktop features except Disk I/O (learn more)

    “learn more” doesn’t lead to any explanation of what exactly is limited;

    10 minutes wasted trying to find a demo/trial/free version without success;

    (02) Andro VM / Genymotion Cloud doesn’t have Google Play;

    5 minutes wasted on registration and trying their template (Google Pixel);

    (03) To install Anbox.io one needs to install snapcraft.io first with all dependencies; but the Anbox.io docs are missing the very point of how to launch an emulator itself;

    The video shows already opened virtual machine, but how it was opened is a mystery;

    probably it is there somewhere in the docs, but I couldn’t find it during 30+ minutes, so I moved on;

    not everybody are using Chinese Ubuntu;

    55 minutes wasted;

    (04) Android-x86 installed on Virtualbox doesn’t run anything except Chrome browser; tried both 32 and 64 bit; 32bit doesn’t launch at all; tweaked all possible options without success;

    45 minutes wasted including downloading iso files;

    (05) http://www.shashlik.io/download/

    Comments always save time, quote:


    Ulf berge • 4 days ago
    you can’t even open the deb as archive. Useless

    not available in Debian packages.

    Requires KDE bulky dependencies.

    Din’t even try this one as I do not use KDE…

    3 minutes to read comments;

    (06) https://archon-runtime.github.io/

    3 minutes to understand that it only runs custom APKs, no Google Play/Play Store support;

    (07) Android SDK installs within VirtualBox Windows machine, the article doesn’t give any instructions how to actually create a virtual machine; it takes time to dig the docs to understand that you only can run a VM after creating a specific project for this project’s needs, e.g. no Google Play support, cannot download a game to play, or an app to test;

    21 minutes wasted, always read the docs first to “save time”;

    (08) The link from the article leads to:

    https://www.andyroid.net/getandy.php


    Andy doesn’t run on a mobile device, The Linux version is closed for Alpha if you want to join the testers please email alpha@andyroid.net or visit us again after July 30

    1 minute wasted to click the link and copy paste it here in this comment, the record low time waste – thank you;

    (09) Jar of Beans

    The Authors of this article have not provided any links, so I had to Google it:

    https://androidemulator.org/downloads/download-jar-of-beans/


    Official Site N/A
    Company Jar Of Beans
    Latest Version
    v4.8.2 (Current)

    Status of Development
    Stopped and Inactive

    its download link leads to a malware-filled resource, not recommended.

    5 minutes wasted;

    (10) Bliss

    link leads to a list of Open Source OS’s
    https://www.ubuntupit.com/top-10-best-windows-alternative-open-source-operating-system/

    TOTAL time wasted:

    (01) 10min + (02) 5min + (03) 55min + (04) 45min + (05) 3min + (06) 3min + (07) 21min + (08) 1min + (09) 5min = 148minutes = 2 hours 28 minute

    2 hours 28 minutes or two and a half hours of a lifetime wasted just to try options presented in this article to confirm none of these do work.

    That is approx one and a half hours more than downloading and installing a Windows Server 2016 iso with Nox player in it.

    BOTTOMLINE?

    Linux Desktop is still not suitable for an efficient Desktop use as a business/ordinary user who values their time and are aiming for efficiency.

    It is very sad, but it’s the second half of 2019 and still Linux is in an unusable state for a professional Desktop working environment(s).

    Very sad.

  3. 1- Genymotion does not run arm apps, and barely runs successfully any apps at all.
    2- Andro VM does not exist anymore.
    3- Anbox in in pre-alpha state and it will be a long time before it can be usable.
    4- Android-x86 maybe one day will be more useful, for now it does not succeed much further than loading android on Linux through a virtual machine. Has trouble running on old computers and few apps work.
    5- Shashlik is long abandoned.
    6- ARChon is long abandoned.
    7- Android SDK is a tool for android developers to use and no more than that.
    8- Andy OS does not have a Linux version, neither the Windows version works on Linux.
    9- Jar of Beans does not exist anymore.
    10- Bliss does not focus on performance neither works on older computers. It’s basically a copy of Android-x86 with a panel.

    None of these have anything to do with Bluestacks, MEmu, KoPlayer or Nox or similar applications, which unfortunately do not have Linux versions.

    • So then if you know so much about android emulation on linux then why, instead of pretty much calling the post completely useles, you give some actually usefull alternatives? It’s probably a better use of your time and a lot more helpfull for the comunity

      • I’ll say that calling a post useless is quite useful to regular users so they’ll not waste time on false claims, and also as a feedback to post authors, maybe next time they’ll be better motivated to search before posting.

        • I wasted time(example: modifying code so that unmaintained DKMS modules compile with my newer kernel) on a bunch of those “emulators”(x86_64 VMs) and none worked with native ARM games.
          Came here weeks later to see if somebody gave a better option and just now saw that comment that would of been helpful…

    • @Papi: Thanks for your comment, it saved me a lot of time to do that research myself.

      @ MEHEDI HASAN (author) Maybe adding a date to your posts would be helpful so that the reader can have an impression of how up to date the information is.

    • i confirm that your post is really useful.
      i tried android-x86 with 4.4 and 8.2 versions of android. they run in slug mode. it updates some apps, but only chrome can be launched without crashing. play store doesn’t launch at all. your post saves me a lot of time, seeing that half is unmaintained and the other half is broken.
      thanks, i won’t need to try 2 weeks more on these.

      the only way is to install android on an ARM machine and launch whatever you need.
      personally i won’t break my firefly rk3288 server install just to test one app or so.
      i hope to find a way to extract java part of an apk and launch it as it is.
      linux seems still a hell to manipulate… all you want from it is sketchy as hell.
      want to play ? you have a dozen broken solutions for it. lutris steam playonlinux etc…
      want to emulate android ? see this post, dozens of broken things.
      want to use your pc as a browser-email ? it’s fine. as long as the website isn’t version-specific when it’s about flash. wish.com even flickers…
      FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU

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