Running Android Apps on your linux box

So you want run Android applications on your linux box.  Basically you’ll need three things.  The Android SDK, Java JRE, and 32bit libraries.  If your server is already a 32bit server then you already have 32bit libraries installed.  If you server is a 64bit server then you will need to install the 32bit execution libraries, for Ubuntu that is the  ia32-libs package.

$ sudo apt-get install openjdk-6-jre

$ sudo apt-get install ia32-libs

Download the Android SDK from

Extract and run the Android SDK.

$ tar -zxvf android-sdk_r06-linux_86.tgz

$ cd android-sdk-linux_86

$ cd tools

$ ./android &

Click on “Installed Packages” to update your tools and APIs.  Click the “Update All…” button.

I am going to select the “Android 2.2, API 8” and click Install.  This will download and install several packages.

When it finishes downloading and installing the additional packages, you should see something like the following.

Now lets create a virtual Android device.  Select “Virtual Devices” and click the “New…” button.

Select a name for your Android device.  I chose fakeDroid.  Select an API level, SD card size, and a Skin (screen size).  The Hardware section, lets you outfit your Android with various features.  I’m going to select the following:

  • SD Card support
  • GPS support
  • Accelerometer
  • DPad support
  • Touchscreen support
  • Audo playback support

Then click “Create AVD”.

This will create a virtual android device for you.  You can select your virtual device and click the Start button.

Your virtual Android will then power-on and begin botting.  When it finishes booting you should see something like the following.

Now lets install an Android application.  Click on the button that looks like a globe to start the android web browser.  You should see a web browser like the following.

Enter the URL:

To zoom in you can double click on the Android touchscreen.  You can pan the display by using your mouse pointer to “drag” the touchscreen.  I’m going to install the application PicSay, but you can choose whatever application you want.  You install android applications by downloading the android package files with .apk extension.   You should see a link for downloading the file.

After the download begins, click and drag downward on the top menu bar.  This is where android keeps its notifications.  Soon, you should see that the download has completed.

Click on the downloaded file and it will open the installer program for that application.  Click the Install button.

When the application finishes installing, you can click the home button to go back to your Android home page.  Then click the touch screen button which looks like a grid.  That is the launcher button.  It takes you to the screen where you can launch applications.  You should see the icon for your newly installed application (PicSay).

To start the PicSay application, click its icon.   We are done here.

Have fun experimenting with the android SDK.