This information is a little hard to find on the Internet. This is how to install Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) in VirtualBox, in a "do it yourself" way (installing from an ISO image). There are some people who have made pre-installed VirtualBox images, but one problem you may run into going that route is that the Android serial number will match everybody else who's using the same image as you, since Android generates this number on its first boot.
So this means using one of the Android-x86 images from there won't get you too far because audio and networking won't work. Fortunately, somebody has put together an ISO image that's been custom tailored to VirtualBox.
I don't remember where I found this ISO image; if it's yours, leave me a comment and I'll edit this post. I found the ISO here: android-x86 VirtualBox/VMWare support (thanks @jakimfett!)
I have a copy of this ISO hosted here: android-x86-vm-20120130.iso (244MB). This ISO works much better.
Make sure you add the SATA Controller if it does not appear, when you setup the virtual box and then add the ISO image and virtual disk image to this.It worked for me as listed above (IDE CD drive, SATA hard disk), but this is something to keep in mind if you have any issues booting the CD or installing it to disk.
If you try and add the ISO image and virtual disk image to the IDE Controller this will not work at.
This information maybe useful to someone making this mistake.
The Escape key on your keyboard corresponds to the Back key in Android. The context menu key on your keyboard corresponds to the Menu button in Android (the context menu key is usually next to the right Windows key).
To power off the VM, press HostKey+H. This will cause Android to pop up the shutdown dialog that you'd expect on a real phone. You can also use the "Machine->Send Shutdown Signal" to do the same.
On a real Android device that's been rooted and flashed with a custom ROM, you'd install the Google apps by flashing them in recovery mode. But you can't get into recovery mode on VirtualBox. Thus, the method for installing the Google Apps is kinda sketchy, but it works (and if you know of a better way, feel free to tell me).
You'll need a file with a name like "gapps-ics-20120304-signed.zip". These are the Google apps (the date part might be different). You can Google them, but I have a copy of them here to download too.
You don't really need the entire Google Apps file, actually. Just the "system" folder inside the zip file. Create a new tar file of the "system" folder so that it will be easy to get it into your Android device. I have a prepared "system.tar.gz" for you if you just want to use mine.
$ cd /sdcard/Download $ tar -xzvf system.tar.gz $ su # cd /sdcard/Download # cp -rf system/* /system/Pay special attention to the
cp -rfcommand. Make sure the slashes and *'s are in the right places.
Note: in my experience, the Market app will be somewhat unstable. When you start the app, it will Force Quit after 10 or 15 seconds. However, if you're fast enough you should be able to quickly search for a specific app you'd like and begin the download process before Market crashes, and the app will continue to download and install regardless.
I imagine that the unorthodox way of installing the Google Apps might be partly to blame for the Market being unstable. The other Google apps seem to work fine though.
The general steps are as follows. Substitute
1024x768 with whatever resolution you want. You can add multiple video modes by changing "CustomVideoMode1" to be "CustomVideoMode2", etc.
VBoxManage setextradata "Android ICS" "CustomVideoMode1" "1024x768x32"
UVESA_MODE=1024x768to the end of the boot arguments (make sure to hit Space first), and press Enter.
Your mileage may vary.
Updated: added pictures. Bumped the timestamp to make this post new again.
I don't know how I missed this, but apparently VirtualBox finally supports a "Scale Mode."
I've always wanted this feature. Why, you ask?
One easy example is for running an old operating system (older than Windows 2000) that isn't supported by VirtualBox, so that there are no Guest Additions for it. Guest Additions for supported OS's install extra drivers for the virtual machine, so that when you put VirtualBox into "Full Screen" mode, the guest OS will automatically increase its screen resolution to fit your display. When it can't do that, it will just display the screen at its literal resolution and put a black margin to fill in the extra space.
Here is an expertly Photoshopped demonstration of what I'm talking about. If you were running a Windows 3.1 virtual machine at an 800x600 screen resolution, and you put the VM full-screen, this is what it would look like on your 1366x768 monitor:
Another example: even on supported guests, running an older game like Starcraft (which runs in a resolution of 640x480) had this problem too: if the VM is running Full Screen and you start Starcraft... instead of the game's display stretching across your whole monitor, it stays at 640x480 pixels and is centered on the screen. This sucks.
So it seems VirtualBox has finally added Scale Mode (available in the "Machine" menu along side Full Screen and Seamless modes). There's one quirk to it, though: Scale Mode and Full Screen don't work together. On my system, going into Scale Mode put the virtual machine into a window on my screen. This window could be maximized, but it couldn't be made full screen. So that sorta sucks.
Luckily, my Linux window manager (xfwm4, the window manager of the XFCE desktop environment) supports putting any window full screen, whether the window wants it or not. This means the window decorations are taken away and the contents of the window are resized to fill the display. Success! I can now run full screen, scaled resolution guest operating systems.
Scale mode with xfwm4's full-screen option gives you a "native" experience.
As a follow-up to my GNOME Shell in VirtualBox experiment, I've tested it again with the final release of Fedora 12: Constantine.
With no 3D acceleration, the results are the same as before: a mostly black screen, can't really do very much with it. With VirtualBox's 3D acceleration enabled, it's similar to the result I had before... very frequently the majority of the desktop (besides a box around my desktop icons) and the whole shapes of windows have that "striped" blue texture all across them.
I say most of the time because it's sometimes possible to get a window to show its true contents and become usable by dragging it around and playing with it for a bit, but the effects usually don't last very long before the window loses its textures again. The scale effect of bringing up the main menu in GNOME Shell usually fscks up all windows you have open again.
But the reason for this particular blog entry is that I also decided to test Compiz Fusion inside VirtualBox, on Fedora 12, under the same conditions as the GNOME Shell. I couldn't do this before because the beta version of Fedora 12 had some dependency issues, and Compiz conflicted with GNOME Shell; they couldn't co-exist together.
In Fedora 12 they can co-exist, and the Desktop Effects GUI window gives options to select either Compiz or GNOME Shell. Anyway, here's a screenshot. This is a real screenshot of Fedora 12 running in VirtualBox with full desktop effects active, including the 3D Cube effect.
Update: The latest version of VirtualBox (3.0. has fixed this issue; USB should work out-of-the-box now in Fedora 11+ if your user belongs to the
I remember that the ability to share USB devices with virtual machines used to be working "out-of-the-box" with VirtualBox and older versions of Fedora, but Fedora 11 complicates things a bit.
By default USB devices in virtual machines don't work; the menu lists all your USB devices as being greyed-out while the machine is running. It comes down to a permissions issue with the user you're logged on as. To fix:
1) Make sure your user belongs to the
vboxusers group. Older versions of VirtualBox made this an absolute necessity (virtual machines wouldn't boot otherwise), but VirtualBox 3.0 seems to only create this group but not actually require your user to belong to it for the most part. Update: with current VirtualBox, this is all that's required; USB should be working after you do this and log out and back in. If not, continue reading.
2) Create a mount point directory for usbfs (I did
mkdir /usbfs as root).
/etc/fstab to add a line that mounts usbfs, giving the vboxusers group write permissions to the mount point. In my case vboxusers had a group ID of 501; check in
/etc/group to see what your group's GID is:
# VirtualBox USB support none /usbfs usbfs rw,devgid=501,devmode=664 0 0Change
/usbfsto the mount point you created in step 2, and change
501to the group ID of the vboxusers group.
Now, you can either reboot or run
mount -a as root (to reload the data from /etc/fstab). If you had to add your user to the vboxusers group because it didn't already belong to the group, you'll need to log out and back in again.
And now your virtual machines can access the USB devices.