Best Android Emulators for Linux

4 Best Android Emulators for Linux (Free Downloads)

Here’s the deal:

There are a lot of reasons to use Linux as the main operating system on your computer. We’re not going to discuss them. However, we are going to list the best Android emulators for Linux that will enable you to enjoy Android games and apps on your preferred platform.

The thing is…

A lot of professionals I know prefer to use Linux Mint on their personal computers simply because it is more versatile than Windows. The same can be said for Android, as it provides a lot of freedom compared to other competitors like iOS. As a matter of fact, Android is based on Linux itself; however, it is not a straight-up offshoot.

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Surprisingly, there are not a lot of Android emulators for Linux easily available these days. There are a few that came out but some of them are pure vaporware at this point. So, it was a little bit harder to nail down free downloads in Linux Android emulators. Thankfully, all 4 of them worked, so all that research didn’t go in vain. Of course, you’ll need some know-how of how the system works, it’s not necessary but would come in handy if things don’t work out as they should.

But, the most important question is how do you install a VirtualBox on Linux?

Installing VirtualBox on Linux

Before we start counting down the list, you’ll need to install a virtual box on Linux. Almost all the Android Linux emulators require a virtual box to run properly. Thankfully, it is super easy to install and all you need to do is:

  • Install the dependencies by executing this command “sudo apt-get install dkms” in the terminal.
  • After that execute this command “sudo apt-get install virtualbox-4.3
  • That’s it, the virtual box will be installed.

It’s easy, isn’t it?

Also Read: JoyofAndroid Apps section; a place to discover some truly awesome Apps.

4 Best Android Emulators for Linux

1. Official SDK

Official SDK.
Official SDK. Image credit: Official SDK / Google

The official Android SDK (software development kit) is the best way to emulate Android on Linux Ubuntu. While there are many other emulators out there: some of them are very limited feature sets, some of them are paid, and some of them don’t even run.

The official Android SDK is made by Google for Android development and it supports all the functions including file transfer and SD Card support. One great thing about this android emulator is that it supports physical keypad which none of the other emulators do.

As it is developed by Google themselves, you can be sure that it won’t have a lot of problems. Even if there are some problems, the Google engineers will surely iron them out in no time at all. If you need a fast and official Android emulator on Linux, the official Android software development kit is the best way to go.

Pros Cons
Extract your compressed file into your home folder.No Bluetooth support
Official SDK provides a selection of tools required to build Android apps on Linux or to ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible. Setting up the whole environment is a hassle in the Official SDK.
The Official SDK provides you with the API libraries and developer tools necessary to build, test, and debug apps for Linux.While simulated phone calls can be placed and received, there’s no call audio support.

2. Genymotion

GenyMotion Interface.
GenyMotion Interface. Image credit: Genymotion

Genymotion is one of the best Android emulators for Linux and comes with a lot of different features that are unique to it. It is designed well and works smoothly with the operating system. You’ll need to set up a virtual box in order to use it, we have listed the method to install it above.

You can easily download pre-configured Android images of different Android versions. It also gives you the flexibility of configuring the precise amount of resources you will be allotted. For example, if you want to set up the RAM at 3 GB, you can do so easily. You’ll also be able to allot hard disk storage space appropriately.

Related: 10+ ways to increase RAM in Android phones

The app also supports networking through Wi-Fi and Ethernet. This means you’ll be able to use the Internet directly in the immolated Android apps and games. I was also pleasantly surprised to see that the app has full support for a gyroscope, accelerometer, and light sensors as well. Overall, it’s a complete package that won’t disappoint you at all. The only downside is that you’ll need to be connected to a cloud service to deploy Genymotion, so Internet connectivity is a must.

ProsCons
Genymotion has a  Large library of emulated devices as well as custom devicesGenymotion is expensive.
It has multiple ways of installing an application including drag & drop, running ADB install, and using a web link.Genymotion can’t set a custom display resolution.
A webcam and a dummy webcam can be used with the emulated device.The Free version is for non-commercial work only

3. Andro VM

Andro VM
Andro VM interface. Image credit: Andro VM

Andro VM is what made Genymotion possible, it works almost the same and provides great functionality. The major difference between Andro VM and Genymotion is that it can be deployed offline. This makes it highly convenient for those who have limited Internet access.

Of course, like any other Android emulator for Linux, you will also need to install a virtual box on your machine in order to use Andro VM.

The program supports net sharing from guest to host. Internet sharing is also available. One great thing about this Android emulator for Linux is that it supports hardware OpenGL rendering. In layman’s terms, this will enable you to play graphic-intensive games without any worries.

Overall, it’s a great Linux Android emulator that runs apps and games smoothly on your Linux PC. Connecting to the Internet is no problem at all and you’ll have full access to the Internet while using emulated apps. It can be found on the Genymotion website as well to download.

Pros Cons
Offline access is available in the Andro VM emulator.You have to download Virtual Box separately. 
One of the easier choices to set up, requires you to simply download the Linux image from their website. Images can only be loaded in Virtual Box. 

4. Jar of Beans

Jar of Beans Interface. Image credit: Jar of Beans

Jar of Beans was designed to be an Android Emulator for Windows; however, you can also run it on Linux as well. But for that, you’ll need to install Wine, another emulator that runs Windows on Linux.

So basically, you will be running Android apps on an Android emulator being run on a Windows emulator on Linux.

If you’re okay with going to this extent, Jar of Beans has all the basic support you’ll need. You can easily install APK files on it, it supports SD card, and even allows the installation of the Google play store. Overall it’s a nifty little program that will allow you to run Android apps and games on your Linux device.

Of course, it is not as viable to use emulation within an emulator, because it will be taxing and there will be exponentially more chances of failure. But if you’re reading this article, you already know what you are doing, so I’ll leave it up to you. To run Jar of Beans download and extract the contents and then run it by using Wine.

Pros Cons
Jar of Beans emulator is completely portable.Jar of Beans emulator is the old version of Android.
This emulator for Linux is considered one of the fastest emulators around.A choice of skins and additional resolutions are always on their to-do list.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Android emulators Illegal?

No. Downloading and using an android emulator is not illegal. As long as you download emulators from their official sites, then you will not have any problems.

How do you Uninstall an Android emulator?

Uninstalling an Android Emulator is easy. You just have to follow these steps:
1. Click Start and search for “Uninstall a program”.
2. Look for the Android Emulator you want to remove.
3. Click “Uninstall” to begin the uninstallation.

What is an Android emulator?

The main purpose of this Android emulator is that they are used to install and run Android applications on your PCs and laptops. For example, an Android emulator for Linux allows users to test and play and interact with android apps and software on Linux.

Can I play games if I have an Android emulator for Linux?

Not all Android games run well on Linux because they are built for phones and tablets and this cannot be accessed on laptops. So, if you want to get the best experience, use Android emulators on your smartphone running on Linux instead.

Can I use an emulator on Linux?

Yes, you can use an emulator on Linux. Emulators are computer applications that help you run your Android applications and games on your Linux machine.

Final thoughts – 4 Best Android Emulators for Linux

The best Android emulator for Linux is not perfect by any means, but then again, any emulation won’t be perfect. However, if you’ve already installed Linux on your PC then you are certainly a capable person.

Half the charm of running a Linux system is the fun of figuring things out and solving them. I’m no expert at that, so I’ll leave the tinkering to you.  If your goal is to install and run Android apps on your Linux device, then these emulators will do their jobs.

Which of the emulators above work best with your Linux? Comment down your thoughts below!

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17 Comments

    1. andro vm is a project leaved by genymotion ,after searching a bit, i think is the first one before genymotion decide to create cloud with vm prepared to be deployed

  1. WINE is not an emulator! WINE is an API that allows Linux to interface with Windows programs as if through Windows. Think of it as teaching Linux another language, only the language is Windows.

      1. WINE is an API translation layer. It simply translates Windows API calls to corresponding Linux system calls. No hardware is being emulated.

        If in your opinion WINE is “awful”, I’m sure your expertise would be greatly appreciated to improve the project — WINE is open source. I’m sure your contributions would be greatly appreciated.

  2. Thanks for sharing this nice and helpful distro. Definitely it will help me to adopt Linux as gaming platform.

  3. I am new to android emulator and i have a question, is there any emulator for android to be intalled on an android device? Like nvidia shield tv? Cause i like some games from google play that are not compatible with nvidia shield tv, so i would like to add an emulator and include those games in there too, also on windows 10 what the best controller compatible with nox cause i dont like playing with mouse and keyboard? Thanks so much

  4. all of these are bulshit, except for the first one, that turns out is hard to install for basic users…
    2nd one is not free, 3rth one doesnt just redirect you to the same link from the second one
    and the last one, redirect you to a forum where there is no donwload link, only a magnet link on the coment section where i dont trust it, since i have no idea who that person is…

  5. None of these are good Android emulators. Half of them don’t even exist or are no longer supported.

    1. Hi Songko! Check if the emulator is compatible with your device. Also, ensure that your device is updated to the latest version.

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