How To Run Android on your Netbook or PC

Google’s open-source phone operating system, Android, has gained quite a bit of popularity since it was released, with a large number of Android smart phones from various companies hitting the market all the time.

But if you just want to play with Android, or you want to run it on your netbook because it’s fast and light, you wouldn’t have been able to for quite a while, without building it from source.

But now, you can, very easily.



Why should I run Android?

  • Designed for phones, so if you run it on a computer, it becomes so much faster
  • Simple interface
  • Lots of web-centric applications
  • And now, very simple to set up

Until now, if you wanted to run Android on your EeePC, you’d have to build it yourself with the source code from the Cupcake repository.

But now, with the Android x86 project coming up fast, you don’t even need to know the what “source code” means to run it on your netbook!

Let’s get started

First of all, you’ll need the installer image. Head over to the download page and look under “stable release”. You should see iso images (for CDs) and USB stick .img files.

So choose – CD (download .iso) or USB stick (download .img)?

For USB (recommended)
Download the .img.gz file (GZipped .img) and extract it.
To extract, double click (on Ubuntu) or, if you’re on Windows, use either Power Archiver or WinRAR.

You will now have a .img file.
To write this file to your USB stick, follow the instructions on this post.

As a quick guide,
On Ubuntu, download and install imagewriter from the software store.



On Windows, download and install Win32 Image writer and run it.

Now reboot your computer and set to BIOS to boot from USB.

For CD

Download the ISO image and burn it on to a CD, using your favourite CD burning software.
You can use Brasero for Linux, or Nero for Windows.

Once you’ve written the CD, reboot your computer and change your BIOS setting to boot from CD.

Running and installing Android

Once you boot the USB stick/CD, you should see a boot menu:


From here, you can choose to try out Android, or install it (not recommended).
The whole thing is a little buggy at present, so it’s better you don’t install it. It works really fast from a USB drive, so you don’t really need to install it.
Running it from the USB drive won’t change your existing setup in any way, do not worry.

For lots of screenshots, click here.

Will it run on my computer?

If you have an intel processor, chances are it will. However, it has only been tested to work on the following netbooks:

  • 701
  • 701SD
  • 900
  • 900A
  • 901
  • 904HD
  • 1000
  • 1000HE
  • 1000HD
  • 1005HAG
  • S101
  • T91 (VESA mode), touchscreen works.
  • Eee Top 1602C (VESA mode), touchscreen works.
  • Lenovo ThinkPad x61 Tablet