Anbox Is A New Way To Run Android Apps On A Linux Desktop

Written by Michael Larabel in Desktop on 12 April 2017 at 09:37 AM EDT. 22 Comments
While there was the KDE-aligned Shashlik effort for trying to get Android apps running on the Linux desktop, Anbox is a new initiative made public this week by a Canonical developer for running Android programs on the Linux desktop.

Simon Fels is a Lead Software Engineer at Canonical working on Ubuntu Core while it seems his side project for the past year and a half has been creating Anbox. Anbox is short for "Android in a Box" and is a fully open-source (GPLv3 and then Apache 2.0 in needed areas) way for getting Android applications on the Linux desktop.

Anbox makes use of LXC for having an Android container and bridges needed functionality to the Linux desktop. Linux namespaces are used for isolation. OpenGL ES support is achieved by re-using Android emulator code for serializing the command stream and shipping them off to the host's OpenGL / GLES drivers. So it's not the emulator approach seen by other Android-on-the-desktop approaches, but requires extra crafting to get right. Anbox in its current state is considered pre-alpha.

More details via Simon's blog or by visiting Anbox is distributed in binary form via Snaps and this does seem to work on Ubuntu, but doesn't appear to be an official Ubuntu/Canonical project.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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