How to Install Anbox to Run Android Apps in Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 21.10

Want to run Android apps in Linux? Here’s how to do it using the Anbox container in Ubuntu 20.04 and Ubuntu 21.10.

Anbox, Anbox in a box, is a free and open-source software that runs the full Android system in a container, abstracts hardware access and integrates core system services into a GNU/Linux system.

There’s another solution “Waydroid” to do the similar things in Linux. It’s said to have better performance, though it requires Wayland session. For those stick to Xorg, here’s how to install and use Anbox.

Load Kernel modules:

Anbox requires ashmem_linux and binder_linux kernel modules.

1.) If you have the SecureBoot enabled (check via sudo mokutil --sb-state command), open terminal by pressing Ctrl+Alt+T on keyboard, and run command to sign the kernel module:

sudo kmodsign sha512 /var/lib/shim-signed/mok/MOK.priv /var/lib/shim-signed/mok/MOK.der /lib/modules/`uname -r`/kernel/drivers/staging/android/ashmem_linux.ko

2.) Next load the modules one by one via command:

sudo modprobe ashmem_linux
sudo modprobe binder_linux

3.) Finally verify the kernel modules via command:

lsmod | grep -e ashmem_linux -e binder_linux

Install Anbox:

The software is available to install via official Snap and classic DEB packages, though I recommend the snap package this time. Because, the DEB is not well supported. User needs to manually mount binder, download and load Android image, and troubleshoot other issues. And it ultimately failed to run in my case.

To install Anbox snap, press Ctrl+Alt+T to open terminal, and run command:

snap install anbox --beta --devmode

After installation, you may try to launch Anbox via command:

anbox launch --package=org.anbox.appmgr --component=org.anbox.appmgr.AppViewActivity

NOTE: Open Anbox by searching from activities overview does not work in my case until installed the Google Play Store.

Install Google Play Store:

Anbox has a few built-in applications except Google Play Store, because Google will only permit certified devices to ship with their applications. Thankfully, there’s an installer script to automatically install it for you.

1.) Firstly, open terminal and run command to install some required libraries:

sudo apt install wget curl lzip tar unzip squashfs-tools

2.) Next, download the script via wget command:

wget https://raw.githubusercontent.com/geeks-r-us/anbox-playstore-installer/master/install-playstore.sh

3.) Add executable permission:

chmod u+x install-playstore.sh

4.) And run the script will download the package and install Play Store:

./install-playstore.sh

Now, search for and open Anbox from activities overview screen. When it opens, go to settings and grant all permissions to Google Play Store, and finally open the Play Store to install Android apps.

How to Remove Anbox:

To remove the software, simply run command in terminal:

snap remove --purge anbox

You may also remove the “anbox” and “anbox-work” folders in user’s home directory.