Anbox – Run Android applications natively on Linux

Anbox Android In A Box... On Linux

Anbox is an open-source tool with which you can run Android applications as a native GNU/Linux application with hardware acceleration. It is sandboxed, and therefore no android application can figure out your hardware and guess if you are using it on an emulator.

And recently, Microsoft is also actively developing its Windows Subsystem for Android or WSA to use Android apps on Windows 11. However, Anbox is being used on Linux since way before Microsoft announced WSA, and it can give WSA hard competition…. well, at least in the Linux world.

So, in this tutorial, we will go through the Installation process of Anbox on all the major Linux distributions, given that it is only available on the snap store, installing it is a bit hectic on all the Distributions other than Ubuntu and therefore some users might not like it at all.

Installing Anbox on Linux

Let’s get started with the Anbox installation on Linux.

On Ubuntu

Firstly, if you are an Ubuntu Linux user (or any distribution which uses apt package manager and has snap enabled), the installation is really simple, just open a terminal and type the following commands :

# Make sure you are up to date
sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade

# Add this PPA to your package manager
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:morphis/anbox-support

# Update and install kernel modules
sudo apt update && sudo apt install kernel-modules-dkms

# Now, start and Verify that yoour Kernel modules have started
sudo modprobe ashmem_linux
sudo modprobe binder_linux

ls -l /dev/{ashmem,binder}

The output of the final command should look something like this :


Finally, make sure you have snap enabled and then install Anbox by typing:

snap --version
sudo snap install --devmode --beta anbox

On Fedora Workstation

On Fedora, we just have to install snap and then install this emulator, open the Terminal, and type the following command:

sudo dnf install snapd
Installing Snap On Fedora
Installing Snap On Fedora

Now, we also have to install a package named snap-core, so type the following in your Terminal :

sudo snap install core
Installing The Snap Core Package
Installing The Snap Core Package

The above-mentioned command may take some time to complete, depending on your Internet connection. Once finished, finally type the following to install this emulator :

sudo snap install --devmode --beta anbox
Installing Anbox On Fedora With Snap Package Manager
Installing Anbox On Fedora With Snap Package Manager

Once finished, it is recommended that you restart your PC.

Install ADB (to install applications from apk)

Note that there will be no play store and you will always have to install applications via the command line using APKs. Don’t worry, it gets really easy when you learn about it. To install ADB, type the following commands, depending on your distribution :

# On Debian and Ubuntu based distributions
sudo apt install android-tools-adb

# On Fedora workstation
sudo dnf install android-tools
Installing ADB On Fedora
Installing ADB On Fedora

And you’re done! If you have restarted your machine then great, you can look for Anbox from your applications grid, otherwise, make sure to restart your PC.

The Interface, and installing Applications

Look for Anbox from your Applications grid, and then launch it. Because it is a snap application, the first launch can take some time.

Anbox Interface
Anbox Interface

As you can see, the Interface is really minimal, and there is no other application installed other than Calculator, Calendar, Clock, etc. To install any application from an apk, you will have to type the following command in your terminal :

# First enter the adb shell
adb shell

# Now specify the location of the apk and install
adb install /path/to/application.apk


This is a very nice application overall, but some users do encounter building the Modules themselves, as it does not ship in the Linux kernel by default. There is another emulator named Waydroid, which is recommended for Wayland users because this application runs a little slow on platforms other than XORG. We will be doing a tutorial for Waydroid soon, so keep an eye on that!



Official Guide