Launch Android apps on Linux with Anbox

Resources and Administration

Anbox uses very little in terms of resources on the Linux host compared to other emulators or run-time environments. The main memory requirement for the container is also moderate. The Application Manager occupies about 240MB RAM, while the Settings Manager takes around another 85MB. Each app you launch increases the memory requirement by about 15MB. This means that Anbox is quite fast even on older hardware with little RAM.

The Snap daemon manages the Anbox container. Some terminal commands, which differ from their counterparts for conventional package management, are used for this purpose. For example, Snap for Anbox does not offer automatic updates; you have to do this manually (Listing 2, line 1). To discover the current version of the Anbox container, type:

Listing 2

Updating and Deleting Anbox

 

snap info anbox

To remove Anbox from the system, delete the container (line 3). In addition, you also need to remove the matching kernel modules, which requires the ppa-purge package (line 4). Then remove the PPA archive (line 5). You have now completely removed Anbox and its helpers from the system.

Conclusions

Anbox is a quick solution for taking Android applications to the Linux desktop. The container solution, which is still under constant development, is already surprisingly stable and can be used in production.

Restrictions that apply to smartphones do not apply on Linux. Not only can multiple apps be opened simultaneously, but their windows can also be displayed at any scale. In addition, Android apps can coexist on the Linux desktop parallel to other windows without any problems. This greatly boosts the desktop's usefulness.

However, it would be nice if Anbox supported other container formats, such as AppImage, so that users outside of the Ubuntu/Debian universe could take advantage of it.

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