The installation process currently consists of a few steps which will add additional components to your host system. These include

  • Out-of-tree kernel modules for binder and ashmem as no distribution kernel ships both enabled.
  • A udev rule to set correct permissions for /dev/binder and /dev/ashmem
  • A upstart job which starts the Anbox session manager as part of a user session.

To make this process as easy as possible we have bundled the necessary steps in a snap (see called "anbox-installer". The installer will perform all necessary steps. You can install it on a system providing support for snaps by running

$ snap install --classic anbox-installer

Alternatively you can fetch the installer script via

$ wget -O anbox-installer

Please note that we don't support any possible Linux distribution out there yet. Please have a look at the following chapter to see a list of supported distributions.

To proceed the installation process simply called

$ anbox-installer

This will guide you through the installation process.

NOTE: Anbox is currently in a pre-alpha development state. Don't expect a fully working system for a production system with all features you need. You will for sure see bugs and crashes. If you do so, please don't hestitate and report them!

NOTE: The Anbox snap currently comes completely unconfined and is because of this only available from the edge channel. Proper confinement is a thing we want to achieve in the future but due to the nature and complexity of Anbox this isn't a simple task.

Supported Linux Distributions

At the moment we officially support the following Linux distributions:

  • Ubuntu 16.04 (xenial)

Untested but likely to work:

  • Ubuntu 14.04 (trusty)
  • Ubuntu 16.10 (yakkety)
  • Ubuntu 17.04 (zesty)

Install and Run Android Applications

Build from source

To build the Anbox runtime itself there is nothing special to know. We're using cmake as build system. A few build dependencies need to be present on your host system:

  • libdbus
  • google-mock
  • google-test
  • libboost
  • libboost-filesystem
  • libboost-log
  • libboost-iostreams
  • libboost-program-options
  • libboost-system
  • libboost-test
  • libboost-thread
  • libcap
  • libdbus-cpp
  • mesa (libegl1, libgles2)
  • glib-2.0
  • libsdl2
  • libprotobuf
  • protobuf-compiler
  • lxc

On an Ubuntu system you can install all build dependencies with the following command:

$ sudo apt install build-essential cmake cmake-data debhelper dbus google-mock \
    libboost-dev libboost-filesystem-dev libboost-log-dev libboost-iostreams-dev \
    libboost-program-options-dev libboost-system-dev libboost-test-dev \
    libboost-thread-dev libcap-dev libdbus-1-dev libdbus-cpp-dev libegl1-mesa-dev \
    libgles2-mesa-dev libglib2.0-dev libglm-dev libgtest-dev liblxc1 \
    libproperties-cpp-dev libprotobuf-dev libsdl2-dev lxc-dev pkg-config \

Afterwards you can build Anbox with

$ mkdir build
$ cd build
$ cmake ..
$ make

A simple

$ make install

will install the necessary bits into your system.

If you want to build the anbox snap instead you can do this with the following steps:

$ mkdir android-images
$ cp /path/to/android.img android-images/android.img
$ snapcraft

The result will be a .snap file you can install on a system supporting snaps

$ snap install --dangerous --devmode anbox_1_amd64.snap

Run Anbox

Running Anbox from a local build requires a few more things you need to know about. Please have a look at the "Runtime Setup" documentation.


You will find additional documentation for Anbox in the docs subdirectory of the project source.

Interesting things to have a look at

Reporting bugs

If you have found an issue with Anbox, please file a bug.

Get in Touch

If you want to get in contact with the developers please feel free to join the #anbox IRC channel on FreeNode.

Copyright and Licensing

Anbox reuses code from other projects like the Android QEMU emulator. These projects are available in the external/ subdirectory with the licensing terms included.

The anbox source itself, if not stated differently in the relevant source files, is licensed under the terms of the GPLv3 license.