Skip to content


Switch branches/tags

Name already in use

A tag already exists with the provided branch name. Many Git commands accept both tag and branch names, so creating this branch may cause unexpected behavior. Are you sure you want to create this branch?


Failed to load latest commit information.
Latest commit message
Commit time
Apr 18, 2022

Snap Status Build Status


Anbox is a container-based approach to boot a full Android system on a regular GNU/Linux system like Ubuntu. In other words: Anbox will let you run Android on your Linux system without the slowness of virtualization.


Anbox uses Linux namespaces (user, pid, uts, net, mount, ipc) to run a full Android system in a container and provide Android applications on any GNU/Linux-based platform.

The Android inside the container has no direct access to any hardware. All hardware access is going through the anbox daemon on the host. We're reusing what Android implemented within the QEMU-based emulator for OpenGL ES accelerated rendering. The Android system inside the container uses different pipes to communicate with the host system and sends all hardware access commands through these.

For more details have a look at the following documentation pages:

Anbox is currently suited for the desktop use case but can be used on mobile operating systems like Ubuntu Touch or postmarketOS (installation instructions). However this is still a work in progress.

The Android runtime environment ships with a minimal customized Android system image based on the Android Open Source Project. The used image is currently based on Android 7.1.1


See our installation instructions for details.

Supported Linux Distributions

At the moment we officially support the following Linux distributions:

  • Ubuntu 18.04 (bionic)
  • Ubuntu 20.04 (focal)

However all other distributions supporting snap packages should work as well as long as they provide the mandatory kernel support (see documentation).

Install and Run Android Applications

You can install Android applications from the command line using adb.

adb install xyz.apk

The apk files you will sometimes find on the internet tend to only have arm support, and will therefore not work on x86_64.

You may want to install F-Droid to get applications graphically. Note that the Google Play Store will not work as is, because it relies on the proprietary Google Play Services, which are not installed.

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
  • libexpat1-dev
  • libsystemd
  • mesa (libegl1, libgles2)
  • libglm
  • libsdl2
  • libprotobuf
  • protobuf-compiler
  • python3
  • lxc (>= 3.0)

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 libexpat1-dev libsystemd-dev libegl1-mesa-dev \
    libgles2-mesa-dev libglm-dev libgtest-dev liblxc1 \
    libproperties-cpp-dev libprotobuf-dev libsdl2-dev libsdl2-image-dev lxc-dev \
    pkg-config protobuf-compiler python3-minimal

We recommend Ubuntu 20.04 (focal) as your build environment.


Afterwards you can build Anbox with

$ git clone --recurse-submodules
$ cd anbox
$ mkdir build
$ cd build
$ cmake ..
$ make

A simple

$ sudo 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:

$ ARCH=$(uname -m)
$ cp /path/to/android.img data/android-images/android-$ARCH.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 Libera.Chat.

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.


Anbox is a container-based approach to boot a full Android system on a regular GNU/Linux system








No releases published


No packages published