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How is it possible to get VirtualBox ready with an Android-x86 ISO image which supports ARM v7 (armeabi-v7a)?

Genymotion seems to do that, but as soon as I start the VirtualBoxfrom VirtualBox, it does only display the terminal. Same with all the other Emulators like AndyRoid.

I've tried installing several x86 ISO images. Installed the ARM translator (libhoudini) and so on. I've tried to install the Buildroid image, same results.

Some games work, but Clash of Clans doesn't. This is what I'm pointing at. Clash of Clans needs ARM v7. v5 does not work in this case.

Has anyone ever handled installing Android X86 with ARM v7 or a way accessing the VirtualBox from Genymotion without GenyMotion?

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  • Sounds like a contradiction in terms: X86 is an architecture, ARM is a different one. So you either use X86 or ARM – I've never heard of a (wide-spread) device having both architectures available natively. So IMHO, that cannot be done "without Emulator".
    – Izzy
    Apr 29, 2015 at 12:33
  • If this wouldnt be possible (even with translators) how does Genymotion, AndyRoid and all the other emulators do that job? :-)
    – Emanuel S
    Apr 29, 2015 at 12:34
  • You just answered the question yourself: "all the other emulators do". But you asked for "without Emulator".
    – Izzy
    Apr 29, 2015 at 12:40
  • Most of the "working" emulator uses VirtualBox for creating a Android X86 Image. Which means that they must break the magic and translate the VirtualBox using ARM instead of X86
    – Emanuel S
    Apr 29, 2015 at 12:41
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    @EmanuelSeibold CoC doesn't require an ARM chip, it works fine on my MM x86 build. x86 doesn't support ARM instructions without an emulator, and as of right now, ARM doesn't support native x86 instructions without an emulator that doesn't currently exist.
    – negusp
    Dec 13, 2016 at 3:14

3 Answers 3

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The Acorn RISC PC ran ARM and x86 processors natively. That may be what Izzy was referring to; anyway you do need an ARM emulator or translator if running Android x86 and wanting to run ARM-only software. ARM and x86 are totally different processors!

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Basically, Android x86 has a reworked kernel and HALs to enable it to run on an x86 platform. While the latest version of Android x86 based on Oreo may be considered stable, there are still documented issues with some software components not working as well or not at all on this port as you would see and expect them to work on an OS originally designed from the ground up to run on x86 platform.

You seemed to mention some software code translators but did not explain if they run in VM or not. Also, seems like you are wanting to run ARM software from an x86 platform and skip the VM environment altogether which may be impossible. ARM instruction code is completely different from x86 and how the two separate CPUs process it. I am unaware of any software that will translate or run complex ARM software code like a 3D game, on an x86 platform outside of a VM at this current time as this type of software would imply running some kind of live, real-time porting which does not exist. The only way to do this would be to create an ARM CPU VM environment. Currently, Apple and Microsoft have a project to port their systems over to the ARM platform as ARM is the future. However, they announced this last year but maybe a couple more years till they have a working port. Also, running an ARM VM inside an x86 platform that was originally designed for ARM may pose its own set of issues in terms of trying to install an ARM v7 virtual environment through a VM onto an x86 platform of an OS that was originally written for ARM, but then ported to x86.

While Android x86 should run directly installed onto an x86 (Intel or AMD) platform or installed in a VM set up with an x86 virtual platform, what it sounds like is that you are going back and forth. In other words, taking an Android OS based on and designed for ARM, that was ported to x86 and then want to go backward and run an ARM VM to run ARM software. In my experience, when trying to do anything that translates software back and forth, it almost always produces unwanted results. It's almost like translating a book from English to German, then to Russian, and back to English again. You will not get the same book in English that reads the exact same way as the original. So, this software may not run as perfectly as intended.

Furthermore, in looking at the VirtualBox documentation, it does not appear that it currently supports setting up an ARM environment. I did however notice some other ARM virtual environments but did not look to see what platform they run on or how well they perform.

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There is a closed source in-Android ARM translation library by Intel called libhoudini. If your x86 Android installation has that enabled, it can run some ARM code.

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  • Sounds like libhoudini is something that you would not install in a VM ..... which is where it seams he has installed it. Apr 18, 2019 at 15:38

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