I'm aware of two Android emulators such as BlueStacks (Windows and macOS) and Genymotion (macOS and Linux). They both use virtual images to run Android emulation and they work fine on my MacBook. However they won't work on VPS, as you can't use VM within already virtualized environment (such as VPS or Amazon EC2).

Is there any solution to run Android app with works 24h/7d on Amazon EC2 or on different VPS, either on Linux, macOS or using some special AMI used for Android?

3 Answers 3


Thanks to Ravello’s full nested virtualization support, it is possible to run Android emulator with hardware acceleration in any public cloud by following these steps:

  1. Create a host VM in Ravello (on AWS) for the Android emulator.

    The easiest way to get a Xubuntu 14.04.1 up and running on Ravello is by installing it from a CD-ROM.

    Make sure to enable full virtualization support for the emulator on this Ubuntu VM by loading the KVM module:

    sudo modprobe kvm_amd
    sudo chmod 666 /dev/kvm
  2. Install the Android Emulator on the newly created VM in AWS.

    1. Install OpenJDK

      sudo apt-get install openjdk-6-jre openjdk-6-jdk icedtea6-plugin
    2. Download and install the latest Android SDK:

      wget http://dl.google.com/android/android-sdk_r23.0.2-linux.tgz
      tar -xvzf android-sdk_r23.0.2-linux.tgz
      cd ~/android-sdk-linux/tools
  3. Create an AVD (Android Virtual Device) to run on emulator.

    ~/android-sdk-linux/tools/android avd
  4. Run the android virtual device with a local display (to the ravello console):

    sudo ./emulator64-x86 -avd [AVD Name] -noaudio -nojni -netfast -no-boot-anim  -qemu -enable-kvm -snapshot
  5. Enable direct VNC connection to the AVD.

    You would like to be able to allow for direct VNC connection to this AVD, either using a VNC client, or by using a VNC to HTML5 gateway such as Guacamole or NoVNC to enable direct access to the Android device from any web browser.

Source: How to run the Android Emulator (with Hardware Acceleration) on Amazon EC2 and Google Cloud

See also: Getting Started with Ravello - Step-by-Step

  • 1
    As Ravello does not exist anymore, is there a new solution? Aug 17, 2020 at 7:31

There is a Genymotion on-Demand available in AWS Marketplace to get Android emulated directly using AMI (support for Android 5-7).

Genymotion on-Demand for AWS, based on industry-leading Genymotion, is Android operating system on EC2.

Check Genymotion on Demand Tutorial for further details.

  • 3
    Genymotion on-Demand is rubbish, cna't run it 24//7 it's too expensive.
    – CodeGuru
    Oct 22, 2019 at 8:24
  • Try EC2 Reserved Instances?
    – kenorb
    Oct 22, 2019 at 10:32
  • Genymotion isn't opensource , you can't run it your own I believe.
    – CodeGuru
    Oct 23, 2019 at 5:45

There is an available instance of BlueStacks App Player on Windows 2012 R2 on the Amazon Marketplace provided by Cognosys Inc.

BlueStacks App Player is a great tool for allowing you to run your favorite mobile apps/games in full screen in your browser using a PC or Mac.

It is suggested to use the minimum of t2-medium type of the instance which will start the player app and can provide low-color low-action games can be played (slow, but it does work). For more resource-hungry games, higher type of instances needs to be used. For the storage, 32GB should be used or more.

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