If I enter the Wi-Fi settings of Android-x86 (currently v8.1-r1) inside VirtualBox (currently v6.0.4) and turn it on, why does it just immediately get turned off?

Some Android apps try to find devices inside the network so it's essential (e.g. if you want to use Chromecast and iRobot Home).

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3 Answers 3


Turns out according to the official docs, "VirtualBox provides up to eight virtual PCI Ethernet cards", which means no Wi-Fi card is available to emulate. Even if the host provides Internet to the guest via Wi-Fi, all the guest sees is Ethernet.

But if VirtualBox is incapable of it, then how does Genymotion bypass it?

Major update: thanks for using this very question as motivation, as of version 8.1-r2, Android-x86 simulates WiFi on its own!

Virtual Wi-Fi in Androix-x86

  • so it's still only a simulation? is there no way to use the WiFi adapter on the host (and, say, enumerate SSIDs and connect to wireless devices)?
    – MC9000
    Aug 31, 2020 at 21:10
  • It's a simulation because the question was about a simulation. Due to the new feature, nothing stops you from using WiFi in the host, simulated as a wired cable in VirtualBox, then simulated as WiFi via Android-x86 itself. I confirm I've used this scenario to connect to wireless devices in the network!
    – LWC
    Aug 31, 2020 at 21:30

If you're running Android within a VM, I suspect the VM software is not allowing the Android VM to interact with your WiFi hardware directly, meaning that Android does not actually see that there is any hardware available for accessing WiFi. If you check your internet connection on the Android VM, does it show you're connected to the internet via ethernet?

There may be a way in VirtualBox's settings to give the VM direct access to your WiFi chip, but I highly doubt that would work based on the nature of running Android via a VM on desktop or laptop hardware.

  • Where can I check what you asked? Also, according to online searches, it seems even if you give direct access to Wi-Fi, the VM will still see it as Ethernet.
    – LWC
    Mar 29, 2019 at 16:31
  • 1
    It would be in the VirtualBox settings somewhere (I don't use VB, so I'm not sure where exactly). Like you said, though, I'm pretty sure it will only bridge the PC's wifi connection so that Android sees it is a hard line connection (ethernet).
    – phishfi
    Mar 29, 2019 at 17:41

Just install it on Virtual Box software. After you install Android on VirtualBox, go to Setting and change the network setting just like this:

  1. File - Host Network Manager
  2. Choose the Adapter
    • Attached to: Bridged Adapter
    • Name: (select physical adapter)
    • Advanced:
      • Adapter Type: Paravirtualized network adapter (virtio-net)
      • Promiscuous Mode: Deny
      • MAC Address: (insert MAC address, or leave default)
      • Cable Connected: V
  3. Press OK and wait while Virtualbox is creating a host-only network interface
  • That's still only a simulation. I think what people want here is to use the Wifi adapter on the host to, literally, connect to wireless devices as if you're using a physical android phone. (enumerate REAL devices, see SSIDs, etc)
    – MC9000
    Aug 31, 2020 at 21:08

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