How to Run Android Apps in Linux Without an Emulator

How to Run Android Apps in Linux Without an Emulator

Before Microsoft could bring native Android app support in Windows 11, Linux has spoiled the party. WayDroid is a kind of compatibility layer that enables you to run Android apps in any Linux distribution. The best part about WayDroid is that you get far better performance, even better than an optimized Android emulator or a virtual machine running Android x86 on Linux. It almost feels like you are running Android apps natively on your Linux machine. With that said, let’s not waste more time and learn how to run Android apps in Linux without an emulator.

Run Android Apps in Linux Without an Emulator (2021)

1. First of all, you need to install Curl in case you have not installed it already. Open the Terminal and run the below command. Press “y” and hit Enter when the Terminal asks for your permission.

sudo apt install curl
Run Android Apps in Linux Without an Emulator (2021)

2. Next, run the below command based on your Linux distro. If you are using Ubuntu, use focal for the Distro, and for the latest Debian, choose bullseye, and so on. If you get a “Permission denied” error along the way, just run sudo su and then proceed with the commands.

export DISTRO="focal"
Run Android Apps in Linux Without an Emulator (2021)

3. Once you have done that, execute the below command to download WayDroid’s GPG key on your Linux distro.

curl https://repo.waydro.id/waydroid.gpg > /usr/share/keyrings/waydroid.gpg
Run Android Apps in Linux Without an Emulator (2021)

4. Then, run the next command listed below, and it will add WayDroid to the source list.

echo "deb [signed-by=/usr/share/keyrings/waydroid.gpg] https://repo.waydro.id/ $DISTRO main" > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/waydroid.list
Run Android Apps in Linux Without an Emulator (2021)

5. Now, run the basic Linux command “side apt update” to update the repository and packages.

sudo apt update
Run Android Apps in Linux Without an Emulator (2021)

6. Finally, you are ready to install WayDroid on your Linux machine. Enter the below command, press “y” when asked, and hit Enter to proceed.

sudo apt install waydroid
Run Android Apps in Linux Without an Emulator (2021)

7. After the installation is complete, you need to run another command to download the Android image for WayDroid. Keep in mind that it will take some time as the image size is around 600MB.

sudo waydroid init
waydroid init

8. Now, you are almost ready. You first need to start some WayDroid services before you can run Android apps on your Linux PC without an emulator. Execute the below commands one by one.

sudo systemctl start waydroid-container
waydroid session start
systemctl

9. Finally, run the below command, and WayDroid’s GUI will open up on your Linux PC. You can now go ahead and enjoy Android apps on your Linux computer. By the way, you can also start WayDroid from the app drawer.

waydroid show-full-ui
How to Run Android Apps in Linux Without an Emulator

Install Android Apps on Linux and Enjoy Near-Native Experience

So that is how you can install and run Android apps on your Linux PC, no matter if you are using Ubuntu, Debian, or some other distro. As we mentioned above, the performance of Android apps is really good. I regularly use Android apps on my Chromebook, and I must say the performance is almost identical. One thing is for sure, it does not feel like you are using an Android emulator. Anyway, that is all from us. If you are a Chromebook user and want to update the Linux container to Bullseye, follow our linked article for detailed instructions. You can also learn how to install Minecraft or Albion Online on your Chromebook via the linked articles. And if you have any questions, let us know in the comment section below.

5 Comments

  1. Getting below error while installing,

    prashant@mypc:~$ sudo apt-get install waydroid && sudo waydroid init
    Reading package lists… Done
    Building dependency tree
    Reading state information… Done
    Some packages could not be installed. This may mean that you have
    requested an impossible situation or if you are using the unstable
    distribution that some required packages have not yet been created
    or been moved out of Incoming.
    The following information may help to resolve the situation:

    The following packages have unmet dependencies:
    waydroid : Depends: python3-gbinder but it is not going to be installed
    E: Unable to correct problems, you have held broken packages.
    prashant@mypc:~$

  2. Thats why ubuntu is not a good distro for beginners. In manjaro for example, only one command was needed, ‘pamac build waydroid’ , or one could have opened package manager and just searched waydroid

    1. Ubuntu and mint has always been goto distros for beginners. What a “normal” user wants from an operating system is to “just work” on their hardware. And Ubuntu and mint “just works”.

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