Anbox runs Android apps on Linux just like native apps

One of the ironies of life is that while Android and Linux share a common core, there are more ways and tools to make Android apps run on Windows than they are to run them on Linux. That situation might soon change for the better now that Anbox has been made public. A year and a half in the making, this "Android in a box" software allows you to run Android apps on Linux just as if they were native Linux apps.

Linux is all grown up. It has a bunch of compelling software and even triple A games that makes it more than just a geek's pastime or OS of choice. There is, however, a distinct lack of popular apps or even open source equivalents to them. Apps that happen to have either Windows-only desktop software or, at least, Android apps.

Sure, you can probably use WINE to run those Windows apps, which is sometimes a hit and miss thing. You can also use Android emulator to run Android apps, but that's practically like running a virtual machine on top of your OS. Bottom line, you're going to incur some performance penalties.

Anbox, in contrast, reuses as much as the Linux operating system's facilities as possible. That includes the Linux kernel, namespaces, and even OpenGL (though "bridged" rather than direct). It makes use of LXC containers, one of the hottest topics in computing these days, to make it possible.

Despite the length of development, Anbox is pretty much in a pre-alpha state, where many things still have to be done via the command line, which could throw off even some Linux users. Probably one of the biggest disappointments, though not exactly a big surprise, is that it doesn't come with Google Play Services. That is only officially provided to certified devices, and this is definitely not one of them. You can, however, always install those via unofficial means and, being open source, Anbox has a chance of getting refined quickly if interest picks up quickly too.

SOURCE: Simon Fels