Anbox is a minimal Android container and compatibility layer to run Android apps on GNU/Linux operating systems such as Ubuntu Touch.
“Computer” refers to another device you connect your Ubuntu Touch device to (via USB here).
Your USB-attached computer must have
You will need to execute commands on your Ubuntu Touch device (and/or attached computer) to install Anbox and APKs.
You can do that by using the terminal application, but it is easier to use
adb shell or set up SSH to access your Ubuntu Touch device from your computer.
Make sure your device is supported:
Meizu PRO 5
BQ Aquaris M10 HD
BQ Aquaris M10 FHD
How to install¶
Installing Anbox is only recommended for experienced users.
Install Anbox kernel¶
Some devices require you to install a custom Linux kernel to use Anbox. These devices are:
Meizu PRO 5 (codename:
turbo, name of the boot partition:
BQ Aquaris M10 HD (codename:
cooler, name of the boot partition:
BQ Aquaris M10 FHD (codename:
frieza, name of the boot partition:
If your device is not in this list, the Anbox kernel was automatically installed when you installed Ubuntu Touch. Please skip ahead to Run the Anbox installer.
You will need to repeat these steps after each Ubuntu Touch update. Not doing so can put your Ubuntu Touch device into an unstable state. Only update your Ubuntu Touch device when you have a computer with you to re-flash the modified kernel image.
Be sure to have a backup of your device.
Open a terminal on your computer and set some device specific variables by running
export CODENAME="turbo" && export PARTITIONNAME="bootimg", but replace the part between the quotes respectively with the codename and name of the boot partition for your device. See the above list.
Activate Developer mode on your device.
Connect the device to your computer and run the following commands from your computer (the same terminal you ran the
wget https://cdimage.ubports.com/anbox-images/anbox-boot-$CODENAME.img adb shell # connect from your computer to your Ubuntu Touch device sudo reboot -f bootloader # 'adb shell' will exit after this command, the prompt will be back on your computer sudo fastboot flash $PARTITIONNAME anbox-boot-$CODENAME.img sudo fastboot reboot rm anbox-boot-$CODENAME.img exit
Run the Anbox installer¶
Once your device has the Anbox kernel installed, you can use the Anbox Tool to install the Anbox container.
adb shellfrom your computer to get a shell on your Ubuntu Touch device.
Run the following command on your Ubuntu Touch device:
Follow the on-screen instructions.
Now you’re done! You might have to refresh the app drawer (pull down from the center of the screen and release) for the new Android apps to show up.
You now have an ADB server running on your Ubuntu Touch device.
This guide asks you to run some ADB commands, sometimes on your computer, other times on the device itself. Carefully check which device you are on!
You can check that the ADB server is running on your Ubuntu Touch device by entering
adb devices in its terminal app.
You should see something like:
phablet@ubuntu-phablet:~$ adb devices List of devices attached emulator-5558 device
How to install new APKs¶
Copy the APK to
/home/phablet/Downloads. Then run the following from your computer:
adb shell # connect from your computer to your Ubuntu Touch device adb install /home/phablet/Downloads/my-app.apk # This is the adb of your device, not your computer exit
Done! You might have to refresh the apps scope (pull down from the center of the screen and release) for the new Android apps to show up.
Keep your apps up to date¶
To keep your apps up to date you can use of F-Droid or ApkTrack. If you want to install any of the above apps you can find them here:
How to uninstall apps¶
To uninstall apps from the Ubuntu Touch device, run
adb uninstall [APP_ID]from your computer:
adb shell # connect from your computer to your Ubuntu Touch device sudo mount -o rw,remount / adb uninstall [APP_ID] # This is the adb of your device, not your computer exit
Done! You might have to pull down from the app list for the new Android apps to show up.
Access Android storage¶
The Android storage is located at
Links to android libraries can be made in their respective XDG counterparts:
ln -s ~/anbox-data/data/media/0/Documents ~/Documents/android ln -s ~/anbox-data/data/media/0/Pictures ~/Pictures/android ln -s ~/anbox-data/data/media/0/Music ~/Music/android ln -s ~/anbox-data/data/media/0/Movies ~/Videos/android
When you want to install an APK, but get the error
Invalid APK filethat error could also mean “file not found”
Check that you typed the filename correctly.
If the APK does not reside in the folder you are in when you run adb, you have to specify the full path, e.g.
/home/phablet/Downloads/my-app.apkinstead of just