You can boot into Windows, or you can boot into Linux. Or, you can boot into Android too! While running Android apps on your computer is easy – you need emuators like BlueStacks, running Android itself on your PC is a different case. Using some virtualization tools, you could be rocking a legal version of Jellybean on your PC. Here’s how:

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Step 1: Downloading and Installing VirtualBox

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Download VirtualBox. This handy tool lets you try out other OSes on top of your current OS – meaning you could run Ubuntu (or in this case, Android) on Windows. Go to the VirtualBox website. In the downloads section, you’ll find different versions for different operating systems. Grab the latest one for yours and install in the usual way with the default configuration.

Step 2: Downloading an Android ROM

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Next, you’re going to need an Android ROM. This won’t involve much hassle. Luckily for us, there’s a community dedicated to just this purpose. Head over to the Android x86 project website, and download a copy of Jellybean – 4.3 is the latest available. It’s an ISO file that you’ll install using VirtualBox.

Step 3: Virtual Machin-ing

Launch VirtualBox, click on ‘New’. This will help set up the environment Android will run on. In the menu that will pop up, choose ‘Linux’ in the Type menu. Android is based on Linux so this will do. In the Version menu, select ‘Other Linux’.

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You’ll need to allocate memory for this OS to run smoothly. Move the slider and choose about 512 MB or more dedicated to VirtualBox and click ‘Next’. For storage, you’re going to need to select the ‘Create Virtual Hard Drive’ option, and click ‘Create’.

Then, Select VDI, select the ‘Fixed Size’ option, and move ahead. In the menu that follows, decide on how much of storage you’ll allocate to this system by adjusting the slider. Press ‘Create’, and wait.

Step 4: Installing Android

Now that your Virtual Machine is ready, you can stuff in your Android ROM into it. Head over to Settings in VirtualBox. Within the storage section, select ‘Empty’. Click the disc button on the right and then select ‘Choose a virtual CD/DVD disk file’ to select the Android ROM. Go through the following menus and then start your Virtual Machine by clicking ‘Start’ from the toolbar.

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You’ll now see a menu with about 4 options. Choose ‘Install Android x86 to Hard Disk’ to proceed. The virtual hard drive you created earlier now needs to be partitioned so that Android can be installed. In the following menu, choose Create/Modify Partition and press Enter. Choose the following options in the screens that follow:

New -> Primary -> Bootable -> Write. Type in ‘Yes’, followed by Enter, and then ultimately quit the menu.

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When asked to choose a filesystem, select ‘ext3’. Android will then launch, so click ‘Yes’, and then ‘Yes’ again to let it write into the /system directory.

You will then receive the message you’ve been waiting for: Android-x86 is installed successfully.

Step 5: Set it Up

Android will now boot. If you remember the first time you turned on your new phone, or whenever you reboot your phone after you’ve flashed a new ROM on your rooted device, you’ll know this will take time.

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When it finally loads, you’ll have to set it up. If you’re having trouble with the mouse, Disable Mouse Integration from the Machine menu in VirtualBox.

You can use your computer’s internet connection to connect to the internet from within Android, so there’s no hassle relating to looking for Wi-Fi hotposts.

Run through the setup menus, and your copy of Android will now be ready. Start download apps, play around, and enjoy!