Run Android on Your Desktop With Genymotion Android Emulator

One of our most popular posts in MTE is the complete guide to run Android 4.3 in Virtualbox. Apparently, a lot of you are keen to run Android on your desktop which allows you to install apps and have it functioned like your phone. With Genymotion, you can now run Android on your desktop with less hassle and complications.

Genymotion is an Android emulator based on Virtualbox. The good thing is that it doesn’t require you to install Virtualbox (good if you have already installed it) as it is bundled with the installer. Additionally, it can emulate specific devices and allows you to install/run/test apps on it, which makes it great for you to use it on a daily basis or just to test your apps (for developers). Since Virtualbox is cross-platform compatible, Genymotion will work in Windows, Mac and Linux too.

Note: We will be using Ubuntu (Linux) for this tutorial. The installation instruction for Mac and Windows is pretty straightforward, so we won’t go through it here.

To get started, you will have to head over to Genymotion website and register a user account. You will be able to download the installer after the registration.

At the download page, you will be able to download the installer for your OS. For this tutorial, we chose the “Linux 64 bits (Ubuntu, Fedora, Redhat)” version.

genymotion-download-page

Download the “genymotion-2.0.1_x64.bin” file to your Home folder.

Open a terminal and type:

This will install Genymotion to your Home folder.

genymotion-installing

To run Genymotion, simply go to the Genymotion folder and run the “genymotion” file.

genymotion-main-screen

On the first run, it will prompt you to add a new virtual device. Click “Yes”. From here, you can choose the device and Android version to install. I chose “HTC One 4.3”. The image download can take quite a while, depending on your Internet connection.

genymotion-add-virtual-device

Once the download is complete, click the Play button to start the emulator. As with all Android phone, the first boot up will run you through the setup.

genymotion-virtual-device-setting-up

And when it is ready, you can use it just like any other Android phone (minus the call feature).

genymotion-virtual-device-home-screen

To install app, you just have to download the apk file (either from the browser within the emulator or on your desktop) and install it the usual way. The Play Store is not available in the emulator, but you can sideload gapps (download from here). If you have Android SDK installed and configure Genymotion to point to the Android SDK folder, you can simply drag and drop the apk or gapps.zip file to the emulator to install/flash it.

genymotion-flash-gapps

Note: If you are seeing the “INSTALL_FAILED_CPU_ABI_INCOMPATIBLE” message, you will need to install the “Genymotion-ARM-Translation.zip” (download from this post) before you can install the Google apps.

genymotion-playing-game

In my test with Genymotion, it has performed better than the Android-x86 version that I installed in Virtualbox previously. A lot of things just work and doesn’t require much configuration. I can even play games on it. If you are keen to try out Android, test your apps, or just want to use it on your desktop, Genymotion can be a good option.

14 comments

    • Bluestacks is main an app player, which means you can only install apps on it, but not running the whole Android OS. GenyMotion allows you to test the whole Android OS. They are quite different in this sense. Another thing though, Bluestack is more matured for average users (who want to install mobile app on desktop), while GenyMotion is more geared to developers.

      • what about performance of graphics when playing game? is it very fast?
        what if compared to bluestacks? because when i playing pvz2 in bluestacks, the game running slowly and laggy.
        who have better performance…

  1. what about performance of graphics when playing game? is it very fast?
    what if compared to bluestacks? because when i playing pvz2 in bluestacks, the game running slowly and laggy.
    who have better performance…

    • I have never played game on both Genymotion and Bluestack before, so I can’t comment on the performance. My guess is for HD games, it won’t be too good. They are more of a testing platform than for dedicated gaming.

    • I read the review for both in softsonic.

      In THEIR oppinion, genymotion seems to have less minus than bluestacks. And supports more app, too.

      I used BlueStacks’ latest version and I couldn’t even play FlappyBird when I tried.

    • Bluestacks used to be good, but ever since they partnered up with someone it has become complete garbage. You used to be able to search for apps across tons of different appstores. Now it’s just google play. Aside from that most games/apps no longer even run properly or well enough to be usable if you can get them to start in the first place. Incredibly laggy.

      Their website doesn’t even seem to have support forums anymore to try and get help. It feels like they really did sell out and go completely corporate or something. They even have a popup while you’re running bluestacks (even if you’re in the middle of doing something, it will take you out of it) asking you to install from a list of apps OR pay 2 dollars a month to continue using it.

      It’s really bad, it used to be pretty flawless for the most part, just some lag occasionally, but nothing like it is now…

      Hoping I will find something better soon.

      • Hi E

        Thanks for your info on the latest development of Bluestacks. Just wondering you have found anything better than Bluestacks so far ?

        Eddie

  2. Is it necessary to Install Genymotion ARM Translation for Gapps to work? – on Ubuntu 12.04 64bit Intel® Core™ i5-2430M CPU @ 2.40GHz × 4

  3. Hi: I loaded the Genymotion, VM4.3, selecting device Nexus 7 4.3 API 18 on macbook maverick osx (rather than linux as per your tutorial). I also loaded the googleplay universal library. googleplay, google+, gmail etc.. — all looking good. But I cannot get Amazon App store to load. After installing progress bar, says app is not compatible with your device. Have you tried this on your environment? I need Amazon App store to be dl, so I can read my high graphic books that can only be dl from amazon on specific devices e.g. tablet. Thankyou.

  4. Hi, I have tried to run android games on genymotion (through several virtual devices) but always came up with “Sorry, has stopped.” please help. Thanks.

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