Android-x86: Android 9.0 Pie for Desktop is now available
The Android operating system, which Andy Rubin, Rich Miner, Nick Sears and Chris White originally conceived for digital cameras, has changed the smartphone and tablet markets since its first outing on the HTC Dream in 2008. While Chrome OS is Google's answer to Android on PCs and laptops, the company is still to release a true Android port for either form factor.
The Android-x86 project has been on hand to port the OS to the x86 architecture though, and has now published its first release candidate (RC) for Android 9.0 Pie. According to the accompanying release notes, which you can read in full here, the x86 project has based its RC on version 4.19.80 of the Linux LTS kernel. The project stresses that 9.0-rc1 is only suitable for hobbyists and programmers, with the release not being stable enough for general use. Hence, we would not recommend trying to run the build as your daily driver just yet.
However, 9.0-rc1 should offer better compatibility, performance and stability than previous x86 versions of Android. The project has now integrated OpenGL ES 3.0 support along with hardware acceleration for Intel HD and G45 graphics families, for instance. There is even Vulkan support for newer Intel and AMD GPUs, although this remains experimental as of 9.0-rc1.
The release candidate is available to download now as either 32- or 64-bit images. The Android-x86 project also offers instructions for getting the images working on Linux and Windows. Please keep in mind that 9.0-rc1 contains the following known issues, though:
- Google Play Service may crash sometimes on the 32-bit image.
- Suspend and resume doesn't work on some devices.
- Nvidia GPU (nouveau) may hang sometimes.
- 3D support of VMware is broken. (only non-accelerated mode works)
- Taking photos doesn't work if Vulkan is enabled.