Was just wondering it would be nice to have a convenient way of installing android's .apk apps in Ubuntu somehow.

Somebody has a clue about it?

7 Answers 7


The only way to run Android apps in Ubuntu (as far as I'm aware) is to install Android SDK, create a virtual Android device, use the SDK's tools to install the .apk file on that device and run the app inside the device.

Android developer portal has a lot of info on the subject.

  • OK seems you're assumption is right, there is no other way of installing them. Will accept it then. Feb 20, 2012 at 6:08

Android packages, .apk files, are a completely different packaging format than Ubuntu's packaging format, .deb files.

Besides the packaging differences, Android packages are compiled and customized for the Android operating system, toolchain, and architecture (ARM), which is different from most Ubuntu systems which are 32-bit or 64-bit Intel architecture.

  • 5
    Yes and no. APKs aren't debs, but that's kind of the point of the question. Most Android applications are in fact pure Java, but compiled to a non-standard bytecode format (Dalvik instead of the standard JVM) and against a different API. Even Ubuntu on ARM couldn't run Android apps, or Ubuntu on x86 run Android x86 apps, without a large emulation layer (which doesn't exist short of emulating the whole machine in Qemu). Feb 17, 2012 at 7:10

You can use the ARChon to run apk in ubuntu:

  1. Install the ARChon Runtime. http::github.com/vladikoff/chromeos-apk/blob/master/archon.md
  2. Open and enable the flag: chrome://flags/#enable-nacl,then restart Google-Chrome. (Important!)
  3. Install existing android apps in the website or convert your favourite android apps by "Online APK-CRX Converter.
  4. Drag and drop the Google-Chrome extensions into the chrome://extensions/ page in the browser and it will be installed in your browser. Enjor it!

Why not use the apk installer code from Android x86 and compile it for Ubuntu, because Android x86 is linux, it use the same boot loader and kernel.

If someone can install the apk loader, JAVA runtime an all things you need to run apps, would the apk installer app install apk's on Ubuntu the same way as in Android?

I don't know, but someone can try out.


android though comes under apache license uses its own unique APIs & libraries to develop its apps(.apk files). just to make android apps to run on a linux machine, what u can do is compile the dvm source code using GIT repo in ubuntu so as to mergge the dvm into ur linux pc. that will set the environment for android architeture(i.e. linux kernel + android dvm) but additionally u would also need to install the android core libraries as well to make the apps fully functionable. this is the best way u can run android apps conveniently on ubuntu.

  • but that's a whole lot of work!!!
    – NilsB
    Mar 13, 2013 at 6:59

actually the android apps available in market and play store are designed for arm architechture processor and thus what u r trying to do will never work for almost every other app u try to install on computer..........

by the way u can find a site on google by searching 'porting android on x86' this will give u android 4.2 to android froy roms for ur pc standalone installation and i had tried them and almost 99% software either refused to installed or refused to run after installation done anyhow...

so the major difference is x86 versus arm series........... and until we are able to virtually provide arm processor architechture to android we cant do any thing.


its actually not possible to run the APK file on an Ubuntu PC as Ubuntu will not be able to read it. The best among many things is to install an Android virtual machine and run the APK.

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