Without a doubt, what suits a computer best is a desktop operating system. Browsers and applications in general are the best and most powerful, but this can be a problem if our team is discreet. In addition, Google's mobile operating system is very popular and in it we find many applications that it is always interesting to be able to use. For that reason, or for any other that occurs to you, I think it is a good idea to always have at hand Android x86.
There are many ways to install Android-x86 on a PC, but its installer is not the most intuitive out there and making it work on a pendrive is not the easy task in the world. Because that is what we are going to teach here, how to install the version for Android computers on a USB that we can use on any PC and we will not touch the hard drive.
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How to install Android-x86 on a USB
The best way to have Android on a USB is to use LineageOS. That is the name that the project previously known as CyanogenMod has received and it is also available for the Raspberry Pi. And why are we going to use this option if it is a bit outdated? Well, because it offers the possibility of carrying out an automatic installation; we will not have to manage any partitions and everything will be very secure. And most importantly: it works.
In order to install Android-x86 on a pendrive we will need two, one for the LiveUSB and another in which we will install the system operational. The steps to follow would be these:
- Let's go to the android-x86 page.
- We scroll down and choose the latest version that includes the letters "cm", which logic makes us think is from CyanogenMod. Then we choose a "mirror" and then an option. The normal ones use kernel 4.9, and the last one, the "k419" uses Linux 4.19.
- Next we have to burn the ISO on a pendrive. For this we can use Etcher, Rufus (Windows) or any other generator of bootable discs.
- We put the USB in which we will install the system in a USB port.
- We restart the computer and make it boot from the LiveUSB.
- In GRUB (start) we choose the option «Advanced options».
- Next we choose "LineageOS -version- Auto Install to Specified harddisk", where "version" will be the version of LineageOS.
- In the next window, we choose the installation USB drive. Be careful here, this is the most delicate step: if we choose "Harddisk" we will screw up the hard disk of the PC. We have to choose where it says "Removable" and "USB DISK". It will also help to check the size of the disk.
- It tells us that we have chosen "Auto installation" and that EVERYTHING that is in that unit will be eliminated. We click on «Yes».
- We wait for the formatting and writing job to finish. This is pretty fast.
- After the installation, we can choose "Run LineageOS". This has worked for me, but I don't know whether to recommend it. You can choose "Reboot" (reboot) and thus we make sure that we remove the LiveUSB so that it starts from Android.
- Finally, we start from the USB in which we have installed LineageOS. Here we will have to wait a long time.
- Once we start from the USB, the installation wizard will start. This is without loss. It is to fill in the fields to choose the language, connect to a WiFi network, if we want to use our Google account, etc. Once inside, the recommended launcher is the one with the LineageOS logo, that is, "Trebuchet launcher".
GApps available, but not everything will work
Keep in mind that Google does not support the desktop version of Android. LineageOS yes us allows to use GApps (Google services) on your Android-x86, but there are apps that cannot be used on that architecture. For example, Kodi has not updated its version for Android-x4 for 86 years, so it does not work if we download it from an app store. It is possible to find a user compiled version, but it is not an easy task.
For everything else, it is surprising that moves quite freely, so it is worth a try. You never know when we will need an application that is only available on Android.