Old Article about Android-x86 4.4-r1 (KitKat-x86)

Android-x86 4.4-r1 (KitKat-x86)

This is the first stable release Android-x86 4.4 (kitkat-x86). A live CD ISO is available in the following site:

Key Features

The 4.4-r1 release is based on the Android 4.4.2 (KitKat-MR1 release). We have fixed and added x86 specified code to let the system runs smoothly on x86 platforms, especially for tablets and netbooks. The key features contain

  • Integrate the ffmpeg as the stagefright-plugins to support much more multimedia files. Now we can play HD and full HD videos in apps.
  • Use the latest longterm stable kernel 3.10.52 with more drivers enabled. Most netbooks can run Android-x86 in the native resolution.
  • OpenGL ES hardware acceleration for AMD Radeon and Intel chipsets (PowerVR chips are NOT supported).
  • Enhance the installer to support upgrade from previous versions (since ics-x86). The text based GUI installer supports ext3/ext2/ntfs/fat32 filesystems.
  • KitKat style lanucher (Trebuchet).
  • Support Multi-touch, Wifi, Audio, Bluetooth, G-sensor and Camera.
  • Support Huawei 3G modem.
  • Simulate sdcard by internal storage.
  • External usb drive and sdcard are auto mounted to /storage/usbX on plugging. Support filesystem vfat/ntfs/exfat/ext4.
  • Support hybrid mode of iso images.
  • Multi-user support (max 8).
  • Support Ethernet (DHCP only).
  • Support 5-point touch calibration on some devices.
  • Support VM like Qemu and VMware.

Released File

We tried to create a universal image for most x86 platforms for the kitkat-x86 release. The plan is still in an experimental stage. Please report bugs to the android-x86 forum with detailed specs of your machine and error logs.

  • android-x86-4.4-r1.iso 

    sha1sum: dce96b2ff7e81cc7c2a884f6028f114ca3133c20

The iso file is hybrid format. That means you can dump the iso into a usb drive and get a bootable usb stick, like

$ dd if=android-x86-4.4-r1.iso of=/dev/sdX

where /dev/sdX is the device name of your usb drive.

Known issues

  • Suspend and resume may not work on some systems.
  • The installer can’t format ext3 filesystem.

Source code

The source code is available in the main git server,

    $ repo init -u http://git.android-x86.org/manifest -b android-x86-4.4-r1
    $ repo sync

Install to USB disk

For advanced linux users, you may create a bootable USB disk by hand. Here are the steps:

  1. Install grub to your USB disk
    • find a linux machine with the latest grub installed
    • partition your USB drive with fdisk or gpartd and mark the partition as bootable
    • format that partition to ext3 (recommended) or vfat.
    • mount your usb drive to /mnt
    • cd /mnt
    • grub-install –root-directory=. –no-floppy /dev/<your usb device node name>
    • cd /boot/grub
    • create your menu.lst based on the next section
  2. Add this section to menu.lst
title Run Android
kernel /android/kernel root=/dev/ram0 androidboot.hardware=android_x86 acpi_sleep=s3_bios,s3_mode SRC=/android
initrd /android/initrd.img

title Run Android (VESA mode)
kernel /android/kernel root=/dev/ram0 androidboot.hardware=android_x86 acpi_sleep=s3_bios,s3_mode vga=788 SRC=/android
initrd /android/initrd.img

title Run Android (Debug mode)
kernel /android/kernel root=/dev/ram0 androidboot.hardware=android_x86 acpi_sleep=s3_bios,s3_mode vga=788 SRC=/android DEBUG=1
initrd /android/initrd.img

(Since kitkat-x86 the SRC= parameter may be omitted if the system image is in the same directory as the kernel)

  1. Create /android directory in the USB disk, and copy the four files kernel initrd.img ramdisk.img system.sfs (or system.img if you set USE_SQUASHFS=0) to it.

Then you can boot from the USB disk and enjoy Android. Note all data are saved to the ramdisk, so all will lose after power off. If you hope to save data to disk, see the next section.

Install to hard disk

Install to a hard disk is just the same as install to a USB disk. Even you do not need to create a new partition. Just copy android files into an existing partition, install grub to the hard disk (if not done yet), and modify the menu.lst.

People still ask, what if my hard disk is empty? How to install grub and copy files into it? There are several ways to do it. I provide two here:

  • Boot from any rescue cd like systemrescuecd, and follow the instructions in the previous section.
  • Install your favorite linux distribution, then copy android files and modify the grub menu.

Save data to USB/hard disk

We support two ways to save data to your disk.

  • Create a subdirectory named data in your /android directory. The user data will be directly saved to that directory. This method only works for ext3 partition.
  • Create a separate partition and save data to it. You have to add DATA=<device_name> to the boot option. For example, suppose your data partition is /dev/sda2, then add DATA=sda2 to the boot option.

How to solve conflicts

There are several reason to have conflicts during repo sync, say

  • You modify your tree locally.
  • The upstream changed. Since we usually keep syncing with original Android repository, sometimes we have to rebase with it. That changes the history and may cause conflicts.

In this section we assume you have conflicts due to the upstream changed. That is, you don’t have local modifications. If you do, you have to solve conflicts yourself. If you follow the procedures in this section, you may lose your local modifications.


1) http://www.android-x86.org/releases/releasenote-4-4-r1

2) http://www.android-x86.org/getsourcecode

3) http://distrowatch.com/?newsid=08559

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