Running Android on your PC can be a surprisingly shady experience with emulators that spam you with ads or try to hide Bitcoin miners on your system. When in doubt, there's always the open source Android-x86 Project. It just so happens that Android-x86 just released a build of Android Oreo.

As the name implies, Android-x86 is a version of Android designed to run on computers with the x86 architecture. It usually runs behind official Android releases for several months, but now we have the first release candidate for 8.1 Oreo. Here's what's changed in the new version.

  • Support both 64-bit and 32-bit kernel and userspace.
  • Support OpenGL ES 3.x hardware acceleration for Intel/AMD/Nvidia, VMware and QEMU(virgl) by Mesa 18.1.2.
  • Support OpenGL ES 2.0 via SwiftShader for software rendering on unsupported GPU devices.
  • Support hardware accelerated codecs on devices with Intel HD & G45 graphics family.
  • Support secure booting from UEFI and installing to UEFI disk.
  • A text based GUI installer.
  • Add theme support to GRUB-EFI.
  • Support Multi-touch, Audio, Wifi, Bluetooth, Sensors, Camera and Ethernet (DHCP only).
  • Auto-mount external usb drive and sdcard.
  • Add Taskbar as an alternative launcher which puts a start menu and recent apps tray on top of your screen and support freeform window mode.
  • Enable ForceDefaultOrientation on devices without known sensors. Portrait apps can run in a landscape device without rotating the screen.
  • Support arm arch apps via the native bridge mechanism. (Settings -> Android-x86 options)

Android-x86 works as a bootable USB on your computer or in an emulator like VirtualBox. It's less of a ready-made solution than some of the alternatives, but you can peek at the source code, and there's no indication of any inappropriate behavior by the devs.

This isn't a final build, but as a release candidate, it should at least be reasonably solid. I was able to get the new build set up and booted in VirtualBox in just a couple minutes, and everything seems to work. The disc images are available to download now.