Installing additional Android app's in Anbox on Ubuntu Touch

  • I followed the instructions found here and installed Xenial and Anbox on my BQ M10FHD.
    And now I was wondering how to install additional Android apps to Anbox. I followed the instructions on the Anbox site. I installed the adroid-tools-adb on my tablet, downloaded an apk file and then tried to do adb install <app.apk>. But adb does not see the Andbox container. adb devices does not return any devices.
    Am I missing some crucial step somewhere?

  • I installed Anbox on my laptop running Ubuntu 16.04 to get a feel of how installing additional apps is supposed to work.
    I found out that Anbox is only visible to adb when an Anbox application is running. Most commonly the Anbox Application Manager. In that case the result is as follows on my machine:

    me@my-device:~$ adb devices
    List of devices attached
    emulater-5558  device

    On my tablet I have no icon for the Anbox Application Manager. Instead, the Android applications that come installed each have their own icons visible in the Ubuntu Touch Applications scope.

    When launch one of the applications and wait till it is running in foreground, then adb shell into the tablet I get:

    phablet@ubuntu-phablet:~$ adb devices
    List of devices attached

    So still no joy.

  • Hey there

    I'm new to Anbox but am thinking about this as well. As far as I can figure, some APKs are at the directory ~/anbox-data/rootfs/system/app. So, for example, the path of the Android Calendar application is as follows:


    I had figured on changing to that directory, creating a directory for a new application and then adding its APK to that new directory. I'm not sure how to kill Anbox properly, but the following steps seem to work somewhat:

    sudo apt install psmisc
    killall anbox

    Having "killed" Anbox I want to create a new directory for an application and add the application, in a way like the following:

    mkdir /home/phablet/anbox-data/rootfs/system/app/Funkytunes
    cd /home/phablet/anbox-data/rootfs/system/app/Funkytunes
    chmod 755 funkytunes-0.2.1.apk

    However, when I attempt to do this, I am told that the filesystem of Anbox is read-only:

    phablet@ubuntu-phablet:~/anbox-data/rootfs/system/app$ touch Funkytunes
    touch: cannot touch 'Funkytunes': Read-only file system

    I'm not sure how to go past this. Any ideas?

  • To install apps from apk you need to do the following:

    Copy the apk to /home/phablet/anbox-data/data

    Login to android container on your phone:
    lxc-console -ndefault -P /home/phablet/anbox-data/containers -t0

    cd into data/ then and use pm install [appname].apk

    Sorry, I don't know how to do code formatting on this forum...

  • I tried out Anbox on my Pro 5 again. Unfortunately it still breaks the SIM discovery, but I was able to install quite a few apps via apk. Most of them start, and pretty rapidly too, but some say they "...don't work without the Google Play services, which are not supported on this unit" while others start fine but can't integrate properly with e.g. bluetooth. None of the Android apps or settings show an OSK, but input is possible via an external BT keyboard.

    It is nice to see that it kind of works, although not all the way. But of course no mobile is a show stopper.

  • @tomoqv Apparently Marius has a updated Anbox image on his desktop, and no more problem with the sim functionality. But he is busy to update the anbox images on the website, or doesn't want to share. I've asked 3 times for it. 🙂

  • @stefano
    C'mon @mariogrip , feed the hungry testers :-D!

  • @tomoqv Thanks for that, it worked for me just this morning.

    I installed fdroid which was exciting, unfortunately I can't seem to bring up the keyboard in any anbox app so far however.

  • @tomoqv Ah, magic! That worked perfectly, thanks. 😃 Basically all applications I've tried have worked so far which is awesome. Would you happen to know the status for keyboard interactions? Are you aware of a way to get the onscreen Ubuntu keyboard to send keystrokes to the running Anbox application?

    By the way, the code formatting is done using standard Markdown syntax. So, if I wanna display some Python code, like this:

    a = 1

    then I just write some Markdown code like this:

    a = 1

  • @blandcorporation
    No, I have had no success with the OSK in Android apps. I was hoping that @mariogrip would chime in on this.

    1+1 = 2

    Got it, thanks!

  • @tomoqv said in Installing additional Android app's in Anbox on Ubuntu Touch:

    To install apps from apk you need to do the following:

    Copy the apk to /home/phablet/anbox-data/data

    Login to android container on your phone:
    lxc-console -ndefault -P /home/phablet/anbox-data/containers -t0

    cd into data/ then and use pm install [appname].apk

    Sorry, I don't know how to do code formatting on this forum...

    Sorry for reviving this old thread, but this method didn't work for me. I'm helping a friend with this because there's not enough space to install ADB; first the lxc-console command failed because default was not running, and I found with lxc-ls the container is called android, but again the output was android is not running. I couldn't go to the next step of pm install.

    For context, the exact commands were:

    $ sudo lxc-console -ndefault -P anbox-data/containers -t0
    $ sudo lxc-ls --fancy
    $ sudo lxc-console -nandroid -P anbox-data/containers -t0

  • @oxwivi There is very little point in restarting an old thread, things have moved on a lot. Please start a new thread and say what device you are trying to install Anbox on. It does not work on all devices I think. Also have a search of the Forum for Anbox issues for that device your issue may already have been solved. Thanks. I will now lock this one.

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