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Run Android On Your PC From a USB Stick

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 22 comments

Eager to try Android on your netbook? Well, now you can.

Before Google announced the Chrome OS, many of us were more than looking forward to seeing how the company's Android operating system would run on netbooks. However, when Google dropped its Chrome OS bomb, we were left wondering about the fate of Android on netbooks. After all, the Chrome OS is being designed for netbooks. What would be the point of Android on anything but phones once the Chrome OS becomes available next year?

With the help of LiveAndroid you don't have to wait to try it out. LiveAndroid has been around for a while now. Originally launched in May, LiveCD allows you to run the Android OS on x86 platforms without actually installing the software. Up until now this was only useful to those with netbooks that actually have an optical drive. However, the folks at LiveAndroid last week announced a LiveUSB version, especially handy for those of you with netbooks or notebooks that don’t have a disc drive.

Anyone willing to give this a shot? Let us know how you get on if you do! You can download the iso file from LiveAndroid's Google Code-hosted project page.

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  • 6 Hide
    trkorecky , August 4, 2009 8:13 PM
    Sounds fun, I'll have to try this out. Great for development purposes.
  • 6 Hide
    Honis , August 4, 2009 8:15 PM
    I'll be nice having a small OS with a good interface in your pocket on the go. I'd use it in place of a netbook if I was a student on campus. Just plug it into a lab computer reboot and you're fully functional (assuming your IT guys were as useless as mine were).
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , August 4, 2009 8:34 PM
    Nice to have a small OS on a USB stick somewhere, also nice for trying out!

    It's only a pitty the guys split the installation file. (Now I need to install a split/joiner on my pc).

    Nice to try for fun, though I don't think it'll get a lot of attention to be used as fulltime OS.
  • Display all 22 comments.
  • 1 Hide
    adamovera , August 4, 2009 8:53 PM
    this is makin' me wet
  • 0 Hide
    rpmrush , August 4, 2009 8:53 PM
    Still useful to boot in and verify hardware is ok when you have a virus or windows corrupts. I have an XP live disc for this, but it's slow to boot off the cd/DVD drive. A light weight OS on a thumbdrive sounds like a better approach. I'll try it out.
  • 0 Hide
    Uncle Meat , August 4, 2009 10:19 PM
    What would be the point of Android on anything but phones once the Chrome OS becomes available next year?

    Some people like to run applications other than a web browser.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , August 4, 2009 10:59 PM
    My Microsoft Virtual PC Console seems to freeze @ the "Live Android" bootup screen (with the green animal, CD, and usb stick and blue background.
    anyone else having this issue?

    I gave it a 2GB HD and 256MB RAM (should be enough!).
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , August 4, 2009 11:03 PM
    Same happens with an 8Gig HD and 512MB RAM,
    Testing to see if it works on the latest version of Virtual box.
  • 0 Hide
    adamovera , August 4, 2009 11:36 PM
    VirtualBox is A-OK!
  • 0 Hide
    adamovera , August 4, 2009 11:37 PM
    adamoveraVirtualBox is A-OK!

    I set it up as Linux/other Linux.
  • 0 Hide
    belardo , August 4, 2009 11:56 PM
    Amiga OS is tiny, used to boot from a floppy. A fully operational GUI OS in only 400~500k. :) 
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , August 5, 2009 1:07 AM
    Must be something wrong with my verison.
    The USB version came in an ISO file, and I wouldn't know how to burn the ISO to USB.

    And even in Sun VirtualBox android freezes.
    Any special settings? (I gave it 256MB RAM and HD (seeing that the Os should be around 128MB total)
  • 0 Hide
    adamovera , August 5, 2009 1:10 AM
    ProDigit80: I'm about to restart and boot the 'real' live USB, but I'll look over VBox my settings and post them later.
  • 0 Hide
    mman74 , August 5, 2009 2:07 AM
    Before we get carried away, what apps are available on Android for desktop users. I thought most of the existing Android apps were for mobile phones. I mean at the very least does it have Oppen Office?
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , August 5, 2009 3:57 AM
    The USB version just comes with the OS.
    Depending on what the Linux is based on (Debian, Red Hat, ...) you'll be able to configure open Office on it or not.

    So far the USB version didn't do it for me.
  • 0 Hide
    tdeckers , August 5, 2009 7:54 AM
  • 0 Hide
    spanspace , August 5, 2009 1:05 PM
    I'll have to try this out. I always wanted to play around with Android.
  • 0 Hide
    Regulas , August 5, 2009 4:51 PM
    tried it and it got stuck on the load screen. Maybe later they will get it working better.
  • 0 Hide
    mdma35 , August 5, 2009 5:41 PM
    booted on Microsoft VPC 2007 SP1 with 512mb of RAM np but nothing special at all it looks good for smartfones but i'm kinda skeptical about using on my laptop/netbook
  • 0 Hide
    alltheusernamesareusedup , August 10, 2009 3:51 PM
    Android isn't suitable for a netbook/laptop.
    It is designed for the screen space of a typical smartphone.

    For a larger device i.e. netbook/laptop, you need a couple of things that android doesn't offer; window manager, application dock.

    And quite frankly, if you have a netbook, you can install a full-blown linux distro on it and come out with excellent performance, especially if you have an SSD -- read performance is phenomenal and therefore so is boot time.
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