Android-x86 on the Intel Compute Stick (Sterling City)

Post date: Feb 23, 2016 1:23:7 PM

With the growing interest in Remix OS and the new Phoenix OS I thought it would be interesting to install these Android-x86 based systems together with the original Android-x86 on the latest Intel Compute Stick to be able to see what the key differences are.

The following instructions should be simple enough for anyone to follow and work on the new ICS STK1AW32SC. It is possible to multi-boot Windows, Linux and the Android based systems and I've previously posted instructions for dual-booting Windows and Ubuntu so I'm assuming that an Ubuntu installation is already understood.

So the starting point is to set the BIOS 'Select Operating System' to 'Windows 64 bit' and ensure USB booting is enabled so you can install Ubuntu from a USB. First create a LiveUSB with Ubuntu 15.10 and install on your ICS SC. Note that I did try 14.04 but it didn't work initially and I haven't investigated any further to determine if it would be possible.

Having installed and booted Ubuntu it is necessary to install the squash file system tools in order to improve the speed of the Android systems when running:

sudo apt-get install squashfs-tools

Initially you going to install the two latest versions of Android-x86 available from Download the 'android-x86-4.4-r5.iso' ISO and to make a bootable Android-x86 enter:

sudo mkdir /boot/android-x86-4.4-r5

sudo mount android-x86-4.4-r5.iso /mnt

sudo cp /mnt/initrd.img /boot/android-x86-4.4-r5

sudo cp /mnt/kernel /boot/android-x86-4.4-r5

sudo cp /mnt/ramdisk.img /boot/android-x86-4.4-r5

sudo cp /mnt/system.sfs /boot/android-x86-4.4-r5

sudo unsquashfs -d /boot/android-x86-4.4-r5/system /boot/android-x86-4.4-r5/system.sfs

sudo mv /boot/android-x86-4.4-r5/system/system.img /boot/android-x86-4.4-r5

sudo rm -rf /boot/android-x86-4.4-r5/system /boot/android-x86-4.4-r5/system.sfs

sudo umount /mnt

Now download the 'android-x86_64-5.1-rc1.img' EFI image also from that site and 'install' by entering:

sudo mkdir /boot/android-x86_64-5.1-rc1

sudo kpartx -l android-x86_64-5.1-rc1.img | head -1 | sed 's/ .*//'

Make a note of the loop device (e.g. loop0p1) for the 'mount' command below:

sudo kpartx -a android-x86_64-5.1-rc1.img

sudo mount /dev/mapper/loop0p1 /mnt

sudo cp /mnt/initrd.img /boot/android-x86_64-5.1-rc1

sudo cp /mnt/kernel /boot/android-x86_64-5.1-rc1

sudo cp /mnt/ramdisk.img /boot/android-x86_64-5.1-rc1

sudo cp /mnt/system.sfs /boot/android-x86_64-5.1-rc1

sudo umount /mnt

sudo kpartx -d android-x86_64-5.1-rc1.img

sudo unsquashfs -d /boot/android-x86_64-5.1-rc1/system /boot/android-x86_64-5.1-rc1/system.sfs

sudo mv /boot/android-x86_64-5.1-rc1/system/system.img /boot/android-x86_64-5.1-rc1

sudo rm -rf /boot/android-x86_64-5.1-rc1/system /boot/android-x86_64-5.1-rc1/system.sfs

The next Android system to install is Phoenix OS and the installation image can be found at so start by download the installation file 'PhoenixOSInstaller-1.0.3-beta.exe'. Although this is issued as a Windows executable we can still extract the files required on Linux by entering:

sudo mkdir /boot/phoenixos

sudo 7z x -o/boot/phoenixos PhoenixOSInstaller-1.0.3-beta.exe

sudo rm /boot/phoenixos/install.img

sudo unsquashfs -d /boot/phoenixos/system /boot/phoenixos/system.sfs

sudo mv /boot/phoenixos/system/system.img /boot/phoenixos

sudo rm -rf /boot/phoenixos/system /boot/phoenixos/system.sfs

Finally to install Remix OS you need to download the one marked EFI from and enter:

sudo unzip

sudo mkdir /boot/remixos

sudo kpartx -l Remix_OS_for_PC_64_B2016020201_Alpha_EFI.img | head -1 | sed 's/ .*//'

Again make a note of the loop device (e.g. loop0p1) for the 'mount' command below:

sudo kpartx -a Remix_OS_for_PC_64_B2016020201_Alpha_EFI.img

sudo mount /dev/mapper/loop0p1 /mnt

sudo cp /mnt/initrd.img /boot/remixos

sudo cp /mnt/kernel /boot/remixos

sudo cp /mnt/ramdisk.img /boot/remixos

sudo cp /mnt/system.sfs /boot/remixos

sudo umount /mnt

sudo kpartx -d Remix_OS_for_PC_64_B2016020201_Alpha_EFI.img

sudo unsquashfs -d /boot/remixos/system /boot/remixos/system.sfs

sudo mv /boot/remixos/system/system.img /boot/remixos

sudo rm -rf /boot/remixos/system /boot/remixos/system.sfs

None of the systems have a 'persistent' pseudo data partition at the stage so the next step is to create an empty 'data.img' file by entering:

sudo dd if=/dev/zero of=data.img bs=2G count=1

sudo mkfs.ext4 -F data.img

sudo fsck.ext4 -fp data.img

You could modify the 'count' if a larger file is required however I recommend 2GB as a minimum.

Now copy this 'data.img' file to each of the boot directories created above:

sudo cp data.img /boot/android-x86-4.4-r5

sudo cp data.img /boot/android-x86_64-5.1-rc1.img

sudo cp data.img /boot/phoenixos

sudo cp data.img /boot/remixos

You can now delete all the downloads and any files/directories created from the above commands to tidy up and save on space.

To boot each Android system you need to create the grub config files:

sudo cat <<EOF > /boot/grub/android-x86-4.4-r5.cfg

menuentry 'Android-x86 4.4-r5' --class android-x86 {

search --file --no-floppy --set=root /boot/android-x86-4.4-r5/system.img

linux /boot/android-x86-4.4-r5/kernel root=/dev/ram0 androidboot.hardware=android_x86 quiet DATA=/boot/android-x86-4.4-r5

initrd /boot/android-x86-4.4-r5/initrd.img



sudo cat <<EOF > /boot/grub/android-x86_64-5.1-rc1.cfg

menuentry 'Android-x86 5.1-rc1' --class android-x86 {

search --file --no-floppy --set=root /boot/android-x86_64-5.1-rc1/system.img

linuxefi /boot/android-x86_64-5.1-rc1/kernel root=/dev/ram0 androidboot.hardware=android_x86_64 quiet DATA=/boot/android-x86_64-5.1-rc1

initrdefi /boot/android-x86_64-5.1-rc1/initrd.img



sudo cat <<EOF > /boot/grub/phoenixos.cfg

menuentry 'Phoenix OS 1.0.3 Beta' --class phoenix {

search --file --no-floppy --set=root /boot/phoenixos/system.img

linuxefi /boot/phoenixos/kernel root=/dev/ram0 androidboot.hardware=android_x86 quiet DATA=/boot/phoenixos

initrdefi /boot/phoenixos/initrd.img



sudo cat <<EOF > /boot/grub/remixos.cfg

menuentry 'Remix OS Alpha' --class android-x86 {

search --file --no-floppy --set=root /boot/remixos/system.img

linuxefi /boot/remixos/kernel root=/dev/ram0 androidboot.hardware=remix_x86_64 androidboot.selinux=permissive quiet DATA=/boot/remixos

initrdefi /boot/remixos/initrd.img



If you are using 'cut&paste' to enter these commands then make sure to only copy and paste each section of seven lines at a time otherwise you might find the shell doesn't recognise the 'EOF' line due to trailing spaces and you'll end up just with one big file!

To make the boot options appear on the initial menu you need to edit '/etc/default/grub' and make sure the following lines are commented out:



Then edit the file '/etc/grub.d/40_custom' and add the following lines which create the boot menu options:

source /boot/grub/android-x86-4.4-r5.cfg

source /boot/grub/android-x86_64-5.1-rc1.cfg

source /boot/grub/phoenixos.cfg

source /boot/grub/remixos.cfg

And lastly update grub so the options appear on the next boot:

sudo update-grub

Although the standard Phoenix system partition doesn't include Google Play Store you can address this by following and downloading the file

'' from!HgY3HIbK!AHzALibHdlrluCmTzwMmk2nuN_esDSMWA48bIQL1TVQ. To install the updated system image enter:

sudo unzip

sudo mv system.img /boot/phoenixos

Again you can now delete the download and any files/directories created from the above commands.

Similarly Remix OS also cannot include Google Play Store so by following once you have booted Remix OS you can easily add it.

Finally reboot and select the Android-x86 system you wish to boot from the menu and enjoy!