Genymotion beta release

Hi all,

I’m very proud to annouce that the Genymotion beta release is available. You can sign up at https://cloud.genymotion.com to download the genymotion software which will allow you to download new virtual images.

Some of the new features/corrections compared to the last version of AndroVM :

  • A brand new “player” design
  • An installer
  • Battery emulation widget
  • GPS emulation widget
  • Genymotion shell which allows you to interact with your VM using a command line
  • Web scrambling bug fix
  • Vertical scroll handling

The Genymotion software shoud work with your existing androVM virtual machines but please don’t try to use the Battery or GPS widgets as this will make your VM crash.

Please also note that you need VirtualBox installed to use Genymotion (a Windows installation package including VirtualBox is available if you don’t have it yet).

Update: All source code running inside the VM (not the Genymotion software running on the host) has been commited to the github.com/androvm repositories

Dan.

AndroVM moving to a commercial product

Dear all,

this is a great day for AndroVM. I’m happy to announce that the AndroVM project becomes a fully supported commercial product, backed by Genymobile.

To underline this change, the project name changes (who said again ? :-) ) from AndroVM to Genymotion.

Let me now describe what will be Genymotion. This product is aimed at replacing the Android Emulator from Google not only for Android developers but also for people making Android apps demonstrations (sales, marketing people).

Genymotion is being developed towards three directions :

  • Performance : the fastest Android emulator mainly thanks to x86 support and Hardware OpenGL (improved from what’s available in the stock emulator)
  • Simplicity : we want an easy to install, easy to use product, hiding the technological complexity behind the scene (VirtualBox, Hardware OpenGL, …)
  • Emulation completeness : we want most sensors to be emulated with easy-tu-use widgets, Voice call emulation, NFC, Bluetooth, and more…

The first beta version of Genymotion will be available in about one month – launched at the Droidcon in Paris, that’s one more good reason to attend if needed :-)

Some of you might fear that the project goes closed source and/or are forced to pay in order to use Genymotion. I want to reassure you :

  • Everything open source today will stay open source and will even expand : our strategy is that all Genymotion “basic functions” are open source (VirtualBox support, Different Android version support) and we aimed the open source version of Genymotion to go beyond the needs of the commercial version, especially in terms of Virtualization product support by supporting virtualization environments like Xen or VMWare. If you would like to participate in this development, feel free to contact me.
  • Genymotion will have a free version, with many many advanced functions (sensors emulation, GPS, multi-touch support, …) which will should make your development/testing/demonstration work easier

There will obviously be paying versions of the product, mainly for large companies needing collaboration on Genymotion.

The genymotion.com web site is up, you can visit it and register your email address to be informed as soon as the product is released.

Feel free to comment/ask questions on this change.

Best regards,

Dan.

Big announcement to come

Hi all,

there’s some big announcement to come about the AndroVM project. I cannot tell more for the moment because things will be disclosed at the “Demo Night/Mixer” during the Google I/O.

If you’re at the Google I/O this week or live near San Francisco, you can join this meetup ; this will also be a great way to meet Sam (part of the androVM development team) and Cedric (Genymobile CEO).

Following this, I’ll happily share details here and on the androvm mailing list.

Best regards,

Dan.

AndroVM 20130222 release

I’m proud to annonce that the 2013022 release of AndroVM is now available. If you follow the androVM google group, you probably know most of the features that I’ll announce in this post and you also probably got a chance to test them in intermediate releases (not announced on this blog).

Here’s the new features list (compared to the 20121119 release) :

  • Android version is now 4.1.1_r6.1
  • VirtualBox shared folders support : now all VirtualBox shared folders declared as “auto-mount” in the VM settings are mounted in the /sdcard/shared/ directory
  • [Software OpenGL] Seamless mouse integration is now supported in Software OpenGL (inside the VirtualBox window)
  • [Hardware OpenGL] The TCP connexion used for hardware OpenGL is now initiated by the host (the VM acts as the server) ; this should be more “firewall friendly” and allows to have multiple AndroVM running with Hardware OpenGL
  • The AndroVMplayer has now a graphical frontend which lets you choose the resolution and DPI as well as the VM you want to start (if you use VirtualBox – which is advised for AndroVM because we have a tighter integration with it).

Known bugs (same as 20121119 release) :

  • Hardware OpenGL/Intel HD/Windows : On most Intel HD drivers running Windows, the AndroVMplayer might crash (in the driver DLL) when starting Android ; you may have to restart AndroVMplayer an important number of times before it suceeds
  • Hardware OpenGL/WebView : On some GPUs (mostly NVidia ?), the browser and all apps which use the WebView component might show scrambled HTML content

AndroVMplayer now support window resizing, as well as fullscreen mode ; to use AndroVMplayer in fullscreen mode, you have to :

  • select “manual resolution” and tick the “fullscreen” box
  • press F11 (Ctrl+F11 on Mac) to switch to fullscreen when the player window has appeared

When starting the virtual machine, AndroVMplayer now check different things :

  • If your AndroVM virtual machine doesn’t have the “hardware OpenGL” option enabled, it can enable it for you before starting the VM.
  • If your AndroVM virtual machine first network adapter is not configured, it can configure it for you (as well as create the host-only network for you).

To summarize that, with this new AndroVMplayer, to use OpenGL hardware you just have to :

  • Import the AndroVM ova in VirtualBox
  • Start AndroVMplayer, choose your resolution and the virtual machine you’ve just imported
  • Click “Run” and it should work

You can still use AndroVMplayer with non-VirtualBox systems (e.g VMWare) but, obviously, you won’t benefit from automatic VirtualBox configuration and VM start/stop ; in this case, you have to choose ‘none’ as the VM name and directly type the IP address of your virtual machine.

Please note that, due to the change in communication, old AndroVMplayer won’t work with 20130222 OVAs and old OVAs won’t work with 20130222 AndroVMplayer.

You will find the download links on the download page.

Feel free to send working/non-working reports to the androVM google group.

Dan.

NB: I’ve updated the Documentation page to include the new features of this release.

Open-sourcing AndroVM

Hi,

at least, the AndroVM source code is now available.

To get it you need the repo tool from source.android.com along with other prerequesites which are listed here.

The platform manifest git used by repo is : http://github.com/androvm/platform_manifest.git

For the moment, the only working branch is androVM-4.1.1_r6.1

Thus, to initialize your AndroVM repo you should do : repo init -u https://github.com/androvm/platform_manifest.git -b androVM-4.1.1_r6.1

If you have any patches you’d like to submit, please send them to the AndroVM Google group.

Happy coding

Dan.

PS: Comments disabled, should you have any questions, please use the AndroVM Google group.

AndroVM – Configuration Tutorial

Here is a small tutorial to help you setting-up AndroVM with hardware accelerated OpenGL rendering, using VirtualBox.
I will assume that you already have VirtualBox installed and working.

Network Adapter

To run with hardware acceleration, as for using the ADB with AndroVM, you’ll need an “Host Only” network adapter. To create one, open VirtualBox, get to the “File” menu, “Preferences…”, “Network”.

Step 1 - VBox Network Preferences

Don’t forget to enable DHCP Server for this network adapter.
Step 2 – Host Only Adapter Configuration

Importing VM

Now, you can import the VM into VirtualBox. Just double-click on the OVA file, or use “File” menu, “Import Appliance”.
It can be a good idea to rename the VM into something more friendly.

Step 3 - Importing OVA

Setting-up VM

Step 4 - VM Parameters

By default, AndroVM has its first network adapter set to disable. Go to the VM network settings and set it to “Host Only Adapter”

Step 5 - Network Adapter 1

Then, start the VM. Now, you’ve got a fully functional software-rendered AndroVM. Now, open the AndroVM Config app, and check the box to enable hardware OpenGL.

Step 6 - AndroVM Config

Note that you might see the VM IP on the top off the app. This is the Management IP. You can adb connect this IP.
If there’s no IP address, then you won’t be able to use hardware OpenGL. Verify your host-only adapter configuration.
Click on the “Save” button, The VM will restart.

Spet 7 - VM Reboot

The VM will stay in that state. Now it’s time to run the AndroVMplayer.

AndroVMplayer

The AndroVMplayer is a software used to display the VM content and manage its events. It won’t work if the VM is not running !
Open a command line interpreter, get to the AndroVMplayer directory, and type :
AndroVMplayer [width] [height] [density]

Step 8 - AndroVMplayer

Wait a few seconds, and the Android boot animation will appear in the AndroVMplayer.

Typical problems

Step 8: the AndroVMplayer blocks on “waiting for connection from VM”

  • If the VM shows a Management IP, try to connect to the VM through adb. If it doesn’t work, then turn off your firewall
  • If the VM doesn’t show a Management IP, the your network adapter is not well configured

The VM displays “init: untracked pid xxxx”

  • It means that the VM is waiting for the AndroVMplayer. Just launch it !

RIP Buildroid, Long life to AndroVM

Hi,

As some of you (those following my @madCdan twitter account) know, we received an injunction from Lucasfilms asking us to stop using the Buildroid name… That’s a pity, I loved that name :-(

At the same time, I’ve decided to focus my Android work mostly on virtualization. It helped us to choose a replacement name : and the winner is… “AndroVM” !

An other important news is that I’ll now fully support the android-x86 project and that future releases of Buildroid VM AndroVMs will be based on this project. That also means most of the functions developed for AndroVM will benefit to android-x86.

You can still find all my previous Buildroid posts here.

Stay tuned for new releases.

Rest in peace Buildroid, Long life to AndroVM !

Dan.