Google Android running on your Workstation

The escalation of the phone OS wars has generated a new breed of operating systems that has crossed over the boundry from smart phones to netbooks and tablets.   Someday these environments are likely to reach the desktop, but you don't have to wait, you can run them virtually on your desktop today!

The response from our ealier post on running Google Chrome OS in VMware Workstation was phenomenal and the  number of downloads of the Chrome OS .vmdk from gdgt.com has encouraged us to look for other new operating systems that VMware Workstation users may want to try.

For the past couple of months, we have been keeping our eye on the Android x86 project http://www.androidx86.org/.  Finally, I got a chance to download and try the new 1.6 r2 build this weekend.  I created a new VM and was up and running within ~20 mins.


The tricky part was creating and formatting the disk correctly – the text on the screen of the installer refreshed poorly and ended up with artifacts on the screen which made it a little difficult to understand what needed to be done.   After some trial and error, I eventually realized that I needed to create a disk first and then choose to make it bootable.  After solving this everything else was simple.


In general, Android worked well.   I was able to navigate thorough the OS, use the onscreen keyboard, run a search, surf the web and play Lunar Lander.  I did manage to install a widget that didn't work on the desktop and that I couldn't remove and I downloaded Solitaire from the App Store which successfully downloaded and indicated that it was "ready to install" but I haven't figured out how to install it.  How can I run a true test of computing power without being able to run the most over played computer card game ever???

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Please let us know if there are other projects we should take a look at or other operating systems (other than Mac OSX) that you would like to see running in Workstation.