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WayDroid: The best way to run Android Apps on Linux

Updated: Jan 20, 2022


In the past, you might find some ways to run Android Apps on your desktop computers, such as:

  • Bluestacks is the most popular.

  • Run in virtual machine

  • Dual-boot alogside with other OS.

  • Or wait Windows 11's Android app compatibility layer.

Anbox is one of solutions you could try, it intended to support Linux and Linux-based smartphones, but it suffers from slow performance on low-power devices. To fix it, another project has been initiated that focus on performance of running Android apps on Linux devices.


WayDroid (via Linux Smartphones), formly called Anbox-Halium, is a "remixed" (or even rebuilt) edition of Anbox, this edition - WayDroid - is designed to utilize more of Linux host device's hardware (physical and libraries), which is results in better performance than before.


WayDroid project mainly focuses on running Android applications on Halium-based Linux phones, which enable WayDroid to run on any devices with mainline Linux kernel.


The above videos (from Caleb Connolly channel) show the way that WayDroid runs on top of PostmaketOS Linux on the OnePlus 6 (the series of OnePlus can run the standard Linux kernel). It is obviously for the OnePlus 6 to run Android apps with its original operating system, but the WayDroid is interesting because it is fully open.

You could run a Linux distribution on your own phone, and extra WayDroid for the occasional Android applications, while still having full control over your device (with software support coming from the Linux community).


More than that, the below video shows WayDroid running on a Moto Z2 Force with Ubuntu touch from Erfan Abdi channel.



LXC (Linux Container) is the well known set of tools, templates, library and language bindings. It's pretty low level, very flexible and covers just about every containment feature supported by the upstream kernel.

And it is interesting that WayDroid renders the graphical buffer in LXC with direct Wayland support, that's why it have named Way-Droid.


By using Wayland + LXC, WayDroid is smoother than the original Anbox project.That super-smooth functionality isn’t just for Linux phones — it works well on desktop Linux distributions. Below is a screenshot of WayDroid running on desktop Ubuntu, with similar window management as Chrome OS.

Figure 1: WayDroid on Ubuntu Linux. Credits: XDA Recognized Developer afanoabdi

It is very exciting to see Android application on Linux become way better day by day, especially as the funtionality will be one of the more important changes in Windows 11.

The main catch right now is that there’s no emulation layer in WayDroid, so x86 devices (like most PCs) can only run x86 binaries, and ARM64 devices (most phones and tablets) can only run ARM64 binaries. This is similar to how the Wine compatibility layer works — even though Wine is available for Android, it can’t run most Windows software on most Android devices, since phones are typically ARM and most Windows software is x86-only. The developer is hoping to implement emulation in the future by using components from the Android subsystem for Windows 11.

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