Preview virtual Chrome OS devices on the Android Emulator

If you'd like to develop and test your app on a Chrome OS device, such as a Pixelbook, but you don't have the hardware, you can use a virtual Chrome OS device on the Android Emulator.

Setup

To run your app on a virtual Chrome OS device, you only need to download a couple of add-ons and take a few setup steps:

1. Install Android Studio

See Download Android Studio for instructions.

2. Enable VM acceleration for the Android Emulator

The Android Emulator can use extensions to accelerate the running of a VM (virtual machine). To enable VM acceleration, follow the instructions in Configuring VM acceleration.

3. Install Chrome OS SDK add-ons

To run a virtual Chrome OS device on the emulator, you need to download the appropriate system image through the Android Studio SDK Manager.

  1. In Android Studio, select Tools > SDK Manager.
  2. Click the SDK Update Sites tab.
  3. Click Add at the bottom of the window.
  4. Enter the following name and URL, then click OK:

    Chrome OS Repository: https://storage.googleapis.com/chrome_os_emulator/addon2-1.xml

  5. Click Add again.
  6. Enter the following name and URL, then click OK:

    Chrome OS System Images: https://storage.googleapis.com/chrome_os_emulator/sys-img2-1.xml

  7. Click Apply.
  8. Click the SDK Tools tab and select the checkbox for Chrome OS device.
  9. Click OK to install the Chrome OS device.
  10. Restart Android Studio.

4. Create an AVD using the AVD Manager

Now that you have the system image for the Chrome OS device installed in Android Studio, you can use it to create a Chrome OS virtual device that can run on the emulator.

See Create and manage virtual devices for instructions to create an AVD.

The Pixelbook (beta) hardware profile is in the Tablet category.

If you do not already have the required SDK Platform component installed for the AVD, you can download it from the Recommended tab of the Select a system image page of the Virtual device configuration window.

Run the virtual device on the emulator

You can now run your virtual Chrome OS device on the emulator.

For instructions on running an app, see Run an app in the Android Emulator.

When launching an AVD for the first time, you will need to set up the virtual device with a valid Google account and accept the Google Play Terms of Service. This is only required the first time a newly created Chrome OS virtual device is launched. The ability to run Android apps is disabled when the virtual Chromebook is used as a guest. To run your Android app on the emulator, you must sign in with a valid Google account.

Known issues

  • Android Studio displays warnings for Chrome OS images.
  • The virtual Chrome OS device does not include the Google Play Store. However, Google Play services do function on the virtual device.
  • Running adb root closes the connection to the AVD until you sign out and sign back in. A workaround is to use su instead.
  • The default RAM size for an AVD is 1536 MB. We recommend increasing the RAM for the AVD to 2048 MB. To increase the RAM for the AVD, click Show Advanced Settings in the Virtual Device Configuration window.
  • The emulator's rotation controls do not cause the virtual device to switch between landscape and portrait modes.
  • The mouse pointer behaves like a finger on a touchscreen. Hovering does not work.
  • Using the mouse scroll wheel can cause unwanted clicks to be sent to the device. A workaround is to swipe by holding the mouse button down while moving the mouse.
  • When you close the emulator window or stop the emulator from AVD Manager before Android has finished booting, Chrome OS detects a hard shutdown. On the next boot, Chrome OS will show the crash restore dialog. To avoid this, hold the Power button in the emulator controls to shut down the virtual Chromebook.
  • The ChromeVox screen reader does not work on this preview version of a virtual Chrome OS device on the Android Emulator. We intend to address this issue in a future update.