From Whonix

About this Anbox Page
Support Status see Status below
Difficulty medium
Maintainer Patrick
Support Professional Support


Works on Debian stretch on real hardware.

Does not work inside Whonix ™ VirtualBox most likely due to anbox issues inside VirtualBox.

Small chance it will work better once Whonix ™ is based on Debian buster.

Install Anbox[edit]

Update the package lists.

sudo apt-get update

Install adb fastboot.

sudo apt-get install adb fastboot

Install anbox and newer kernel. [1]

Package linux-headers-amd64 anbox linux-image-amd64 linux-headers-amd64 anbox can be installed from Debian backports. This is non-ideal, see footnote. [2]

1. Boot Whonix-Workstation ™ (whonix-ws-14) TemplateVM.

2. Add the current Debian stable backports codename stretch-backports to Debian apt sources.

Note: this applies to Whonix Later Whonix versions may use a codename different to stretch.

In Whonix-Workstation ™ (whonix-ws-14) TemplateVM, run.

sudo su -c "echo -e 'deb stretch-backports main contrib non-free' > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/backports.list"

Alternatively, users who like Onionizing Repositories can set the .onion mirror.

sudo su -c "echo -e 'deb tor+http://vwakviie2ienjx6t.onion/debian stretch-backports main contrib non-free' > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/backports.list"

3. Update the package lists.

sudo apt-get update

4. Install the select software.

sudo apt-get -t stretch-backports install linux-image-amd64 linux-headers-amd64 anbox

The procedure is now complete.

5. Undo.

On occasion it is necessary to undo this configuration, for example when upgrading from Debian stretch to buster. [3] To proceed, run.

sudo rm /etc/apt/sources.list.d/backports.list

Change directory to the /var/lib/anbox folder.

cd /var/lib/anbox

Download anbox andorid image.

sudo curl --tlsv1.2 --remote-name

Download anbox andorid image sha256sum file.

sudo curl --tlsv1.2 --remote-name


sha256sum --check android_amd64.img.sha256sum

Should show:

android_amd64.img: OK

Rename android_amd64.img to android.img. [4]

sudo mv android_amd64.img android.img

Reboot required. [5]

sudo reboot


Start Anbox[edit]

From Start Menu[edit]

Start menuAccessoriesAnbox

From Command Line[edit]


anbox launch --package=org.anbox.appmgr --component=org.anbox.appmgr.AppViewActivity

Anbox Issues[edit]

user@host:~$ anbox check-features
Your computer does meet all requirements to run Anbox
user@host:~$ sudo anbox check-features
Your computer does meet all requirements to run Anbox
env ANBOX_LOG_LEVEL=debug anbox session-manager
libEGL warning: DRI2: failed to authenticate
[ 2018-12-31 12:16:33] [Renderer.cpp:168@initialize] Using a surfaceless EGL context
[ 2018-12-31 12:16:33] [Renderer.cpp:193@initialize] Failed: Missing egl_image related extension(s)
[ 2018-12-31 12:16:33] [service.cpp:41@Service] Successfully acquired DBus service name
Stack trace (most recent call last) in thread 3080:
#7    Object "[0xffffffffffffffff]", at 0xffffffffffffffff, in 
#6    Object "/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/", at 0x7f324fdb8ace, in clone
#5    Object "/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/", at 0x7f3251e76493, in 
#4    Object "anbox", at 0x56263e972600, in emugl::Thread::thread_main(void*)
#3    Object "anbox", at 0x56263e89832c, in RenderThread::main()
#2    Object "anbox", at 0x56263e96d7a3, in renderControl_decoder_context_t::decode(void*, unsigned long, IOStream*)
#1    Object "anbox", at 0x56263e8f558e, in 
#0    Object "anbox", at 0x56263e8f8555, in RendererConfigList::getPackInfo(int*, int*) const
Segmentation fault (Address not mapped to object [(nil)])
Segmentation fault

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  1. It is required to install a newer linux kernel because it contains kernel modules required by anbox. No longer required on Debian buster and above.
  2. Users should Prefer Packages from Debian Stable Repository, but using backports is better than manual software installation or using third party package managers since this prefers APT. To contain the risk, Non-Qubes-Whonix ™ users might want to consider using Multiple Whonix-Workstation ™ and Qubes-Whonix ™ users might want to consider using Multiple Qubes-Whonix ™ TemplateVMs or Software Installation in a TemplateBasedVM.
  3. Most often this step applies before attempting major Whonix upgrades; upgrade instructions are also made available at that time (see Stay Tuned).
  4. anbox-container-manager.service expects this file name.
  5. So new kernel gets load. No longer required on Debian buster.
  6. Start anbox systemd service.

    sudo systemctl start anbox-container-manager.service

    Check if anbox systemd service is functional.

    sudo systemctl status anbox-container-manager.service

    Should show something similar to the following.

    ● anbox-container-manager.service - Anbox Container Manager
       Loaded: loaded (/lib/systemd/system/anbox-container-manager.service; enabled; vendor preset: enabled)
       Active: active (running) since Mon 2018-12-31 06:23:49 EST; 874ms ago
         Docs: man:anbox(1)
      Process: 1996 ExecStartPre=/usr/share/anbox/ start (code=exited, status=0/SUCCESS)
      Process: 1991 ExecStartPre=/sbin/modprobe binder_linux (code=exited, status=0/SUCCESS)
      Process: 1986 ExecStartPre=/sbin/modprobe ashmem_linux (code=exited, status=0/SUCCESS)
     Main PID: 2074 (anbox)
        Tasks: 9 (limit: 4915)
       Memory: 5.1M
          CPU: 51ms
       CGroup: /system.slice/anbox-container-manager.service
               └─2074 /usr/bin/anbox container-manager --daemon --privileged --data-path=/var/lib/anbox
    Dec 31 06:23:48 debian systemd[1]: Starting Anbox Container Manager...
    Dec 31 06:23:49 debian systemd[1]: Started Anbox Container Manager.
  7. /usr/share/applications/anbox.desktop