How to Install and Run Android Apps APKs in Ubuntu, Other Version of Linux

Linux is the best open source operating system which is swiftly gaining popularity around the world. Mostly,normal users are not aware of the sheer power of Linux, but things are changing quite quickly. The combination of Linux and Android is an open source heaven. A lot of users have asked about running Android APKs on Linux. We have posted previously about running Android apps by installing Android APK fines in Windows and Mac. It’s time to tell you how to install Android APK in Linux.

How to Install and Run Android Apps APKs  Linux, Ubuntu

Meet Shashlik, a great tool suite which allows you to install APK on GNU-Linux distribution. The best thing about Shashlik is that it doesn’t use the emulation technique; it deploys the actual barebones installation of the app using the APK files. All the graphics of the app are rendered using the OpenGL technology, so the app performance remains top class, unlike Windows and OS X.

First step is to download the latest version of Shashlik. You can download the latest version from the official website.

There are Debian and Arch packages which could be used as they are inbuilt in the downloaded files. If you are a user of Fedora, you can use the alien generated RPM. If you are using Ubuntu, type the following command in the terminal:

sudo dpkg -i shashlik_0.9.3.deb

If you need to figure out how to compile the Shashlik tool kit, you can see the instructions on its  official website.

Now let’s come to the core part: installing and running Android APKs on Ubuntu and other Linux flavors.

After the installation of Shashlik, go to APK database and download the apps you want to run in your Linux. Now open a terminal on the location of the downloaded APKs and type the following command

“/opt/shashlik/bin/shashlik-install name_of_apk_file”.

Here is a screenshot to depict the process. The example app which is installed here is Viber.


Now, type and run the following command in the same terminal session

 “/opt/shashlik/bin/shashlik-run name_of_splash_png name_of_apk_file”

During the installation process, Two important files named splash png image file and the userdata.img are stored at  /.local/share/shashlik. These files include splash. When you launch the apk, Shashlik searches for the file you have indicated in the command. If the splash.png is there corresponding to an app named test.apk, the command becomes will be written as “/opt/shashlik/bin/shashlik-run splash test.apk”.


The above steps will install the APK in your system. In order to see the installed APK just to applications menu/dash and you will be able to run them with a simple click.

Delete APK from Linux

If you want to delete an installed Android APK from your Linux system, just manually remove the binaries from /.local/share/applications.

While Shashlik is not a perfect tool and still in its early stages, it is one of the easiest and leanest tools I have ever come across to run Android apps on Linux. You can install Android APK files in Ubuntu and other Linux versions using this tool with a very little effort. The software is still getting stable with time. Tell us which apps you are successfully able to install on Linux using Shashlik.


Fahad Saleem

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