Intel® Atom™ x86 Image for Android* Ice Cream Sandwich Installation Instructions - Manually

Published:05/24/2012   Last Updated:08/13/2015


This document will guide you through installing the Intel® Atom™ x86 image for Android* Ice Cream Sandwich, which can be used for development on Intel’s x86 architecture. The steps presented below are the same, regardless of the OS.


The Android x86 Emulator Image requires the Android SDK to be installed. For instructions on installing and configuring the Android SDK, refer to the Android developer website (

Optional: The x86 Emulator Image for Android can be accelerated using Intel Hardware Accelerated Execution Manager (HAXM). For more information, refer to the “Optimization” section of this document.


Downloading Manually

  1. Go to
  2. Download the Intel x86 Atom System Image.
  3. Navigate to the directory where the Android SDK is located (the path where Android SDK is located can be found by accessing SDK manager):

  4. The system-images directory contains Android system images, separated by architecture. Expand android-15 (this directory contains API Level 15 system images).

  5. Extract the x86 directory contained in the downloaded system image archive directly into the default directory (it must be on the same level as armeabi-v7a).
  6. The directory structure should now look like this screenshot:

  7. The system image is now installed and ready to be used.

Using the System Image

  1. Start the Android AVD Manager and create a new AVD, setting “Target” to “Android 4.0.3 – API Level 15”, and “CPU/ABI” to “Intel Atom (x86):

    Note: if the “Intel Atom (x86)” CPU/ABI option is not available, please make sure that the system image is installed correctly.
  2. Click the “Create AVD” button.
  3. The AVD has been successfully created and is now ready to use:


CPU Acceleration

The performance of Intel Atom x86 Image for Android Ice Cream Sandwich can be improved using hardware-based virtualization using Intel VT-x technology.

If your computer has an Intel processor with VT-x support, it is recommended that Intel Hardware Acceleration Execution Manager (HAXM) be used in conjunction with this system image. For more information about Intel HAXM, visit

Note: Intel HAXM is for Windows and OS X operating systems only. For Linux hosts, Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) can be used to accelerate emulation performance. For information on installing and configuring KVM on Ubuntu, refer to the following guide:

GPU Acceleration

The Intel Atom x86 Image for Android Ice Cream Sandwich can make use of hardware GPU features to increase the performance of games, graphics-intensive programs, and user interface elements.

Note: The functionality and performance of GPU acceleration is highly dependent on your computer’s graphics card and graphics drivers.

To use hardware GPU acceleration, perform the following steps:

  1. Open the Android AVD Manager.
  2. Select the AVD, and click the “Edit” button.
  3. The AVD editor window will appear. In the “Emulator Options” section check the “Use Host GPU” option.

  4. Click the “OK” button to save the AVD.
  5. After the AVD has been modified, a dialog will appear confirming the AVD settings:

    In the confirmation dialog, the “hw.gpu.enabled=yes” line indicates that GPU acceleration is enabled for that particular AVD.
    Note: The GPU acceleration must be enabled on a per-AVD basis.

Copyright (C) 2012 Intel Corporation.  All rights reserved.

Intel, Atom, and the Intel logo are trademarks of Intel Corporation in the U.S. and/or other countries.

All products, computer systems, dates, and figures specified are preliminary based on current expectations, and are subject to change without notice.

* Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others.

Product and Performance Information


Performance varies by use, configuration and other factors. Learn more at