After Light Biz OS, Remix OS, and Console OS, here’s another Android distribution that aims at creating better desktop experience in Android. Phoenix OS works on some ARM platforms, namely Nexus 9 and Nexus 10, as well as 64-bit x86 processors and like the x86 version of of Remix OS is based on Android-x86 project.
Just like other alternatives, it adds features usually found in Windows or Linux distributions such as a start menu, a task bar, multi-window support, notification handling via the taskbar, etc…
If you’d like to try it out in a computer with an Intel or AMD computer, you can follow the instructions below from a Windows machine:
- Prepare a 4GB+ flash drive
- Download the latest Zip file of Phoenix OS (x86) to your PC, currently Phoenix-x86-1.0-32-beta.zip
- Download and install USBMaker tool to your PC
- Start USBMaker.exe, select the flash drive and Zip file, and press “Write” (写入) to make a bootable device.
- Select the USB drive to boot Phoenix OS on your computer, and enjoy
Since I did not feel like running a Windows VM to do that, I investigated ways to do so in Linux, but sadly it did not find a way to create a bootable ISO image using the content of the zip file.
Nevertheless, Liliputing tried it on actual computers, and found it looked like very much like Remix OS, and uses persistent mode to save your data in the flash drive, so you don’t need to re-install apps or login to services again next time you boot your computer, or another one, with the flash drive.
You can visit Phoenix OS website for more information.
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.
12 Replies to “Phoenix OS is Another Desktop Oriented Android Distribution for ARM and x86”
1. Is there any real advantage to using this android release over a vanilla android with a customize-able launcher?
2. The implementation of Phoenix, and RemixOS2 in more devices is always dependent on community/outside developers support? They cannot be installed as is, right? Since they’re still android.
Just wait and see if ARM distribution will support a full gpu accelerator driver.
That’s a major issue why almost ARM platform has been ported to use as headless server only.
Hope to see fully open source driver for Mali and PowerVR to come…
On x86, just install the image on a USB stick, and it will work on systems with a 64-bit processor, except possibly for Bay Trail or Cherry Trail processor. See Android-x86 hardware list: http://www.android-x86.org/hardware-list
The firmware needs to be customized for ARM platforms.
For Android that’s less of an issue, as working binary drivers are already available.
Could you explain why it (Android-x86 project) would not run on Bay Trail if we can run linux on it?
There seems to always be issues with Linux on Bay Trail and Cherry Trail, but actually for Android it might work.
And after quickly Googling it seems Android-x86 might support Bay Trail, but not Cherry Trail: http://www.android-x86.net/index.php?topic=813.0
Booting this OS is actually really simple if your BIOS supports UEFI boot. Just copy files from zip archive to root of fat32 formatted usb pen drive, set your bios to boot from uefi and boot 🙂 You will probably have to navigate trough BIOS menu which efi file to boot (in my case \efi\boot\bootx64.efi)
Worked just fine with my HP ProBook G2 470. My guess is that even without uefi you can boot it by installing grub2 on your usb drive and configuring it.
I had tried in VirtualBox only. Maybe I should try USB boot instead of trying to boot from a CDROM.
Exactly, why should one use android as desktop OS ?
“Since they’re still android” and will be android, so no one will expect Phoenix OS, RemixOS etc. as their desktop OS. Let say someone has a NVIDIA optimus laptop, will Phoenix OS support graphics switching ?
While some smartphones are already running GNU/Linux on them, Phoenix OS is trying to grab the desktop OS share.
They may be suitable as OS for large screen smart LED TVs.
Remix OS can be solo booted to a system and it runs pretty nicely.
can I instal linux on a windows PC
Sadly Remix OS is now Business 2 Business only.