I got tantalizingly close with Android OS on this attempt, manually creating my own USB install disk with the very good UBootin open-source software. I can see now that the folks from Remix OS had customized both code bases for their own use in an attempt to make things easier but fell short, it would seem. UBootin appears to allow you to create almost any sort of live/install USB drive and well worth the time spent with it.
I managed to “live boot” (without installing) Android OS from my USB drive only to find that the Google Play Service appears to be crashing on the Dell Vostro 200 upon initialization, a known bug. The software appears to expect that 1) I have cellphone service, 2) I have wi-fi. I have neither and it doesn’t seem to know how to drive forward to the point of using DHCP on my Ethernet adapter to continue.
I’ll check the documentation to find out how I might get further but this is the best attempt so far within the Android OS—compatible collection.
I’ve finally gotten the live boot to work by sneakily removing the Ethernet connection in order to get past the Google Play Service screen. It has an interesting interface that looks a lot like a cellphone might. So I’ve decided to boot again and actually install this time.
I’ve managed to navigate around the interface a bit during the live boot session. Oddly-enough, you get to a terminal screen with the Ctrl-Alt-F1 screen and back to the GUI with Ctrl-Alt-F7. There’s a very thin setup of UNIX under the covers and some familiar commands if you are savvy to such things.
It appears to be a little heavy-handed with the processor fan control, in my humble opinion. There are many times when the fan is adjusted to full while it’s doing anything. For example, it’s blaring away while presumably formatting the first drive.
The installation process is shy on status. I couldn’t honestly tell you how much of the drive is formatted at the moment, for example. In old Western movies the Indian scout would put his ear to the ground in order to hear distant horses. Here, I put my ear to the side of the chassis in an attempt to hear whether or not the drive is being written to. Color me “worried”.
If At First You Don’t Succeed…
Okay, that didn’t work. So I reboot, reformat but this time without GRUB. It now appears to be going further.
Android OS starts up at least. I does still throw an error that Google Play service is stopped, like before. Like before, I need to temporarily disconnect the Ethernet cable to get past the same bug as seen during the live boot attempt.
Finally booting from the hard drive results in
Error: no such partition, entering rescue mode, Grub rescue>. Really?
I think we need to vote Android OS off the island as a viable solution.
I just keep imagining that this will work. So now I’m trying again with the previous (perhaps more stable) version of Android OS x86 5.1 rc1. This version plows right through the previous installation bug involving the Ethernet adapter, always a good sign. And the browser actually comes up without crashing, another bonus.
Finally, I’ve managed to find a working version of an Android OS for a PC. I’ll continue my review in depth and follow-up with what I find.