Improve the speed of the Android Emulator

One of the biggest complains I ear about developing for Android, it the Android Emulator. By default, the Android Development Toolkit (adt) creates a Android Emulator with a ARM processor. This emulation of the ARM processor is heavy on the machine (CPU+RAM). However there is a solution to speed up the Emulator and light on the machine:

  • Using x86 hardware acceleration on Android images ver. 10 and 15+ (2.3.3 and 4.0.2+)
  • Using GPU OpenGL acceleration for interface rendering on images ver 14+ (Android 4.x)

By using this option, you are "using your native processor" instructions, taking advantage of your hardware.

1 - Open the Android SDK Manager and install 2 packages:

  • Intel x86 Atom System Image
  • Intel x86 Emulator Accelerator (HAXM)


You need to install KVM



Open the HAXM Installation file from adt-bundle-mac-x8664/sdk/extras/intel/haxm-macosxr02.dmg and install the PKG.

If you have a CaseSensitive File System you will get an error message "VT/NX not present".

  • Right-click on IntelHAXM_1.0.1.mpkg -> Show Package Contents
  • Contents -> Packages -> intelhaxm.pkg


2 - After the driver is installed for you environment, close Eclipse

3 - Setup the new Emulator - Open the Android Virtual Device Manager
CPU : Intel Atom x86
Emulation Options : Use Host GPU

4 - Start your device!