Raspberry Pi x86
As you may know there is no such thing as Raspberry Pi x86 apps but you can buy and download a software package that will allow you to run these apps on the Pi.

As I mentioned above this tutorial involves buying an application called Exagear, now for some the $15 – $30 price tag might be a bit too high but it does open the opportunity to install a ton more apps onto the Pi. It’s also important to note that the license for this tutorial was provided to me for free.


Exagear isn’t limited to just the Raspberry Pi, you will find that it will work on the banana pi, Odroid, cubieboard, Nvidia jetson and more. This tutorial takes you through the process of installing it for the Pi so you may find that things vary if you install it on a different device.

It’s important to note this can’t run windows apps without installing wine. By default, it’s able to run x86 Linux applications. It’s also important to note the it doesn’t support applications that require kernel modules and provides no hardware support for the x86 apps.

If you would like to see this all in action then be sure to check out the video below. It goes basically the same steps in this text tutorial but is great for anyone who prefers seeing things done visually.

Equipment

You will need the following equipment & software in order to get this awesome Pi tutorial working correctly.
Required

Optional

Installing Exagear onto the Raspberry Pi

You will need to make sure you have Raspbian installed on the Raspberry Pi before you get started. If you’re using a fresh Raspbian install, make sure you have increased the size of the install so it takes up the entire SD Card. I recommend using an SD card 16gb or larger since Exagear will chew up an additional 1.5gb on your Pi.

  1. To begin, first open the terminal on the Raspberry Pi or simply SSH in.
  2. Download the Exagear desktop package by entering the following command. Depending on which type of Pi you’re using you may need to change this. (This is for the Pi 3)
    wget http://downloads.eltechs.com/exagear-desktop-v-1-5/exagear-desktop-rpi3.tar.gz
  3. Exact the tar archive you just downloaded by entering the following.
    tar -xvzpf exagear-desktop-rpi3.tar.gz
  4. Next make sure your license key is in the same directory as the extracted tar archive. (The key file should look something like px-000000000000.key)
    My key was stored on the desktop so I moved it into the home directory which contains the install-exagear.sh file.

    mv ~/Desktop/px-000000000000.key ~/ 
  5. Once the license key is in the same directory. Make sure the install script is executable.
    chmod +x ./install-exagear.sh
  6. To install Exagear, run the following line.
    sudo ./install-exagear.sh
  7. To now launch Exagear simply run the following line.
    exagear
  8. Now you’re running in x86 and can now use the terminal as if you were running on a x86 machine. To exit from Exagear simply enter exit.
  9. The script by default installs the image that best suits your operating system (OS). However, you might want the Ubuntu image as some applications such as Spotify is only able to run on the Ubuntu image. To force the installation of the guest x86 Ubuntu simply run the following line.
    sudo ./install-exagear.sh ubuntu-1404
  10. To check that you are in the x86 environment simply run the following line.
    arch
  11. It should return i686, if so you’re now ready to start installing and using x86 Apps.
  12. Before you start installing any apps just update the guest OS by running the following commands.
    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get upgrade

Exagear x86
Now this is just the start of the many great things you’re able to do with this software package. I will go through just some of the Linux x86 apps that you’re able to install below.

Running x86 Apps Examples

I will just quickly go through a couple of examples of how to run some of the Raspberry Pi x86 apps below. This is just a couple of examples and I will look at addressing some more popular applications in a couple of future tutorials.

Installing Sublime on the Raspberry Pi

Sublime doesn’t offer an ARM version of the software so you will need to run it through the guest software. Under the Raspberry Pi x86 guest operating system sublime is incredibly easy to install and is a fantastic text editor for any coder.

  1. Firstly, make sure you’re running under the x86 guest system by using the arch command, it should return i686.
  2. Make sure that wget is installed under the guest OS so that we can download Sublime. Also download the libgtk2.0-0 package as this is required for sublime to run correctly.
    sudo apt-get install wget libgtk2.0-0
  3. Next we need to download the deb package for Sublime by running the following command.
    wget https://download.sublimetext.com/sublime-text_build-3126_i386.deb
  4. Now run the following lines to install Sublime to the Raspberry Pi.
    sudo dpkg -i sublime-text_build-3126_i386.deb
    sudo apt-get install -f
  5. You can now easily run and use Sublime. It can be found under the programming sub-menu.

Raspberry Pi Sublime

Installing Telegram on the Raspberry Pi

Another cool app that doesn’t support ARM but can be installed with Exagear is Telegram. Telegram is a messaging application that provides fast and reliable messaging. It has a focus on speed, security and of course privacy.

This app is incredibly easy to quickly install.

  1. Firstly, make sure you’re running under the x86 guest system by using the arch command, it should return i686.
  2. Make sure that wget is installed so that we can download Telegram. Also download the two other packages that we will need.
    sudo apt-get install wget xz-utils gconf2
  3. Now download the latest version of Telegram by entering the following line.
    wget https://telegram.org/dl/desktop/linux32
  4. Now extract the tar archive by entering the following command.
    tar -xvpf linux32
  5. Now open the program by simply running the following line.
    Telegram/Telegram
  6. It should now launch and you can start using it with no issues.
  7. telegram

    Installing Wine for the Raspberry Pi

    Now if you want to run some Windows applications on the Raspberry pi then you will need to install Wine. The following steps will take you through all the steps you need to do.

    1. Installing wine is straight forward, simply run the following command when you’re running under the guest x86 system.
      sudo apt-get install wine
    2. To configure wine simply run this command in the terminal.
      winecfg
    3. You open the control panel for wine by entering the following command.
      wine control
    4. Now you can install wine applications to the Pi. Since there are a ton of these I will let you experiment a little. For the full list of applications tested with wine check out the winehq database.

    Of course, you will need to remember that the Pi doesn’t have the power of a typical PC or laptop so many applications may not run at all or if they do they run extremely slow.
    Raspberry Pi Wine

    Installing Notepad++ for the Raspberry Pi

    With wine installed you can install a fair few apps that are only available for the Windows platform. The text editor notepad++ is one of these but with wine and exagear can be installed on the Pi.

    1. Firstly download notepad++ to the Pi.
    2. wget https://notepad-plus-plus.org/repository/7.x/7.1/npp.7.1.Installer.exe
    3. Now move the installer to the ‘c drive’ for wine.
      mv npp.7.1.Installer.exe /home/pi/.wine/drive_c
    4. Now run wine with the location of the notepad plus plus. Keep in mind wine sees the directories as typical windows layout so drive_c is c:
      wine 'c:\\npp.7.1.Installer.exe'
    5. Now follow the prompts to install notepad++. At the end you can tick the box for it to open notepad++ and it should do it without any problems.
      Alternatively, you can run the following line.

      wine 'c:\\Program Files\\Notepad++\\notepad++.exe'

    Raspberry Pi Notepad ++
    Now you can follow this same process to basically install any kind of windows application onto the Pi. However, it’s important to know that not every app will run or run very well. It’s best to check the wine database above to see how a certain app might perform running under wine. The Pi is also very limited in resources so a lot of the heavier windows applications will struggle or not run at all.

    Raspberry Pi x86 App Further Examples

    There are a wide range of applications that you’re able to install using Exagear. Below are just some of the top examples of what you’re able to do.

    • Skype
    • Team Viewer
    • Dropbox (I had issues getting this to work)
    • TeamSpeak Server
    • Plex Media Server x86 version rather than the repackage.
    • Google Chrome (Chromium can be installed on plain Raspbian)
    • Telegram
    • And much more!

    There are so many x86 possibilities, I will be touching on how to get some of these installed in future tutorials. For now, I hope that Exagear has installed correctly for you and you haven’t come across any problems. If you do have problems be sure to check out the exagear forums for support.

    I hope that this has helped you with getting some x86 apps running on the Raspberry Pi. If you have any feedback, tips or anything then be sure to leave a comment below.


    Affiliate link disclaimer: All the products I mention on this website I have personally purchased (this is an exception the license was provided to me for free) and used at least once. Some of the links on this website are affiliate links that earn me a small commission whenever a sale is made.

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