I’ve been always struggling with Android development on my macbook pro, it has been always slow and unreliable.
So i’ve decided to revive a low-end machine with a lightweight linux distro and after trying many, Puppy linux was my choice.
Using Puppy linux and genymotion on a 2GB/dual core machine was actually 10x faster than my macbook pro.
Why Puppy linux
Small size, ~200MB!
Runs from RAM, making it unusually fast even in old PCs and in netbooks with solid state storage media.
Very low minimum system requirements.
Boot time is well under a minute, 30-40 seconds in most systems.
Install downloaded iso on USB using UNetbootin or any similar tool.
After you boot it go to Menu > Setup > Puppy installer and follow instructions, You can choose either Frugal or Full installation, Frugal is recommended, You can actually run the OS totally in RAM, and save its state with every shutdown, check out this link for more details.
If you are booting Puppy Linux only, You should enable Grub4dos in installation and update menu.lst if you need. Grub will create the boot directory.
B. Android SDK installation
Java Development Kit (JDK) 7 is required for Android SDK, just download and install jdk-1.7u25-i586.sfs package to enable it on Puppy linux.