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Android Development on Arch

3 steps : Android SDK core component, Android SDK packages, development environtment

Getting android platforms

Before developing android applications, you need to install at least one Android platform. Install core SDK components from AUR:

  1. android-sdkAUR
  2. android-sdk-platform-toolsAUR

Typical installation location is /opt/android-sdk.

And then install the Android SDK packages which can be done either automatically ,from AUR, or manually.

Note: If you are running Arch64, you have to enable the multilib repo, to be able to to install the required dependencies using pacman.

Automatic installation

Automatic installation is done via the Android SDK and device manager, which is accessible by invoking (assuming that the $PATH variable contains the path to the Android SDK tools directory):


or alternatively:


If the automatic installation errors out, then you must either run the android tool with heightened privileges or set your user account as the owner of the directory. To change the owner ID for all SDK directories, run the following command as root:

 chown -R USER /opt/android-sdk

To change the group ID instead (recommended for multiple users), first create the group, perhaps called android, and add your user account to it:

 groupadd android
 gpasswd -a USER android

Next, change the directory permissions:

 chgrp -R android /opt/android-sdk
 chmod -R g+w /opt/android-sdk
 find /opt/android-sdk -type d -exec chmod g+s {} \;

The final command sets the setgid bit on all subdirectories so that any new files created within them will inherit the proper group ID.

For step-by-step automatic installation, see: Installing SDK Components.

Getting from AUR

AUR currently contains multiple packages with Android platforms sometimes duplicating each other and/or having incorrect file permissions set.

Manual installation

For manual installation:

  1. Download the platform you want to develop on. This site provides online links to several Android SDK components.
  2. Extract the tarball to /<path_to_android-sdk>/platforms.

Now, you should see the platform of your choice installed in the Installed Packages window of the Android SDK and device manager.

Setting up Development Environtment

When using Eclipse as an IDE you need to install the ADT plugin and related packages. If you get a message about unresolvable dependencies, install Java manually and try again. Alternatively you can use Netbeans for development after installing living and usually up to date plugin according to these instructions.

Setting up Eclipse

Most stuff required for Android development in Eclipse is already packaged in AUR:

Official plugin by Google – Eclipse ADT:

  1. eclipse-androidAUR


  1. eclipse-emfAUR
  2. eclipse-gefAUR
  3. eclipse-wtpAUR
  • as an alternative, you can install the ADT via eclipse's built in "add new software" command (see instructions on ADT site).
  • if you are in real trouble, it is also possible to download Android SDK and use the bundled Eclipse. This usually works without problems.

Enter the path to the Android SDK Location in

Windows -> Preferences -> Android

Setting up Netbeans

If you prefer using Netbeans as your IDE and want to develop Android applications, download the nbandroid by going to:

Tools -> Plugins -> Settings

Add the following URL:

Then go to Available Plugins and install the Android and Android Test Runner plugins for your IDE version. Once you have installed go to:

if you have problem with netbeans 7.2 "org.netbeans.modules.gsf.testrunner was needed and not found." Please remove the the Android and Android Test Runner , then change the url of nbandroid to: , update the sources and you just need to install the Android only.

Tools -> Options -> Miscellaneous -> Android

and select the path where the SDK is installed. That's it, now you can create a new Android project and start developing using Netbeans.

Android Debug Bridge (ADB) - Connecting to a real device

To get ADB to connect to a real device or phone under Arch, you must install the udev rules to connect the device to the proper /dev/ entries.

Using existing rules

Install the AUR package android-udevAUR to get a common list of vendor IDs. If ADB recognizes your device (it is visible and accessible in IDE), you are done. Otherwise see instructions below.

Figure Out Your Device Ids

Each Android device has a USB vendor/product ID. An example for HTC Evo is:

vendor id: 0bb4
product id: 0c8d

Plug in your device and execute:

# lsusb

It should come up something like this:

Bus 002 Device 006: ID 0bb4:0c8d High Tech Computer Corp.

Adding udev Rules

Use the rules from Android developer or you can use the following template for your udev rules, just replace [VENDOR ID] and [PRODUCT ID] with yours. Copy these rules into /etc/udev/rules.d/51-android.rules:

SUBSYSTEM=="usb", ATTR{idVendor}=="[VENDOR ID]", MODE="0666"
SUBSYSTEM=="usb",ATTR{idVendor}=="[VENDOR ID]",ATTR{idProduct}=="[PRODUCT ID]",SYMLINK+="android_adb"
SUBSYSTEM=="usb",ATTR{idVendor}=="[VENDOR ID]",ATTR{idProduct}=="[PRODUCT ID]",SYMLINK+="android_fastboot"

Then, to reload your new udev rules, execute:

# udevadm control --reload-rules

Note: reloading udev rules under systemd should not be required, as any rule changes should be picked up automatically.

Does It Work?

After you have setup the udev rules, unplug your device and replug it.

After running:

$ adb devices

you should see something like:

List of devices attached 
HT07VHL00676    device

If you do not have the adb program (usually available in /opt/android-sdk/platform-tools/), it means you have not installed the platform tools.

If you are getting an empty list (your device isn't there), it may be because you have not enabled USB debugging on your device. You can do that by going to Settings => Applications => Development and enabling USB debugging. On Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean) the Development menu is hidden; to enable it go to Settings => About phone and tap Build number 7 times.

Tip: Make sure that your user is added to the group:
# gpasswd -a username adbusers

If there are still problems such as adb displaying "???????? no permissions" under devices, try restarting the adb server as root.

# adb kill-server
# adb start-server

Tools specific to NVIDIA Tegra platform

If you target your application at NVIDIA Tegra platform, you might also want to install tools, samples and documentation provided by NVIDIA. In NVIDIA Developer Zone for Mobile there are two packages - Tegra Android Development Pack, available from AUR as tegra-devpackAUR and Tegra Toolkit, available from AUR as tegra-toolkitAUR.

The tegra-toolkitAUR package provides tools (mostly CPU and GPU optimization related), samples and documentation, while the tegra-devpackAUR provides tools (NVIDIA Debug Manager) related to Eclipse ADT and their documentation.


See Android_Tethering

Building Android

To build android, you need to install these packages.

For 32 bits or 64 bits systems

git gnupg flex bison gperf sdl wxgtk squashfs-tools curl ncurses zlib schedtool openjdk6 perl-switch zip unzip

Only for 64 bits systems

lib32-zlib lib32-ncurses lib32-readline gcc-libs-multilib gcc-multilib lib32-gcc-libs

And you need to change the default python from version 3 to version 2

# rm /usr/bin/python
# ln -s /usr/bin/python2 /usr/bin/python

Download the repo utility.

$ mkdir ~/bin
$ export PATH=~/bin:$PATH
$ curl > ~/bin/repo
$ chmod a+x ~/bin/repo

Create a directory to build.

$ mkdir ~/android
$ cd ~/android

Synchronize the repositories.

$ repo init -u (checkout the master)
$ repo sync

Wait a lot.

When finished, start building.

$ source build/
$ lunch full-eng
$ make -j4

If you run lunch without arguments, it will ask what build you want to create. Use -j with a number between the number of cores and 2 * number of cores.

The build takes a lot of time.

When finished, run the final image.

$ emulator

Tips & Tricks

During Debugging "Source not found"

Most probably the debugger wants to step into the Java code. As the source code of Android does not come with the Android SDK, this leads to an error. The best solution is to use step filters to not jump into the Java source code. Step filters are not activated by default. To activate them:

Window -> Preferences -> Java -> Debug -> Step Filtering

Consider to select them all. If appropriate you can add the android.* package. See the forum post for more information:

Linux distribution on the sdcard

You can install Debian like in this thread. Excellent guide to installing Arch in chroot (in parallel with Android) can be found on forum.

Android SDK on Arch 64

When using the Android SDK and the Eclipse plugin on a 64 bit system, and the 'emulator' always crashes with a segfault, do the following: Provide a localtime file in /usr/share/zoneinfo/localtime e.g.:

 # cp /usr/share/zoneinfo/Europe/Berlin /usr/share/zoneinfo/localtime

Better MTPFS Support

If you have an Android device that doesn't support UMS and you find mtpfs to be extremely slow you can install jmtpfsAUR from the AUR.