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Revision as of 13:02, 17 October 2013 by Srg (talk | contribs) (Install Android SDK core components: also android-sdk-build-tools)
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Android Development on Arch

There are three parts to set up:

  1. Android SDK core component,
  2. Android SDK Platform packages
  3. Development environment

Install Android SDK core components

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
  3. android-sdk-build-toolsAUR

Typical installation location is /opt/android-sdk.

Note: If you are running a 64-bit system, you will have to enable the multilib repository, to be able to to install the required dependencies using pacman.

Getting Android SDK Platform packages

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

Automatic installation

Tango-inaccurate.pngThe factual accuracy of this article or section is disputed.Tango-inaccurate.png

Reason: This involves very bad practices. Giving users write access to directories in the PATH of root and other users breaks down any difference between them. (Discuss in Talk:Android#)

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):

$ android

or alternatively:

$ <path_to_android-sdk>/tools/android

If you get this error 'Failed to fetch URL, reason: peer not authenticated' you need to go into the options and make sure to check 'Force https:// sources to be fetched using http://'

If the automatic installation errors out, then you must do one of the following:

  • run the android tool with heightened privileges
# android
  • 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
  • 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. Then rerun

$ android

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 Environment

Android Studio is a new (and still experimental!) Android development environment based on IntelliJ IDEA. The more traditional IDE is Eclipse with the ADT plugin and related packages. Alternatively you can use Netbeans for development after installing the plugin as described below.

Android Studio

Android Studio is a new (and still experimental!) Android development environment based on IntelliJ IDEA. Similar to Eclipse with the ADT Plugin, Android Studio provides integrated Android developer tools for development and debugging.

You can download and install it with the android-studioAUR package from the AUR.


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
  • if you get a message about unresolvable dependencies, install Java manually and try again.
  • 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


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.

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

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

Configuring adb

Instead of using udev rules you may create/edit ~/.android/adb_usb.ini which contains list of vendor ids.

 $ cat ~/.android/adb_usb.ini 

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 the JDK depending on the version of android you can use jdk7-openjdk, but to be safe either jdk6AUR, if you don't develop on the jvm, or jdk6-compatAUR, if you do have a prefered jvm for other tasks.

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.

Note: Make sure you have enough RAM.

Android will use the /tmp directory heavily. By default the size of the partition the /tmp folder is mounted on is half the size of your RAM. If it fills up, the build will fail. 4GB of RAM or more is recommended.

  • Alternatively, you can get rid of the tmpfs from fstab all together.

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 MTP 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. See MTP for more options.

See Also