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Build Android for Gumstix Boards

This repository provides Repo manifests to build Android for Gumstix products.

Note: If you already have an Android build setup and just want the device directories, you can find them here:

As of October 2013, the following information only pertains to Gumstix Pepper SBC. Stay tuned for updates on Overo and Duovero.

  • Pepper: git://
  • Overo: git://

Repo is a tool that enables the management of many git repositories given a single manifest file. Tell repo to fetch a manifest from this repository and it will fetch the git repositories specified in the manifest and, by doing so, setup an Android build environment for you.


Getting Started

##1. Configure Development Machine##

Note: Android requires a 64-bit build machine. These instructions have been tested on an Ubuntu 12.04 and 12.10 installation but recent Ubuntu releases should work. See for more details.

Android only likes official Java:

$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/java
$ sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install oracle-java6-installer

Grab some other packages:

$ sudo apt-get install git gnupg flex bison gperf build-essential zip curl libc6-dev libncurses5-dev:i386 x11proto-core-dev libx11-dev:i386 libreadline6-dev:i386 libgl1-mesa-glx:i386 libgl1-mesa-dev g++-multilib mingw32 tofrodos python-markdown libxml2-utils xsltproc zlib1g-dev:i386 uboot-mkimage
$ sudo ln -s /usr/lib/i386-linux-gnu/mesa/ /usr/lib/i386-linux-gnu/

[optional] To use ADB (the Android Debug Bridge), allow Android devices to register with your development machine:

$ sudo sh -c "echo 'SUBSYSTEM==\"usb\", ATTR{idVendor}==\"18d1\", ATTR{idProduct}==\"d002\", MODE=\"0666\"' >> /etc/udev/rules.d/51-android.rules"

##2. Install Repo##

Note: Users of the [Gumstix Yocto Manifest] ( "Gumstix Yocto Manifest") can skip this step; you've already installed repo.

Download the Repo script:

$ curl > repo

Make it executable:

$ chmod a+x repo

Move it on to your system path:

$ sudo mv repo /usr/local/bin/

If it is correctly installed, you should see a Usage message when invoked with the help flag:

$ repo --help

##3. Initialize a Repo Client##

Create an empty directory to hold your working files:

$ mkdir android
$ cd android

Tell Repo where to find the manifest for your particular device.

$ repo init -u git:// -b <pepper|overo>

A successful initialization will end with a message stating that Repo is initialized in your working directory. Your directory should now contain a .repo directory where repo control files such as the manifest are stored but you should not need to touch this directory.

Note: You can use the -b switch to specify the branch of the repository to use.

To test out the bleeding edge, type:

$ repo init -u git:// -b dev/<pepper|overo>
$ repo sync

To get back to the known stable version, type:

$ repo init -u git:// -b <pepper|overo>
$ repo sync

To learn more about repo, look at

##4. Fetch All the Repositories##

$ repo sync

Now go turn on the coffee machine as this may take an hour or so depending on your internet connection.

##5. Build Android##

Android includes a pre-built cross-compiler for ARM systems and uses a make-based build system. Android provides an environment setup script to save a little typing during development.

$ source build/
$ lunch <pepper|overo>-eng

Now the environment is configured, we can build using the m command---an alias for make setup in the previous step. Use the -j flag to specify how many threads to use while building. As a general rule, use twice the number of cores on your development machine.

$ m -j8 gumstix

Try hmm to see other options. Now go have a long lunch while the fan on your computer whirs.

Note: There are several components that get built by the gumstix make target which can be built and cleaned individually during development. See the files in device/gumstix/common/ for details.

The systemtarball target builds a rootfile system tarball that is mounted as a read-only ext4 filesystem from the second partition of your bootable microSD card. The userdatatarball target builds a tarball that should be uncompressed onto the fourth partition of your microSD card as a writable area for the OS and can include any application data, photos, and other media.

The build output can be found in the out directory; to start fresh you could delete this whole directory or type m clobber. After a successful build, you should find a system.tar.bz2 and a userdata.tar.bz2 in out/target/product/<pepper|overo>.

We also have targets to build the files needed to boot and run our Gumstix system:

$ m -j8 uboot linux sgx

This should build the MLO and u-boot.img bootloaders from the uboot repository as well as a Linux uImage file from the kernel repository. Binaries for the SGX hardware graphical accelerator are built from the device/ti/sgx respository. The kernel and SGX builds are done in-tree as SGX can't be built out of tree but the build output is copied to the out/target/product/<pepper|overo>/boot directory. These targets can be cleaned too: clean-uboot, clean-kernel, clean-sgx.

SGX includes both kernel modules and userspace libraries so depend both on the kernel and the systemtarball. If the kernel is updated, remember to rebuild SGX. If you rebuild SGX, remember to rebuild the systemtarball to repackage the updated libraries.

##6. Make a Bootable SD Card##

In the build output directory out/target/product/<pepper|overo>, you will find these files necessary to build a bootable microSD card.

├── cmdline
├── MLO
├── u-boot.img
├── uEnv.txt
├── uImage
└── uInitrd

Now that everything is built, we need to format and copy the files over to a microSD card to boot our Gumstix system. Insert a blank (or at least, with nothing you want to keep) microSD card of at least 4GB to your development machine. Use dmesg to [figure out your device name] (

$ sudo out/host/linux-x86/bin/mkandroidsd /dev/mmcblk0 <pepper|overo>

##7. Boot Android##

Once the card has been created, insert it into your Gumstix system and power on your board! An animated Android boot image should appear on the screen followed by the Android lock screen. The animated screen will show for several minutes on the first boot as the system configures itself.

If you configured your system for use with adb, hook up a USB cable to a USB OTG port on your Gumstix system and follow along with the booting process:

$ adb logcat 

##8. Use Android##

  • Push buttons on Pepper act similarly to the hardware buttons of other Android devices:

    Switch 2 (S2/GPIO54) is configured as the back button. Switch 3 (S3/GPIO55) is configured as the menu button.

    Additionally, power button can be added to available ECAP_IN_PWM0_OUT (Pin 8 in the 40 pin header).

  • 2 Micro USB are configured as the following:

    USB 1 (J4) is a slave. You can access Android Debug Bridge (ADB) with this. USB 2 (J5) is a host. Using a micro USB to USB OTG Host Adapter, you can attach peripherals such as keyboards and mouse.

  • Fix I2C bus messages errors:

    There will be peiriodic output to the serial console like this:

      [ 72.078553] omap_i2c omap_i2c.1: timeout waiting for bus ready
      [ 76.758463] omap_i2c omap_i2c.1: controller timed out

    You can fix this by adding 1.5K ohm pullup resistors from VDD_3V3C (pin 26) to I2C0_SCL (pin 33) and also to I2C0_SDA (pin 31) on the 40 pin header.

  • Install sample media files: You can download a sample media package from here.

      $ tar xaf gumstix_media_samples.tar.gz
      $ adb push gumstix_media_samples /data/media/0/

    Then go to Dev Tools > Media Provider > Scan.

##9. Issues##

Please refer to Issues page

##10. Resources ##


This repository provides Repo manifests to build Android for Gumstix products.






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