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Minimal emulator skins for Android with full resolution specification.

branch: master

Minimal Android Emulator Skins


This project contains minimalist emulator skins for the Android SDK, including skins which start in landscape mode for keymaps which do not readily support the Android Emulator keybindings.

Your emulator can look like this, without any emulator onion graphics and only window decorations which your window manager adds:

Minimal Landscape Emulator

That is, you get a window which is the viewport of the Android device and nothing else.


In reading the Android SDK source, the only method I see for installing custom skins is to place the skin directories you want from this repo into:


... where $ANDROID_HOME is the path/to/sdk and android-## is the Android API level package, e.g. android-10. I looked for methods to install skins across API levels, and it does not appear to be possible. Specifically, sdkmanager/libs/sdklib/src/com/android/sdklib/ only looks for skins in the platforms/*/skins directory.

If your system supports symlinks, and you'd like to work out of a git checkout of this repository, you can link to these skin directories:

cd path/to/android/sdk/platforms/android-10/skins
ln -s path/to/android-minimal-skins/*-minimal* .

Once installed, you can select the skin in the AVD manager.

AVD Manager


You can start an emulator with the -noskin option:

emulator -noskin @NameOfAVD

If you are using an IDE, you can configure launch settings to pass command-line flags to the emulator. In my experience, the -noskin option also changes the resolution scaling. The minimal skins in this project provide complete control over hardware settings and display resolutions.

The Android emulator supports rotating between portrait and landscape, so the landscape skins are primarily for keymaps which do not support Android's rotation keybindings. Specifically, F11 or keypad 7 will rotate the emulator. A MacBook Pro, for example, does not have a keypad and requires left control to be pressed, typically the rotation key event is control-fn-F11. In my experience, this key event is not possible on a MacBook Pro running GNU/Linux with a custom keymap, which starts to get inconvenient -- I cannot rotate the emulator without editing my keymap.

Given I have a project which develops for custom hardware, I prefer an emulator that starts and stays in landscape, and the WVGA800-minimal-land skin provides just that.

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