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Libhybris is a library that translates between GCC syscalls and Bionic ones. This allows us to run gcc-based operating systems (like Ubuntu) on a Bionic-based system (any Android phone, ever).

Today I'll be discussing building Hybris for your device. You can use this to test fixes from other branches or hack on it yourself.

This guide focuses on building Hybris for a 32-bit arm environment. You'll need to change an argument in order to build for arm64 or another platform. Note that you'll need a newer version of Hybris than Ubuntu Touch provides to use arm64.

Setting up your environment

If you're reading this, it probably means you have a build environment set up for your Android or Android-like port. In that case, you have everything you need to build Hybris. If you don't, though, here's a bunch of packages:

sudo apt-get install git-core gnupg flex bison gperf build-essential \
  zip curl zlib1g-dev gcc-multilib g++-multilib libc6-dev-i386 \
  lib32ncurses5-dev x11proto-core-dev libx11-dev lib32z-dev ccache \
  libgl1-mesa-dev libxml2-utils xsltproc unzip dh-autoreconf pkg-config

You'll need a pre-existing device tree for your OS of choice. Since we at UBPorts are focused on Ubuntu Touch, that's what I'll be modeling.

Get the sources

While libhybris has a Github repository there is a fork from Canonical which seems to have some modifications inside that could be relevant to Ubuntu Touch. Recommended: Take the sources from here. You can decide if you take the stable or the master branch. Current base for the vivid (15.04) image seems to be this one.

Extract your libraries

Hybris' repository includes two directories, hybris/ and utils/. The scrips in utils/ are essential to building Hybris. We'll be using one in particular, This will take all of the important header files from your Android tree and place them in a folder of your choosing.

To run it, let's CD into your hybris utils directory first. For Ubuntu touch, this is at ubuntu/libhybris/utils in your Android tree.

Then, make a directory in /tmp and use to extract your headers to it:

mkdir /tmp/android-headers/ "/path/to/android/tree" "/tmp/android-headers"

Where /path/to/android/tree is where your Android tree resides. For many Ubuntu Touch porters, this may be at ~/phablet.

Note for Ubuntu users: requires to use the bash shell. The default system redirection for /bin/sh is /bin/dash, which does not support all features of this shell script. Open up the script and change /bin/sh at the beginning to read /bin/bash!

After this runs, you'll have what looks like a partial Android tree at /tmp/android-headers. Let's move it to the inside of the hybris/ folder.

mv /tmp/android-headers "/path/to/libhybris/hybris"

Where /path/to/libhybris/hybris is the hybris/ directory inside of your Libhybris repository. For Ubuntu Touch, this is at ubuntu/libhybris/hybris

Generate and build

Now that we have the headers, we're ready to configure hybris and build it. Change into the hybris/ directory.

WORK IN PROGRESS!!! It is not 100% clear what should be the correct configuration options for libhybris to work with Ubuntu. Updated ASAP...

./ --enable-wayland --enable-arch=arm --with-android-headers=/path/to/libhybris/hybris/android-headers  --enable-property-cache --enable-mali-quirks --prefix=/path/to/libhybris/install/usr --libexec=/usr/lib/arm-linux-gnueabihf --enable-debug --enable-trace --with-default-egl-platform=mir --enable-mir --enable-experimental --enable-ubuntu-linker-overrides

Note: Substitute the path to the android headers with an absolute path since Makefiles on lower levels cannot deal with a relative one.

Note: To be able to later install on the device it is advisable to use --prefix= alternate location instruction where to put files after make.

If you're compiling for a Mali GPU, you might consider adding --enable-mali-quirks. You may add --enable-experimental if the regular build doesn't work.

This configures a hybris build with all debugging capabilities, turns on the Ubuntu Touch default egl platform, selects where the linked libraries shall be, tells it where your headers are, and gives debug and trace options to be able to get extensive logging if needed. debug and trace can be removed once a build is working.

Note: Cross-compiling is currently somehow broken. If you specify --build=x86_64 and --host=arm-linux-gnueabihf you set it up in the right way, but then the linker complains later on.

Now, assuming autoconfig exited without errors, we're ready to build. Make sure that you're inside the hybris/ directory, then run


And that's about it! You should now have a ready-to-go install of libhybris. You can install it using make install if you set up the --prefix option to an alternative directory. Do not make install without it, it will install into some wrong places into your build host! You can install it to your phone by replacing the libraries that are currently there with the ones that you just created (create a tgz and transfer them over, everything is either in /usr/bin or /usr/lib/arm-linux-gnueabihf).

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