Android Development Environment

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VAR-SOM-MX6 - N7.1.1 - Creating an Android Development Environment

Host PC requirements

The host development environment for Android is based on Ubuntu and Debian, please install one of the following based on the matrix below,

Android Version Recommended Host OS Download URL
Android - Marshmallow 6 or below Ubuntu 14.04 LTS - 64bit
Android - Nougat 7 to Android Oreo - 8 Ubuntu 16.04 LTS - 64 bit
Android - Oreo 8 to Android 9 pie Ubuntu 18.04 LTS - 64 bit
Android - Pie 9 to Android 12 Ubuntu 20.04 LTS - 64 bit

Minimum hardware requirements for the build machine (A physical build machine is recommended):

  • CPU: Intel / AMD 2.3 GHz Quad Core
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Swap: 32GB
  • Free storage: 500 GB (SSD recommended)
  • Internet connectivity


  • The build process requires ~135GB of free storage space. Before starting a build, make sure you have adequate free space available.

You can create a bootable USB drive for installing the host OS. E.g.

Docker Container Usage: If you want to use the Docker, the image can also be built under docker environment (Windows Container Not supported) Please refer to And then follow the Android Build process

Install required packages on host PC

Before you begin, make sure you installed correct version of build OS on your build machine. You can verify by using below commands

$  uname -a | grep "x86_64"

You should get output like below

Linux user-desktop 4.15.0-72-generic #81~16.04.1-Ubuntu SMP Tue Nov 26 16:34:21 UTC 2019 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux

Notice the "x86_64" string, if you have installed other (32 bit version) such OS flavor for Android build is not supported currently.

$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get -y install gnupg flex bison gperf build-essential zip gcc-multilib g++-multilib 
$ sudo apt-get -y install libc6-dev-i386 lib32ncurses5-dev x11proto-core-dev libx11-dev lib32z-dev
$ sudo apt-get -y install ccache libgl1-mesa-dev libxml2-utils xsltproc unzip bc
$ sudo apt-get -y install uuid uuid-dev zlib1g-dev liblz-dev liblzo2-2 liblzo2-dev lzop git curl
$ sudo apt-get -y install u-boot-tools mtd-utils android-tools-fsutils device-tree-compiler gdisk m4 libz-dev

Install the OpenJDK

Android Nougat requires OpenJDK 8.

To install it:

$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install openjdk-8-jdk

If your Ubuntu version is missing the package (which shouldn't happen), add the PPA repository and run the previous commands again:

$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:openjdk-r/ppa

Update the default Java version by running:

$ sudo update-alternatives --config java
$ sudo update-alternatives --config javac

Using a docker container

Variscite provides Docker containers that can be used for a development environment as an alternative to using a virtual machine or a dedicated computer.

To learn more, please see Variscite's Docker Build Environment guide.