Building your own Android firmware

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Initializing a Build Environment

The environment setting up has been tested under Ubuntu 12.04 Desktop and Ubuntu 14.04 Sever.

Install JDK on PC

sudo apt-get install software-properties-common
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/java
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install oracle-java6-installer

Install Essential Packages

Install some 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

Link the libGL library:

sudo ln -s /usr/lib/i386-linux-gnu/mesa/ /usr/lib/i386-linux-gnu/


1. Sometimes, when we use Ubuntu 12.04 Desktop, we may encounter that the desktop GUI is missing after we set up the Android environment. We need fix this:

sudo apt-get install ubuntu-desktop xorg

2. Under Ubuntu 14.04 Sever, we may also need to install:

sudo apt-get install libswitch-perl u-boot-tools

Download Android SDK

At current, we can only get Android 4.2 SDK for Orange Pi/mini Pi . Download the Android 4.2 SDK for Orange Pi/mini Pi from the Cloud:
Baidu Cloud: download link
Goodle Drive: download link
Github: Github Page

Extract the files in the download package:

xz -d OP_Android.tar.xz
tar -xvf OP_Android.tar

We can see two directory in OP_Andoird: android and lichee. The content in the android directory is the source code for android system.
The content in the lichee directory contains the kernel, u-boot, toolchain and some other tools maybe needed.

Build lichee packages

First we need compile the kernel and uboot. They are in lichee directory. Enter the lichee directory:

cd OP_Android/lichee/

And then compile:

./ -p sun7i_android

After the first compile, we need upgrade the kernel configuration to open some drivers such as GMAC:

cd linux-3.4
cp /arch/arm/configs/op-config .config

After this, you can also tweak the kernel as you like:

make ARCH=arm menuconfig

and then save it.

Compile the kernel again to make the added drivers work:

cd ..
./ -p sun7i_android

After all is ready, you will find a directory named out appear under lichee directory. In it, there are files needed by Android system, when we compile the android source code, these files in out directory will be copied into Android.

Build Android

Enter the android directory:

cd ../android

Configure the compile environment:

source build/

Select the right project for Orange Pi/mini Pi. We have a default project called sugar-orangepi:


it will let you enter a number for the project. The sugar_orangepi-eng is 16 by default.
And then:


You can also use make -jN, N represents the core of your host PC. This will take some hours depends on your PC performance.(My ThinkPad T440 takes about 80 minutes, and my Dell sever takes about 50 minutes). After build, you can pack the system to form an Android image file:


And then, you can find the compiled image file under /lichee/tools/pack called sun7i_android_sugar-orangepi.img .
When building Android, it also produce a new folder called out under android directory.

Burn the Android image

After all compiling process, you can burn the new image created by yourself into SD card with PhoenixCard tool. More information please see: TF_card_installation#Installing_the_Android_OS_image.

Useful files for customize your Android system

Under android/devices/softwinner , there are three folders specially related to our Orange Pi/mini Pi android project:


We eventually use the files in the sugar-orangepi. sugar-orangepi depends on wing-common, wing-common depends on common.
The specific files or folders may be useful: