Android/Environment

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Setup Environment for KDE on Android Development

In the following, we explain how to setup a build environment on a Linux system to be able to compile Qt and in particular KF5-based application for Android.

Prerequisites / Setup of Cross-Compiling Build System

At first we prepare your system with all necessary packages to build your application for Android. For this tutorial we assume that everything is done in the folder /opt/android/ (you can adapt the tutorial accordingly when using another folder).

  1. Some 32 bit system libraries are required for the host system (because some tools are 32 bit):
    • libgcc, zlib, libc
      • installing on Debian based system:
      • dpkg --add-architecture i386
      • apt-get install zlib1g:i386 libgcc1:i386 libc6:i386
  2. Extra-CMake-Modules
  3. Android SDK
    • Download: http://developer.android.com/sdk/index.html to /opt/android/
    • Unpack, run "tools/android update sdk" and select the following packages:
      • Android SDK Tools (24.3.4)
      • Android SDK Platform-tools (23.0.1)
      • Android SDK Build-tools (22.0.1)
      • Android 5.1.1 (API 22): SDK Platform (only "SDK Platform" needed, i.e. no docs, samples or sources)
      • sys-img-armeabi-v7a-android-22 (required for emulator and unit tests)
    • result: now the SDK should be installed in /opt/android/android-sdk-linux
  4. Android NDK
  5. Qt with support for Android devices
    • Download the Qt 5.5.0 for Android: https://www.qt.io/download-open-source/#section-2 (32-bit or 64-bit as it fits your host system; usually 64-bit)
    • Variant 1: Offline Installers ("Skip" can be used without problem when asked to register an account)
    • Variant 2: Online installer ("Skip" can be used without problem when asked to register an account)
    • install the following components to /opt/android/Qt5.5.0:
      • Android armv7
      • Qt Creator 3.4.2 (cannot be disabled, some of its tools are used from other parts)
      • Recommended components:
        • Qt Quick Controls
        • Qt Location
        • Qt Script
        • Optional components (there might be KDE software using it):
        • Qt WebEngine
        • Qt Canvas 3D
        • Qt3D
        • Qt Quick 1
  6. Install the following software packages on your host system from your package manager (if not yet installed):
    • CMake: >= 2.8.6
    • Java Development Kit 7 (openjdk-7-jdk)
    • Ant

Environment Variables

The build environment is the name for the shell in that the application is build. The shell is prepared by exporting a series of environment variables that then are picked up by the build scripts.

export ADIR=/opt/android
export ANDROID_NDK=$ADIR/android-ndk-r10e
# note the _ROOT postfix here, different pattern
export ANDROID_SDK_ROOT=$ADIR/android-sdk-linux
export Qt5_android=$ADIR/Qt5.5.0/5.5/android_armv7/
export PATH=$ADIR/android-sdk-linux/platform-tools/:$PATH
# adapt the following path to your ant installation
export ANT=/usr/bin/ant
# adapt the following path to your openjdk location, eg:
#  openSUSE: /usr/lib64/jvm/java (needs default version being properly set, see notes below)
#  Debian: /usr/lib/jvm/java-7-openjdk-amd64
export JAVA_HOME=/usr/lib/jvm/java-7-openjdk/

Some notes:

  • /opt/android should be replaced with the custom build folder selected by you
  • Java platform 7 is needed (both JRE and JDK). One can select the Java platform versions e.g. with update-alternatives --config java and update-alternatives --config javac
  • Use jrunscript -e 'java.lang.System.out.println(java.lang.System.getProperty("java.home"));' to find the JAVA_HOME

Android Emulator for Unit Tests

For running unit tests, especially on a CI, either one can run the tests in an emulator or on a physical device. In the following, we explain how to create an AVD (Android Virtual Device) and how to start the emulator from the Android SDK.

Create AVD (Android Virtual Device)

Within this device, the unit tests are executed. For this we use the AVD Manager:

  • Check available targets:
$ANDROID_SDK_ROOT/tools/android list targets
  • Create AVD (directly tell to not use custom hardware profile):
echo no | $ANDROID_SDK_ROOT/tools/android create avd --name myandroid22 -t "android-22" --abi "default/armeabi-v7a"

These commands should have created an AVD called myandroid22. You can check all available AVDs:

$ANDROID_SDK_ROOT/tools/android list avd

Start Emulator

Running the emulator in a headless mode (without display):

$ANDROID_SDK_ROOT/tools/emulator64-arm -avd myandroid22 -no-skin -no-audio -no-window
  • The '-no-skin' option removes the emulator buttons such as the home and other hardware keyboard buttons.
  • The '-no-audio' option disables the audio support.
  • The '-no-window' option disables the emulator's graphical window display.

One can check which emulators are running by listing the available devices:

$ANDROID_SDK_ROOT/platform-tools/adb devices

Further Reading

Trouble Shooting

  • enable debug output on the device
    • get all output: adb -e logcat
    • fine tuning: [1]
  • call applications with command line parameters:
    • Qt on Android defines the extra key "applicationArguments" with is passed as input parameter to your application (see [2])
    • usage like:
adb shell am start -e applicationArguments "-v" -n <packageName>/org.qtproject.qt5.android.bindings.QtActivity

This page was last edited on 15 June 2016, at 07:11. Content is available under Creative Commons License SA 4.0 unless otherwise noted.