Supporting Older Versions

Building recent old releases (>= 5.0 Lollipop)

For Android versions 8.0 (Oreo or O) – 5.0 (Lollipop or L), consider using the included Dockerfile to ease the installation of all required packages.

Building really old releases (<= 4.4 KitKat)

Operating systems

Android is typically built with a GNU/Linux or Mac OS X operating system. It's also possible to build Android in a virtual machine on unsupported systems such as Windows.

We recommend building on GNU/Linux. The Android build system normally runs ART on the build machine to precompile system DEX files. ART can run only on Linux, so the build system skips this precompilation step on non-Linux operating systems, resulting in an Android build with reduced performance.

GNU/Linux

  • Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) – AOSP master: Ubuntu 14.04 (Trusty)
  • Android 2.3.x (Gingerbread) – Android 5.x (Lollipop): Ubuntu 12.04 (Precise)
  • Android 1.5 (Cupcake) – Android 2.2.x (Froyo): Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid)

Mac OS X (Intel/x86)

  • Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) – AOSP master: Mac OS X v10.10 (Yosemite) or higher with Xcode 4.5.2 and Command Line Tools
  • Android 5.x (Lollipop): Mac OS X v10.8 (Mountain Lion) with Xcode 4.5.2 and Command Line Tools
  • Android 4.1.x (Jelly Bean) – Android 4.4.x (KitKat): Mac OS X v10.6 (Snow Leopard) or Mac OS X v10.7 (Lion) and Xcode 4.2 (Apple Developer Tools)
  • Android 1.5 (Cupcake) – Android 4.0.x (Ice Cream Sandwich): Mac OS X v10.5 (Leopard) or Mac OS X v10.6 (Snow Leopard) and the Mac OS X v10.5 SDK

GNU make

For versions lower than the AOSP master branch through Android 4.1.x (Jelly Bean), use GNU make (gmake) 3.82. For Android 4.0.x (Ice Cream Sandwich) and lower, revert from gmake 3.82 to avoid build errors.

Xcode and other packages

For lower versions of Mac OS X v10.8 or lower, install Xcode from the Apple developer site. If you are not already registered as an Apple developer, you must create an Apple ID to download.

If using Mac OS X v10.4, also install Bison:

    POSIXLY_CORRECT=1 sudo port install bison

For MacPorts, issue:

    POSIXLY_CORRECT=1 sudo port install gmake libsdl git gnupg

For Homebrew, issue:

    brew install gmake libsdl git gnupg2

Reverting from gmake 3.82

In Android 4.0.x (Ice Cream Sandwich) and lower, gmake 3.82 has a bug that prevents Android from building. You can install version 3.81 using MacPorts with these steps:

  1. Edit /opt/local/etc/macports/sources.conf and add this line:
        file:///Users/Shared/dports
    above the rsync line. Then create this directory:
        mkdir /Users/Shared/dports
  2. In the new dports directory, run:
        svn co --revision 50980 http://svn.macports.org/repository/macports/trunk/dports/devel/gmake/ devel/gmake/
  3. Create a port index for your new local repository:
        portindex /Users/Shared/dports
  4. Install the old version of gmake:
        sudo port install gmake @3.81

JDK

Supported versions

JDK for Linux

The master branch of Android in the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) comes with prebuilt versions of OpenJDK below prebuilts/jdk/ so no additional installation is required.

Lower versions of Android require a separate installation of the JDK. On Ubuntu, use OpenJDK.

For Ubuntu 15.04 and higher

Run the following:

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

For Ubuntu LTS 14.04

There are no available supported OpenJDK 8 packages for Ubuntu 14.04. The Ubuntu 15.04 OpenJDK 8 packages have been used successfully with Ubuntu 14.04. Higher package versions (for example, those for 15.10, 16.04) don't work on 14.04 using the instructions below.

  1. Download the .deb packages for 64-bit architecture from old-releases.ubuntu.com:
  2. Optionally, confirm the checksums of the downloaded files against the SHA256 string listed with each package above. For example, with the sha256sum tool:
        sha256sum {downloaded.deb file}
  3. Install the packages:
        sudo apt-get update
    Run dpkg for each of the .deb files you downloaded. It may produce errors due to missing dependencies:
        sudo dpkg -i {downloaded.deb file}
    To fix missing dependencies:
        sudo apt-get -f install

(Optional) Update the default Java version

Optionally, for the Ubuntu versions above, update the default Java version by running:

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