In a previous post, I wrote about using app markets with Linaro builds. One app market offering a selection of Free Software for Android is F-Droid. Installation is fairly simple, but does require some configuration changes to get the most out of it, so here’s how to install F-Droid on a Linaro build and some of the tweaks needed to be able to install all the apps available there.
We assume a Linaro image is already installed on the board. Instructions for how to do this are in the Linaro Wiki. Installation of F-Droid is pretty simple:
- In the Android browser, go to http://f-droid.org/FDroid.apk to download the F-Droid .apk, or otherwise locate and download the .apk file by browsing http://f-droid.org
- Open the Downloads application and select FDroid.apk to install it.
F-Droid will now appear on the applications menu and you should be able to list and install Android apps.
- Augment the set of features the board claims to support. The files declaring supported hardware features are located in the build tree in platform/frameworks/base/data/etc. Simply copy them to the Linaro image to have your board claim it supports this feature. In my case, Ubuntu automatically mounted the /system partition on the memory card as /media/system, so
cp platform/frameworks/base/data/etc/*.xml /media/system/etc/permissions/copied all the files.
- App markets are sensitive to the date and time. Always make sure it is set (and has not reverted to the default 1/1/2000).
- Some apps (e.g. trying to install Firefox/Fennec on Snowball) require more memory to install than is available to Dalvik. To work around this, use
setprop dalvik.vm.heapsize 64mbto increase the memory available to Dalvik.