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[1]. 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:

  1. In the Android browser, go to to download the F-Droid .apk, or otherwise locate and download the .apk file by browsing

  2. 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.

F-Droid installed app list


  • 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;a=tree;f=data/etc;hb=HEAD. 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 64mb to increase the memory available to Dalvik.

[1] F-Droid