Building and Deploying the Mainline (Vanilla) Android Master Source for the Beaglebone Black

Texas Instruments “AM335x” ARM platform has been gaining a lot of traction during the past couple of years. With the Beaglebone Black, a low cost board for developing on the platform is available. With the upcoming launch of the Arduino TRE which is based widely on the BBB, the platform is becoming even more interesting for the embedded industry.

In this post we would like to cover of how to get started with embedded Android development on the Beaglebone Black. While there are already excellent tutorials available of how to Build Yocto and Android Jellybean (based on the rowboat development project), this article covers building the Android Mainline (and vanilla) source code.

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Build and deploy Yocto Linux on the Beaglebone Black

This post will show you how to build and deploy the Yocto Linux distribution on the Beaglebone Black. Since the latest Yocto 1.6 “daisy” release, there is an official board support package for the Beaglebone. Therefore, the build process will be pretty straight-forward.


On an Ubuntu 12.04, you will need at least the following packages

~$ sudo apt-get install chrpath gawk diffstat texinfo g++

Download the latest Yocto release branch “daisy”

~$ mkdir yocto
~$ cd yocto
~/yocto$ git clone -b daisy git://

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Cross compiling Android’s adb and fastboot for embedded Linux (e.g. Yocto/OpenEmbedded)

The tools adb and fastboot are essential for debugging, managing and customizing Android devices. Both adb and fastboot are available for download within the ADT Bundle, however, those prebuilt binaries are for common host platforms (x86 and x86_64). What if you would like to run adb on a different architecture, such as ARM? There are of course multiple ways to get this done. Here we will show you how to cross compile adb and fastboot outside of the Android source tree using a standalone Makefile.

For this tutorial you will need

  • A cross compilation toolchain
    We will be using the official yocto project toolchain
  • Source files for adb and fastboot
    These will be in the platform/system/core and platform/system/extras repository from the official Android sources
  • Source files of three “external” projects
    Namely zlib, openssl and libselinux, which are also available from the official Android sources

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Turn your (Linux-) Desktop / Arduino Yún / Raspberry Pi into an USB Android Accessory: How to use the Android Accessory Protocol with pyusb


It has been a while since the post where we explained how to Turn your Linux computer into a huge Android USB Accessory. In the former post, the process of creating a C-application to communicate with your Android device has been discussed. Today, we would like to pick up on the same topic, this time however showing how communication can be established with the “pyusb” library using Python.

Since devices like the Arduino Yún or the Raspberry Pi offer a fully implemented USB stack (based on the Linux Kernel and libusb) it becomes increasingly interesting to use Python for this task.

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Home Automation with Android and Arduino Yún

The Arduino Yún is a WLAN capable development board featuring an ATMega microcontroller, as well as a separate chip running a small Linux distribution, making it a perfect candidate for home automation projects like in the picture below! This basic tutorial will show you how to communicate wirelessly between your Arduino Yún and an Android device. Schematics and components for dimming a high power led are also available at the end of this post.

Dimming a high power led wirelessly from an Android device
Dimming a high power led wirelessly from an Android device

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Technical Blog of Nexus-Computing GmbH Switzerland