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

Continue reading

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

py_acc

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.

Continue reading

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

Continue reading

Working with GPIO on the Wandboard and Writing an Android Driver for GPIO Interrupts

Following up on the last post “How to get started with Embedded Android on the Wandboard”, this article shows how to use the GPIO Pins of the Wandboard. It is based on the Android setup, however the generic part should run under other Linux based systems as well.

Finding the right GPIO Pin Number

In the userspace you are able to access GPIO functionality through the sysclass interface.

root@android:/ # ll /sys/class/gpio/                                           
--w------- root     root         4096 2013-06-20 10:57 export
lrwxrwxrwx root     root              2013-06-20 10:57 gpio101 -> ../../devices/virtual/gpio/gpio101
lrwxrwxrwx root     root              2013-06-20 10:57 gpio200 -> ../../devices/virtual/gpio/gpio200
lrwxrwxrwx root     root              2013-06-20 10:57 gpio24 -> ../../devices/virtual/gpio/gpio24
lrwxrwxrwx root     root              2013-06-20 10:57 gpio72 -> ../../devices/virtual/gpio/gpio72
lrwxrwxrwx root     root              2013-06-20 10:57 gpio75 -> ../../devices/virtual/gpio/gpio75
lrwxrwxrwx root     root              2013-06-20 10:57 gpio90 -> ../../devices/virtual/gpio/gpio90
lrwxrwxrwx root     root              2013-06-20 10:57 gpio91 -> ../../devices/virtual/gpio/gpio91
lrwxrwxrwx root     root              2013-06-20 10:57 gpiochip0 -> ../../devices/virtual/gpio/gpiochip0
lrwxrwxrwx root     root              2013-06-20 10:57 gpiochip128 -> ../../devices/virtual/gpio/gpiochip128
lrwxrwxrwx root     root              2013-06-20 10:57 gpiochip160 -> ../../devices/virtual/gpio/gpiochip160
lrwxrwxrwx root     root              2013-06-20 10:57 gpiochip192 -> ../../devices/virtual/gpio/gpiochip192
lrwxrwxrwx root     root              2013-06-20 10:57 gpiochip32 -> ../../devices/virtual/gpio/gpiochip32
lrwxrwxrwx root     root              2013-06-20 10:57 gpiochip64 -> ../../devices/virtual/gpio/gpiochip64
lrwxrwxrwx root     root              2013-06-20 10:57 gpiochip96 -> ../../devices/virtual/gpio/gpiochip96
--w------- root     root         4096 2013-06-20 10:57 unexport

Continue reading

How to get started with Embedded Android on the Wandboard: Building and Deploying the Bootloader, Kernel and Android Root File System

wandboard

The community based Wandboard project (http://www.wandboard.org) is a very interesting open Freescale iMx6 hardware platform. The most recent release of the Android 4.2.2 Source Code for the board makes it an ideal candidate to prototype an Embedded Android System.

For this Blog Post we are using:
Android 4.2.2 wandboard repo sources
IMX Kernel 3.0.35+ (supplied by the Android sources)
U-Boot IMX Fork (supplied by the Android sources)
Host: Ubuntu 12.10 64 Bit (username: user)

Understanding how Android Boots

In this blog post we are looking a bit closer in how to get started with booting the platform using the patched Linux Kernel and u-boot. Both come with the Android Source code which is available for downloading with Android’s repo tool.

Continue reading