Bring Up

Once your code is built and you have verified that all necessary directories exist, power on and test your device with basic bring up, as described below. Bring up tests are typically designed to stress certain aspects of your system and allow you to characterize the device's behavior.

 

1. Confirm a Clean Installation of a Basic Linux Kernel

Before considering Android-specific modifications to the Linux kernel, verify that you can build, deploy, and boot a core Linux kernel on your target hardware.

 

2. Modify Your Kernel Configuration to Accommodate Android Drivers

Your kernel configuration file should include the following:

#
# Android
#
# CONFIG_ANDROID_GADGET is not set
# CONFIG_ANDROID_RAM_CONSOLE is not set
CONFIG_ANDROID_POWER=y
CONFIG_ANDROID_POWER_STAT=y
CONFIG_ANDROID_LOGGER=y
# CONFIG_ANDROID_TIMED_GPIO is not set
CONFIG_ANDROID_BINDER_IPC=y

3. Write Drivers

Android ships with default drivers for all basic functionality but you'll likely want to write your own drivers (or at least customize the default drivers) for your own device depending on your hardware configuration. See the following topics for examples of how to write your own drivers.

 

4. Burn Images to Flash

An image represents the state of a system or part of a system stored in non-volatile memory. The build process should produce the following system images:

  • bootloader: The bootloader is a small program responsible for initiating loading of the operating system.
  • boot:
  • recovery:
  • system: The system image stores a snapshot of the Android operating system.
  • data: The data image stores user data. Anything not saved to the device/data directory will be lost on reboot.
  • kernel: The kernel represents the most basic element of an operating system. Android's Linux kernel is responsible for managing the system's resources and acts as an abstraction layer between hardware and a system's applications.
  • ramdisk: RAMdisk defines a portion of Random Access Memory (RAM) that gets used as if it were a hard drive.

 

Configure the bootloader to load the kernel and RAMdisk into RAM and pass the RAMdisk address to the kernel on startup.

 

5. Boot the kernel and mount the RAMdisk.

 

6. Debug Android-specific init programs on RAMdisk

Android-specific init programs are found in device/system/init. Add LOG messages to help you debug potential problems with the LOG macro defined in device/system/init/init.c.

The init program directly mounts all filesystems and devices using either hard-coded file names or device names generated by probing the sysfs filesystem (thereby eliminating the need for a /etc/fstab file in Android). After device/system files are mounted, init reads /etc/init.rc and invokes the programs listed there (one of the first of which is the console shell).

 

7. Verify that applications have started

Once the shell becomes available, execute % ps to confirm that the following applications are running:

  • /system/bin/logd
  • /sbin/adbd
  • /system/bin/usbd
  • /system/bin/debuggerd
  • /system/bin/rild
  • /system/bin/app_process
  • /system/bin/runtime
  • /system/bin/dbus-daemon
  • system_server

Each of these applications is embedded Linux C/C++ and you can use any standard Linux debugging tool to troubleshoot applications that aren't running. Execute % make showcommands to determine precise build commands. gdbserver (the GNU debugger) is available in the bin directory of the system partition (please see http://sourceware.org/gdb/ for more information).

 

8. Pulling it all together

If bring up was successful, you should see the following Java applications (with icons) visible on the LCD panel:

  • com.google.android.phone: The Android contact application.
  • com.google.android.home
  • android.process.google.content

If they are not visible or unresponsive to keypad control, run the framebuffer/keypad tests.

Android Init Language (Updated : 2011-08-21)

The Android Init Language consists of four broad classes of statements:

  • Action
  • Commands
  • Services
  • Options

The language syntax includes the following conventions:

  • All classes are line-oriented and consist of tokens separated by whitespace. c-style backslash escapes may be used to insert whitespace into a token.  Double quotes may also be used to prevent whitespace from breaking text into multiple tokens. A backslash
    appearing as the last character on a line is used for line-folding.
  • Lines that start with a # (leading whitespace allowed) are comments.
  • Actions and Services implicitly declare new sections. All commands or options belong to the section most recently declared.  Commands or options before the first section are ignored.
  • Actions and Services have unique names.  If a second Action or Service is declared with the same name as an existing one, it is ignored as an error. (??? should we override instead)

Actions

Actions are named sequences of commands. Actions have a trigger used to determine when the action should occur. When an event occurs which matches an action's trigger, that action is added to the tail of a to-be-executed queue (unless it is already on the queue).

Each action in the queue is dequeued in sequence. Each command in an action is executed in sequence. Init handles other activities (such as, device creation/destruction, property setting, process restarting) "between" the execution of the commands in activities.

Actions take the form of:

on <trigger>
  <command>
  <command>
  <command>

Services

Services are programs that init launches and (optionally) restarts when they exit.

Services take the form of:

  service <name> <pathname> [ <argument> ]*
  <option>
  <option>
  ...

Options

Options are modifiers to services that affect how and when init runs a service. Options are described in the table below:

OptionDescription
critical This is a device-critical service. If it exits more than four times in four minutes, the device will reboot into recovery mode.
disabled This service will not automatically start with its class. It must be explicitly started by name.
setenv <name> <value> Set the environment variable <name> to <value> in the launched process.
socket <name> <type> <perm> [ <user> [ <group> ] ] Create a unix domain socket named /dev/socket/<name> and pass its fd to the launched process. Valid <type> values include dgram, stream and seqpacket. user and group default to 0.
user <username> Change to username before exec'ing this service. Currently defaults to root.
group <groupname> [ <groupname> ]* Change to groupname before exec'ing this service.  Additional  groupnames beyond the first, which is required, are used to set additional groups of the process (with setgroups()). Currently defaults to root.
oneshot Do not restart the service when it exits.
class <name> Specify a class name for the service.  All services in a named class must start and stop together. A service is considered of class "default" if one is not specified via the class option.
onrestart Execute a Command (see below) when service restarts.

Triggers

Triggers are strings used to match certain kinds of events that cause an action to occur.

Trigger Description
boot This is the first trigger that occurs when init starts (after /init.conf is loaded).
<name>=<value> Triggers of this form occur when the property <name> is set to the specific value <value>.
device-added-<path>
device-removed-<path>
Triggers of these forms occur when a device node is added or removed.
service-exited-<name> Triggers of this form occur when the specified service exits.


Commands

Command Description
exec <path> [ <argument> ]* Fork and execute a program (<path>). This will block until the program completes execution. Try to avoid exec. Unlike the builtin commands, it runs the risk of getting init "stuck".
export <name> <value> Set the environment variable <name> equal to <value> in the global environment (which will be inherited by all processes started after this command is executed).
ifup <interface> Bring the network interface <interface> online.
import <filename> Parse an init config file, extending the current configuration.
hostname <name> Set the host name.
chdir <directory> Change working directory.
chmod <octal-mode> <path> Change file access permissions.
chown <owner> <group> <path> Change file owner and group.
chroot <directory>
class_start <serviceclass> Start all services of the specified class if they are not already running.
class_stop <serviceclass> Stop all services of the specified class if they are currently running.
domainname <name> Set the domain name.
insmod <path> Install the module at <path>.
mkdir <path> Make a directory at <path>.
mount <type> <device> <dir> [ <mountoption> ]* Attempt to mount the named device at the directory <dir> <device>. This may be of the form mtd@name to specify a mtd block device by name.
setkey - currenlty undefined -
setprop <name> <value> Set system property <name> to <value>.
setrlimit <resource> <cur> <max> Set the rlimit for a resource.
start <service> Start a service running if it is not already running.
stop <service> Stop a service from running if it is currently running.
symlink <target> <path> Create a symbolic link at <path> with the value <target>.
sysclktz <mins_west_of_gmt> Set the system clock base (0 if system clock ticks in GMT)
trigger <event> Trigger an event. Used to queue an action from another action
write <path> <string> [ <string> ]* Open the file at <path> and write one or more strings to it with write(2).

Properties

Init updates some system properties to provide some insight into
what it's doing:

Property Description
init.action Equal to the name of the action currently being executed or "" if none.
init.command Equal to the command being executed or "" if none.
init.svc.<name> State of a named service ("stopped", "running", or "restarting").

Example init.conf

The following snippet is an incomplete example of the init.conf file, simply meant to give you an idea of what a proper configuration resembles.

on boot
  export PATH /sbin:/system/sbin:/system/bin
  export LD_LIBRARY_PATH /system/lib

  mkdir /dev
  mkdir /proc
  mkdir /sys


  mount tmpfs tmpfs /dev
  mkdir /dev/pts
  mkdir /dev/socket
  mount devpts devpts /dev/pts
  mount proc proc /proc
  mount sysfs sysfs /sys


  write /proc/cpu/alignment 4


  ifup lo


  hostname localhost
  domainname localhost


  mount yaffs2 mtd@system /system
  mount yaffs2 mtd@userdata /data


  import /system/etc/init.conf


  class_start default


service adbd /sbin/adbd
  user adb
  group adb


service usbd /system/bin/usbd -r
  user usbd
  group usbd
  socket usbd 666


service zygote /system/bin/app_process -Xzygote /system/bin --zygote
  socket zygote 666


service runtime /system/bin/runtime
  user system
  group system


on device-added-/dev/compass
  start akmd


on device-removed-/dev/compass
  stop akmd


service akmd /sbin/akmd
  disabled
  user akmd
  group akmd
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