Just like there is a download or purchase option for Windows from their publisher (Microsoft), I could not found any download or purchase option from the official website of android (https://www.android.com/) and their owner Google.

Though there are so many third-party websites letting free download android, I don't think they are trustworthy.

I want to just know, is it possible to download or purchase Android software from any official link of their original publishers? Or the software comes only through in-built with the devices?


First, Android is maintained by the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) – which has its homepage here. What you may know as "Google's Android" is Android plus all those Google Apps (including the Google Frameworks).

Second, you can download the Source Code. There is no such thing as an "Installation CD" because, as you correctly assumed, the installation is very much device specific: other than on your PC, it's not done by transferring "selected files", but by flashing an image (think of Partition Cloning), so it must match the hardware 100% – including drivers for specific hardware etc.

As for purchasing: Above link title already says it, Android is "open source" – so nothing to purchase on that end.

  • So it is basically not possible to "download" android, is that? Nov 30 '17 at 7:41
  • 1
    Depends on what you mean by that. As said, it's possible to "download" the AOSP source code (that's what most ROM developers do – e.g. LineageOS is based on that), and it's possible to download device specific builds. Just the "where" question isn't on-topic here ("Questions asking us to find or recommend an app, device, ROM, accessory or off-site resource are off-topic for Android Enthusiasts" :)
    – Izzy
    Nov 30 '17 at 8:25
  • ROM means Read-only memory? Nov 30 '17 at 8:39
  • That and a lot more (see our rom tag-wiki). In the context of my comment, it means the image file to flash. Traditionally, it referred to cartridges, then things like CDs (CD ROM), and currently also to the partition the operation system lives on (/system is mounted read-only during normal operations, and just mounted read-write for updates). Confusing term that, ROM. I take it as a term of R eal O bscured M eanings ;)
    – Izzy
    Nov 30 '17 at 9:41

Probably android publishers provide only one official download, which is "Android Studio" (https://developer.android.com/studio/index.html).

Otherwise there is no official option to directly download Android (any of its version like Marshmallow/ JellyBean etc).

  • 1
    Nope. Android Studio is a tool for development (and the images it downloads are just for use in its emulator). The "official option" to obtain the code is here. I've updated my answer accordingly to include that link.
    – Izzy
    Nov 30 '17 at 9:46
  • Thanks. Probably it is not like just clicking some download buttons but rather it requires some programing prompts such as your link tells "Downloading the Android Source Tree To pull down the Android source tree to your working directory from the repositories as specified in the default manifest, run $ repo sync". Is this on DOS prompt? Nov 30 '17 at 16:43
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    Sure. After all, what would you do with source code if not programming? :) And being open source, it's good practice to not only take but also give. The tool of choice for that today is Git: fork the repo, do your work, offer back a "pull request" (or "merge request") with your improvements and/or additions. You don't "install" source code. And especially with Android, simply compiling it is no good to anyone (remember: device specific adjustments are needed).
    – Izzy
    Nov 30 '17 at 16:48

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