With the growing number of Android devices in all sorts of different form factors (dev boards like Raspberry Pi/ODroid, Android-on-a-stick, etc), it seems like it would be great to be able to actually do development work on Android and not just simply for Android. For example, having the standard Linux build tools available would let me easily run a server.

  • This is off-topic, please read the FAQ. – t0mm13b Jan 25 '13 at 15:15
  • 3
    @t0mm13b strictly spoken, this is not a development question as such, but rather a "how-to-setup-an-environment" issue. It might be "grey zone" or "border-line" -- but I'd say we shouldn't be more Catholic than the Pope :) – Izzy Jan 25 '13 at 16:11

In case you only need a cross compiling environment with the standard Linux build tools there is an easy solution already included in the Android-NDK:

In the subdirectory build/tools of the NDK you find a scrip named make-standalone-toolchain.sh. using the parameter --install-dir= you can specify a path where to create the standalone-toolkit - for example as shown inthis call:

build/tools/make-standalone-toolchain.sh --install-dir=/tmp/android-stanalone-toolchain

Adding the bin directory of the created toolkit allows you to use the standard build process for compiling projects. Just make sure that you call the configure script properly for cross compiling:

./configure  --target=arm-linux-androideabi  --host=arm-linux-androideabi

Afterwards you can simply call make and then pray that the application you want to compile is compatible with ARM/Android platform.


I'd suggest you take a look at Terminal IDE:

Terminal IDE is an expandable terminal application, with a full Java / HTML / Android development kit, that runs on your Android device.

It uses the command line, with many powerful and robust open-source applications, plus a custom ASCII on-screen 'soft' keyboard that works well (You must ENABLE it in your device's main Keyboard Settings).. and also has an extensive generic external 'hard' keyboard key mapper. This way CTRL / ALT / ESC etc.. should all be accessible.

javac, java, dx, proguard, aapt, apkbuilder, signer, ssh, sshd, telnetd, bash 4.2, busybox 1.19.2, vim 7.3, nano 2.2.6, midnight commander 4.8, htop 1.0, TMUX 1.5, rsync 3.0.8, git 1.7.8, BitchX 1.1 and a nice terminal emulator are all available.

Guess this should do for your purpose?


Easy way to get GNU build tools :

  1. C4droid - C/C++ compiler & IDE (install gcc in internal memory)
  2. Shell and tools for C4droid

If your Android can run x86_64 applications, you can build toolchain yourself on desktop computer running Gentoo Linux, then move the compiled code onto device.

Set of .ebuild script that compiles toolchain: GitHub x86_64-pc-linux-android toolchain

Disclaimer: I am the one who created the .ebuilds

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