Android

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adb setup

To enable adb in NixOS for unprivileged users add these lines to your configuration.nix. This is mandatory for all further interactions with your android device.

{
  programs.adb.enable = true;
  users.users.<your-user>.extraGroups = ["adbusers"];
}

This will add additional udev rules for unprivileged access as well as add adb to your $PATH.

Alternatively, if you don't want to install adb globally but do want to configure the udev rules, you can:

{
  services.udev.packages = [
    pkgs.android-udev-rules
  ];
}

Use Older Platform Version

If you would like to get older platform version, you can write the following.

{ pkgs ? import <nixpkgs> { 
  config.android_sdk.accept_license = true;
  overlays = [
    (self: super: {
      androidPkgs_8_0 = super.androidenv.composeAndroidPackages {
        platformVersions = [ "26" ];
        abiVersions = [ "x86" "x86_64"];
      };
    })
  ];
} }:

(pkgs.buildFHSUserEnv {
  name = "android-sdk-env";
  targetPkgs = pkgs: (with pkgs;
    [
      androidPkgs_8_0.androidsdk
      glibc
    ]);
  runScript = "bash";
}).env

Interaction with your Android device

adb shell on device

First open a nix-shell with the platform tools and connect your device:

$ # For nixos < 19.03
$ # nix-shell -p androidenv.platformTools
$ nix-shell -p androidenv.androidPkgs_9_0.platform-tools
% adb devices
List of devices attached
* daemon not running; starting now at tcp:5037
* daemon started successfully
BH90272JCU	unauthorized

A popup appears on your phone to allow your computer access to it. After allowing, you can:

% adb devices
List of devices attached
BH90272JCU	device
% adb shell

You can also connect to an already-running adb server:

$ # For nixos < 19.03
$ # nix-shell -p androidenv.platformTools
$ nix-shell -p androidenv.androidPkgs_9_0.platform-tools
% adb connect 192.168.1.10
% adb shell

Transferring files from/to an Android device

There are two main methods for newer devices:

Android Development

Android Studio

To develop apps using Android Studio

$ nix-shell -p android-studio --run android-studio

gradlew

It's possible to create a build environment (shell.nix) to use with gradlew as a FHS environment:

{ pkgs ? import <nixpkgs> {config.android_sdk.accept_license = true;} }:

(pkgs.buildFHSUserEnv {
  name = "android-sdk-env";
  targetPkgs = pkgs: (with pkgs;
    [
      androidenv.androidPkgs_9_0.androidsdk
      glibc
    ]);
  runScript = "bash";
}).env

As an alternative, it's often enough to override just the aapt2 binary for the gradle build process:

{ pkgs ? import <nixpkgs> {config.android_sdk.accept_license = true;} }:

let
  androidSdk = pkgs.androidenv.androidPkgs_9_0.androidsdk;
in
pkgs.mkShell {
  buildInputs = with pkgs; [
    androidSdk
    glibc
  ];
  # override the aapt2 that gradle uses with the nix-shipped version
  GRADLE_OPTS = "-Dorg.gradle.project.android.aapt2FromMavenOverride=${androidSdk}/libexec/android-sdk/build-tools/28.0.3/aapt2";
}

See the androidenv documentation for full examples.

Building Android on NixOS

It's possible to use nix-shell with buildFHSUserEnv to set up an environment in which it's viable to build Android without huge amounts of editing. This is an example shell.nix file.

{ pkgs ? import <nixpkgs> {} }:
 
let fhs = pkgs.buildFHSUserEnv {
  name = "android-env";
  targetPkgs = pkgs: with pkgs;
    [ git
      gitRepo
      gnupg
      python2
      curl
      procps
      openssl
      gnumake
      nettools
      # For nixos < 19.03, use `androidenv.platformTools`
      androidenv.androidPkgs_9_0.platform-tools
      jdk
      schedtool
      utillinux
      m4
      gperf
      perl
      libxml2
      zip
      unzip
      bison
      flex
      lzop
      python3
    ];
  multiPkgs = pkgs: with pkgs;
    [ zlib
      ncurses5
    ];
  runScript = "bash";
  profile = ''
    export ALLOW_NINJA_ENV=true
    export USE_CCACHE=1
    export ANDROID_JAVA_HOME=${pkgs.jdk.home}
    export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/usr/lib:/usr/lib32
  '';
};
in pkgs.stdenv.mkDerivation {
  name = "android-env-shell";
  nativeBuildInputs = [ fhs ];
  shellHook = "exec android-env";

}
  1. more information on that snippet
  2. A shell.nix to build LineageOS
  3. robotnix, building aosp roms (e.g. LineageOS) with nix.
  4. LineageOS build setup using terranix and hcloud, based on the shell.nix to build LineageOS. Useful if you are in a rush and don't have to much CPU power on your hand.

Using the nixpkgs androidenv

User Sander van der Burg created two awesome blog posts as well as a number of test cases usable as examples on how to use the nixpkgs androidenv and the emulator provided:

  1. androidenv documentation
  2. Building Android applications with the Nix package manager
  3. Reproducing Android app deployments (or playing Angry Birds on NixOS)
  4. A set of androidenv test cases