How to Configure Ubuntu 13.04 Raring Ringtail for Properly Compiling Android ROMs

— These instructions have been updated for the latest version of Ubuntu. Click here!


Initializing a fresh Android Build Environment in Ubuntu 13.04 sucks, right? The instructions at the aosp page are outdated at best, wrong at worst. Near as I can tell, they try to have you install 2 JDKs, the first one not even being the correct link for Raring Ringtail, and the second being OpenJDK. Which _might_ work. But iiiiiiii dunno about all that, I’d rather have Oracle’s official stamp when it comes to building for Android.

Currently most of the guides are up to 12.04 LTS, which is fine and dandy, but being on the cutting edge is nice too. Plus, I don’t think I’ve seen anyone aggregate the directions in this order, for the correct official JDK and everything just right for building happiness.

This guide applies to Ubuntu 13.04 Raring Ringtail 64 bit. Do not use the 32 Bit version. Also, PAY CLOSE ATTENTION when to use “sudo” and when to not. It can make things funky if you do something as root that you shouldn’t.

Much thanks goes out to Google, ProTekk, Canonical, and everyone else that I read a random paragraph here and snippet there.

First, let’s set up the correct JDK.

Many of you probably have some kind of wrong Java installed. Sad cupcake.

Let’s get rid of that. Copy and paste this into a Terminal window:

sudo apt-get purge openjdk-* icedtea-* icedtea6-*

Banish the OpenJDK! If you must keep it, it’s possible. But I’m not going to tell you how to do it here. I don’t want any chance of confusion or mistake.

Back to the Terminal. Copypasta the following:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/java

This will add the correct PPA to your system for updated builds of Java 6 JDK that are compatible with 13.04. No more unrecognized Java version errors! Yay! And it’s self updating, so you don’t have to redownload binaries everytime they release a new version.

Next, we actually need to install the package. More copypasta:

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install oracle-java6-installer

Follow the onscreen instructions. You have to Accept the Licensing Agreement or whatever. Hopefully no human centipede clauses. Once that is completed successfully, you will have to restart any open browsers with Java content for it to display correctly.

To make sure the correct version of Java is activated, run the following at the Terminal prompt:

java -version

You should see something like the following:

java version “1.6.0_37”
Java(TM) SE Runtime Environment (build 1.6.0_37-b06)
Java HotSpot(TM) 64-Bit Server VM (build 20.12-b01, mixed mode)

Ok, back to a fresh Terminal prompt. Time for installing the guts to build stuff in Ubuntu:

sudo apt-get install git-core gnupg flex bison gperf build-essential zip curl zlib1g-dev zlib1g-dev:i386 libc6-dev lib32ncurses5-dev ia32-libs x11proto-core-dev libx11-dev:i386 libreadline6-dev:i386 lib32z-dev libgl1-mesa-glx:i386 libgl1-mesa-dev g++-multilib mingw32 tofrodos python-markdown libxml2-utils xsltproc readline-common libreadline6-dev libreadline6 lib32readline-gplv2-dev libncurses5-dev lib32readline5 lib32readline6 libreadline-dev libreadline6-dev:i386 libreadline6:i386 bzip2 libbz2-dev libbz2-1.0 libghc-bzlib-dev lib32bz2-dev libsdl1.2-dev libesd0-dev squashfs-tools pngcrush schedtool libwxgtk2.8-dev python ccache

And we wait. Don’t worry, this isn’t the crazy downloading part just yet.

When that is done, do this:

sudo ln -s /usr/lib/i386-linux-gnu/mesa/ /usr/lib/i386-linux-gnu/

That’s probably it on the package side of things. Probably.

You guessed it, time for more Terminal. This really is the easiest way, seriously. And it’s totally worth it when you’re basking in the glory of a bunch of people on XDA.

The binary for repo will let you talk to git servers and download all that precious source code. That second part after the && allows it to be executable:

mkdir ~/bin && curl > ~/bin/repo && chmod a+x ~/bin/repo

Use your favorite text editor to open ~/.bashrc

I like nano:

sudo nano ~/.bashrc

At the very bottom, add the following line:

export PATH=~/bin:$PATH

Save it. In nano that would be Ctrl-O and then Enter. Then Ctrl-X to exit back to a prompt. Restart bash:

source ~/.bashrc

In the terminal, navigate to where you would like to store the Android source code. The directions below will make it in your home folder, but if you have limited space, you may want to create it somewhere else. Faster is better, i.e. SSD would be best, USB external is basically unusable. Here we go:

mkdir ~/android
cd ~/android

Now you’re going to initialize the repo. Here’s where you decide the flavor of Android you want to build for, ie AOKP, CyanogenMod, AOSP etc. The following, for the purposes of this tutorial, will initialize for AOKP:

repo init -u git:// -b jb

Almost there. Last step, but it’s a doozy.  You’re going to get the source. Prepare yourself, mere mortal. 10+ GB of downloading await you. Don’t worry, it’s automated. Go to sleep. Eat something. Perhaps you have heard of this new thing the kids are doing called “going outside”? Yeah, I didn’t think so. Me neither. Hey everyone, it’s a terminal:

repo sync

Check back periodically every hour or so. It really all depends on how fast your internet connection is.

That should be everything. Now you’re ready to build Android the right way. Luck!

If you like my work, feel free to buy me a coconut water (donate). It would be greatly appreciated!


  1. I followed the instructions but my build fails with compile errors. I have tried AOKP, aosp even cyanogenMOD but they all fail.
    I am using ubuntu 13.04 64 bit and oracle java 6 u45.
    The output:
    bionic/libc/private/bionic_atomic_arm.h:145:77: error: expression list treated as compound expression in initializer [-fpermissive]
    bionic/libc/private/bionic_atomic_arm.h:146:1: error: expected ‘,’ or ‘;’ before ‘{‘ token
    bionic/libstdc++/src/one_time_construction.cpp:111:1: error: expected ‘}’ at end of input
    make: *** [/home/robert/out/aokp/target/product/grouper/obj/SHARED_LIBRARIES/libstdc++_intermediates/src/one_time_construction.o] Error 1
    Note: Some input files use or override a deprecated API.
    Note: Recompile with -Xlint:deprecation for details.
    Note: Some input files use unchecked or unsafe operations.
    Note: Recompile with -Xlint:unchecked for details.

    1. Recently it looks like some updates have been happening on Google’s side of the code, and github has been down for maintenance. The past couple of days I have ran into repeated errors trying during the “repo sync” step.

      Give it a couple of days and check the Status pages for github and Google’s mirror. Then try a fresh sync and compile. Good luck!

  2. I found with Lubuntu 13.04 it works best to separate the following initial apt-get command:

    [1] run first

    sudo apt-get install git-core gnupg flex bison gperf build-essential zip curl zlib1g-dev

    then go ahead and copy/paste the original apt command listed in this article in full.

    Otherwise I would receive apt dep. conflicts.

    Great guide!

  3. if the app i want to install requires me to download updated lists of the files in the net first (like universe, restricted, etc), but the box i want to update do1n7&#82es;t have an internet connection — what do i have to do first?thanks. great tutorial.

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