Known Issues

Even with our best care, small problems sometimes slip in. This page keeps track of the known issues around using the Android source code.

Missing CTS Native XML Generator

Symptom: On some builds of IceCreamSandwich and later, the following warning is printed early during the build: /bin/bash: line 0: cd: cts/tools/cts-native-xml-generator/src/res: No such file or directory

Cause: Some makefile references that path, which doesn't exist.

Fix: None. This is a harmless warning.

Black Gingerbread Emulator

Symptom: The emulator built directly from the gingerbread branch doesn't start and stays stuck on a black screen.

Cause: The gingerbread branch uses version R7 of the emulator, which doesn't have all the features necessary to run recent versions of gingerbread.

Fix: Use version R12 of the emulator, and a newer kernel that matches those tools. No need to do a clean build.

$ repo forall platform/external/qemu -c git checkout aosp/tools_r12
$ make
$ emulator -kernel prebuilt/android-arm/kernel/kernel-qemu-armv7

Emulator built on MacOS 10.7 Lion doesn't work.

Symptom: The emulator (any version) built on MacOS 10.7 Lion and/or on XCode 4.x doesn't start.

Cause: Some change in the development environment causes the emulator to be compiled in a way that prevents it from working.

Fix: Use an emulator binary from the SDK, which is built on MacOS 10.6 with XCode 3 and works on MacOS 10.7.

Difficulties syncing the source code (proxy issues).

Symptom: repo init or repo sync fail with http errors, typically 403 or 500.

Cause: There are quite a few possible causes, most often related to http proxies, which have difficulties handling the large amounts of data getting transfered.

Fix: While there's no general solution, using python 2.7 and explicitly using repo sync -j1 have been reported to improve the situation for some users.

Difficulties syncing the source tree (VirtualBox Ethernet issues).

Symptom: When running repo sync in some VirtualBox installations, the process hangs or fails with a variety of possible symptoms. One such symptom is DownloadError: HTTP 500 (Internal Server Error: Server got itself in trouble).

Cause: The default network behavior of VirtualBox is to use NAT (Network Addrss Translation) to connect the guest system to the network. The heavy network activity of repo sync triggers some corner cases in the NAT code.

Fix: Configure VirtualBox to use bridged network instead of NAT.

Difficulties syncing the source tree (DNS issues).

Symptom: When running repo sync, the process fails with various errors related to not recognizing the hostname. One such error is <urlopen error [Errno -2] Name or service not known>.

Cause: Some DNS systems have a hard time coping with the high number of queries involved in syncing the source tree (there can be several hundred requests in a worst-case scenario).

Fix: Manually resolve the relevant hostnames, and hard-code those results locally.

You can resolve them with the nslookup command, which will give you one numerical IP address for each of those (typically in the “Address” part of the output).

$ nslookup
$ nslookup

You can then hard-code them locally by editing /etc/hosts, and adding two lines in that file, of the form:


Note that this will only work as long as the servers' addresses don‘t change, and if they do and you can’t connect you'll have to resolve those hostnames again and edit etc/hosts accordingly.

Difficulties syncing the source tree (TCP issues).

Symptom: repo sync hangs while syncing, often when it's completed 99% of the sync.

Cause: Some settings in the TCP/IP stack cause difficulties in some network environments, such that repo sync neither completes nor fails.

Fix: On linux, sysctl -w net.ipv4.tcp_window_scaling=0. On MacOS, disable the rfc1323 extension in the network settings.

make snod and emulator builds.

Symptom: When using make snod (make system no dependencies) on emulator builds, the resulting build doesn't work.

Cause: All emulator builds now run Dex optimization at build time by default, which requires to follow all dependencies to re-optimize the applications each time the framework changes.

Fix: Locally disable Dex optimizations with export WITH_DEXPREOPT=false, delete the existing optimized versions with make installclean and run a full build to re-generate non-optimized versions. After that, make snod will work.

“Permission Denied” during builds.

Symptom: All builds fail with “Permission Denied”, possibly along with anti-virus warnings.

Cause: Some anti-virus programs mistakenly recognize some source files in the Android source tree as if they contained viruses.

Fix: After verifying that there are no actual viruses involved, disable anti-virus on the Android tree. This has the added benefit of reducing build times.

Camera, GPS and NFC don't work on Galaxy Nexus.

Symptom: Camera, GPS and NFC don‘t work on Galaxy Nexus. As an example, the Camera application crashes as soon as it’s launched.

Cause: Those hardware peripherals require proprietary libraries that aren't available in the Android Open Source Project.

Fix: None.

Build errors related to using the wrong compiler.

Symptom: The build fails with various symptoms. One such symptom is cc1: error: unrecognized command line option "-m32"

Cause: The Android build system uses the default compiler in the PATH, assuming it's a suitable compiler to generate binaries that run on the host. Other situations (e.g. using the Android NDK or building the kernel) cause the default compiler to not be a host compiler.

Fix: Use a “clean” shell, in which no previous actions could have swapped the default compiler.

Build errors caused by non-default tool settings.

Symptom: The build fails with various symptoms, possibly complinaing about missing files or files that have the wrong format. One such symptom is member [...] in archive is not an object.

Cause: The Android build system tends to use many host tools and to rely on their default behaviors. Some settings change those tools' behaviors and make them behave in ways that confuse the build system. Variables known to cause such issues are CDPATH and GREP_OPTIONS.

Fix: Build Android in an environment that has as few customizations as possible.