Originally authored by Damon Kohler, Scripting Layer for Android, SL4A, is an automation toolset for calling Android APIs in a platform-independent manner. It supports both remote automation via ADB as well as execution of scripts from on-device via a series of lightweight translation layers.
Due to its inclusion in AOSP as a privileged app, building SL4A requires a system build.
For the initial build of Android:
cd <ANDROID_SOURCE_ROOT> source build/envsetup.sh lunch aosp_<TARGET> make [-j15]
<ANDROID_SOURCE_ROOT> is the root directory of the android tree and
<TARGET> is the lunch target name
Then Build SL4A:
cd <ANDROID_SOURCE_ROOT>/external/sl4a mm [-j15]
If you are not using a custom buildspec, create one as follows:
cp <ANDROID_SOURCE_ROOT>/build/buildspec.mk.default <ANDROID_SOURCE_ROOT>/buildspec.mk
Modify the buildspec to build SL4A as a custom module by editing the line ‘#CUSTOM_MODULES:=’ to ‘CUSTOM_MODULES:=sl4a’:
sed -i 's/#CUSTOM_MODULES:=/CUSTOM_MODULES:=sl4a/' <ANDROID_SOURCE_ROOT>/buildspec.mk
Run the following command:
adb install -r <ANDROID_SOURCE_ROOT>/out/target/product/<TARGET>/data/app/sl4a/sl4a.apk
a) SL4A may be launched from Android as a normal App; or
b) To enable RPC access from the command prompt:
adb forward tcp:<HOST_PORT_NUM> tcp:<DEVICE_PORT_NUM> adb shell "am start -a com.googlecode.android_scripting.action.LAUNCH_SERVER \ --ei com.googlecode.android_scripting.extra.USE_SERVICE_PORT <DEVICE_PORT_NUM> \ com.googlecode.android_scripting/.activity.ScriptingLayerServiceLauncher"
<DEVICE_PORT_NUM> are the tcp ports on the host computer and device.
From SL4A source directory run this command:
In the Docs directory there should now be an ApiReference.md file that contains which RPC functions are available in SL4A as well as documentation for the RPC functions.