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How to cross-compile and run on Android. Please read to the end,
since there are important details further down regarding crash
avoidance and GPU support.
These notes were last updated on 4 Nov 2014, for Valgrind SVN
revision 14689/2987.
These instructions are known to work, or have worked at some time in
the past, for:
Android 4.0.3 running on a (rooted, AOSP build) Nexus S.
Android 4.0.3 running on Motorola Xoom.
Android 4.0.3 running on android arm emulator.
Android 4.1 running on android emulator.
Android 2.3.4 on Nexus S worked at some time in the past.
Android 4.0.3 running on android x86 emulator.
Android 4.1.2 running on android mips emulator.
Android 4.2.2 running on android mips emulator.
Android 4.3 running on android mips emulator.
Android 4.0.4 running on BROADCOM bcm7425
Android 4.5 (?) running on ARM Juno
On android-arm, GDBserver might insert breaks at wrong addresses.
Feedback on this welcome.
Other configurations and toolchains might work, but haven't been tested.
Feedback is welcome.
For arm32, x86 and mips32 you need the android-ndk-r6 native
development kit. r6b and r7 give a non-completely-working build;
For the android emulator, the versions needed and how to install
them are described in README.android_emulator.
You can get android-ndk-r6 from
For arm64 (aarch64) you need the android-ndk-r10c NDK, from
Install the NDK somewhere. Doesn't matter where. Then:
# Modify this (obviously). Note, this "export" command is only done
# so as to reduce the amount of typing required. None of the commands
# below read it as part of their operation.
export NDKROOT=/path/to/android-ndk-r<version>
# Then cd to the root of your Valgrind source tree.
cd /path/to/valgrind/source/tree
# After this point, you don't need to modify anything. Just copy and
# paste the commands below.
# Set up toolchain paths.
# For ARM
export AR=$NDKROOT/toolchains/arm-linux-androideabi-4.4.3/prebuilt/linux-x86/bin/arm-linux-androideabi-ar
export LD=$NDKROOT/toolchains/arm-linux-androideabi-4.4.3/prebuilt/linux-x86/bin/arm-linux-androideabi-ld
export CC=$NDKROOT/toolchains/arm-linux-androideabi-4.4.3/prebuilt/linux-x86/bin/arm-linux-androideabi-gcc
# For x86
export AR=$NDKROOT/toolchains/x86-4.4.3/prebuilt/linux-x86/bin/i686-android-linux-ar
export LD=$NDKROOT/toolchains/x86-4.4.3/prebuilt/linux-x86/bin/i686-android-linux-ld
export CC=$NDKROOT/toolchains/x86-4.4.3/prebuilt/linux-x86/bin/i686-android-linux-gcc
# For MIPS32
export AR=$NDKROOT/toolchains/mipsel-linux-android-4.8/prebuilt/linux-x86_64/bin/mipsel-linux-android-ar
export LD=$NDKROOT/toolchains/mipsel-linux-android-4.8/prebuilt/linux-x86_64/bin/mipsel-linux-android-ld
export CC=$NDKROOT/toolchains/mipsel-linux-android-4.8/prebuilt/linux-x86_64/bin/mipsel-linux-android-gcc
# For ARM64 (AArch64)
export AR=$NDKROOT/toolchains/aarch64-linux-android-4.9/prebuilt/linux-x86_64/bin/aarch64-linux-android-ar
export LD=$NDKROOT/toolchains/aarch64-linux-android-4.9/prebuilt/linux-x86_64/bin/aarch64-linux-android-ld
export CC=$NDKROOT/toolchains/aarch64-linux-android-4.9/prebuilt/linux-x86_64/bin/aarch64-linux-android-gcc
# Do configuration stuff. Don't mess with the --prefix in the
# configure command below, even if you think it's wrong.
# You may need to set the --with-tmpdir path to something
# different if /sdcard doesn't work on the device -- this is
# a known cause of difficulties.
# The below re-generates configure, Makefiles, ...
# This is not needed if you start from a release tarball.
# for ARM
CPPFLAGS="--sysroot=$NDKROOT/platforms/android-3/arch-arm" \
CFLAGS="--sysroot=$NDKROOT/platforms/android-3/arch-arm" \
./configure --prefix=/data/local/Inst \
--host=armv7-unknown-linux --target=armv7-unknown-linux \
# note: on android emulator, android-14 platform was also tested and works.
# It is not clear what this platform nr really is.
# for x86
CPPFLAGS="--sysroot=$NDKROOT/platforms/android-9/arch-x86" \
CFLAGS="--sysroot=$NDKROOT/platforms/android-9/arch-x86 -fno-pic" \
./configure --prefix=/data/local/Inst \
--host=i686-android-linux --target=i686-android-linux \
# for MIPS32
CPPFLAGS="--sysroot=$NDKROOT/platforms/android-18/arch-mips" \
CFLAGS="--sysroot=$NDKROOT/platforms/android-18/arch-mips" \
./configure --prefix=/data/local/Inst \
--host=mipsel-linux-android --target=mipsel-linux-android \
# for ARM64 (AArch64)
CPPFLAGS="--sysroot=$NDKROOT/platforms/android-21/arch-arm64" \
CFLAGS="--sysroot=$NDKROOT/platforms/android-21/arch-arm64" \
./configure --prefix=/data/local/Inst \
--host=aarch64-unknown-linux --target=aarch64-unknown-linux \
# At the end of the configure run, a few lines of details
# are printed. Make sure that you see these two lines:
# For ARM:
# Platform variant: android
# Primary -DVGPV string: -DVGPV_arm_linux_android=1
# For x86:
# Platform variant: android
# Primary -DVGPV string: -DVGPV_x86_linux_android=1
# For mips32:
# Platform variant: android
# Primary -DVGPV string: -DVGPV_mips32_linux_android=1
# For ARM64 (AArch64):
# Platform variant: android
# Primary -DVGPV string: -DVGPV_arm64_linux_android=1
# If you see anything else at this point, something is wrong, and
# either the build will fail, or will succeed but you'll get something
# which won't work.
# Build, and park the install tree in `pwd`/Inst
make -j4
make -j4 install DESTDIR=`pwd`/Inst
# To get the install tree onto the device:
# (I don't know why it's not "adb push Inst /data/local", but this
# formulation does appear to put the result in /data/local/Inst.)
adb push Inst /
# To run (on the device). There are two things you need to consider:
# (1) if you are running on the Android emulator, Valgrind may crash
# at startup. This is because the emulator (for ARM) may not be
# simulating a hardware TLS register. To get around this, run
# Valgrind with:
# --kernel-variant=android-emulator-no-hw-tls
# (2) if you are running a real device, you need to tell Valgrind
# what GPU it has, so Valgrind knows how to handle custom GPU
# ioctls. You can choose one of the following:
# --kernel-variant=android-gpu-sgx5xx # PowerVR SGX 5XX series
# --kernel-variant=android-gpu-adreno3xx # Qualcomm Adreno 3XX series
# If you don't choose one, the program will still run, but Memcheck
# may report false errors after the program performs GPU-specific ioctls.
# Anyway: to run on the device:
/data/local/Inst/bin/valgrind [kernel variant args] [the usual args etc]
# Once you're up and running, a handy modify-V-rebuild-reinstall
# command line (on the host, of course) is
mq -j2 && mq -j2 install DESTDIR=`pwd`/Inst && adb push Inst /
# where 'mq' is an alias for 'make --quiet'.
# One common cause of runs failing at startup is the inability of
# Valgrind to find a suitable temporary directory. On the device,
# there doesn't seem to be any one location which we always have
# permission to write to. The instructions above use /sdcard. If
# that doesn't work for you, and you're Valgrinding one specific
# application which is already installed, you could try using its
# temporary directory, in /data/data, for example
# /data/data/org.mozilla.firefox_beta.
# Using /system/bin/logcat on the device is helpful for diagnosing
# these kinds of problems.