Experimental Android 5.x Lollipop Port for Raspberry Pi 2?

When Raspberry Pi 2 was announced, I was quite hopeful Android would be ported to the board since it now had the processing power and memory requirements to run Android. But members of the Raspberry Pi foundation put a damper on this expectation directly in their Android forums by closing some Android related threads, and stating the mobile operating system does not bring anything to the educational goal of the Raspberry Pi.

Android_Raspberry_Pi_2

But yesterday, I’ve been informed that there was an experimental Android 5.1 port for ODROID-C1 and another Android 5.x port for Raspberry Pi 2. One of the key challenges to port Android to Broadcom BCM2836 is allegedly the large number of changes required for VideoCore 4 GPU’s buffer management, which was done by Broadcom internally for BCM2835, but never ported to the Raspberry Pi. So it does not quite seem an easy task.

The README on github describes how to build and install the Android image to an SD card bootable on the Raspberry Pi 2. The steps involve building the kernel, then android, and preparing an SD card with 4 partitions:

  • Partition 1 (FAT32) – 512MB for the bootloader, the kernel (zImage) and initramfs (ramdisk.img), just like for other R-Pi images.
  • Partition 2 (EXT-4) – 512 MB for /system (system.img)
  • Partition 3 (EXT-4) – 512 MB for /cache
  • Partition 4 (EXT-4) – Remaining of SD card for /data

But does the code actually boot? Answer: not yet, and the developer has stopped working on it:

I was trying to enable vc4 with github.com/anholt kernel.
But it was not working.
vc4 branch of device_brcm_rpi2 & external_mesa3d are history of above trial.
Currently no activity on my side. Will check anholt’s update later.
Or someone interested can study it.

So to answer the question raised in the title. Yes, there’s an experimental port of Android Lollipop for the Raspberry Pi 2, but no, it does not work yet, and development activity seems to have stopped for now.

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7 Comments
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hoanhdinh86
hoanhdinh86
6 years ago

So sad:(

FransM
FransM
6 years ago

This: “But members of the Raspberry Pi foundation put a damper on this expectation directly in their Android forums by closing some Android related threads, and stating the mobile operating system does not bring anything to the educational goal of the Raspberry Pi.” is exactly what made me turn away from the Pi. I’ve seen them do it before. If you claim to be an open source educational device you should encourage all activity. By porting Android people learn (and from reading and discussing it others will learn too). (and I really dislike censorship). Off my soap box. Happy PI… Read more »

Rob
Rob
6 years ago

I have to agree with FransM in and the statement in this article regarding the Pi foundation closing the Android section of the community, its a really disappointing attitude. As soon as the Pi 2 was released the potential for an Android port looked more promising with the higher hardware spec. However the vibe in the Android section of the forum was very negative with anyone dare ask a question getting shot down in flames. It felt like the mods took people asking questions to mean that there was an expectation the foundation needed to sponsor this effort. I don’t… Read more »

iridiumsat
iridiumsat
6 years ago

If android is required, just go to Allwinner platform.
From A10, A20 to latest A80 give us a perfect support community.

Harley
Harley
6 years ago

@iridiumsat
Are you working for Allwinner or a partner of theirs? Because what you just said is a total lie, as Allwinner have among the worse history of open source support ever, the and their partners have made GPL violations into a sport.

ade
ade
6 years ago

@Harley > “Are you working for Allwinner or a partner of theirs? Because what you just said is a total lie, as Allwinner have among the worse history of open source support ever, the and their partners have made GPL violations into a sport” Well… you are mentioning two orthogonal topics : even though they may not be perfect, I think Alwinner is not-so-bad for a chinese vendor (most of their competitors are doing worse in terms of GPL compliance and long-term support). For example look at http://rhombus-tech.net/allwinner_a10/ => “The critical decisive factor however was the immediate support of Allwinner’s… Read more »

Fabry
Fabry
6 years ago
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