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1 If you read this file _as_is_, just ignore the funny characters you
2 see. It is written in the POD format (see pod/perlpod.pod) which is
3 specially designed to be readable as is.
5 =head1 NAME
7 perlandroid - Perl under Android
9 =head1 SYNOPSIS
11 The first portions of this document contains instructions
12 to cross-compile Perl for Android 2.0 and later, using the
13 binaries provided by Google. The latter portions describe how to build
14 perl native using one of the toolchains available on the Play Store.
16 =head1 DESCRIPTION
18 This document describes how to set up your host environment when
19 attempting to build Perl for Android.
21 =head1 Cross-compilation
23 These instructions assume an Unixish build environment on your host system;
24 they've been tested on Linux and OS X, and may work on Cygwin and MSYS.
25 While Google also provides an NDK for Windows, these steps won't work
26 native there, although it may be possible to cross-compile through different
29 If your host system's architecture is 32 bits, remember to change the
30 C<x86_64>'s below to C<x86>'s. On a similar vein, the examples below
31 use the 4.8 toolchain; if you want to use something older or newer (for
32 example, the 4.4.3 toolchain included in the 8th revision of the NDK), just
33 change those to the relevant version.
35 =head2 Get the Android Native Development Kit (NDK)
37 You can download the NDK from L<https://developer.android.com/tools/sdk/ndk/index.html>.
38 You'll want the normal, non-legacy version.
40 =head2 Determine the architecture you'll be cross-compiling for
42 There's three possible options: arm-linux-androideabi for ARM,
43 mipsel-linux-android for MIPS, and simply x86 for x86.
44 As of 2014, most Android devices run on ARM, so that is generally a safe bet.
46 With those two in hand, you should add
48 $ANDROID_NDK/toolchains/$TARGETARCH-4.8/prebuilt/`uname | tr '[A-Z]' '[a-z]'`-x86_64/bin
50 to your C<PATH>, where C<$ANDROID_NDK> is the location where you unpacked the
51 NDK, and C<$TARGETARCH> is your target's architecture.
53 =head2 Set up a standalone toolchain
55 This creates a working sysroot that we can feed to Configure later.
57 $ export ANDROID_TOOLCHAIN=/tmp/my-toolchain-$TARGETARCH
58 $ export SYSROOT=$ANDROID_TOOLCHAIN/sysroot
59 $ $ANDROID_NDK/build/tools/make-standalone-toolchain.sh \
60 --platform=android-9 \
61 --install-dir=$ANDROID_TOOLCHAIN \
62 --system=`uname | tr '[A-Z]' '[a-z]'`-x86_64 \
65 =head2 adb or ssh?
67 adb is the Android Debug Bridge. For our purposes, it's basically a way
68 of establishing an ssh connection to an Android device without having to
69 install anything on the device itself, as long as the device is either on
70 the same local network as the host, or it is connected to the host through
73 Perl can be cross-compiled using either adb or a normal ssh connection;
74 in general, if you can connect your device to the host using a USB port,
75 or if you don't feel like installing an sshd app on your device,
76 you may want to use adb, although you may be forced to switch to ssh if
77 your device is not rooted and you're unlucky -- more on that later.
78 Alternatively, if you're cross-compiling to an emulator, you'll have to
79 use adb.
81 =head3 adb
83 To use adb, download the Android SDK from L<https://developer.android.com/sdk/index.html>.
84 The "SDK Tools Only" version should suffice -- if you downloaded the ADT
85 Bundle, you can find the sdk under F<$ADT_BUNDLE/sdk/>.
87 Add F<$ANDROID_SDK/platform-tools> to your C<PATH>, which should give you access
88 to adb. You'll now have to find your device's name using C<adb devices>,
89 and later pass that to Configure through C<-Dtargethost=$DEVICE>.
91 However, before calling Configure, you need to check if using adb is a
92 viable choice in the first place. Because Android doesn't have a F</tmp>,
93 nor does it allow executables in the sdcard, we need to find somewhere in
94 the device for Configure to put some files in, as well as for the tests
95 to run in. If your device is rooted, then you're good. Try running these:
97 $ export TARGETDIR=/mnt/asec/perl
98 $ adb -s $DEVICE shell "echo sh -c '\"mkdir $TARGETDIR\"' | su --"
100 Which will create the directory we need, and you can move on to the next
101 step. F</mnt/asec> is mounted as a tmpfs in Android, but it's only
102 accessible to root.
104 If your device is not rooted, you may still be in luck. Try running this:
106 $ export TARGETDIR=/data/local/tmp/perl
107 $ adb -s $DEVICE shell "mkdir $TARGETDIR"
109 If the command works, you can move to the next step, but beware:
110 B<You'll have to remove the directory from the device once you are done!
111 Unlike F</mnt/asec>, F</data/local/tmp> may not get automatically garbage
112 collected once you shut off the phone>.
114 If neither of those work, then you can't use adb to cross-compile to your
115 device. Either try rooting it, or go for the ssh route.
117 =head3 ssh
119 To use ssh, you'll need to install and run a sshd app and set it up
120 properly. There are several paid and free apps that do this rather
121 easily, so you should be able to spot one on the store.
122 Remember that Perl requires a passwordless connection, so set up a
123 public key.
125 Note that several apps spew crap to stderr every time you
126 connect, which can throw off Configure. You may need to monkeypatch
127 the part of Configure that creates C<run-ssh> to have it discard stderr.
129 Since you're using ssh, you'll have to pass some extra arguments to
132 -Dtargetrun=ssh -Dtargethost=$TARGETHOST -Dtargetuser=$TARGETUSER -Dtargetport=$TARGETPORT
134 =head2 Configure and beyond
136 With all of the previous done, you're now ready to call Configure.
138 If using adb, a "basic" Configure line will look like this:
140 $ ./Configure -des -Dusedevel -Dusecrosscompile -Dtargetrun=adb \
141 -Dcc=$TARGETARCH-gcc \
142 -Dsysroot=$SYSROOT \
143 -Dtargetdir=$TARGETDIR \
146 If using ssh, it's not too different -- we just change targetrun to ssh,
147 and pass in targetuser and targetport. It ends up looking like this:
149 $ ./Configure -des -Dusedevel -Dusecrosscompile -Dtargetrun=ssh \
150 -Dcc=$TARGETARCH-gcc \
151 -Dsysroot=$SYSROOT \
152 -Dtargetdir=$TARGETDIR \
153 -Dtargethost="$TARGETHOST" \
154 -Dtargetuser=$TARGETUSER \
157 Now you're ready to run C<make> and C<make test>!
159 As a final word of warning, if you're using adb, C<make test> may appear to
160 hang; this is because it doesn't output anything until it finishes
161 running all tests. You can check its progress by logging into the
162 device, moving to F<$TARGETDIR>, and looking at the file F<output.stdout>.
164 =head3 Notes
168 =item *
170 If you are targetting x86 Android, you will have to change C<$TARGETARCH-gcc>
171 to C<i686-linux-android-gcc>.
173 =item *
175 On some older low-end devices -- think early 2.2 era -- some tests,
176 particularly F<t/re/uniprops.t>, may crash the phone, causing it to turn
177 itself off once, and then back on again.
181 =head1 Native Builds
183 While Google doesn't provide a native toolchain for Android,
184 you can still get one from the Play Store.
186 =head2 CCTools
188 You may be able to get the CCTools app, which is free.
189 Keep in mind that you want a full toolchain;
190 some apps tend to default to installing only a barebones
191 version without some important utilities, like ar or nm.
193 Once you have the toolchain set up properly, the only
194 remaining hurdle is actually locating where in the device it was installed
195 in. For example, CCTools installs its toolchain in
196 F</data/data/com.pdaxrom.cctools/root/cctools>. With the path in hand,
197 compiling perl is little more than:
199 export SYSROOT=<location of the native toolchain>
200 export LD_LIBRARY_PATH="$SYSROOT/lib:`pwd`:`pwd`/lib:`pwd`/lib/auto:$LD_LIBRARY_PATH"
201 sh Configure -des -Dsysroot=$SYSROOT -Alibpth="/system/lib /vendor/lib"
203 =head2 Termux
205 L<Termux|https://termux.com/> provides an Android terminal emulator and Linux environment.
206 It comes with a cross-compiled perl already installed.
208 Natively compiling perl 5.30 or later should be as straightforward as:
210 sh Configure -des -Alibpth="/system/lib /vendor/lib"
212 This certainly works on Android 8.1 (Oreo) at least...
214 =head1 AUTHOR
216 Brian Fraser <firstname.lastname@example.org>