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How to install a blazing fast Android development environment

Abdullah Diaa 0

I’ve been always struggling with Android development on my macbook pro, it has been always slow and unreliable.
So i’ve decided to revive a low-end machine with a lightweight linux distro and after trying many, Puppy linux was my choice.

Using Puppy linux and genymotion on a 2GB/dual core machine was actually 10x faster than my macbook pro.

Why Puppy linux

  • Small size, ~200MB!
  • Runs from RAM, making it unusually fast even in old PCs and in netbooks with solid state storage media.
  • Very low minimum system requirements.
  • Boot time is well under a minute, 30-40 seconds in most systems.

A. Puppuy linux installation

  1. Download Puppy linux 6.0.2/3, check out this link to decide whether to download PAE (Physical Address Extention) or non-PAE copy.
  2. Install downloaded iso on USB using UNetbootin or any similar tool.
  3. After you boot it go to Menu > Setup > Puppy installer and follow instructions, You can choose either Frugal or Full installation, Frugal is recommended, You can actually run the OS totally in RAM, and save its state with every shutdown, check out this link for more details.
  4. If you are booting Puppy Linux only, You should enable Grub4dos in installation and update menu.lst if you need. Grub will create the boot directory.menu.lst grub config

B. Android SDK installation

  1. Java Development Kit (JDK) 7 is required for Android SDK, just download and install jdk-1.7u25-i586.sfs package to enable it on Puppy linux.
  2. Download latest Android SDK for linux.
  3. Run /root/Android/sdk/tools/android in console, it’ll create /root/.android symlink.
  4. Delete .android symlink, and create .androiddirectory instead.
  5. Open /root/Android/sdk/tools/android again and download/install SDK build tools.
  6. Now you will need to set your environmental variables.
    vim ~/.bashrc , add these lines

    export PATH=${PATH}:/root/Android/sdk/tools
    export PATH=${PATH}:/root/Android/sdk/platform-tools
    

C. Android Studio installation

  1. Download latest Android Studio for linux.
  2. Run android-studio/bin/studio.sh
  3. Delete AndroidStudioProjects symlink, and create AndroidStudioProjects directory instead.

Now Android Studio and SDK Tools are ready, and because KVM is not supported on puppy linux and the fact it’s low-end machine, i had to install genymotion instead.

C. Genymotion installation

  1. To install virtualbox, you’ll have to download and install kernel_sources-3.14.20-PAE(non PAE) and devx tahr 6.0.2package to be able to recompile Virtualbox kernel modules.
  2. Download and install VirtualBox 5 deb package.
  3. Now you should recomplie virtualbox kernel modules, open console and execute:
    /etc/init.d/vboxdrv setup
    

    virtualbox kernel modules recompiling

  4. Download genymotion linux package from download page.
  5. Run the following commands:
    chmod +x <Genymotion installer path>/genymotion-<version>_<arch>.bin
    cd <Genymotion installer path>
    ./genymotion-<version>_<arch>.bin -d <Genymotet on installer path>
    
  6. Run Genymotion using the following command:
    cd <Genymotion installer path>
    ./genymotion
    
  7. Download Google Play Services for genymotion if needed.

Et voilà, your blazing fast android development enviroment is ready.