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Installing and creating Emulators with AVDMANAGER (For Continuous Integration Server or Local Use)

Install and Create Emulators using AVDMANAGER and SDKMANAGER

TL;DR

For an emulator that mimics a Pixel 5 Device with Google APIs and ARM architecture (for an M1/M2 Macbook):

  1. List All System Images Available for Download: sdkmanager --list | grep system-images

  2. Download Image: sdkmanager --install "system-images;android-30;google_atd;arm64-v8a"

  3. Create Emulator: echo "no" | avdmanager --verbose create avd --force --name "pixel_5_api30_google_atd_emulator" --package "system-images;android-30;google_atd;arm64-v8a" --tag "google_atd" --abi "arm64-v8a" --device "pixel_5"

For M1/M2 Macbooks, use arm64-v8a as your "tag" or "target".

For Intel Macbooks use x86.

I recommend always using the new google_atd or aosp_atd images when possible. In my benchmarks, they are about 40% more efficient than the google_apis image.

Note: To check which devices you can create from the command line, run avdmanager list deviceand pass in the device name as the value of --device, e.g. --device "pixel_5" at the end of the command on step 3. (This includes tablets, etc)

Passing in a device will make the Emulator settings (usually found in the ~/.android/avd/emulator.avd/config.ini file) try to mimic that device. It is not actually the device. But, certain settings like pixel density, resolution, memory, partition size, etc will be changed. Generally the lower resolution devices will be less taxing on your CPU resources on CI, and are preferred especially without GPU/Hardware acceleration.

Continued...

For generic skin emulator with default apis (without google apis) for use with Intel Macbook on CI (Can use google_atd too):

  1. List All System Images Available for Download: sdkmanager --list | grep system-images

  2. Download Image: sdkmanager --install "system-images;android-30;aosp_atd;x86"

  3. Create Emulator: echo "no" | avdmanager --verbose create avd --force --name "generic_api30_aosp_atd_emulator" --package "system-images;android-30;aosp_atd;x86" --tag "aosp_atd" --abi "x86"

    If you do not use the --device flag, I recommend adding these lines to: ~/.android/avd/generic_10.avd/config.ini or else your emulator will have a very low resolution. 
    Note: Increasing resolution will decrease performance on CI.
    
    skin.name=1080x1920        # proper screen size for emulator
    hw.lcd.density=480
    hw.keyboard=yes            # enables keys from your laptop to be sent to the emulator
    
    If you cannot do this, you can still pass -skin 1080x1920 as an argument when starting the emulator. 
    
    Keep in mind, you can also pass the --device flag and use a device name from the avdmanager list device command which          should also set a default resolution because it will inherit the set of properties of that "device" in the config.ini.
    
  4. Run Emulator: emulator @generic_api30_aosp_atd_emulator & or emulator @pixel_5_google_atd_emulator &

Docs

See: Google's Emulator CLI Documentation for more info.

See: Google's AVDManager Documentation for more info.

See: Google's SDKManager Documentation for more info.

Aliases

Add aliases to your ~/.zshrc or ~/.bashrc to run the emulators with parameters more easily.

alias generic_api31_emulator='emulator @generic_api31_emulator -no-boot-anim -netdelay none -no-snapshot -wipe-data -skin 768x1280 &'

alias pixel_5 ='emulator @pixel_5 -no-boot-anim -netdelay none -no-snapshot -wipe-data &'

Starting multiple emulators

You can pass the -read-only parameter when starting up an emulator emulator @pixel_5 -read-only to run multiple devices at the same time.

Other

  1. aosp_atd and google_atd system images are only available on x86 and ARM architecture at API level 30.

See also: https://android-developers.googleblog.com/2021/10/whats-new-in-scalable-automated-testing.html

Output of sdkmanager --list | grep atd:

  system-images;android-30;aosp_atd;arm64-v8a                                              | 1            | AOSP ATD ARM 64 v8a System Image
  system-images;android-30;aosp_atd;x86                                                    | 1            | AOSP ATD Intel x86 Atom System Image
  system-images;android-30;google_atd;arm64-v8a                                            | 1            | Google APIs ATD ARM 64 v8a System Image
  system-images;android-30;google_atd;x86                                                  | 1            | Google APIs ATD Intel x86 Atom System Image
  1. avdmanager list device is great to figure out which emulators you can create
  2. The newest cmdline-tools located at $HOME/Library/Android/sdk/cmdline-tools/latest/bin were created for Java 9/10/11. If you are running into issues running sdkmanager, make sure to update your path in your ~/.zshrc to the tools to the new tools if you are on Java 11, e.g. export PATH=$PATH:$ANDROID_HOME/cmdline-tools/latest/bin. If you are still on Java 8, you can use the old tools.
@cmoulliard
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Is it possible to increase the disk size using avdmanager command (or something else) as we can do using the Studio ?

@mrk-han
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mrk-han commented Oct 4, 2022

@cmoulliard Yes! You can use a custom profile with --device that has more disk size, or you can create an emulator with a flag which sets the disk size of the AVD. Check the options in avdmanager

@mrk-han
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mrk-han commented Oct 4, 2022

@BenceBakos Check avdmanager list device for a tablet, then specify that when creating

@mrk-han
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mrk-han commented Oct 5, 2022

10/5/2022 -- Cleaned up gist and tried to add more clarity.

@cmoulliard
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Yes! You can use a custom profile with --device that has more disk size

The advmanager command shows the different devices but nothing is displayed around the disk size !

./cmdline-tools/latest/bin/avdmanager list
id: 1 or "tv_4k"
    Name: Android TV (4K)
    OEM : Google
    Tag : android-tv
---------
id: 2 or "tv_720p"
    Name: Android TV (720p)
    OEM : Google
    Tag : android-tv
...
...

Do you know why the advmanager part of the SDK list more devices vs advmanager tool installed without the Android Studio ?

@cmoulliard
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you can create an emulator with a flag which sets the disk size of the AVD. Check the options in avdmanager

How can we do that ?

@mrk-han
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mrk-han commented Oct 5, 2022

@cmoulliard To verify the disk size you can create them and then check the config.ini which is a pain.

If you type avdmanager create avd --help it will give you the options for avdmanager create avd and the output is:

Action "create avd":
  Creates a new Android Virtual Device.
Options:
  -c --sdcard  : Path to a shared SD card image, or size of a new sdcard for
                 the new AVD.
  -g --tag     : The sys-img tag to use for the AVD. The default is to
                 auto-select if the platform has only one tag for its system
                 images.
  -p --path    : Directory where the new AVD will be created.
  -k --package : Package path of the system image for this AVD (e.g.
                 'system-images;android-19;google_apis;x86').
  -n --name    : Name of the new AVD. [required]
  -f --force   : Forces creation (overwrites an existing AVD)
  -b --abi     : The ABI to use for the AVD. The default is to auto-select the
                 ABI if the platform has only one ABI for its system images.
  -d --device  : The optional device definition to use. Can be a device index

-c, or --sdcard can specify the path or the size of the virtual sdcard I believe!

@cmoulliard
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If you type avdmanager create avd --help it will give you the options for avdmanager create avd and the output is:

We are on the same page here. Nevertheless the list of the devices showed using the avdmanager within a termonal is different from what I see using Android studio

@cmoulliard
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To verify the disk size you can create them and then check the config.ini which is a pain.

I fully agree. We can nevertheless define the disk data partition using disk.dataPartition.size=2000M but only within the config.ini file created within the avd folder post execution of avdmanager create dvd and emulator ... runs

Screenshot 2022-10-05 at 18 00 20

I suppose that some additional steps are taking place using the Android studio such as gtruncate - https://android.stackexchange.com/questions/142824/how-do-i-resize-internal-storage-of-an-android-studio-avd-image-thats-stuck-at

@mrk-han
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mrk-han commented Oct 6, 2022

@cmoulliard Try emulator @Nexus_5X_API_23 -partition-size 2048

image

https://developer.android.com/studio/run/emulator-commandline

@cmoulliard
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Cool. I was able to create the avd but I cannot launch on macos the emulator

~/Applications/sdk/cmdline-tools/latest/bin/sdkmanager "system-images;android-28;google_apis;x86"
~/Applications/sdk/cmdline-tools/latest/bin/avdmanager -v create avd -n android28 -k "system-images;android-28;google_apis;x86" -d pixel_5

~/Applications/sdk/emulator/emulator -avd android28 -partition-size 2000
INFO    | Android emulator version 31.3.11.0 (build_id 9058569) (CL:N/A)
emulator: INFO: checking ANDROID_HOME for valid sdk root...
emulator: INFO: checking ANDROID_SDK_ROOT for valid sdk root...
emulator: WARN: ANDROID_SDK_ROOT is missing.
emulator: WARN: Cannot find valid sdk root from environment variable ANDROID_HOME nor ANDROID_SDK_ROOT,Try to infer from emulator's path
emulator: INFO: guessed sdk root is /Users/cmoullia/Applications/sdk
emulator: WARN: platforms subdirectory is missing under /Users/cmoullia/Applications/sdk, please install it
emulator: WARN: invalid sdk root /Users/cmoullia/Applications/sdk
emulator: WARN: Cannot find valid sdk root path.
PANIC: Cannot find AVD system path. Please define ANDROID_SDK_ROOT

Idea ?

@mrk-han
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mrk-han commented Oct 6, 2022

@cmoulliard your env looks set up wrong. Can you send me the contents of your zshrc or bash profile? or type echo $ANDROID_HOME for me

@mrk-han
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mrk-han commented Oct 6, 2022

your sdk looks like it is in your applications folder which is wrong

@cmoulliard
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cmoulliard commented Oct 6, 2022

type echo $ANDROID_HOME for me

it is empty

$ echo $ANDROID_HOME

@mrk-han
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mrk-han commented Oct 6, 2022

@cmoulliard You will need to set that in your ~/.zshrc file, or bashrc file. Depending on what your default login shell is.

It’s usually located in $HOME/Library/android/sdk/ - I can send more info in the morning. I think I have an example of mine in the comments in this gist here at the top.

@cmoulliard
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That fails too if I set ANDROID_HOME

ANDROID_HOME=~/Applications/sdk 
$ANDROID_HOME/emulator/emulator -avd android28 -partition-size 2000
INFO    | Android emulator version 31.3.11.0 (build_id 9058569) (CL:N/A)
emulator: INFO: checking ANDROID_HOME for valid sdk root...
emulator: INFO: checking ANDROID_SDK_ROOT for valid sdk root...
emulator: WARN: ANDROID_SDK_ROOT is missing.
emulator: WARN: Cannot find valid sdk root from environment variable ANDROID_HOME nor ANDROID_SDK_ROOT,Try to infer from emulator's path
emulator: INFO: guessed sdk root is /Users/cmoullia/Applications/sdk
emulator: WARN: platforms subdirectory is missing under /Users/cmoullia/Applications/sdk, please install it
emulator: WARN: invalid sdk root /Users/cmoullia/Applications/sdk
emulator: WARN: Cannot find valid sdk root path.
PANIC: Cannot find AVD system path. Please define ANDROID_SDK_ROOT

@cmoulliard
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It’s usually located in $HOME/Library/android/sdk/

I'm using the emulator installed under the sdk command line tools folder

ls -la $ANDROID_HOME
total 8
drwxr-xr-x  10 cmoullia  staff  320 Oct  5 19:02 .
drwx------@ 11 cmoullia  staff  352 Oct  5 18:53 ..
drwxr-xr-x   3 cmoullia  staff   96 Oct  5 18:53 cmdline-tools
drwxr-xr-x  20 cmoullia  staff  640 Oct  5 19:00 emulator
drwxr-xr-x   4 cmoullia  staff  128 Oct  5 19:02 licenses
drwxr-xr-x   3 cmoullia  staff   96 Oct  5 18:54 patcher
drwxr-xr-x  18 cmoullia  staff  576 Oct  5 19:00 platform-tools
drwxr-xr-x   3 cmoullia  staff   96 Oct  5 19:02 system-images


ls -la $ANDROID_HOME/cmdline-tools/latest/bin 
total 112
drwxr-xr-x  9 cmoullia  staff   288 Oct  5 18:53 .
drwxr-xr-x  6 cmoullia  staff   192 Oct  5 18:53 ..
-rwxr-xr-x  1 cmoullia  staff  5319 Jan  1  2010 apkanalyzer
-rwxr-xr-x  1 cmoullia  staff  5310 Jan  1  2010 avdmanager
-rwxr-xr-x  1 cmoullia  staff  5278 Jan  1  2010 lint
-rwxr-xr-x  1 cmoullia  staff  5251 Jan  1  2010 profgen
-rwxr-xr-x  1 cmoullia  staff  5251 Jan  1  2010 retrace
-rwxr-xr-x  1 cmoullia  staff  5307 Jan  1  2010 screenshot2
-rwxr-xr-x  1 cmoullia  staff  5317 Jan  1  2010 sdkmanager

@mrk-han
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mrk-han commented Oct 6, 2022

export PATH=$PATH:$ANDROID_HOME/cmdline-tools/latest/bin

@cmoulliard
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This export will only allow to get the binaries under $ANDROID_HOME/cmdline-tools/latest/bin/avdmanager|sdkmanager but not at all the emulator which is located under $ANDROID_HOME/emulator/emulator !

@cmoulliard
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There is a special config to be done to use the emulator coming from the cmdline-tools as we can do

export ANDROID_HOME=/Users/$(whoami)/Applications/sdk
cd $ANDROID_HOME/emulator/
./emulator -list-avds
Pixel_6_API_28
Pixel_6_API_33_2
android28

but not

./emulator -avd android28 -partition-size 2000

@cmoulliard
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Was able to fix it after creating manually the missing folder platforms

mkdir -p $ANDROID_HOME/platforms

./emulator -avd android28 -partition-size 2000
INFO    | Android emulator version 31.3.11.0 (build_id 9058569) (CL:N/A)
emulator: INFO: Found systemPath /Users/cmoullia/Applications/sdk/system-images/android-28/google_apis/x86/
emulator: INFO: Found systemPath /Users/cmoullia/Applications/sdk/system-images/android-28/google_apis/x86/
INFO    | Duplicate loglines will be removed, if you wish to see each indiviudal line launch with the -log-nofilter flag.
INFO    | configAndStartRenderer: setting vsync to 60 hz
WARNING | cannot add library /Users/cmoullia/Applications/sdk/emulator/qemu/darwin-x86_64/lib64/vulkan/libvulkan.dylib: failed
INFO    | added library /Users/cmoullia/Applications/sdk/emulator/lib64/vulkan/libvulkan.dylib
WARNING | *** No gRPC protection active, consider launching with the -grpc-use-jwt flag.***
INFO    | Started GRPC server at 127.0.0.1:8554, security: Local, auth: none
INFO    | Advertising in: /Users/cmoullia/Library/Caches/TemporaryItems/avd/running/pid_3987.ini
INFO    | setDisplayConfigs w 1080 h 2340 dpiX 440 dpiY 440

@moonga-tech
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why is it taking long installing, any help??

@justinmoon
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Helped me to just set ANDROID_AVD_HOME manually ...

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