Building for Android

Support for Android is currently in-progress and these instructions might change frequently.

Get Android tools

After cloning the repository and installing dependencies common to all targets, you should obtain the Android SDK, either using the Android Studio IDE or via the sdkmanager CLI (which requires Java 17 or greater to be installed separately).

To install the NDK and SDK using Android Studio, refer to the guidelines on the website. For the SDK, install the Android 33 platform. The NDK must be version r25c. Versions before and after change the layout of the NDK and add or remove files.

If you are using the sdkmanager tool, you can do:

tools/bin/sdkmanager platform-tools "platforms;android-33" "build-tools;33.0.2" "ndk;25.2.9519653"

Set the following environment variables while building. (You may want to export them from a configuration file like .bashrc (~/.bash_profile for Mac OS X).).


NOTE: If you are using Nix, you don't need to install the tools or setup the ANDROID_* environment variables manually. Simply enable the Android build support running:


in the shell session before invoking ./mach commands

Build Servo

In the following sub-commands the --android flag is short for --target armv7-linux-androideabi

# Replace "--release" with "--dev" to create an unoptimized debug build.
./mach build --release --android

For running in an emulator however, you’ll likely want to build for Android x86 instead:

./mach build --release --target i686-linux-android

Installing and running on-device

To install Servo on a hardware device, first set up your device for development.

Run this command to install the Servo package on your device. Replace --release with --dev if you are building in debug mode.

./mach install --release --android

To start Servo, tap the "Servo" icon in your launcher screen, or run this :

./mach run --android


adb shell am force-stop org.servo.servoshell/org.servo.servoshell.MainActivity

If the above doesn't work, try this:

adb shell am force-stop org.servo.servoshell


adb uninstall org.servo.servoshell

NOTE: The following instructions are outdated and might not apply any longer. They are retained here for reference until the Android build is fully functional and the below instructions are reviewed.


We are currently using a Nexus 9 for profiling, because it has an NVidia chipset and supports the NVidia System Profiler. First, install the profiler.

You will then need to root your Nexus 9. There are a variety of options, but I found the CF-Auto-Root version the easiest. Just follow the instructions on that page (download, do the OEM unlock, adb reboot bootloader, fastboot boot image/CF-Auto-Root-flounder-volantis-nexus9.img) and you should end up with a rooted device.

If you want reasonable stack backtraces, you should add the flags -fno-omit-frame-pointer -marm -funwind-tables to the CFLAGS (simplest place to do so is in the mach python scripts that set up the env for Android). Also, remember to build with -r for release!

Installing and running in the emulator

To set up the emulator, use the avdmanager tool installed with the SDK. Create a default Pixel 4 device with an SDCard of size greater than 100MB. After creating it, open the file ~/.android/avd/nexus7.avd/config.ini and change the hw.dPad and hw.mainKeys configuration files to yes.


./mach install --android --release


./mach run --android


adb shell am force-stop org.servo.servoshell


adb uninstall org.servo.servoshell

Viewing logs and stdout

By default, only libsimpleservo logs are sent to adb logcat. println output is also sent to logcat (see #21637). Log macros (warn!, debug!, …) are sent to logcat under the tag simpleservo.

To show all the servo logs, remove the log filters in

Getting meaningful symbols out of crash reports

Copy the logcat output that includes the crash information and unresolved symbols to a temporary log file. Run ndk-stack -sym target/armv7-linux-androideabi/debug/apk/obj/local/armeabi-v7a/lib/ -dump log. This should resolve any symbols from that appear in the output. The ndk-stack tool is found in the NDK root directory.

Debugging on-device

First, you will need to enable debugging in the project files by adding android:debuggable="true" to the application tag in servo/support/android/apk/app/src/main/AndroidManifest.xml.

~/android-ndk-r9c/ndk-gdb \
    --adb=/Users/larsberg/android-sdk-macosx/platform-tools/adb \
    --launch=org.servo.servoshell.MainActivity \

To get symbols resolved, you may need to provide additional library paths (at the gdb prompt):
set solib-search-path /Users/larsberg/servo/support/android/apk/obj/local/armeabi/:/Users/larsberg/servo/support/android/apk/libs/armeabi

OR you may need to enter the same path names as above in the support/android/apk/libs/armeabi/gdb.setup file.

If you are not able to get past the "Application Servo (process org.servo.servoshell) is waiting for the debugger to attach." prompt after entering continue at (gdb) prompt, you might have to set Servo as the debug app (Use the "Select debug app" option under "Developer Options" in the Settings app). If this doesn't work, Stack Overflow will help you.

The ndk-gdb debugger may complain about ... function not defined when you try to set breakpoints. Just answer y when it asks you to set breakpoints on future library loads. You will be able to catch your breakpoints during execution.

x86 build

To build a x86 version, follow the above instructions, but replace --android with --target=i686-linux-android. The x86 emulator will need to support GLES v3 (use AVS from Android Studio v3+).

WebVR support

  • Enable WebVR preference: "dom.webvr.enabled": true
  • ./mach build --release --android --features googlevr
  • ./mach package --release --android --flavor googlevr
  • ./mach install --release --android
  • ./mach run --android (warning: the first run loads the default url sometimes after a clean APK install)


If you are using a PandaBoard, Servo is known to run on Android with the instructions above using the following build of Android for PandaBoard:

Important Notices.

Different from Linux or Mac, on Android, Servo's program entry is in the library, not executable. So we can't execute the program with command line arguments. To approximate command line arguments, we have a hack for program entry on android: You can put command-line arguments, one per line, in the file /sdcard/servo/android_params on your device. You can find a default android_params property under resources in the Servo repo.

Default settings:

default font directory : /system/fonts (in android)
default resource path : /sdcard/servo (in android)
default font configuration : /sdcard/servo/.fcconfig (in android)
default fallback font : Roboto

Working on the user interface without building Servo

We provide nightly builds of a servo library for android, so it's not necessary to do a full build to work on the user interface.

  • Download the latest AAR: (this is an armv7 build)
  • In your local copy of Servo, create a file support/android/apk/ and specify the path to the AAR you just downloaded: servoViewLocal=/tmp/servo-latest.aar
  • open support/android/apk with Android Studio
  • important: in the project list, you should see 2 projects: servoapp and servoview-local. If you see servoapp and servoview that means Android Studio didn't correctly read the settings. Re-sync gradle or restart Android Studio
  • select the build variant mainArmv7Debug or mainArmv7Release
  • plug your phone
  • press the Play button

Alternatively, you can generate the APK with the command line:

wget -O /tmp/servo-latest.aar
cd SERVO_REPO/support/android/apk
echo 'servoViewLocal=/tmp/servo-latest.aar' >
./gradlew clean
./gradlew :servoapp:assembleMainArmv7Release
cd ../../..
adb install -r target/armv7-linux-androideabi/release/servoapp.apk

The relevant files to tweak the UI are: and activity_main.xml