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This page is an introduction to compilation of VLC for Android on Linux.

Eclipse, SDK and NDK installation


  • You MUST be on Linux, and a recent one.
  • You MUST have installed: apache-ant (or ant), autoconf, automake, autopoint, libtool, gawk (or nawk), gcc, g++, pkg-config, cmake, patch, subversion. And very up-to-date versions of those tools.
  • You MUST install: git.

Android SDK

  1. Create a working directory android.
  2. Go to Android SDK page and download the latest SDK for linux.
  3. Decompress into android folder.
  4. Run tools/android (from the command line you can also run: "tools/android update sdk -u -t platform,platform-tool,extra")
  5. In the tool, install "SDK Platform Android 4.0, API 14", and follow the instructions.

You can have more details, if needed.

Android NDK

  1. Check that the SDK installation is correct.
  2. Go to Android NDK page and download the latest NDK for linux.
  3. Decompress into android folder, next to your android-sdk-linux_x86 folder.


As used by your distribution, install Eclipse with your package manager:

apt-get install eclipse (debian)
yum install eclipse (Fedora)
pacman -S eclipse (Arch)
emerge -av eclipse-sdk (Gentoo)

And run it, at least once, and then quit eclipse.

Note: On Debian-based distributions it is better to download Eclipse indigo builds from the official website :, otherwise it can lead to an error when importing the ADT plugin (see following).


The ADT plugin is required to compile on Android.

  1. Go to ADT page.
  2. Start Eclipse, then select Help > Install New Software....
  3. Add the "ADT Plugin" repository with as URL
  4. Validate and select the checkbox next to Developer Tools and click Next, Next, Finish.
  5. Restart Eclipse.
  6. Go to Menu > Window > Preferences... and then Android from the left pane.
  7. Point the SDK Location in to your downloaded SDK directory.
  8. Ok, and quit Eclipse.

See extra information here.

Environment setup

Set $ANDROID_SDK to point to your Android SDK directory

export ANDROID_SDK=/path/to/android-sdk

Set $ANDROID_NDK to point to your Android NDK directory

export ANDROID_NDK=/path/to/android-ndk

If you do not use the NDK v7 (note: the build script will try to detect the SDK version)

export NO_NDK_V7=1

Add some useful binaries to your $PATH

export PATH=$PATH:$ANDROID_SDK/platform-tools:$ANDROID_SDK/tools


If you plan to use the emulator or if you have a phone that does not support NEON, you need a build without NEON

export NO_NEON=1

Note: If you want to get a NEON build, the NO_NEON variable must remain unset (do not use NO_NEON=0).

If you plan to use the build for a tegra2 device:

export TEGRA2=1

Note: If you want to get a NEON build, the NO_NEON variable must remain unset (do not use NO_NEON=0).

Those exports must be set at all times, notably for the contribs and the configure.


Get VLC Source

Use the VLC git repository to get the source!

In your android folder, run:

git clone git://


Read first, as it contains some very useful important information. Then run it:


Note: At this point, you will get an autogenerated debug apk in the bin/ folder. In order to build a non-debug or custom package, use Eclipse as described below.

Package in Eclipse

  1. In Eclipse, create a new Android project from existing source by giving the vlc-android path.
  2. Compile your project using Eclipse.


Run it and enjoy!


Here are some helpful links if you wish to debug VLC on Android:


Outdated Awk

If you receive the error message while building:

Android NDK: Host 'awk' tool is outdated. Please define HOST_AWK to point to Gawk or Nawk !    

The prebuilt version of Awk that comes with the Android NDK is outdated. Defining HOST_AWK in your environment does nothing as the system still tries to just the one that comes with the Android NDK. To get around this issue, simply rename or delete the Awk binary that comes with the Android NDK. For example to move it:

mv $ANDROID_NDK/prebuilt/linux-x86/bin/awk $ANDROID_NDK/prebuilt/linux-x86/bin/awk.old

Can't find Ant

If you're new to Ant, please be aware that some Linux distributions don't install it in the usual spot as with other programs. Try checking to see if the directory /usr/share/java/apache-ant/bin exists and add it to your path.