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Testing Android things OS on Raspberry Pi

Posted on: Dec 20, 2017 | Author: Weibin Li | Categories: Raspberry Pi Operating System

Recently, We were testing android things. and we are going to show you how to start.

Recently, We were testing android things. and we are going to show you how to start.

Raspberry Pi 3 Model B is the latest iteration of the world's most popular single board computer. It provides a quad-core 64-bit ARM Cortex-A53 CPU running at 1.2GHz, four USB 2.0 ports, wired and wireless networking, HDMI and composite video output, and a 40-pin GPIO connector for physical interfacing projects.

Flashing the image


Before you begin flashing, you will need the following items in addition to your Raspberry Pi:

  • Micro-USB cable
  • Ethernet cable
  • MicroSD card reader
  • 8 GB or larger microSD card

Optional items:

  • HDMI cable
  • HDMI-enabled display

Step 1: Flash Android Things

Follow these steps to flash the Android Things image onto the microSD card:

  1. Download the Android Things Setup Utility from the Android Things Console. You will need to sign in to your Google account and accept the licensing agreement and terms of service.

  2. Unzip the downloaded archive.

  3. Start the setup utility.

  4. Note: You must run the setup utility as an administrator.
    • On Windows, right-click on the executable file and select Run as administrator.
    • On Mac or Linux, start the utility from the terminal. For example:

      $ sudo ~/Downloads/android-things-setup-utility/android-things-setup-utility-linux

  5. Select the option to install Android Things and optionally set up Wi-Fi.

    1. Select Raspberry Pi 3 as the hardware board.
    2. Choose either a generic image or your own custom image of Android Things for flashing the board.

      Note: A generic image is a quick way to get started using Android Things, specifically for early prototyping. You will not have access to other Console features, such as metrics, crash reports, and over-the-air (OTA) updates. A custom image is for developers in the later stages of development beyond early prototyping. It can be downloaded from the Android Things Console after creating a product.
    3. Follow the rest of the utility prompts to write the image. When the utility has finished writing the image, eject the external drive and remove the microSD card.

  6. Insert the microSD card into the microSD slot on the underside of the Raspberry Pi.

If you don't want to use the setup utility, you can:

  • Download an image from the Android Things Console and write it to the microSD card:

Step 2: Connect the Hardware

Make the following connections to your board:

  1. Connect a USB cable to J1 for power.
  2. Connect an Ethernet cable to your local network.

    Note: If you do not have wired access to your local network, you can do either of the following:
    • Connect the Ethernet cable to your development computer and assign the Raspberry Pi an IP address using DHCP.
    • Connect a serial cable from the Raspberry Pi to your development computer. Use a serial console to connect to Wi-Fi.
  3. (Optional) Connect an HDMI cable to an external display.

  4. Verify that Android is running on the device. To do this, you need to find the IP address of the device:

    • If you connected a display, the Android Things Launcher will use it to show information about the board, including the IP address.
    • If you assigned an IP address to the device using DHCP, find this address in the network settings of your router or development computer.
  5. Connect to the IP address using the adb tool:

    $ adb connect <ip-address>
    connected to
    <ip-address>:5555

    Note: Raspberry Pi broadcasts the hostname Android.local over Multicast DNS. If your host platform supports MDNS, you can also connect to the board using the following command:
    $ adb connect Android.local

Connecting Wi-Fi


After flashing your board, it is strongly recommended to connect it to the internet. This allows your device to deliver crash reports and receive updates.

Note: The device doesn't need to be on the same network as your computer.

To connect to Wi-Fi, do one of the following:

Serial debug console


The serial console is a helpful tool for debugging your board and reviewing system log information. The console is the default output location for kernel log messages (i.e. dmesg), and it also provides access to a full shell prompt that you can use to access commands such as logcat. This is helpful if you are unable to access ADB on your board through other means and have not yet enabled a network connection.

To access the serial console, connect a USB to TTL Serial Cable to the device UART pins as shown below.

Open a connection to the USB serial device on your development computer using a terminal program, such as PuTTY (Windows), Serial (Mac OS), orMinicom (Linux). The serial port parameters for the console are as follows:

  • Baud Rate: 115200
  • Data Bits: 8
  • Parity: None
  • Stop Bits: 1

3. After burning your TF card with Android things image, insert the TF card back to Raspberry Pi and then connect Raspberry pi and screen, keyboard and so on, finally, power it on.

We have been test it on our 5 inch capacitive touch screen and you can see that booting logo on screen. 

Here is the testing demo:

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