Written by Ian on 30/08/10
OK you probably know that Android is based on Linux.
So what does Andoid bring to Linux?
Recently I booted up Androd on a spare (very fast) ARM-based computer that I had lying round - a Beagleboard.
I had purchased a hy-research LCD display panel (and driver board) from SpecialComputing (which cost as much as the Beagleboard), and came with a resistive touchscreen.
OK, Android boots fine, but so far the touchscreen hasn't worked.
So my exploration began.
I started by connecting over the serial port - 115200 8N1, no problem there.
Now I was in a decent shell I started to look around.
STANDARD LINUX FEATURES
- the kernel (although there seem to be a few patches)
- the process list
- the /sys/, /proc/ and /dev/ directories
- the $PATH variable, and most (but not all) of the shell workings
- the system log (dmesg), although Android does have its own logging method.
- the user/group/password system - but not sure how that relates to Androd apps
- the system startup, at least until the init process runs (the first process to run once the Linux kernel has booted - with a PID of 1)
- the filesystem and mounting mechanisms
DIFFERENCES TO STANDARD LINUX
- the init process is definitely non-standard
- the location of the init scripts, and their syntax
- the /etc/ directory, /bin/ and other locations of executables
- the system libraries (strange)...
- the user interface (it's Android!)
- the method of controlling and executing programs
So in terms of differences (and ignoring the Android packages and XML files that you can learn about elsewhere), things run under Android are executed within Android, and can not be executed on the command line (or at least, I haven't worked out how to do this yet).
• Android, although it runs on Linux, seems to be quite self-contained.
Now as for developing Android applications, that comes next!