Python for Android

These instructions are only needed if you‘re planning to compile Python for Android yourself. Most users should not need to do this. If you’re looking to use Python on Android, one of the following tools will provide a much more approachable user experience:

Prerequisites

Export the ANDROID_HOME environment variable to point at your Android SDK. If you don‘t already have the SDK, here’s how to install it:

  • Download the “Command line tools” from https://developer.android.com/studio.
  • Create a directory android-sdk/cmdline-tools, and unzip the command line tools package into it.
  • Rename android-sdk/cmdline-tools/cmdline-tools to android-sdk/cmdline-tools/latest.
  • export ANDROID_HOME=/path/to/android-sdk

Building

Building for Android requires doing a cross-build where you have a “build” Python to help produce an Android build of CPython. This procedure has been tested on Linux and macOS.

The easiest way to do a build is to use the android.py script. You can either have it perform the entire build process from start to finish in one step, or you can do it in discrete steps that mirror running configure and make for each of the two builds of Python you end up producing.

The discrete steps for building via android.py are:

./android.py configure-build
./android.py make-build
./android.py configure-host HOST
./android.py make-host HOST

To see the possible values of HOST, run ./android.py configure-host --help.

Or to do it all in a single command, run:

./android.py build HOST

In the end you should have a build Python in cross-build/build, and an Android build in cross-build/HOST.

You can use -- as a separator for any of the configure-related commands – including build itself – to pass arguments to the underlying configure call. For example, if you want a pydebug build that also caches the results from configure, you can do:

./android.py build HOST -- -C --with-pydebug