How Tos

HOWTO get started with Android SDK in Santoku Linux

This HOWTO will guide you through the process of getting started with the Android Software Development Kit and emulator. The emulator can be a valuable tool for an analyst, as it allows full access to the file system, hardware configurations, operating characteristics, and more of each version of Android operating systems.

Note: The emulator in the Android SDK requires a large amount of resources, therefore we recommend providing your virtual machine with as much memory and as many processors as possible.


What you will need:

  • Santoku Linux Alpha 0.1 (or later)
  • Android SDK Manager (already bundled with Santoku Linux)
  • An .apk to install to your AVD

Getting started with the SDK Manager:

Navigate to your Android SDK Manager: Santoku –> Development Tools –> SDK Manager

Check the box next to whichever Android version(s) you would like to install and select “Install packages” (in this example we selected 2.3.3, API 10). We also recommend installing everything underneath the “Tools” package. Select “Install packages” on this screen, then “Accept all” on the next screen to install.

Select API - Android SDK


Build an Android Virtual Device:

Select Tools –> Manage AVDs. Click “New”. Enter a name for your AVD. The “Target” drop down allows you to choose the OS of your new AVD. If desired, enter the size of your SD Card. You can add expanded hardware capabilities besides what you see in the “Hardware:” section by selecting “New” and choose the hardware attributes of your choice. This is especially beneficial when testing specific attributes of an application.

Edit AVD

When done, click “Create AVD”.

Note: If you ever want to change these settings, click “Edit” in the AVD Manager main window and it will return you to this screen.

Once your AVD is ready to go, click “Start”. Select applicable options on the next screen and choose “Launch”.

Start AVD


Install an .apk to your emulator:

The emulator should launch and immediately connect to your Santoku machine. To test, open a terminal and enter:

sudo adb devices

Which should output something similar to:

List of devices attached
emulator-5554    devices

If you don’t see this, or it says offline instead of devices, wait 60 seconds and attempt sudo adb devices again.

Use adb to install your .apk to your emulator.

adb install ~/Desktop/AFLogical-OSE_1.5.2.apk 
719 KB/s (28794 bytes in 0.039s)
	pkg: /data/local/tmp/AFLogical-OSE_1.5.2.apk

The .apk installed in this example is the AFLogical-OSE .apk. If you’d like to follow along, you can download the .apk from its GitHub account, or you can download the source code from the GitHub account and compile it to retrieve the .apk. From there, follow our HOWTO forensically examine an Android device with AFLogical OSE on Santoku Linux to do a physical data analysis of your newly created emulator.

This is just the tip of the iceberg with the Android emulator and SDK. Please comment here or in the forums on what you have done with these powerful programs and share your experiences with the Community.