There is a VirtualBox Image we provide with the prerequisites along with the Android SDK and NDK preinstalled to ease your installation woes. You can download it from here.


The current version is tested only on Ubuntu oneiric (11.10) and precise (12.04). If it doesn’t work on other platforms, send us a patch, not a bug report. Python for Android works on Linux and Mac OS X, not Windows.

You need the minimal environment for building python. Note that other libraries might need other tools (cython is used by some recipes, and ccache to speedup the build):

sudo apt-get install build-essential patch git-core ccache ant python-pip python-dev

If you are on a 64 bit distro, you should install these packages too :

sudo apt-get install ia32-libs  libc6-dev-i386

On debian Squeeze amd64, those packages were found to be necessary :

sudo apt-get install lib32stdc++6 lib32z1

Ensure you have the latest Cython version:

pip install --upgrade cython

You must have android SDK and NDK. The SDK defines the Android functions you can use. The NDK is used for compilation. Right now, it’s preferred to use:

  • SDK API 8 or 14 (15 will only work with a newly released NDK)
  • NDK r5b or r7

You can download them at:

In general, Python for Android currently works with Android 2.3 to L.

If it’s your very first time using the Android SDK, don’t forget to follow the documentation for recommended components at:

    You need to download at least one platform into your environment, so
    that you will be able to compile your application and set up an Android
    Virtual Device (AVD) to run it on (in the emulator). To start with,
    just download the latest version of the platform. Later, if you plan to
    publish your application, you will want to download other platforms as
    well, so that you can test your application on the full range of
    Android platform versions that your application supports.

After installing them, export both installation paths, NDK version, and API to use:

export ANDROIDSDK=/path/to/android-sdk
export ANDROIDNDK=/path/to/android-ndk

# example
export ANDROIDSDK="/home/tito/code/android/android-sdk-linux_86"
export ANDROIDNDK="/home/tito/code/android/android-ndk-r7"
export ANDROIDAPI=14

Also, you must configure your PATH to add the android binary: