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Thread: Basics of android

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    MNM is offline
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    Basics of android

    To improve my understanding of how android works I made a more detailed diagram of the software layers of the application processor. This diagram can be found below. In this picture it is important to know that the javas API´s are part of the Java virtual machine. I splitted them up to make the languages they are programmed in more clear. The java virtual machine is officially a Dalvik virtual machine.
    3.3.3 Android Software layers part 1
    languages layers.jpg

    3.3.4 Android software layers part2
    An android cellphone basically has 4 partitions. Those general partitions are: boot, recovery, system and user data. I’m going to give a short description on where to partitions are for.
    android partitions.jpg
    Boot loader
    The boot partition is the where the kernel and boot loader are stored. The boot loader is basically where the kernel gets loaded and is the first stage of the Android boot process. The boot loader also has a menu in it. This menu is accessible by pressing power + volume up on the nexus S or by running adb reboot bootloader if it is attached to the pc. This menu contains a few reboot boot loader, reboot, recovery and power off. The menu is not the important part here. When the menu is visible it also loaded fastboot.

    Fastboot is a confusing name but it is basically a communication protocol between the phone and the pc. This protocol enables the user to re-flash, backup and wipe all partitions and the radio.

    ADB stands for android debugging bridge. This basically gives you full control over the phone. It allows you to pull or push anything from or to all partitions. It can also be used to install or remove applications. Another feature of ADB is Logcat. Logcat is one of the android debugging methods. It simply logs everything the phone does. In logcat you can see the progress of all the application, the booting of the OS and all the things the services of the cell phone do. ADB & fastboot bassically give you full control over the phone from the pc.

    This partition contains a recovery framework. The framework can be used for backing up the phone or restoring a back-up. This framework can also be used to install a new kernel, OS, radio, partition table from the SD card. The stock recovery does only allow the installation of files signed by the OEM.
    The android community therefor created a few new ones that allow you to install unsigned software from the SD card. A few custom recoveries are: Clockwork, Amon RA, Am FakeFlash, Monarx. A few of these also give you a Linux terminal screen as an option in there recovery. Recovery bassically gives you full control over the phone from the phone site.

    This partition contains the operating system. It is also used by OEM’s to put their applications on. They do this because applications that are stored on the system partition can’t be removed.

    This partition contains all user data. The user data in this case contains: applications, settings, databases and application data.

    The cache partition I used for cache.

    The 000000000 dollar question is if all of this is corect.
    Last edited by MNM; 11-25-2011 at 01:19 PM.

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