This is the first article about porting Android 4.0.x AKA Ice Cream Sandwich AKA ICS on the OpenRD Client. This is a pretty powerful ARM machine (1.2 Ghz 256 KB L2 cache, 512 MB RAM and Gigabit Ethernet) with a PCIe Xgi graphics chip. The goal is having a good hacking machine, so the system will be brought up via NFS root (perhaps in a future part everything will be put on the internal NAND or a SD card, it should not be difficult).
The standard U-boot provided with the OpenRD is used to boot the system. The environment of the boot-loader has to be set-up to start mainline kernel, as outlined on the Debian on the OpenRD page. The Android kernel and users-pace will be loaded via the network (the IP and paths refer to my development environment):
setenv bootargs 'console=ttyS0,115200 root=/dev/nfs ip=10.0.10.187:10.0.10.57:10.0.10.57:255.255.255.0:openrd:eth0:off nfsroot=10.0.10.253:/mnt/fat/armroots/icsrd,tcp,nolock init=/init rw' tftpboot 0x00800000 openrd-android ; bootm 0x00800000
The Linux Kernel
After some research for a Linux kernel with appropriate Androidism I choose to start with the kernel published by Freescale on their Open Source git repository. I had good results with their kernel on i.MX28 and i.MX53 based machines. The patch for the OpenRD are based on the imx_2.6.38_android branch, tag imx-android-r12. ICS is based on Linux 3.0 kernel but I haven’t seen big problems using this version (just some warning about missing some IP connection tracking statistics in the sysfs file-system). You can download my latest patch for supporting the OpenRD board and the .config file I used. This patch: