Understanding the Android emulator: Testing images? Network connectivity dependencies?

To better clarify my generic question:

I have gotten the Android emulator to work by running a full "make full-eng" build, as per the Google documentation. However, I wanted to debug it, so once I ran the emulator, and called "$ adb shell dmesg" and routed that to an output text file, I found a couple of strange lines:

<4>goldfish_new_pdev goldfish_interrupt_controller at ff000000 irq -1
<4>goldfish_new_pdev goldfish_device_bus at ff001000 irq 1
<4>goldfish_new_pdev goldfish_timer at ff003000 irq 3
<4>goldfish_new_pdev goldfish_rtc at ff01000

So when you run the Android full build, it gives you Goldfish as the system image? I want to know if it's testing the things I want for Galaxy Nexus. The kernel was a modified maguro kernel (omap project) for Galaxy Nexus, that I put into the build tree. But the platform I want to be testing is IceCreamSandwich. Is the emulator testing this platform? (b/c the output in this log is leading me to believe it isn't) Or is the emulator testing a "generic" image?

Also, an important further question: I modified the kernel's "socket.h" file, to override the INET protocol with an undefined protocol (FINS). In theory the phone should boot up, but NO internet access. Does the phone emulator care what you do to the internet protocols? Does it use your host computer's networking capabilities?

One further follow-up: What processes/system-services/events (that are involved in booting to a stable state) of the phone DEPEND on the internet protocols of the traditional underlying network stack? (protocols being defined to set up the network sockets)


At the time I wrote the question I did not understand a few things and think I've learned a little while messing with the emulator at the "kernel level". First of all, the emulator tests the "goldfish kernel" (Linux version 2.6.29, with ARM architecture) of a "generic" phone brand. It's almost as if the emulator is a type of phone in of itself, and you cannot mix these image kernels. For example, I tried building a Nexus S crespo phone image with goldfish kernel (so in other words, no crespo kernel) and the phone just "hangs" at the Google splash-screen (at least it's not a boot-loop).

My research (FINS) worked on this emulator, but did not work on any of the 3 platforms supported on actual hardware: Nexus S, Galaxy Nexus, and Motorola Xoom. I am not sure why, given Google does not seems to give users the ability to debug at the lowest level of a phone (I'm sure the actual developers use such kinds of tools in building these phones/testing them). This leads to one major issue which answers my last follow-up: The Android Debug Bridge depends upon INET protocol. My emulator boots up successfully and runs as I want (no internet, b/c there is no INET), but these actual phones do NOT. My hypothesis is that: If INET is overridden with a protocol that is empty (in this case, that would be FINS, which intends to deal with INET at the userspace level, but this appears to be too late for the phone system to be satisfied), the ADB daemon (classified as a type of system service perhaps) cannot work/be connected to and Android hardware will crash because of this. The emulator I believe is more flexible than a real phone, as the hardware is perhaps virtually represented and does not have the same limitations as physical hardware does.

You can consult my wiki/documentation (part of my research team's larger site) of my struggle with the Android phone boot process for more details and my various attempts: http://finsframework.org/mediawiki/index.php/Alexander_G._Ororbia_II

If anyone ever figures out how to get a working boot log from a Nexus S, Galaxy Nexus, or Motorola Xoom that gets stuck in a "boot-loop" (without ADB), please let let me know, as I will be working on this problem for a while to come (and I will update my other Stack Overflow-Android questions to reflect this correction). Any corrections to my understanding would also be appreciated.

NOTE: This answer is editable, as I still think there is some way of getting the phone to produce boot logs on the host machine without the ADB daemon.

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