Make persistent changes to /system in Android Emulator

The Android Emulator is part of Google´s Android SDK and allows you to run a virtualized Android system within a window on your desktop. With the normal behavior write access to the system partition of that Android is prohibited. That can be changed using the adb tool:

$ ~/android-sdk-linux/platform-tools/adb remount

While this temporarily permits changes to /system until the next reboot, any changes will be gone when you close the emulator. If you want the Android Emulator to remember whatever you did to /system, place a copy of system.img in ~/.android/avd/avdname.avd/ and call it system-qemu.img:

$ cp ~/android-sdk-linux/system-images/android-21/google_apis/x86_64/system.img ~/.android/avd/avdname.avd/system-qemu.img

Note that the paths in this are examplary and depend on which Android version you wish to use and how you name you virtual device.

One thought on “Make persistent changes to /system in Android Emulator

  1. I tried those instructions. After copying the system.img file into the avd’s folder and ensuring that i renamed it, I found that the emulator would no longer start and gave an error message. What step is missing here

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