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Replace the Anbox VHAL

since 1.22.0


Replacing the Anbox VHAL is only supported on AAOS images.
The Anbox Cloud dashboard does not support custom VHAL implementations.

This document will guide through the process of replacing the Anbox Cloud VHAL
implementation with your own implementation placed in the
ODM partition
using an addon.


Your custom VHAL implementation must provide an
HIDL VHAL interface
and be built against VNDK 29.

If your VHAL implementation requires additional libraries, they must also be
bundled with the addon and copied in the ODM partition.

Create the addon

This addon will be tasked with the following:

  1. Copying the VHAL binary to /odm/bin/hw.
  2. Copying an

init.rc file
for your VHAL service to /odm/etc/init.

  1. Disabling the Anbox Cloud VHAL by setting the ro.anbox.automotive.vhal
    property to odm. This will be done by writing that system property to the
    /odm/etc/build.prop file.

In the following example, we will name our addon custom-vhal.
To override the VHAL implementation, we will use a
pre-start hook which is executed
before Android gets started.

The directory layout for the addon is strict and must be:

├── hooks
│   └── pre-start
├── manifest.yaml
├── vhal
└── vhal.rc

As mentioned in the prerequisites, any additional libraries must also be bundled with the addon.

vhal is your custom VHAL implementation.

vhal.rc is an init.rc file for your VHAL service, such as:

service custom-vhal /odm/bin/hw/vhal
    class hal
    user vehicle_network
    group system inet

on property:ro.anbox.automotive.vhal=odm
    start custom-vhal

hooks/pre-start must be an executable file which will handle the tasks
outlined at the beginning of this section, such as the following bash script:

#!/bin/bash -x
# Copyright 2024 Canonical Ltd.  All rights reserved.


if [ "${INSTANCE_TYPE}" != base ]; then
    exit 0

# Ensure all needed directories are created
mkdir -p "${ANDROID_ODM_DIR}/etc/init"
mkdir -p "${ANDROID_ODM_DIR}/bin/hw"

# Copy the custom VHAL and the associated init file in /odm
cp "${ADDON_DIR}/vhal" "${ANDROID_ODM_DIR}/bin/hw/"
cp "${ADDON_DIR}/vhal.rc" "${ANDROID_ODM_DIR}/etc/init/"

# Set the ro.anbox.anbox.vhal system property to 'odm'
echo "ro.anbox.automotive.vhal=odm" >> "${ANDROID_ODM_DIR}/etc/build.prop"

The addon
manifest.yaml file
contains metadata:

name: custom-vhal
description: |
  Addon replacing the Anbox Cloud VHAL with a custom implementation.

Once everything is in place, you can add the addon to your Anbox Cloud instance,

amc addon add custom-vhal ./custom-vhal

Please note that due to Snap strict confinement, the addon directory
(custom-vhal here) must be located in the home directory of the user executing
the amc command.

Use the addon

The newly added custom-vhal addon must now be enabled to be used with
Anbox Cloud applications.

If you plan to always override the Anbox Cloud VHAL implementation in all
applications, you can
enable the addon globally:

amc config set application.addons custom-vhal

Otherwise, add it to your
application manifest:

name: my-app
  - custom-vhal

Related information

Last updated 10 days ago. Help improve this document in the forum.