This guide provides step-by-step instructions to setup and build the LBRY Android App for development purposes.

Estimated Time

25 - 40 minutes


  • A computer running Linux with apt (otherwise, alter the package installation instructions accordingly)
  • At least 15GB of free disk space
  • Internet access

Environment Setup

You can set up your environment via Docker or manually.

Docker Environment Setup

Use Docker and start a container using the lbry/android-base image. Run:

docker run -it lbry/android-base:latest /bin/bash

When this is complete, continue to Building the App.

Manual Environment Setup

1. Install Packages via Apt

Install required system packages via apt:

sudo dpkg --add-architecture i386
sudo apt-get -y update
sudo apt-get install -y curl ca-certificates software-properties-common gpg-agent wget
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:deadsnakes/ppa -y && \
     curl -sS | apt-key add -
echo "deb stable main" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/yarn.list
sudo apt-get -y update && apt-get -y install autoconf autogen automake libtool libffi-dev \
     build-essential python3.7 python3.7-dev python3.7-venv python3-pip ccache git libncurses5:i386 libstdc++6:i386 \
     libgtk2.0-0:i386 libpangox-1.0-0:i386 libpangoxft-1.0-0:i386 libidn11:i386 python2.7 python2.7-dev \
     python-pip openjdk-8-jdk unzip zlib1g-dev zlib1g:i386 m4 libc6-dev-i386 yarn gawk nodejs npm
2. Setup Python

Install required Python packages:

sudo -H pip install --upgrade cython==0.28.1 setuptools
3. Setup Buildozer

Install buildozer, a tool for creating the apk package using the python for android toolchain:

git clone
cd buildozer && python2.7 install && cd ..
4. Setup Android SDK

The Android SDK needs to be setup for buildozer. This requires creating a few directories and downloading a number of files. Run the following commands to create the buildozer directory, download the required archives and extract them into their proper destination folders:

mkdir -p ~/.buildozer/android/platform
wget '' -P ~/.buildozer/android/platform/ && \
  wget '' -P ~/.buildozer/android/platform/ && \
  wget '' -P ~/.buildozer/android/platform/
tar -xvf ~/.buildozer/android/platform/android-sdk_r23-linux.tgz -C ~/.buildozer/android/platform/ && \
  mv ~/.buildozer/android/platform/android-sdk-linux ~/.buildozer/android/platform/android-sdk-23 && \
  unzip ~/.buildozer/android/platform/ -d ~/.buildozer/android/platform/android-sdk-23/platforms && \
  mv ~/.buildozer/android/platform/android-sdk-23/platforms/android-9 ~/.buildozer/android/platform/android-sdk-23/platforms/android-28 && \
  mkdir -p ~/.buildozer/android/platform/android-sdk-23/build-tools && \
  unzip ~/.buildozer/android/platform/ -d ~/.buildozer/android/platform/android-sdk-23/build-tools && \
  mkdir -p ~/.buildozer/android/platform/android-sdk-23/licenses && \
  echo $'\nd56f5187479451eabf01fb78af6dfcb131a6481e' > ~/.buildozer/android/platform/android-sdk-23/licenses/android-sdk-license
5. Install React

Install the react-native-cli npm package:

sudo npm install -g react-native-cli

When this is complete, continue to Building the App.

Building the App

After preparing your environment, complete the steps below.

1. Install Crystax

Crystax NDK is required for building Python 3.7 for the mobile app and a number of native C / C++ modules and packages used by the app. Run the following commands to download and extract the NDK:

wget '' -P ~/.buildozer/android/ && \
  tar -xvf ~/.buildozer/android/crystax-ndk-10.3.2-linux-x86_64.tar.xz -C ~/.buildozer/android/ && \
  rm -rf ~/.buildozer/android/crystax-ndk-10.3.2/platforms/android-9 && \
  ln -s ~/.buildozer/android/crystax-ndk-10.3.2/platforms/android-21 ~/.buildozer/android/crystax-ndk-10.3.2/platforms/android-9
2. Clone and Configure the Repository

Clone the lbryio/lbry-android git repository:

git clone
cd lbry-android
cp buildozer.spec.sample buildozer.spec

The provided buildozer.spec.sample contains defaults provided you followed the environment setup exactly as described. If you altered the steps for your environment or you’re encountering build trouble, check buildozer.spec to ensure everything is pointing in the right places.

3. Install npm packages

Install the npm packages required for the app’s React Native code:

cd app
npm install
cd ..
4. Copy Build Files

Copy required files from the repository for the build to be successful:

cp scripts/ ~/.buildozer/android/crystax-ndk-10.3.2/build/tools/
cp scripts/mangled-glibc-syscalls.h ~/.buildozer/android/crystax-ndk-10.3.2/platforms/android-21/arch-arm/usr/include/crystax/bionic/libc/include/sys/mangled-glibc-syscalls.h
5. Build the thing!

You’re finally ready to build the package! You just have to run a single command to generate the APK:

buildozer android debug

All Set? Now Contribute!

Everything built at LBRY is open source.

Check out lbry-android on GitHub to find issues or read our Contributor’s Guide to learn more.