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[TUTORIAL] Making Flashable ZIPs, EDIFY Script, ZIP Signing & Key Creation [19.01.13]

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Thanks Meter: 417
By wilskywalker, Senior Member on 21st April 2012, 06:44 PM
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Recent Updates: Command Line Edify Script Tester, Further 'update-binary' info clarification, helpful links, additional credits. post#1

Hi all,

In the process of creating my [BOOTANIMATIONS - LINKS & INFO] thread I realised I needed to know more about how boot animations worked, as by default people tend to ask questions in that type of thread, so I wanted to be able to help.

This meant I came across the problem of creating flash-able ZIP files and Edify scripting and in the interests of sharing and helping this great community I would like to share what I have found and hopefully learn more through discussion, I certainly am no expert and am always willing to learn.

I have checked xda and various other websites whilst reseraching for this post and there is nothing that really explains all the basic concepts to just get up and running, also a lot of threads are quite old and focus on the old Amend scripting syntax or are a confusing mixture of the two.

I hope this helps people get started and that we can all collaborate to make this a thread a source of valuable information.


Post #1: Tutorials
Post #2: Edify Commands

***Please, if there are any mistakes on this thread then let me know what I have done incorrectly in reply to this post and I will update the thread to correct it***

***As always, I accept no responsibiltiy for your handset, you modify it at your own risk, nobody is forcing aware you can seriously bork your phone by flashing its internal partitions! Always make a nandroid back-up and think before you flash!***

***Have you made a nandroid Then make one!!***

You will need the following:

Android SDK, ADB & Fastboot set up for your handset.
Notepad++ [LINK]
7zip [LINK]

Setting up your zip directories:

you will need to create the following folder structure (these are case sensitive):

All flash-able zips include this file structure, the final folder 'android' will contain two files:

update-binary: I have been unable to find much information on the update-binary file other than they seem to be chip set specific (if anyone can shed further light on these I will include it here). For the sake of compatibility I have attached the update binary from the latest CyanogenMod Nightlies for the maguro at the bottom of this thread - You can of course download the latest nightly and extract the update-binary file yourself as the attached one will obviously begin to date (all credit to the great devs at CyanogenMod for this, many thanks).

Update: For more detailed info on the update binary you can find the sources in the bootable/recovery/updater directory at AndroidXRef here: [ xref: /bootable/recovery/updater/ ]. There is also an edify directory which looks like it handles the parsing of the script. Obviously with the sources there's nothing to stop you extending syntax/functionality should you wish given the fact the each zip comes with its own version. It will also help you understand how signature checking is handled.

Update II: For anybody having problems flashing it is worth ensuring you have an up to date version of the update-binary (obviously the one attached to this thread will gradually become out of date).

It is advisable to use the update-binary from the latest OTA image for your device, these images can be found in the following link:

Official Google OTA update URLs - efrant

updater-script: This we can create ourselves, to ensure it works properly we will use Notepad++.

Open Notepad++ and start a new file, with the following settings:

Format: Unix
Encoding: ANSI
Default Language: Normal Text

Save this file as:

File name: updater-script
File type: All types (*.*)

You can now edit this file, add the following text:

assert(getprop("ro.product.device") == "maguro" || getprop("") == "maguro");
ui_print(" ");
ui_print("confirming device maguro");
ui_print(" ");
ui_print(" ");
show_progress(0.200000, 5);
ui_print("mounting system");
mount("ext4", "EMMC", "/dev/block/platform/omap/omap_hsmmc.0/by-name/system", "/system");
ui_print(" ");
show_progress(0.200000, 5);
ui_print("updating system files");
package_extract_dir("system", "/system");
ui_print(" ");
show_progress(0.200000, 5);
ui_print("unmounting system");
ui_print(" ");
show_progress(0.200000, 5);
ui_print("by yourusername");
show_progress(0.200000, 5);
ui_print(" ");
Ok, I've colour coded this so we can break it down, the lines of code in RED are the actual commands, everything else is cosmetic.

assert(getprop("ro.product.device") == "maguro" || getprop("") == "maguro"); This is checking you are flashing the correct handset, this is not a requirement, but is best practice. Just insert another device name in the place of "maguro" if you so wish, or remove the command all together.

mount("ext4", "EMMC", "/dev/block/platform/omap/omap_hsmmc.0/by-name/system", "/system"); This is the specific mount point for the maguro system partition, if you wish to flash a different partition, data for instance you can get the mount points for your device by entering the following code over ADB:

adb shell "mount > /sdcard/PHONENAME_mountinfo.txt"
This will place a text file on your sdcard with the mount points for your specific device (remember to swap 'PHONENAME' with your device name e.g. 'maguro')

package_extract_dir("system", "/system"); This command extracts the files you wish to flash from the zip and flashes them to the phone, it is formatted as follows ("package-path", "/destination-path"). So for this example you are telling it to flash everything from the 'system' folder in your zip to the /system partition of your handset. You can obviously change these values for different partitions.

unmount("/system"); This simply unmounts whatever partition you previously mounted.

ui_print(" "); Shows text in the recovery whilst the flash is ongoing, you can put whatever you please between the speech marks, you must leave a space if you wish to have a blank line.

show_progress(0.200000, 5); Controls what the progress bar in the background is displaying, it is formatted as follows (fragment, seconds).

***EMPTY LINE*** This is not actually text, you simply need to leave a blank line at the end of your script before you save it for it to work.

FYI, this means in fact your script could look like this and still work:

ui_print(" ");
show_progress(1.000000, 30);
mount("ext4", "EMMC", "/dev/block/platform/omap/omap_hsmmc.0/by-name/system", "/system");
package_extract_dir("system", "/system");
ui_print(" ");
But that just isn't that pretty, or as deceptively complicated lol!

Make sure you save your edify script.

Files to flash:

You now need to create a further folder, this needs to be named based on where within the system you are flashing, for the sake of this example we are flashing to the system partition, so:

Place whatever files you wish to flash within this file e.g:

Creating your .zip file:

Select both of your top directories and their contents 'META-INF' and 'system' and package them into a .zip file with 7zip using the following settings:

Archive: name_of_your_file
Archive Format: zip
Compression level: Store
Update mode: Add and replace files

And there you have it, your very own flash-able .zip file.

I have attached an example flashable .zip file that includes this updater-script and the above mentioned CM update-binary.

How to sign your

You don't actually need to sign your zip file for it to work as most custom recoveries now support unsigned zips, for aspiring developers and the more cautious among us though, here is how.

You will need to download the following files:

SignApk [LINK]
Java JDK (Java Development Kit) & JRE (Java Runtime Environment) [LINK]

Install Java JRE and JDK and restart your PC.

You then need to create a folder in the root of your c:\ drive named 'signapk' and extract the contents of the SignApk download (signapk.jar, key.pk8, certificate.pem) to this folder.

Place your .zip file into the same folder and then open cmd line. Input the following commands (remeber to change the name of '' to the name of your file and '' to whatever you want your resulting .zip to be named):

java -jar signapk.jar certificate.pem key.pk8 c:\signapk\
You should find that you now have the the following files in your 'META-INF' folder: CERT.RSA, CERT.SF, MANIFEST.MF

This can also to be used to sign .apk files using the below command (same stipulations for file name changing applies as above):

java -jar signapk.jar certificate.pem key.pk8 c:\signapk\myapplication.apk myapplication-signed.apk
How to create your own private signing key & certificate:

You will need the following download:


The above signapk file includes test keys, if you want to create your own private keys for signing, here's what you need to do.

As before extract the OpenSSL files to a folder in the root of your c:\ drive, preferably named 'openssl' for ease of cmd line navigation. Then input the following:

openssl genrsa -out key.pem 1024
openssl req -new -key key.pem -out request.pem
openssl x509 -req -days 9999 -in request.pem -signkey key.pem -out certificate.pem
openssl pkcs8 -topk8 -outform DER -in key.pem -inform PEM -out key.pk8 -nocrypt
You can then replace 'key.pk8' & 'certificate.pem' with your own files.

I really hope this has helped folks out, if so please consider hitting the 'Thanks' button!

Happy flashing!

Testing your script before you flash:

If you would like to test if your script commands are valid and will run properly on your PC first before you use them on your handset, therefore removing the fear of borking your current install/handset in the process then head to this post:

Command Line Edify Script Tester by: trevd

This great tool developed by trevd currently has the following features:

Validates function name.
Validates function parameter count.

It is available for Linux and Windows, so head over and check it out. Be sure to click trevd's thanks button if you find this useful.

Other helpful links & threads:

xda-developers: Edify script language wiki
Edify scripts in CWM recovery by: NFHimself
Phandroid - Edify Script Language Reference by: Koumajutsu
Introduction to edify updater script by: kurotsugi
Intelligent EDIFY updater-script - (Decides things during flash) by: lotherius


CyanogenMod for (update-binary)
Lorenz's Blog for (SignAPK & Info)
JoeSyr for (Help with File Permissions)
efrant for (Help with various commands)
trevd for (further update-binary clarification and source links)
osm0sis for (Helpful info & forum links & help with update-binary info)
Attached Files
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21st April 2012, 06:44 PM |#2  
wilskywalker's Avatar
OP Senior Member
Thanks Meter: 417
Cool Edify Scripting Commands
I would like to try and put together a guide to Edify scripting commands and what their function is to compliment my above tutorial, I hope again we can all collaborate to make this a helpful source of information to all budding devs...we all have to start somewhere right!?

***Please, if there are any mistakes in this post or if you can help by adding further info please post below, thanks***


Check you are flashing the correct device:

assert(getprop("ro.product.device") == "maguro" || getprop("") == "maguro" || getprop("ro.product.board") == "maguro");
This will check your device is showing the correct name in the build.prop, in this case "maguro", you can obviously replace this with your device name.

To explain this a little further, you have told the script to check certain properties within your 'build.prop' file located in your /system folder. The above command ensures the following categories have the correct definitions before proceeding with the flash:
Here are the main build properties within your build.prop:


Print text in the recovery during flashing process:

ui_print("Your text here");
ui_print(" ");
This simply prints a line of text in the recovery, it has no actual effect on the flashing process, if you want a blank line just leave a blank space as the second example.

Controlling the progress bar:

I believe I understand this correctly, if not please do post below with further clarification.

show_progress(0.000000, 0);
You have two choices when controlling the progress bar, the first example allows you to define fractions of the progress bar and how long they will take to fill. The second example just allows you to specify that the bar fills to a certain fraction at whatever point during the flashing process.

The command is defined as: (progress bar fraction, duration in seconds to fill defined fraction);

For example the following code lines interspersed with your other commands would fill a fifth of the progress bar every five seconds:

show_progress(0.200000, 5);
ui_print(" ");
show_progress(0.200000, 5);
ui_print(" ");
show_progress(0.200000, 5);
ui_print(" ");
show_progress(0.200000, 5);
ui_print(" ");
show_progress(0.200000, 5);
This process will only complete if the script takes long enough to flash, therefore you need to be aware of what you are actually flashing and how long it will take when defining these values.

If you wish to just define a fraction without fill without a time scale you can use the following command:

It is also best practice to include this element in your scripts as it will reassure people that their handset hasn't frozen during a flash.

Mount/Unmount a partition:

To mount a partition you need to use the following syntax:

mount("filesystem-type", "partition-type", "device-specific-location", "mount-point");
filesystem-type: "ext4" or "yaffs2" (maguro is ext4)
partition-type: "EMMC" or "MTD" (maguro is EMMC)
location: Device specific address
mount-point: /system etc

So far I have managed to define the following Maguro specific mount points:

"/dev/block/platform/omap/omap_hsmmc.0/by-name/system", "/system"
"/dev/block/platform/omap/omap_hsmmc.0/by-name/userdata", "/data"
"/dev/block/platform/omap/omap_hsmmc.0/by-name/cache", "/cache"
"/dev/block/platform/omap/omap_hsmmc.0/by-name/efs" "/factory"
"/dev/block/platform/omap/omap_hsmmc.0/by-name/userdata", "/mnt/sdcard"
Example command would be:

mount("ext4", "EMMC", "/dev/block/platform/omap/omap_hsmmc.0/by-name/system", "/system");
I have taken these mount points from the file output by the maguro when you enter the following adb command:

adb shell "mount > /sdcard/maguro_mountinfo.txt"
I have to admit I am a little in the dark about the "/factory" partition, any info would be greatly appreciated!

To unmount a partition you need to input the following command:

Obviously replace the mount partition with whatever partition you are working in.

Format a partition:

To format a partition you need to use the following syntax:

format("filesystem-type", "partition-type", "device-specific-location", "0");

format("ext4", "EMMC", "/dev/block/platform/omap/omap_hsmmc.0/by-name/system", "0");
Some scripts include the "0" and some do not, not sure exactly on the function difference when included or not, again clarification would be great.

Flashing the contents of your ZIP file:

To flash an entire directory:

package_extract_dir("system", "/system");
To flash a single file:

package_extract_file("boot.img", "/dev/block/platform/omap/omap_hsmmc.0/by-name/boot");
These commands are structured as follows:

Entire directory: ("zipfileSource", "destination-partition");
Single File: ("file", "device-specific-mountpoint");

Deleting folders & files:

You can delete multiple folders or files using just one command, as follows:

To delete files:

delete("file-path-1", "file-path-2", "file-path-3);
To delete folders/directories:

delete_recursive("directory-path-1", "directory-path-2", "directory-path-3");
Setting Permissions

Here are the basics for setting permissions.

If you want to research the reasons behind this, there is some useful information on Linux permissions here: chmod wiki, linux wiki.

Thanks to JoeSyr for his input and help understanding this section of the tutorial.

Set permissions of a file or set of files:

set_perm(uid, gid, mode, "filepath1", "filepath2")
set_perm(0, 0, 06755, "/system/xbin/su");
uid - user id
gid - group id
mode - permission mode
filepath... - file to set permission on

Set permissions of a directory or set of directories and all files and folders within them:

set_perm_recursive(uid, gid, dirmode, filemode, "dirpath1", "dirpath2")
set_perm_recursive(0, 0, 0755, 0644, "/system");
uid - user id
gid - group id
dirmode - permission to set to directories contained within the specified directory
filemode - permission to set to files contained within the specified directory
dirpath... - directory to set permission on

Permissions syntax I can understand it lol (if I do then anyone can!):

The following are the pre-defined Android UID's & GID's. Taken from the following link: Android UIDs and GIDs

AID_ROOT             0  /* traditional unix root user */

AID_SYSTEM        1000  /* system server */
AID_RADIO         1001  /* telephony subsystem, RIL */
AID_BLUETOOTH     1002  /* bluetooth subsystem */
AID_GRAPHICS      1003  /* graphics devices */
AID_INPUT         1004  /* input devices */
AID_AUDIO         1005  /* audio devices */
AID_CAMERA        1006  /* camera devices */
AID_LOG           1007  /* log devices */
AID_COMPASS       1008  /* compass device */
AID_MOUNT         1009  /* mountd socket */
AID_WIFI          1010  /* wifi subsystem */
AID_ADB           1011  /* android debug bridge (adbd) */
AID_INSTALL       1012  /* group for installing packages */
AID_MEDIA         1013  /* mediaserver process */
AID_DHCP          1014  /* dhcp client */

AID_SHELL         2000  /* adb and debug shell user */
AID_CACHE         2001  /* cache access */
AID_DIAG          2002  /* access to diagnostic resources */

/* The 3000 series are intended for use as supplemental group id's only. */
/* They indicate special Android capabilities that the kernel is aware of. */
AID_NET_BT_ADMIN  3001  /* bluetooth: create any socket */
AID_NET_BT        3002  /* bluetooth: create sco, rfcomm or l2cap sockets */
AID_INET          3003  /* can create AF_INET and AF_INET6 sockets */
AID_NET_RAW       3004  /* can create raw INET sockets */

AID_MISC          9998  /* access to misc storage */
AID_NOBODY        9999

AID_APP          10000 /* first app user */

"root",      AID_ROOT
"system",    AID_SYSTEM
"radio",     AID_RADIO
"bluetooth", AID_BLUETOOTH
"graphics",  AID_GRAPHICS
"input",     AID_INPUT
"audio",     AID_AUDIO
"camera",    AID_CAMERA
"log",       AID_LOG
"compass",   AID_COMPASS
"mount",     AID_MOUNT
"wifi",      AID_WIFI
"dhcp",      AID_DHCP
"adb",       AID_ADB
"install",   AID_INSTALL
"media",     AID_MEDIA
"shell",     AID_SHELL
"cache",     AID_CACHE
"diag",      AID_DIAG
"net_bt_admin", AID_NET_BT_ADMIN
"net_bt",    AID_NET_BT
"inet",      AID_INET 
"net_raw",   AID_NET_RAW
"misc",      AID_MISC
"nobody",    AID_NOBODY
You will need to also understand the way file permissions are represented:

Example = drwxrwxrwx

-Use Root Explorer to find the UID, GID, and permissions for a file. Permissions are the string that looks like some variation on 'rwxr-xr--' next to each file. Long press and choose "change owner" to get the UID and GID. You just want the number next to "owner" and "group", respectively.

-If you're replacing a file, look up these settings for the existing copy and use them. If you're adding a file, just find a file that does the same functions and copy what it has (for example, installing an app to /system/app? Just look at these settings for any other app in that directory).

-MODE is technically a 4-bit string, but the first character can be omitted. There doesn't seem to be any android file permissions with the first character set. For good practice, I think it's safe to assume you can always use a leading 0 unless you know otherwise for something specific. Or, just use a 3-digit MODE, which says to leave those settings as they are (disabled by default). (I.e. 0644=644).

The next 9 characters define the file permissions. These permissions are
given in groups of 3 each.

The first 3 characters are the permissions for the owner of the file or directory.
Example = -rwx------

The next 3 are permissions for the group that the file is owned by.
Example = ----rwx---

The final 3 characters define the access permissions for everyone not part of the group.
Example = -------rwx

There are 3 possible attributes that make up file access permissions.

r - Read permission. Whether the file may be read. In the case of a
directory* this would mean the ability to list the contents of the

w - Write permission. Whether the file may be written to or modified. For
a directory* this defines whether you can make any changes to the contents
of the directory. If write permission is not set then you will not be able
to delete* rename or create a file.

x - Execute permission. Whether the file may be executed. In the case of a
directory* this attribute decides whether you have permission to enter*
run a search through that directory or execute some program from that

You set these permissions using the following binary based numerical system:
0:  ---   No Permissions (the user(s) cannot do anything)
1:  --x   Execute Only (the user(s) can only execute the file)
2:  -w-   Write Only (the user(s) can only write to the file)
3:  -wx   Write and Execute Permissions
4:  r--   Read Only
5:  r-x   Read and Execute Permissions
6:  rw-   Read and Write Permissions
7:  rwx   Read, Write and Execute Permissions
Default Linux permissions:

For Files:
"Read" means to be able to open and view the file
"Write" means to overwrite or modify the file
"eXecute" means to run the file as a binary

For Directories:
"Read" means to be able to view the contents of the directory
"Write" means to be able to create new files/directories within the directory
"eXecute" means to be able to "Change Directory" (cd) into the directory
Most of the time you set "Read" and "eXecute" together on directories (kind of useless when set by themselves)

Interestingly through further research it seems this system is based on the Octal Binary system...I may be wrong...

Binary is also easily converted to the octal numeral system, since octal uses a radix of 8, which is a power of two (namely, 23, so it takes exactly three binary digits to represent an octal digit).
The correspondence between octal and binary numerals is the same as for the first eight digits of hexadecimal in the table above.
Binary 000 is equivalent to the octal digit 0, binary 111 is equivalent to octal 7, and so forth.

Octal	Binary
0	000
1	001
2	010
3	011
4	100
5	101
6	110
7	111

Converting from octal to binary proceeds in the same fashion as it does for hexadecimal:
658 = 110 1012
178 = 001 1112
And from binary to octal:
1011002 = 101 1002 grouped = 548
100112 = 010 0112 grouped with padding = 238
And from octal to decimal:
658 = (6 × 81) + (5 × 80) = (6 × 8) + (5 × 1) = 5310
1278 = (1 × 82) + (2 × 81) + (7 × 80) = (1 × 64) + (2 × 8) + (7 × 1) = 8710
Flash boot partition

This uses the following command but with some caveats:
write_raw_image("path to boot.img", "boot");
An example of this commands use would be to flash a custom kernel, as far as I can tell though you need to place the boot.img in a temp file before the actual flash (clarification on this would be helpful). You would therefore use the following commands as part of your edify script:
write_raw_image("/tmp/boot.img", "device-specific-boot-partition-mount-point");
It seems this may only be for specific handsets though e.g HTC, having looked through quite a few updater-script files from maguro zips it seems this can just be flashed directly with the following command:
package_extract_file("boot.img", "/dev/block/platform/omap/omap_hsmmc.0/by-name/boot");
Many thanks for further clarification on this particular command from efrant below:

I feel more comfortable using something like this:
package_extract_file("boot.img", "/tmp/boot.img");
run_program("/sbin/busybox", "dd", "if=/tmp/radio.img", "of=/dev/block/platform/omap/omap_hsmmc.0/by-name/boot");
The second line is using the "dd" command to flash the image.

The dd command (included in busybox) is:
dd if=xxx of=yyy
where xxx is the source image/partition and yyy is the target image/partition. So, for example, to flash a radio image stored in /sdcard called xxlf1.img to a GNex, it would be:
busybox dd if=/sdcard/xxlf1.img of=/dev/block/platform/omap/omap_hsmmc.0/by-name/radio (I've added "busybox" the the beginning, just to be explicit.)
So, to put it in edify format, it becomes:
run_program("/sbin/busybox", "dd", "if=/sdcard/xxlf1.img", "of=/dev/block/platform/omap/omap_hsmmc.0/by-name/radio");
However, as I said, I believe your one line:
package_extract_file("boot.img", "/dev/block/platform/omap/omap_hsmmc.0/by-name/boot");
would work.

Further Commands:

In progress...

So, this is by no means an exhaustive list and I would appreciate it that if I have made any mistakes people make me aware in this thread and I can update this tutorial.

I would also like to add further commands and their uses, if people can provide more I will add them too.

I hope this helps people out! Many thanks!

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21st April 2012, 11:11 PM |#3  
roady85's Avatar
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Thanks Meter: 9
Thx for your work. Will try it when I back @ home.

Mfg Daniel

Gesendet von meinem Galaxy Nexus mit Tapatalk 2
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22nd April 2012, 05:21 AM |#4  
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Flag cesena,IT
Thanks Meter: 505
very interesting 3ad.i'm learning right now how to make these,yours guide resolve me a lot of questions!thanks mate!+1
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22nd April 2012, 08:12 PM |#5  
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Awesome. Thank you!
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23rd April 2012, 06:34 PM |#6  
wilskywalker's Avatar
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Thanks Meter: 417
Thanks for the feedback folks!

Top post updated with guides for:

Signing ZIP files
Creating private ZIP signing keys

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4th May 2012, 10:54 PM |#7  
wilskywalker's Avatar
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Thanks Meter: 417
I have updated the second post with edify commands:


Post #1: Tutorials
Post #2: Edify Commands

I would like to expand and update this information to help both others and myself learn, if people can help with more commands or any corrections this would be much appreciated!

5th May 2012, 01:42 AM |#8  
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Thanks Meter: 11
Donate to Me
Thanx a lot . Ive been looking into editing apks and themeing and this answers a lot of my questions. Exactly what I've been looking for.

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using XDA
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5th May 2012, 03:18 PM |#9  
wilskywalker's Avatar
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Thanks Meter: 417
Originally Posted by graffitiwriter

Thanx a lot . Ive been looking into editing apks and themeing and this answers a lot of my questions. Exactly what I've been looking for.

Many thanks for the feedback.

Everything I know about Android has been learned from internet research and tutorials. So as far as I can I like to then re-share the things I have learned in way that I understand in the hope it will in turn help others!

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5th May 2012, 11:33 PM |#10  
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Thumbs up
Originally Posted by wilskywalker

Many thanks for the feedback.

Everything I know about Android has been learned from internet research and tutorials. So as far as I can I like to then re-share the things I have learned in way that I understand in the hope it will in turn help others!

Me too. What I've been doing is opening other people's flashable .zips and making changes that I needed to make so I can flash what I wanted to flash. I have something that I want to change in a ROM I've been helping to work on, and your guide will help in the setup process.
7th May 2012, 06:30 PM |#11  
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Originally Posted by dsmryder

Me too. What I've been doing is opening other people's flashable .zips and making changes that I needed to make so I can flash what I wanted to flash. I have something that I want to change in a ROM I've been helping to work on, and your guide will help in the setup process.

Glad my guide helped out buddy! This community has helped me to learn so much, it's nice to give something back.

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edify, flashable, permissions, tutorial, zip

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