Google prepares 'microdroid', a miniature Android for virtual machines

There are many Android versions: Android AOSP, with layers of customization, GSI images, Android Go ... and soon we should have one more: Microdroid. This is let know ahead of time thanks to several commits in the AOSP source code.

According to one of these commits, Microdroid will be "a minimalist image of Linux based on Android", which will in turn be a even more cropped version of GSI images, which were already generic versions of Android.

Miniature Android to virtualize

If everything follows the pattern of years past, the first Developer Preview of the next version of Android (maybe Android 12), should be right around the corner. Proof of this is that almost daily we have news about possible news thanks to the window that the AOSP source code offers us. The latest of these news, hunted again by XDA, is microdroid, a miniature Android.

All the news of Android 11

In the handful of commits in the AOSP code where it is mentioned, it is explained that this will be a minimalistic Linux image based on Android and for use in virtual machines, which arrives as an even more cropped version of the Generic Android Images, or GSI. Microdroid will also be included in the APEX virtualization module.


Now, what could this be for? Until Google officially explains it, we can only guess. According to experts, Google is working on bringing the Linux KVM virtualization system to Android, to increase security, by loading the code with high privileges in a virtual machine at the same level as the operating system.

It is in this virtualization where microdroid would come in, like a version with the minimum of Android to run virtually and to be able to execute that privileged code in isolation from other applications and the operating system itself.

According to Will Deacon, in charge of bringing KVM to Android, virtualization on Android is "the Wild West of fragmentation" today, so changes may come little by little. We will see what changes are introduced in Android 12 in this regard, if they are ready on time.

Via | XDA