Android Panda Always Innovating

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Installation and config of Always Innovating's Android ICS distro for Pandaboard

As of August 2012, the quickest and easiest way to get a fully funtional install of Android 4 (aka Ice Cream Sandwich) complete with SGX graphics accel, wifi, bluetooth etc. etc. on a Pandaboard is to use a prebuilt disk image kindly provided by Always Innovating.

Download links

There is no official site hosting AI ICS but it can currently be downloaded from rapidshare. 4.0.1 only supports original Pandaboards whilst 4.0.3b supports the ES too:


See the README included within the zip for install instructions. You will need at least a 4GB SD card. The 4.0.3b version doesn't quite fit onto but should still work fine with a 4GB card.

Known Issues

There is no support included for onboard audio but audio should work fine via HDMI and also via class compliant USB audio devices. If you need onboard audio you need to compile Android or use another distro.

Video output is limited to 1280x720 - fix unknown.

With the 4.0.1 release on an original Pandaboard, pushing the power button prompts you if you'd like to power off but if you choose to do so Android reboots instead of shutting down.

These builds both feature a semi-transparent text advert for Always Innovating's Dongle (for which these builds were created) and website in the bottom left of the Android desktop. It is currently unknown if this can be easily disabled or not.

You cannot install apps via Google Play under the included browser or Chrome (beta) - apps can be installed by clicking on their apk file under Astro or ES File Explorer. This is a general problem of running Android on Panda and not specific to this distro.

I have been unable to get the included videos to play with the video player when running 4.0.3b on my Pandaboard A4 but video playback works fine under 4.0.1

Settings/Storage doesn't work at all for me under 4.0.3b but works fine under 4.0.1

The developer has not responded to any questions (such as the above issues) made about these releases on the Pandaboard mailing list since late January 2012 and it is currently impossible to register on the AI forums because their captcha is broken.

How to 'root' AI ICS

If you want USB drives to be auto-mounted on insertion then you need to install StickMount. If you want to have access to the standard GNU and Linux command line tools from a terminal (which also isn't included) then you need to install Busybox - however both of these apps require root permissions to run and AI ICS does not come 'pre-rooted' by including the Superuser packages which you can download from:

You only need to extract two files from the Superuser zip, Superuser.apk needs to be copied to /system/app/ and su to /system/bin/ of the first partition of your Android drive. After copying the files to their correct dirs, set the permissions as such:

chmod 777 Superuser.apk
chmod u+xs su

You can test root is working by simply running the su command from a terminal.

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