Improved Android NDK r8


This is a distribution of an improved Android NDK (Native Development Kit) from Google. This NDK is a fully working replacement of the Google NDK and can be used everywhere where Google's is intended to be used. The CrystaX NDK provides functionality identical to Google's NDK as well as many fixes and improvements not available in Google's. This project was initially started by Dmitry Moskalchuk (CrystaX) to just add C++ features (such as C++ exceptions, RTTI and STL) to the Google NDK, but many additional needs were discovered, and it turned out that improving the CrystaX NDK step-by-step is in fact the better way to force evolution of native Android development. Many open-source and commercial projects have used the CrystaX NDK for porting and development for Android with minimal effort.

Key features of the CrystaX NDK:

  1. Wide characters.
    Google's NDK doesn't support wide chars properly in C or C++. With the CrystaX NDK, you get full standard compliant wide characters support. You can easily port existing code that uses wide characters/strings/streams or write new code.

  2. The most recent toolchains
    The CrystaX NDK includes the most recent versions of GCC and Clang compilers as well as stables. This allows developers to use new language abilities (such as new C++ 11 features). All compilers are built with high- and low-level optimizations which enables generation of the most efficient code for target hardware.

  3. C++11 support
    Since the CrystaX NDK includes the most recent versions of GCC and Clang, it supports many new C++ 11 features listed on C++0x/C++11 Support in GCC and C++98 and C++11 Support in Clang.
    In addition, the CrystaX NDK offers fully working C++ 11 classes std::thread, std::mutex, std::chrono etc. These classes are not available in the Google NDK because of lack of functionality in Android Bionic libc. We have investigated this problem and fixed it, so in the CrystaX NDK you can just use them and forget about ifdefs.

  4. Objective-C support
    The only languages the Google NDK supports are C and C++. The CrystaX NDK adds support of Objective-C in addition to C and C++. Only the core language is supported as of now; work on Cocoa-like libraries is in progress. To start using Objective-C in your project, just add source files with the extension .m (Objective-C) or .mm (Objective-C++) and specify them in LOCAL_SRC_FILES in

  5. To be continued...
    If you don't see some great feature here, don't hesitate to contact us and ask for it. You can also use our issue/bug tracker to report bugs or feature requests. And, of course, contributions are welcome!


How to build

You can also build the distribution from sources if you don't want to use the prebuilt versions for some reason. Follow the instructions below.

Setting up the build environment:

Follow the instructions from the AOSP site except the Java part. Then install the repo tool as described here. Ensure you have repo in your PATH.
WARNING!!! Building the Windows version of CrystaX NDK is only supported on a Linux machine (cross-build used). Building on a Windows host is not tested and not supported.


  • Download the build script and run it:
    wget -O - | /bin/sh
    It will take a long time - up to several hours. When the script is finished, it will print the directory containing the package with the NDK release.
  • You're done! Use this package as a replacement of Google's NDK!