Posted on November 24, 2020 | Guille

You can find examples online of the .gitlab-ci.yml file to use for compiling Android apps (including one on GitLab’s Blog), but they are all now outdated since Google made several breaking changes to the naming, directory structure, and environment variables.

Android SDK Tools is deprecated

One of the first things the CI scripts do is download the SDK Tools (sdk-tools-linux package) from Well, this package is now deprecated, and has been superseded by the new Command-Line Tools. The new URL to download these tools is:

Directory structure changes

While it used to be that the command-line tools could be found in {android-sdk}/tools/bin/, they must now reside in {android-sdk}/cmdline-tools/{version}/bin/. To make matters more confusing, the zip file downloaded in the previous step creates the following directory structure: cmdline-tools/bin/, so there is a missing {version} directory in the middle. To keep with the required structure, you must create the cmdline-tools directory, extract the zip into that directory (which creates cmdline-tools/cmdline-tools/bin/) and then rename the second cmdline-tools to latest (you could rename it to the version of the tools, but “latest” works). The final directory structure is:


ANDROID_HOME is deprecated

Once all the SDK tools have been installed the CI script creates the environment variables to point to them. Since the early days of Android its SDK directory was known as ANDROID_HOME, but that is now deprecated. The new environment variable that points to the Android SDK directory is called ANDROID_SDK_ROOT.

The new GitLab CI configuration file

With all of these changes applied, the .gitlab-ci.yml file should now look like this:

image: openjdk:8-jdk

  ANDROID_BUILD_TOOLS:    "30.0.2"
  ANDROID_CMDLINE_TOOLS:  "6858069_latest"

  - apt-get --quiet update --yes
  - apt-get --quiet install --yes wget tar unzip lib32stdc++6 lib32z1
  - wget --quiet${ANDROID_CMDLINE_TOOLS}.zip
  - mkdir android-sdk-linux
  - unzip -d android-sdk-linux/cmdline-tools
  - mv android-sdk-linux/cmdline-tools/cmdline-tools android-sdk-linux/cmdline-tools/latest
  - echo y | android-sdk-linux/cmdline-tools/latest/bin/sdkmanager "platforms;android-${ANDROID_COMPILE_SDK}" >/dev/null
  - echo y | android-sdk-linux/cmdline-tools/latest/bin/sdkmanager "platform-tools" >/dev/null
  - echo y | android-sdk-linux/cmdline-tools/latest/bin/sdkmanager "build-tools;${ANDROID_BUILD_TOOLS}" >/dev/null
  - export ANDROID_SDK_ROOT=$PWD/android-sdk-linux
  - export PATH=$PATH:$ANDROID_SDK_ROOT/platform-tools/
  - chmod +x ./gradlew
  # temporarily disable checking for EPIPE error and use yes to accept all licenses
  - set +o pipefail
  - yes | android-sdk-linux/tools/bin/sdkmanager --licenses
  - set -o pipefail

  - build

  stage: build
    - ./gradlew -Pci --console=plain :app:lintDebug -PbuildDir=lint

  stage: build
    - ./gradlew assembleDebug
    - app/build/outputs/apk/debug/app-debug.apk