Comprehensive Guide to the Android Build Process
XDA is full of various source-built, AOSP-derived ROMs. If you are trying to build one of them for yourself, it doesn’t really matter whether it’s Omni, CyanogenMod, AOKP, Slim, or any other ROM—the build instructions are pretty much the same.
In order to build Android on your own, you need to know three commands to start the environment, launch your device, and start a build by typing make. However, Android’s developers prepared more than these three commands. With various commands you can easily compile a single application, framework, or kernel, as well as perform many other tasks. If you are interested to learn more about build process, you should spend some time reading a comprehensive guide written by XDA Senior Member v_superuser.
In this guide, v_superuser explains various commands used in Android build process. Some commands are rarely used, but they’re still good to know just in case. The guide also explains the make process graphically, so you will finally understand how Linux or OS X processes files to build a shiny system.img.
Explaining make is not all that this guide has to offer. Through reading it, you will learn how to speed up your build using Ccache, which combined with handy scripts will make a build process nothing but pleasure. This guide contains most of the definitions that wikis and Google have to offer, and they are gathered together so you don’t have to browse the Internet to find every single command. Everything is here in one place.
If you are beginning your journey with Android or just want to learn more about this amazing OS, don’t hesitate to visit the guide thread for a great resource of information.