DSU Loader to get significant performance improvements in Android 13
Dynamic System Update (DSU) is one of the least known features in Android, allowing users to install a Generic System Image (GSI) without unlocking the bootloader or flashing a system update. The feature was first introduced in Android 10 and is one of the easiest ways for developers to test the latest Android versions. And it’s getting even better in Android 13.
As spotted by Mishaal Rahman, DSU will be getting several new features and improvements in Android 13, including a big performance boost, a weighted progress bar, and support for system_ext and product images.
Dynamic System Updates (DSU) seemed like a dead feature, but it’s surprisingly getting some love from Google in Android 13.
— Mishaal Rahman (@MishaalRahman) March 29, 2022
New commits on AOSP Gerrit suggest Google is bringing some significant performance improvements to DSU. Installing a GSI through DSU will be much faster, thanks to the increase in the default shared memory. Google notes that the modest increase in the memory (from 8KiB to 64KiB) will greatly speed up the Dynamic System installation time on both physical and virtual devices. Google’s testing shows installation time being reduced to just 45 seconds from 2 minutes and 2 seconds on physical devices.
The commit’s description reads:
This modest adjustment 8KiB -> 64KiB significantly boosts the DSU
* physical device: 2m34s -> 45s
* virtual device: 46s -> 30s
Also make the shared memory size customizable for fine-tuning.
The progress bar is also getting some new improvements. When a GSI installation is underway, the progress bar in the notification area will show which partition is being installed. Currently, it only shows “Install in progress.” In addition, the progress bar will be weighted as read-only partitions take much longer than writable partitions.
Instead of showing “Install in progress”, show which partition is being installed and the total number of partitions, for example: “Install in progress: system partition [2/3]”
Finally, DSU will add support for the system, system_ext, and product images. Note that these features and improvements aren’t live in the Android 13 Developer Preview. They will likely arrive in the upcoming beta releases or the final version of Android 13.