How to get libcore sources for and other classes missing from the base android SDKs

November 11, 2013 @ 10:40 am Posted to Android, Java by Antony Koch

I’m doing some work that requires the usage of the libcore library, specifically using the class or so my trusty IntelliJ debugger tells me.

Unfortunately, these sources aren’t shipped with the standard sources that come with your android sdk in the sources directory, and you have to do some work to get them up and running.

Here’s the steps I took to allow me to step into the classes and see what’s going on.

First, you need to pull down the libcore sources from google into a location on your computer:

git clone

Now visit the libcore site and find the tag representing the version of the android OS you’re using (or the one your IDE is bound to source-wise. Mine was android-4.1.2_r1 which I found by clicking on “more” at the bottom of the tag list. This presented me with the list of tags

From here, I copied the name of my tag, and in terminal, after checking out the source, I executed

cd libcore

git checkout -b tags/android-4.1.2_r1 android-4.1.2_r1

This checkout out the tag I required into a new branch on my machine. Then, in finder, I located the folder ./luni/src/main/java and copied the libcore folder into my <sdk>/sources/android-16 folder and hey presto, I could now step through the source!

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