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This document will provide instructions for building the OpenSSL library for Android devices. If you need the FIPS Validated Object Module and the FIPS Capable Library, see FIPS Library and Android.

Executive Summary

Use the following commands to build and install the OpenSSL library for Android. Before running the commands download openssl-1.0.1g.tar.gz and; place the files in the same directory (the 'root' directory mentioned below); ensure ANDROID_NDK_ROOT is set; and verify suites your taste. ANDROID_API and ANDROID_TOOLCHAIN will be set by the script. The files can be obtained from,, and below (see Downloads section).

Prepare the OpenSSL Sources

# From the 'root' directory
$ rm -rf openssl-1.0.1g/
$ tar xzf openssl-1.0.1g.tar.gz
$ chmod a+x

Build the OpenSSL Library

# From the 'root' directory
$ . ./
$ cd openssl-1.0.1g/

$ perl -pi -e 's/install: all install_docs install_sw/install: install_docs install_sw/g'
$ ./config shared -no-ssl2 -no-ssl3 -no-comp -no-hw -no-engine --openssldir=/usr/local/ssl/$ANDROID_API \
  --with-fipsdir=/usr/local/ssl/$ANDROID_API --with-fipslibdir=/usr/local/ssl/$ANDROID_API/lib/

$ make depend
$ make all

Install the OpenSSL Library

$ sudo -E make install CC=$ANDROID_TOOLCHAIN/arm-linux-androideabi-gcc RANLIB=$ANDROID_TOOLCHAIN/arm-linux-androideabi-ranlib

OpenSSL Library

While the Executive Summary provided the whirlwind instructions for building and installing the OpenSSL library, this sections provides detailed instructions. There are six steps to building the OpenSSL Library for use in various projects, and they are listed below. Projects range from simple NDK based command line programs to Android activities using the JNI bridge.

  1. Acquire the required files
  2. Adjust the cross-compilation script
  3. Prepare the OpenSSL sources
  4. Build the OpenSSL Library
  5. Install the OpenSSL Library

Acquire the Required Files

First, obtain the base files from

  • openssl-1.0.1g.tar.gz

Next, acquire the auxiliary files which can be obtained from below (see Downloads section) or You won't need all the files from the location.

openssl-1.0.1g.tar.gz is the OpenSSL Library. is used to set the cross-compilation environment.

After collecting the required files, your working directory will look similar to below.

android-openssl $ ls -l 
-rw-r--r-- 1   4459777 Jun 15 03:32 openssl-1.0.1g.tar.gz
-rwxr-xr-x 1      6760 Jun 23 01:52

Adjust the Cross-Compilation Script is used to set the cross-compilation environment. Open the script an ensure the following match your needs. If you are using android-ndk-r8e, android-14, and ANDROID_NDK_ROOT is set, then the script should be ready to use as-is.

  • _ANDROID_NDK – the version of the NDK. For example, android-ndk-r8e
  • _ANDROID_EABI – the version of the EABI tools. For example, arm-linux-androideabi-4.6
  • _ANDROID_API – the API level. For example, android-14

You should also set ANDROID_SDK_ROOT and ANDROID_NDK_ROOT. The environmental variables are used internally by the Android platform tools and scripts. For details, see Recommended NDK Directory?.

Prepare the OpenSSL Sources

Remove stale versions of the OpenSSL FIPS Object Module and FIPS Capable library, and then unpack fresh files. Also ensure the script is executable.

$ rm -rf openssl-fips-2.0.5/
$ rm -rf openssl-1.0.1g/
$ tar xzf openssl-1.0.1g.tar.gz
$ chmod a+x

Build the OpenSSL Library

This section of the document will guide you through the creation of the the OpenSSL Library. The OpenSSL Library (and needs its install rule modified. The install rule includes the all target, which causes items to be built during install. A bug in the process when running as root results in an empty signature for the shared object (the signature is a string of zeros).

To build the OpenSSL Library, you must issue config, but other options are up to you. Some suggested options for configure include: shared, -no-ssl2, -no-ssl3, -no-comp, -no-hw, and -no-engine. shared will build and install both the shared object and static archive. You should specify --openssldir to ensure the build system installs the android version of the library in a distinct location (other than /usr/local/ss;).

Begin building the OpenSSL library by setting the cross-compilation environment. Note the leading '.' when running the script. If you have any errors from the script, then you should fix them before proceeding.

$ . ./
$ cd openssl-1.0.1g/

Next, fix the makefile and run configure.

$ perl -pi -e 's/install: all install_docs install_sw/install: install_docs install_sw/g'
$ ./config fips shared -no-ssl2 -no-ssl3 -no-comp -no-hw -no-engine --openssldir=/usr/local/ssl/android-14/ \
  --with-fipsdir=/usr/local/ssl/android-14/ --with-fipslibdir=/usr/local/ssl/android-14/lib/

Then run make depend and make all:

$ make depend
$ make all

After make completes, verify libcrypto.a and libssl.a were built for the embedded architecture.

$ find . -name libcrypto.a
$ readelf -h ./libcrypto.a | grep -i 'class\|machine' | head -2
  Class:                   ELF32
  Machine:                 ARM

Install the OpenSSL Library

Finally, install the library. The makefile's install rule uses both CC and RANLIB, so you will need to fully specify the command variables on the command line (during install, sudo drops the user's path). You must also use sudo's -E option; otherwise ANDROID_TOOLCHAIN will be empty and tools such as arm-linux-androideabi-gcc and arm-linux-androideabi-ranlib will not be found.

$ sudo -E make install CC=$ANDROID_TOOLCHAIN/arm-linux-androideabi-gcc RANLIB=$ANDROID_TOOLCHAIN/arm-linux-androideabi-ranlib

Testing the OpenSSL Library

Testing the installation consists of building a sample program, installing it with adb, and then running the program using a remote shell. Both the static and dynamic version of the OpenSSL library can be tested using fips_hmac, which is a test program to calculate a hmac over the files given as arguments.

Instructions for testing the OpenSSL library are given at FIPS Library and Android. The same basic steps apply.

Using OpenSSL in an Application

In the real world, you probably aren't using C and therefore still need a dynamic library, but Android probably already has non-FIPS Library called and loaded into memory. Due to issues with the Android loader, the LD_LIBRARY_PATH trick doesn't work for normal applications. So because we can't change the build to output different names to avoid the namespace clash (as that would break FIPS certification), the solution to getting the code into a differently-named shared library is to wrap up the static Library into a separate dynamic library. To do this, write a short c wrapper library with references to functions in both the Library (so the linker doesn't discard them as unnecessary) and link the static Library as above. You don't need to wrap all the functions, as the Library themselves become part of the interface. For these instructions, I'll assume your c file is called wrapper.c

$ export OPENSSL_ANDROID = /usr/local/ssl/android-14
$ $(CC) wrapper.c -fPIC -shared -I$(OPENSSL_ANDROID)/include -Wl,-Bstatic -lcrypto -lssl -L$(OPENSSL_ANDROID)/lib -o -Wl,-Bdynamic

The -Wl,-Bstatic tells the linker to use the static Library for the Library after it and the -Wl,-Bdynamic tells the linker to use dynamic Library for anything else it might need, like libc.

Using -Bstatic and -Bshared can cause link problems on occasion. For example, see Android: error when trying to compile wrapper for openssl library libcrypto.a. To avoid the problem with the linker, specify the full path to the static archive (for example, /usr/local/ssl/android-14/lib/libcrypto.a). If you suspect the wrong OpenSSL library is being linked, then use the fully qualified archive path.

You can then use as per normal.


The NDK supplies headers for each major platform - for example, API 18, API 14, API 9, API 8, and API 5. If you are building for Android 4.2 (API 17), Android 4.1 (API 16) and Android 4.0 (API 14), then you would use the NDK's API 14 (android-14 platform).

Specify the full library name when calling Java's System.load. That is, call System.load(“”). Also note that some Android routines expect the prefix of “lib” and suffix of “so”, so you might have to rename the library.

Some versions of the Android Java system loader will load the system's version of the OpenSSL library, even though you built and included a copy with your application. In this case, you might need to write a wrapper shared object and link to the static version of the OpenSSL library. See, for example, "Unable to find native library" error in Native Activity app.

If you compile with -fPIE and -pie, then you will core dump unless using Android 4.1 and above. Logcat shows the linker (/system/bin/linker) is the problem.

shell@android: $ ./fips_hmac.exe -v fips_hmac.exe
[2] + Stopped (signal)     ./fips_hmac.exe -v fips_hmac.exe
[1] - Segmentation fault   ./fips_hmac.exe -v fips_hmac.exe

When building the FIPS Capable library for Android, take care to specify -mfloat-abi=softfp. If you specify -mfloat-abi=hard or -mhard-float (even if the hardware support a floating point unit), then the entropy estimate passed through the Java VM to RAND_add will always be 0.0f. See Hard-float and JNI for details.

Downloads - script to set Android cross-compile environment.