Tag Archives: library

Reverse engineering android code

I never guessed reverse engineering will be so easy. Is it true for all java code or just android?
For android apps decompilation overall is so simple. Although don’t bank on understanding the code as the app providers make their code cryptic most probably due to this reason(the process is called obfuscation).

That being said you can decompile almost every app on android. It is just vagueness of code which is going to save you(for the app developers) and make life tough for the hackers.

So basically .apk is nothing but zipped version of all your resources and compiled classes. You can extract all this from .apk the use tool like
or even simpler use some online website which does so.

java decompilation is also so easy I guess till Java 1.5?

http://stackoverflow.com/questions/3593420/android-getting-source-code-from-an-apk-file Stack Overflow link.


Windows Programming Multi language

Now a days I am doing some windows application development and I am loving it :).

I was not such a big fan of windows ever. I can understand the reasons for most of the issues which make windows not so great. Like they have to support so many verities of hardware so many versions and so many applications and all.

Anyhow I noticed that windows has very user-friendly development environment. There is less open source projects and less help for obvious reasons. This is kind of bottleneck but when I learned about dllimport I was like… ahhh great now I can do whatever I want. Developing GUI and simple stuff in C# and then using dllexport for existing libraries by just writing a wrapper file around the library. From there onward I have used it so much in all kind of development.

To explain usefulness of  dllexport I will use an example where I have to do some Video encoding and streaming. You already have great open source project for that. I want to integrate this with my C# application. For X264 encoding for sending data from network programming in C++. Used libavcodec libavformat to convert between formats muxing video data.

C/C++ Part

I will explain with one simple example how to use dllexport to create cool windows project here.

Let us first take a simple example, say I want to use a C function defined below:

int func(int arg)
  int result = 0;
//some kind of processing
  //may call other defined C functions
  return result;

Say above function call along with all useful stuff is in some file example.c. It may be in multiple files also. We just want to use the func call in C#. We will redefine the function as below:

__declspec(dllexport) int  __cdecl func(int arg)
//same stuff

To be user-friendly we can define two macros as below:

#define DLLEXPORT __declspec(dllexport)
#define CDECL __cdecl

Now our function will look pretty good:

DLLEXPORT int  CDECL func(int arg)
  //same stuff

by //same stuff I mean the function body of func
Now we compile all c code as we were doing earlier but this time we compile it to create a dll library. GCC provides command to do so:
First compile all the files including example.c file and get the object files

gcc -c -o example.o example.c

gcc <strong>-shared</strong> -o library.dll example.o other_files.o other_libraries.a

other_files.o other_libraries.a are optional only required if your C project is big and uses multiple files and libraries. We will see it in next example when using X264 for encoding from C# project.

C# Part

We are almost done Now we just need to write our C# code and wherever in C# we want to use the function(func) from example.c we first declare the function as below:

static extern int func(int arg);

Now we are free to use this function in our C# code just like any other function.
That’s all so simple.
Now let us check one example where we will use libx264. We can do the same for ffmpeg by creating the ffmpeg dll. Sometime when there is problem of passing one struct variable from one C function to another C function. Say you want to use ffmpeg from one side while you also want to use X264. Since in C# we can’t just define these struct we will use IntPtr whenever there is any such requirement. This generally comes very handy in some cases.
I guess I will do another post for this as this post is already long.
Scratch Pad:

gcc -shared -o libmpegts.dll main.o libmpegts.a
gcc -I. -c -o tsmuxer.o tsmuxer.c

gcc -shared -o tsmuxer.dll tsmuxer.o -L. -lavformat -lavcodec -lavutil -lWs2
_32 -liconv


static extern Boolean Beep(UInt32 frequency, UInt32 duration);

[DllImport("libx264", CallingConvention = CallingConvention.Cdecl)]
private static extern IntPtr initializePicOut();

DLLEXPORT x264_picture_t* CDECL initializePicOut()

DLLEXPORT x264_t* CDECL setX264Params(int width, int height, int FPS)
printf("setX264Params width: %d, height: %%d FPS: %d.\n", width, height, FPS);
x264_param_t param;
int res = 0;
res = x264_param_default_preset(¶m, "veryfast", "zerolatency");
if(res != 0) {
printf("error: cannot set the default pre-set on x264.\n");
return -1;
param.i_threads = 1;
param.i_width = width;
param.i_height = height;
param.i_fps_num = FPS;
param.i_fps_den = 1;
// Intra refres:
param.i_keyint_max = FPS;
param.b_intra_refresh = 1;
//Rate control:
param.rc.i_rc_method = X264_RC_CRF;
param.rc.f_rf_constant = FPS-5;
param.rc.f_rf_constant_max = FPS + 5;
//For streaming:
param.b_repeat_headers = 1;
param.b_annexb = 1;
res = x264_param_apply_profile(¶m, "baseline");
if(res != 0) {
printf("error: cannot set the baseline profile on x264.\n");
return -2;

Android JNI

It is not like I hate java so much. I mean who wants to write all those verbose and repetitive stuff  all throw your code that’s all. That been said I always thought JNI as a mystery box and never tried it.

Now that I have tried JNI it seems so handy. Feels like I will transfer all the logic to JNI and just bother about small stuff and GUI for java code. Anyhow in this post I just want to iterate through how easy it is to use JNI. There are so many help page to do so. I just want to write so that I will remember it.
Step 1:

You just need to create a folder name jni in your eclipse(android) project. In this jni folder keep all your c or c++ files. ndk-tool is used to build these files inside jni folder. Just download ndk tool and add the “ndk-build” batch file path in your PATH environment variable so that you can use this command to compile jni folder content anywhere.

Step 2:
In Java program where you want to call the native c code function declare the function definition like this :
public static native return_type func(args);

public static native int add_two_nums(int first_num, int second_num);

To tell java where these functions are defined import the C/C++ library using below statement:
This is how you load the c library:

/** Load jni .so on initialization */
static {
System.loadLibrary("jni_module_library_name"); /* Note the name written here is without .so extension */
Step 3:

Now create the c file with the functions you want to call and other c helper functions: imported functions has special name signature which always starts with JNIEXPORT

JNIEXPORT j_appended_return_type JNICALL Java_package_name_class_name_func(JNIEnv *, jclass, args);
JNIEXPORT j_appended_return_type JNICALL Java_com_example_hello_jni_MainActivity_add_two_nums(JNIEnv *, jclass, jint first, jint second);

com.example.hello_jni is the name of the package dot(.) is replaced by underscore(_). Next name is the class name where you want to call the function from rest is actual function name.
jstring, jint etc are data types.
Above part is little bit complex but this is just needed for one or two function calls where you want the interaction from java to C/C++ rest is complete C/C++ as you like it. You can create server/client with C/C++ netdb socket includes use OpenMX AL to play audio video. include  #include for threads assert.h for assert debugging.
Always remember to include #include <jni.h> for macro definition and jni magic
#include <android/log.h>
#define TAG “MyAppTag”
#define LOGVERBOSE(…) __android_log_print(ANDROID_LOG_VERBOSE, TAG, __VA_ARGS__)
Now you can just add LOGVERBOSE(“Any string message if you need to print integer use %u”, integer);
Step 4:
You will also need to write one make file so that ndk-build can actually go through all the c files and build your project. Java program will be build separately.
create android.mk file inside jni folder like this:

LOCAL_PATH := $(call my-dir)

include $(CLEAR_VARS)

LOCAL_MODULE    := jni_module_library_name

LOCAL_SRC_FILES := file_name.c


Other useful flags in make file which you can use:

LOCAL_CFLAGS    := -Werror

LOCAL_LDLIBS    := -llog
Step 5:
Finally you will need to compile jni folder code by command ndk-build from root folder of the project. Don’t compile from inside the jni folder but one directory up. This is because ndk-build read information from AndroidManifest.xml and project.properties. This will create obj folder with architecture type .o and .so it will also create one libs folder.


What ndk tool does for you? It compiles the architecture dependent C/C++ code for you for the architecture you need it for

You can run any c/c++ program from android shell. You just need to cross compile it with ndk-build and then push the executable in android device using adb push command. By default sdcard is mounted in non-executable format so it is good to push in /data/local and change the permission of the executable to x (execute) then just run.

chmod 755 /data/local/executable_name.out


You can remount sdcard in execute mode using

mount -o remount,rw /mnt/sdcard

To create executable using ndk tool you will need to change the Android.mk file:


You can also change the LOCAL_MODULE line to the name you want for your executable(executable_name)

Scratch pad:

# for native multimedia
# for logging
# for native windows
LOCAL_LDLIBS += -landroid


Only required directories and files are: jni folder, AndroidManifest.xml, project.properties which is created automatically and has android target ndk information
libs and obj will be created
Good JNI tutorial: