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Root Making a custom ROM from the stock .zip..

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by flyinjoe13, Nov 19, 2010.

  1. flyinjoe13

    flyinjoe13 Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    May 18, 2010
    I decided to take the Signed Stock V8 ROM posted on the Android Ally website and play around with it a bit to see what kind of custom stock ROM I could make and what results it would have on the phone or if the phone would even boot up. Yes, i'm bored tonight. Unzipped the file and started looking through the app folder.

    I removed a bunch of the stock apps from the /system/app folder I know I will never use and added a few backup .apk files from apps I know I will never care if they get updated.

    I took out:

    All Calendar apps and widgets
    Visual Voicemail
    All Live Wallpapers
    Backup Assistant
    Clock\Weather Widget
    Dual Clock
    LG Home
    ThinkFree Office
    Probably a few others i'm forgetting.

    I added:

    The updated Market
    The old Sense style Fancy Widget
    Universal Androot so I could quickly re-root the phone.
    The Velocity Car Dock
    AK Notepad

    I zipped everything up and after flashing this ROM, I was happy to see it booted up. Then I was amazed to see that I had 141mb of internal storage memory available. Apparently some of the stock apps take up some of internal storage memory. I thought the stock apps came from a different memory pool and would have no bearing on the internal memory number. After installing ADW.Launcher and a few other market apps I had before, I dropped down to 132mb which is still more than the 128mb they say the Ally comes with. Think I will use this custom stock V8 ROM for awhile and see if it crashes or does anything silly.

    One thing I did learn was how easy it is to customize a ROM as long as you have the .zip file. Never knew I could just delete and add apps to the /system/app folder like I did and have it work. Was really worried trying this because I wasn't sure what might happen. Sure beats using Titanium backup to delete them after the fact. Much easier to get rid of them before flashing.


    darkxsun likes this.
  2. darkxsun

    darkxsun Guest

    I'm definitely having fun with this tip... :)
  3. flyinjoe13

    flyinjoe13 Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    May 18, 2010
    It's a nice way to customize your ROM before you install it so that you don't have to install Titanium Backup or some other app to uninstall things after the fact. Saves time and hassle.
  4. Cjohn8792

    Cjohn8792 Well-Known Member

    Sep 8, 2010
    Does this mean the rom will be able to get OTA Updates from Verizon? Also, good work man, let me know how things progress, sounds like a great rom. One thing I always notice when I install a new rom is that they come with adw most of the time and launcher pro plus is much quicker. But I don't think you can involve a paid app in your roms seeing as that would be piracy, but who knows, I'm not a lawyer, maybe there's a way around since it's all open source
  5. darkxsun

    darkxsun Guest

    It would most likely not get OTA, unless you had stock recovery and hadn't changed any files the update tried to patch.

    Launcher Pro could be included, it'd just be up to you to enter your registration for plus version.

    And not all apps made for an open-source operating system are open-source ;-)
  6. flyinjoe13

    flyinjoe13 Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    May 18, 2010
    You will get the update notice, but it will fail to install because of the apps I have removed. The update will look to patch those apps and if they are not there, it will fail. But i'm okay with with that because I don't need VZB or VZC. From everything I read, they just add more bloatware and don't really improve anything performance wise. Plus, I always follow the general rule of 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it'. There's no way I would take the chance of screwing up my phone by installing an update that's not needed, especially when it's running perfectly.

    You can add as many apps to the /system folder as you want as long as you don't go over the size limit. I think after I did what I did, I still had 55mb of space left that I could have used to add more apps. But you want to be careful about what apps you add to the /system folder. I added ones that I would never care if they got updated (the old fancy widget, Terminal, Universal Androot, etc.) The reason for this is if you update an app through the marekt that you have installed into the /system folder, the updated version doesn't get installed in the /system folder. It gets installed in the /data folder so you will lose internal storage space. That defeats the purpose of what I was trying to do, which was to max out the internal storage space.
  7. darkxsun

    darkxsun Guest

    Also, some apps get angry about being installed in /system. Both 8pen and Swype keyboards start force closing as soon as it boots, until you re-install them the "normal" way. setcpu force closes when you try to change anything, again until you install it the normal way.

    It has something to do with installing through Market or adb that adds the package somewhere... either /data/system/packages.xml or something else in the /data partition... because you install the normal way, then copy the .apk to /system/app instead of /data/app, it works... but if you wipe /data, it breaks again in the same way.
  8. Afteraffekt

    Afteraffekt Well-Known Member

    Nov 1, 2010
    Computer Electronics Engineer
    South Carolina
    It breaks because the app is told to look in system/app/ and the system thinks to look in system/app for any more info, and all paths are based off it being in that specific directory, thats what apps2sd takes advantage of, it pretty much fools the phone to think that directory is the ext partition of your sd card. theres alot of things you could do - after removing any files and adding files, do you have to re "verify" or "sign" the rom in anyway?

    heck in theory you could have the phone look over a wifi connection to run an app - but that would be slow and possibly unstable unless running very specific hardware
  9. GRZLA

    GRZLA Well-Known Member

    Aug 20, 2010
    Grand Prairie, TX
    B is terrible, but I have been using C for quite some time and I have to say it is snappier than 8 and has better battery life.
  10. darkxsun

    darkxsun Guest

    That has nothing to do with what I'm talking about. I'm talking about some apps (not all apps) that I can successfully move to /system/app after installation, but not put in /system/app in a rom. They rely on something in the /data partition that is created during an actual "install" (either adb install or something like that, not just dropping an apk).

    I started out this way using a zip of vB, then dove into what all the files were and how the update script worked... ended up using a dump of vC from a nandroid backup (and unyaffs) and starting my rom from scratch. But, this was the starting point. Without this method I would still be clueless about how to even begin with roms.

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