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Android Emulator Slow As a Snail; Reason BTRFS

I have been writing software professionally for over a decade. I have been writing software for even longer than that.

This week was the first time I wrote an Android program. Some journey it was. But that is a story for another day.

Today, in this blog post, I want to share a strange issue I encountered with Android Emulator and a fix.

If you are using BTRFS, you probably have copy-on-write (COW) enabled for the files on it. If your Android Emulator boot cache is on a BTRFS partition, you will notice the emulator running as slow as a snail.

The fix?

echo "QuickbootFileBacked = off" >> ~/.android/advancedFeatures.ini

Recent versions of Android Emulator will use a pre-allocated file as the backing storage of the guest RAM. It allows the emulator to store Quickbook snapshots during runtime.

But this does not play well with a copy-on-write filesystem.

By running the command from above, you are telling Android Emulator to not use the feature.

This post is 99th of my #100DaysToOffload challenge. Want to get involved? Find out more at 100daystooffload.com.

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