[HOW-TO][ROOT][MOD] Rooting/Hacking BlueStacks

Saturday, 8 September 2012

New updates for Bluestacks Beta(Note: Please PM me if I missed out on any threads/updates!)

Bluestacks Beta available here:
BlueStacks Modding Community on Facebook:

Rooting Bluestacks: 

Market/Play Store installation for Bluestacks: 
Method 1: http://forum.xda-developers.com/show...90&postcount=1
Method 2 (Use if method 1 fails): http://forum.xda-developers.com/show...89&postcount=2

Editing Bluestacks "boot" animation: 

Archived OP (Meant for the Alpha build)
Bluestacks Alpha is out today and with some snooping, I managed to install some apks both from the phone and directly from the computer. Perhaps someone wants to try to give it a root and a soft honeycomb keypad? (I am also currently trying to root it) EDIT: Root and soft keypad hacks available below!

Bluestacks available here:
BlueStacks Modding Community on Facebook:
GizmoStack for the newbies:

How to install apks from the computer (WARNING: Apps installed this way CANNOT be removed): 
1) Right-click on the .apk file and click on "Open with..."
2) Click on "Browse..."
3) Navigate to "C:\Program Files\BlueStacks" or for 64-bit computers, "C:\Program Files (x86)\BlueStacks"
4) Double-click on "HD-ApkHandler.exe"
5) Click on "Ok"
Bluestacks will install the .apk file and notify you when its done. 

What I have found out so far:
1) Not rooted EDIT: Rooted but not of any use (Update #8)
2) Its a full Android emulation, with Android itself installed on a emulated sdcard
3) Its soft-buttons are mapped to Android's hardware buttons, but the home button is removed, and apps are run using a custom launcher/windows sidebar gadget EDIT: Temporary fix using Button Savior (find it on alternative market) (http://forum.xda-developers.com/show...1&postcount=67)
4) Android market can be synced onto the computer if its a custom rom (not tested for standard roms with the original market as I have a HD2) but does not work as there is not way to add an account to it EDIT: It appears to be blocked from accessing Google's servers. (Appears to be fully working, but requiring an account) "RE"EDIT: See updates below for instructions on how to get market to work. (Update #2)
5) Custom homescreens can be installed, although it only runs when you somehow find the homescreen selection menu (I installed a apk through my computer, and when I removed it via Astro File Manager's uninstall, the icon for the app stayed in the Windows Sidebar Gadget and selecting it allowed me to choose between homescreens, widgets work on custom homescreens. 
6) Settings can be accessed via a custom launcher (See attached screenshot: Bluestacks.jpg)
7) Attached screenshot contains the phone info and Android version

Updates for newly discovered hacks (NOTE: Pictures are ommited from the quotes due to lack of space, to view the pictures, click on the OP links! Also, if I missed out on anything or any post, feel free to point it out!):
1) Removing Fullscreen (OP: http://forum.xda-developers.com/show...postcount=17):
Originally Posted by bbto  View Post
it can, but need to edit regitry, so do at your own risk.
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\BlueStacks\Guests\Andr oid\FrameBuffer\0
inside change FullScreen to 0 (default is 2)
then change width and height(decimal or hex), then restart computer
2) Enable Market (See attached files: Market.zip) (OP: http://forum.xda-developers.com/show...28&postcount=7):
Notes on app installations: 
a) Some users reported installation failures from the market, and the workaround is to tap/click retry a couple of times (OP: http://forum.xda-developers.com/show...6&postcount=16)
b) Installation of certain apps may fail with the error "INSTALL_FAILED_CPU_ABI_INCOMPATIBLE" as BlueStacks currently doesn't support binary translation and there is no workaround to this yet (OP: http://forum.xda-developers.com/show...3&postcount=15)
Originally Posted by oneshotblu  View Post
Hi, I was able to run market (and other G-apps) on Bluestack.
Root is not necessary.
Extract and install the files in this order (click on .apk file -> "open as" -> choose HD-ApkHandler.exe from bluestack installation dir. to install):
Using an home replacement setup your account and.. you are in!
3) Virtual SD Card size can be increased by changing SDcard.fs size (See attached files: DATA.IMG Maker.rar) (EDIT: New OP: http://forum.xda-developers.com/show...3&postcount=33 Old OP: http://forum.xda-developers.com/show...5&postcount=21):
Originally Posted by matury  View Post
sorry for the mess in pictures... but I had a hard time remembering what I did last night :P but you'll be ok 
and remember if I helped you say Thanks 
Ok first you need to install Bluestacks Cloud in your phone, after u set it up and all, you need to install AWD Launcher and sync it with BC (Bluestacks Cloud), install it in ur computer... and open it, after that B will ask you to set a default launcher, choose AWD, then you have a full home Android... done with that.
Un rar DATA.IMG Maker.rar to desktop
(remember to stop any progress with Task Manager related to Bluestacks, even sidebar.exe)
Next step. navigate to "C:\ProgramData\BlueStacks\Android" and make a backup of SDCard.fs like this SDCard.fs.bak - then rename the SDCard.fs to SDCard.ext3
Next: open Resize SD.bat, as seen in picture inside the folder " DATA.IMG Maker"
Next: check " fine file" and navigate to "C:\ProgramData\BlueStacks\Android" and open SDCard.ext3 
In the pic I didn't check "resize file only no rezide2fs", but you have to check it or click it on...
Next: check the "resize file only no rezide2fs" " you can resize it to 100GB ++ if want it  and click "Resize File" ... wait till done. PIC 
Next: after finishing the process... and drag amd drop on top of "mke2fs.exe" and type " Y " and Enter... wait for it to finish as seen in PIC and then.... just change the extension back to .fs like this SDCard.ext3 to -----> SDCard.fs
Next start the Bluestacks Gadget in start menu... wait for it to load and open AWD launcher .. PIC 6 and PIC 7
Next: you gonna see in top Notification bar a lil SD card... that's what we want! just click it and format your sd card and your done@! PIC 10 thru 13
just click format
and done! 10GB SD Card
In logs theres alot of information about what the process does and when, also info on the kernel and staff like that, I think I can edit the HD-Service.exe ... it handles kernel loads and much more... I think can be edited with Restorator 64bits witch I have ....but like I said before I have a 32bit *****ty netbook.. I cant run Restorator.. till next week (getting Alienware) and I can continue the Development of Hacking Bluestacks. I dont know much about Andoid Linux, but I know alot about Windows, I can provide my help on anything, count on me with that 
Oh, and ext2explore.exe is an ext2 (I think ext3 too) partition explorer for windows 
Hope I helped you all 
Pre made SD images available here: http://www.mediafire.com/?qwesrn41kpcjoup
Originally Posted by Mateo Varnerin (On Facebook)
here ya go everyone. 1gb and 2gb blank sdcards for bluestacks. made and tested by me. the downloads preddty small but the uncompress to the size you need. to install alls you need to do is switch it out with the one you have right now. note that these are blank so you may need to copy stuff over from your old one useing the guides found on this page.
4) Using BlueStacks without the desktop gadget (OP: http://forum.xda-developers.com/show...56&postcount=7):
Originally Posted by torturedsoul802  View Post
[/COLOR]Since it hasn't been posted here yet, you can use BlueStacks without the gadget, jumps right to your launcher.
Create a shortcut to HD-Frontend in the BlueStacks directory, add the android argument.
"C:\Program Files (x86)\BlueStacks\HD-Frontend.exe" android
5) The widget list can be edited (OP: http://forum.xda-developers.com/show...66&postcount=5):
Originally Posted by TheManii  View Post
You can edit the widget app list by editing 
then removing and replacing the gadget.
The json file is a text file and entrys can be removed, rearranged.
You could add too but it's faster to use the HD-ApkHandler.exe to build the entry and merely rearranging it.
Removed all the bundled apps from the list this way
Installing a 3rd party launcher gives you about what you'd expect from a launcher
The included rom has no gapps support, you would need to re-include the gapps frameworks/stuff before market will work. Which would require editing the system image or rooting and manually replacing them.
The filesystem is located in 
Data.fs is a standard ext img
Root.fs is a ext img that contains
System.sfs which is a squashfs img that contains
System.img which is a ext img that contains system\
There already is a xbin\su which might be a dummy to block it from being rooted.
You likely cant edit the system partition without rebuilding it offline and restarting the vm as squashfs is a readonly format, not to mention that it's a FS in a FS in a FS.
6) Using BlueStacks as your alternate Android development emulator (OP: http://forum.xda-developers.com/show...53&postcount=1):
Originally Posted by riveraju  View Post
You can do this VERY EASY! but I'll recommend that you first install Launcher Pro or ADW (you can sync the app using the BlueStacks Android app) then set as your default home. Once you have done that you can open Launcher Pro trough the gadget at any time.
Then open Eclipse go to your "Device Manage" tab and under "Android Remote Device" add a new entry like this:
Name: (whatever you want to name it)
Port: 5555
And you are done! BlueStacks is WAYYYYYYYYYY faster to lunch apps that the regular android emulator. I did a small app for testing/debug and it installed/lunch/debug just fine on BlueStacks.
7) BlueStacks kernel files (OP: http://forum.xda-developers.com/show...4&postcount=28):
Originally Posted by methodbeat  View Post
Can you edit kernels?
should i post the kernel files? :P
here you go : mediafire.com/?v8bnwdx0e10zmmc
8) Rooted (But still not of any use) EDIT: Fixed root! (Update #9) (OP1: http://forum.xda-developers.com/show...4&postcount=37 OP2: http://forum.xda-developers.com/show...&postcount=42):
Originally Posted by chevyowner  View Post
How to Root BlueStacks alpha
1. Navigate to C:\ProgramData\BlueStacks\Android
2. Use Task Manager stop any process related to Bluestacks.
3. Rename Root.fs to Root.fs.bak
4. Extract Root.fs from RootMod.zip to C:\ProgramData\BlueStacks\Android
5. You Should Have Root, Enjoy
Note: The su binary I used auto grants root access.
Credit goes to http://www.android-x86.org/ for compiling the su/busybox binarys
Originally Posted by TheManii  View Post
With the way root.fs is organized it wouldnt matter if system was remountable in RW mode, squashfs by design is read-only.
Even if you could modify system i wouldnt expect bluestacks to be able to rewrite/rebuild the root.fs
The only way (currently known) would be to rebuild the filesystem offline. If bluestacks supported something like unionfs to overlay on top of it it would be possible to change it, but it would be on an overlay file and not directly modifying rootfs. 
If you could make it so bluestacks could mount root.fs and have system\ directly in that instead of inside root.fs/system.sfs/system.img that would make it act like a normal modifying partition. 
They might be intentionally using squashfs to make it harder to modify, given that bluestacks is ment for pcs and squashfs is more approporate on resource limited systems it sounds reasonable.
Originally Posted by chevyowner  View Post
well i managed to get /system rw mountable while bluestacks is running, but i broke the gadget somehow.
EDIT: i have system.img mounted from %ProgramData%\BlueStacks\Android to /system it is not in the Root.fs>system.sfs>system.img format anymore. Doing this requires at a minimum editing the windows registry and replacing initrd.img.
Originally Posted by chevyowner  View Post
Less changes to initrd and ramdisk from stock
This will add R/W access to /system
I Have Removed ALL Bluestacks Preinstalled Apps, Installed ADW FREE, and Android Market.
The "All Apps" button has been changed to a "HOME" button see here http://forum.xda-developers.com/show...0&postcount=90
Launcher.exe tries to restore the stock "All Apps" button.
undo-registry-changes.reg tries to make Bluestacks load the stock file system.
CdRsKuLL for the home button tweak
I think that is all
10)Turn the app key into a home key! (OP: http://http://forum.xda-developers.c...0&postcount=90) 
Originally Posted by CdRsKuLL  View Post
ok, got it sorta working.. maybe someone would like to improve on it for me....
So.. in brief the new version asks you to select an app from it's own launcher.. Swapping a file will allow it to go straight into android...
ok, how to do it.
1. Goto....C:\Users\YOUR USER ACCOUNT\AppData\Local\BlueStacks\Launcher folder
2. Rename launcher.html to launcher.html.bak (just to be safe )
3. Open up notepad and paste in the below code
<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en">
<body onload="refreshUI()"> 
<script src="js/jquery-1.5.1.min.js"></script>
<script src="js/slides.min.jquery.js"></script>
<script type="text/jscript" language="jscript">
function refreshUI() {window.external.RunApp("", "", "")}               
Save this as a new launcher.html and copy it into the launcher folder above.. 

File Type: zipMarket.zip - [Click for QR Code] (7.35 MB, 2638 views)
File Type: rarDATA.IMG Maker.rar - [Click for QR Code] (5.00 MB, 1395 views)
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