Delta Chat Android Client

This is the Android client for Delta Chat. It is available on F-Droid and the Google Play Store. The APK can also be downloaded from

For the core library and other common info, please refer to the Delta Chat Core Library.

For general contribution hints, please refer to

Screenshot Chat List Screenshot Chat View

Check Out Repository

When checking out deltachat-android, make sure also to check out the subproject deltachat-core-rust:

Build Using Nix

The repository contains Nix development environment described in flake.nix file. If you don’t have Nix installed, the easiest way is to use The Determinate Nix Installer which installs Nix with Flakes feature enabled out of the box and can be cleanly uninstalled with /nix/nix-installer uninstall once you don’t need it anymore.

Once you have Nix with Flakes feature set up start the development environment shell:

nix develop

Nix development environment contains Rust with cross-compilation toolchains and Android SDK.

To build an APK run the following 2 steps. Note that the first step may take some time to build for all architectures. You can optionally read the first comment block in the script for pointers on how to build for a specific architecture.

$ scripts/
$ ./gradlew assembleDebug

Resulting APK files can be found in build/outputs/apk/gplay/debug/ and build/outputs/apk/fat/debug/.

Build Using Dockerfile

Another way to build APK is to use provided Dockerfile with Docker or Podman. Podman is a drop-in replacement for Docker that does not require root privileges.

If you don’t have Docker or Podman setup yet, read how to setup Podman below. If you don’t want to use Docker or Podman, read how to manually install the build environment.

First, build the image deltachat-android by running

podman build --build-arg UID=$(id -u) --build-arg GID=$(id -g) . -t deltachat-android


docker build --build-arg UID=$(id -u) --build-arg GID=$(id -g) . -t deltachat-android

Then, run the image:

podman run --userns=keep-id -it --name deltachat -v $(pwd):/home/app:z -w /home/app localhost/deltachat-android


docker run -it --name deltachat -v $(pwd):/home/app:z -w /home/app localhost/deltachat-android

You can leave the container with Ctrl+D or by typing exit and re-enter it with docker start -ia deltachat or podman start -ia deltachat.

Within the container, install toolchains and build the native library:

deltachat@6012dcb974fe:/home/app$ scripts/
deltachat@6012dcb974fe:/home/app$ scripts/

Then, build an APK:

deltachat@6012dcb974fe:/home/app$ ./gradlew assembleDebug


Setup Podman

These instructions were only tested on a Manjaro machine so far. If anything doesn’t work, please open an issue.

First, Install Podman.

Then, if you want to run Podman without root, run:

sudo touch /etc/subgid
sudo touch /etc/subuid
sudo usermod --add-subuids 165536-231072 --add-subgids 165536-231072 yourusername

(replace yourusername with your username). See for more information.

Install Build Environment (without Docker or Podman)

To setup build environment manually:

Then, in both cases, install Rust using rustup and Rust toolchains for cross-compilation by executing scripts/

Then, configure ANDROID_NDK_ROOT environment variable to point to the Android NDK installation directory e.g. by adding this to your .bashrc:

export ANDROID_NDK_ROOT=${HOME}/Android/Sdk/ndk/[version] # (or wherever your NDK is) Note that there is no `/` at the end!
export PATH=${PATH}:${ANDROID_NDK_ROOT}/toolchains/llvm/prebuilt/linux-x86_64/bin/:${ANDROID_NDK_ROOT}

After that, call scripts/ in the root directory to build core-rust. Afterwards run the project in Android Studio. The project requires API 25.

With chance, that’s it :) - if not, read on how to set up a proper development environment.

Install Development Environment

  1. Some libs required by Android Studio may be missing on 64 bit Linux machines Source], so for Ubuntu execute $ sudo apt-get install libc6:i386 libncurses5:i386 libstdc++6:i386 lib32z1 libbz2-1.0:i386 and for Fedora execute $ sudo yum install zlib.i686 ncurses-libs.i686 bzip2-libs.i686.

  2. Download Android Studio from (android-studio-ide-… and unpack the archive which contains a single folder called android-studio; move this folder e.g. to ~/android-studio.

  3. To launch Android Studio for the first time, open a terminal, navigate to ~/android-studio/bin, execute ./ and use all the standard values from the wizard.

  4. Android Studio now asks you if you want to open an existing project; choose ~/deltachat-android as created in the “Build” chapter (Android Studio starts to build the project, however, there are some steps missing before this will succeed).

  5. If components are missing, click on the corresponding error message and install eg. required SDKs and the “Build-Tools” (you should also find the option at “Tools / Android / SDK Manager / SDK Platforms”). Now the build should succeed - but the app still misses the native part.

  6. Download Android NDK from NDK Archives and extract the archive containing a single folder called something like android-ndk-r23b-linux; move this folder e.g. to ~/android-ndk.

  7. Export the folder path to your environment as ANDROID_NDK_ROOT and add it to PATH. You can achieve this e.g. by adding this to your .bashrc

    export ANDROID_NDK_ROOT=${HOME}/android-ndk
    export PATH=${PATH}:${ANDROID_NDK_ROOT}/toolchains/llvm/prebuilt/linux-x86_64/bin/:${ANDROID_NDK_ROOT}

Run UI Tests and Benchmarks

Get the benchmark results

When the benchmark is done, you will get a result like MEASURED RESULTS (Benchmark) - Going thorough all 10 chats: 11635,11207,11363,11352,11279,11183,11137,11145,11032,11057. You can paste 11635,11207,11363,11352,11279,11183,11137,11145,11032,11057 into a cell in a LibreOffice spreadsheet, do “Data” / “Text to columns”, choose , as a separator, hit “OK”, and create a diagram.

Run online tests

For some tests, you need to provide the credentials to an actual email account. You have 2 ways to do this:

  1. (Recommended): Put them into the file ~/.gradle/ (create it if it doesn’t exist):
  2. Or set them via environment variables.


The user interface classes are based on the Signal messenger.


Licensed GPLv3+, see the LICENSE file for details.

Copyright © 2022 Delta Chat contributors.