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how to update AndroidManifest.XML in resources.arsc using the aapt tool for Android using terminal

Posted by: admin May 14, 2020 Leave a comment


I need to update my package id used in the AndroidManifest.XML that is compiled into a resources.arsc file for my Android application (.apk) without decompiling the resources.arsc.

The android aapt tool includes the option to update (-u) as well as rename the package id in the manifest.xml and the rest of the project (–rename-manifest-package && –rename-intrumentation-target-package).

Being able to update or output the resources.arsc without first decompiling is very important. I have a replacement AndroidManifest.XML with new id ready to go as well. I have provided the terminal “usage” doc below for reference. Im not sure if im misunderstanding the docs or if its just a lack of understanding the required syntax to be used in the terminal (tried both DOS and UNIX).

Thanks in advance!

aapt l[ist] [-v] [-a] file.{zip,jar,apk}
List contents of Zip-compatible archive.

aapt d[ump] [--values] WHAT file.{apk} [asset [asset ...]]
badging          Print the label and icon for the app declared in APK.
permissions      Print the permissions from the APK.
resources        Print the resource table from the APK.
configurations   Print the configurations in the APK.
xmltree          Print the compiled xmls in the given assets.
xmlstrings       Print the strings of the given compiled xml assets.

aapt p[ackage] [-d][-f][-m][-u][-v][-x][-z][-M AndroidManifest.xml] \
    [-0 extension [-0 extension ...]] [-g tolerance] [-j jarfile] \
    [--min-sdk-version VAL] [--target-sdk-version VAL] \
    [--app-version VAL] [--app-version-name TEXT] [--custom-package VAL] \
    [--rename-manifest-package PACKAGE] \
    [--rename-instrumentation-target-package PACKAGE] \
    [--utf16] [--auto-add-overlay] \
    [-I base-package [-I base-package ...]] \
    [-A asset-source-dir]  [-G class-list-file] [-P public-definitions-file] \
    [-S resource-sources [-S resource-sources ...]]         [-F apk-file] [-J R-file-dir] \
    [raw-files-dir [raw-files-dir] ...]

Package the android resources.  It will read assets and resources that are
supplied with the -M -A -S or raw-files-dir arguments.  The -J -P -F and -R
options control which files are output.

aapt r[emove] [-v] file.{zip,jar,apk} file1 [file2 ...]
Delete specified files from Zip-compatible archive.

aapt a[dd] [-v] file.{zip,jar,apk} file1 [file2 ...]
Add specified files to Zip-compatible archive.

aapt v[ersion]
Print program version.

-a  print Android-specific data (resources, manifest) when listing
-c  specify which configurations to include.  The default is all
   configurations.  The value of the parameter should be a comma
   separated list of configuration values.  Locales should be specified
   as either a language or language-region pair.  Some examples:
   If you put the special locale, zz_ZZ on the list, it will perform
   pseudolocalization on the default locale, modifying all of the
   strings so you can look for strings that missed the
   internationalization process.  For example:
-d  one or more device assets to include, separated by commas
-f  force overwrite of existing files
-g  specify a pixel tolerance to force images to grayscale, default 0
-j  specify a jar or zip file containing classes to include
-k  junk path of file(s) added
-m  make package directories under location specified by -J
-u  update existing packages (add new, replace older, remove deleted files)
-v  verbose output
-x  create extending (non-application) resource IDs
-z  require localization of resource attributes marked with
-A  additional directory in which to find raw asset files
-G  A file to output proguard options into.
-F  specify the apk file to output
-I  add an existing package to base include set
-J  specify where to output R.java resource constant definitions
-M  specify full path to AndroidManifest.xml to include in zip
-P  specify where to output public resource definitions
-S  directory in which to find resources.  Multiple directories will be scanned
   and the first match found (left to right) will take precedence.
-0  specifies an additional extension for which such files will not
   be stored compressed in the .apk.  An empty string means to not
   compress any files at all.
   inserts android:minSdkVersion in to manifest.  If the version is 7 or
   higher, the default encoding for resources will be in UTF-8.
   inserts android:targetSdkVersion in to manifest.
   when used with "dump resources" also includes resource values.
   inserts android:versionCode in to manifest.
   inserts android:versionName in to manifest.
   generates R.java into a different package.
   Automatically add resources that are only in overlays.
   Rewrite the manifest so that its package name is the package name
   given here.  Relative class names (for example .Foo) will be
   changed to absolute names with the old package so that the code
   does not need to change.
   Rewrite the manifest so that all of its instrumentation
   components target the given package.  Useful when used in
   conjunction with --rename-manifest-package to fix tests against
   a package that has been renamed.
   changes default encoding for resources to UTF-16.  Only useful when API
   level is set to 7 or higher where the default encoding is UTF-8.
How to&Answers:

Did you try --rename-manifest-package . it wont affect the generated R file as well
However If you load some resource ids at runtime, you may need to update your code.

for eg. (for this code has to be changed)

String packageName = context.getPackageName();
Resources res = context.getResources();
int id = res.getIdentifier("my_drawable", "drawable", packageName);

you can go to this link for more info.