Android 13 to bring significant performance improvements to DSU

Dynamic System Update (DSU) is one of the least known features in Android, allowing users to install Generic System Image (GSI) without unlocking the bootloader or flashing a system update. This feature was first introduced in Android 10 and is one of the easiest ways for developers to test out the latest Android versions. And it’s getting even better in Android 13.

As noted by Mishaal Rahman, DSU will be getting a number of new features and improvements in Android 13, including a huge performance boost, a weighted progress bar, and support for system_ext and product images.

The new commitments on AOSP Gerrit suggest that Google is bringing some significant performance improvements to DSU. Installing GSI via DSU will be much faster, thanks to the increase in default shared memory. Google notes that a slight increase in memory (from 8KiB to 64KiB) will greatly speed up dynamic system installation times on both physical and virtual devices. Google’s testing shows that the installation time on physical devices has dropped from 2 minutes and 2 seconds to just 45 seconds.


The description of the commit reads:

This minor adjustment boosts the 8KiB -> 64KiB DSU significantly
Installation time:

* Physical device: 2m34s -> 45s
* Virtual Device: 46s -> 30s

Also make the shared memory size customizable for fine-tuning.

There are also some new improvements in the progress bar. When a GSI installation is running, a progress bar in the notification area will show which partition is being installed. Currently, it only shows “Installation in progress”. In addition, the progress bar will be weighted because a read-only partition takes longer than a write-only partition.

Instead of showing “Install in Progress”, show which partition is being installed and the total number of partitions, for example: “Install in Progress: System Partition” [2/3],

Finally, DSU will add support for system, system_ext and product images. Note that these features and improvements are not live in the Android 13 Developer Preview. They will likely arrive in an upcoming beta release or the final version of Android 13.

Source: ASOP [1], [2], [3], [4]

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