Android Binder

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Binder is an Android-specific interprocess communication mechanism, and remote method invocation system.

  • That is, one Android process can call a routine in another Android process, using binder to indentify the method to invoke and pass the arguments between processes.
  • note that Android does NOT use SysV IPC for interprocess communication
  • A good overview of binder is in the presentation Inter-process method invocation in Android by Tetsuyuki Kobayashi
  • the binder implementation is in the kernel source at: drivers/misc/binder.c, with include file: include/linux/binder.h

History

  • Originally a feature in BeOS, Binder was a central construct for encapsulating software interfaces. One of the architects behind this mechanism was Dianne Hackborn, who is now a key employee at Android/Google. For more history see this interview.