(Android) Build your application and upload the .apk to an ftp server with a bash script

For the build process of a medium size project i’m working on, i need to generate the .apk and upload it to an ftp, i was doing this manually everytime i made changes, this is not optimal so i decided to create a bash script to automate the process.

Preparing the eclipse project for ant build.

To compile from the command line the build.xml file must created , the following command does that:

android update -p

Now you can call

ant debug

To generate the .apk file inside the bin directory of your project. I needed to sign the .apk so instead of debug , release ant task must be called

ant release

Specifying the key store for apk signing

My final goal is to upload the signed .apk to an ftp server, where other part of the build process takes place, to sign the .apk you must already have created a key store and alias that you can set in the file “ant.properties” (Create it in the root of your project)

key.alias=alias name


Take care when storing passwords in plain text, you can add ant.properties to your .gitignore if you dont want it in your repository.

Uploading a file to ftp from a bash script.

I tried with the ftp command , however it wasn’t as straight as i tought. The ftp command is not really meant to be used from the command line. A better alternative exists and is called ncftp.

(In mac install it with brew install ncftp if you have brew package manager)

The command to upload a file is:


The result