Droid Hack – How to Install Thai Font on Droid!

I know this is a blog about Nexus One but today I installed Thai font for one of my Thai friends who wanted to view and type Thai on their Droid.

It took me about an hour to do it and it’s rather simple but let me guide you step-by-step as some of the steps required additional hacking on my part.

Basically, you need to root your Droid first, then install Busybox, which allows you to do basic linux command, then you simply copy over Thai-enabled Droid Sans font files to system font directory.

1) So, first, you will need to root your Droid. Follow our step-by-step guide on how to root your Droid.

2) Once you have rooted your Droid, you will want to install the “Android Terminal Emulator” free app from the Android market by Jack Palevich. Don’t download the other one by HelloAndroid.com, that one doesn’t work on Droid.

3) Next, you will need to install BusyBox on your Droid so you can copy new font files. Download the BusyBox and copy the file “busybox” into the root folder of your Droid’s SD card like you did earlier.

Also, download this font file (which is Droid Sans font file with Thai support), unzip it, and copy all the files ending in .ttf into the /font directory of your SD Card on the Droid. Make a new directory called “font” if it does not yet exist in the root directory of your SD Card.

4) Next, open up the Android Terminal Emulator on your Droid.

Type each line and press the enter key.
$ su
# mount -o rw,remount -t yaffs2 /dev/block/mtdblock3 /system
# mkdir /data/busybox
# cat /sdcard/busybox > /data/busybox/busybox
# chmod 755 /data/busybox/busybox
# mkdir /data/local
# cd /data/busybox
# ./busybox –install
# cp /sdcard/fonts/* /system/font

(That’s 2 dashes for busybox –install!!!)

If you did everything with no errors, you can simply reboot your Droid. Open up a browser to a Thai website and your Droid now should be able to read Thai. To install a Thai keyboard, look up “Thai” at Android Market and you should be able to find couple free Thai keyboard apps you can download to type in Thai.

How to Install Other Language Fonts on the DROID (or Android Smartphones)!

The steps for installing other language fonts on your DROID should be very similar, you just need to find font files that end in .ttf and copy it over to the /system/font directory like shown for the above steps for Thai.

Also, the method should be similar across all Android platforms.  I actually did this for my Thai friend but I don’t own a Droid myself, I have a Nexus One so I might have another tutorial on how to install it on Android if enough people want it.

If you have any trouble, just leave a comment and I will help you out.

Resources I’ve Used to Make This Tutorial

IsMint – This is the tutorial I used, which is actually for G1 but the Thai font zip file was missing so I had to find it elsewhere. Also, installing Busybox isn’t mentioned here, which is required if you want to install Thai or other language fonts on a stock Droid. If you installed Cyanogen or other ROMs, you might be able to skip the the step for installing BusyBox. You can check this by doing a simple “cp” command after you do “su” command. If you get an error, that means you need to install BusyBox.

Dkszone.Net – This is where I found out how to install BusyBox. But you have to use adb command and install the Android SDK. For some reason, I had trouble with my computer recognizing the Droid and using adb, so my method doesn’t need you to install Android SDK, easier/simpler method. If you want to install BusyBox via adb, you will need the Droid drivers from Motorola here.

AndroidFanatic.com – This is where I learned to install BusyBox without ADB by using Terminal Emulator.

DroidSans.com – This is where I was able to download the latest Droid Sans Thai font, thanks!

Categories: Android Hacks, Droid Hacks.

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