Working with Emulator Disk Images
The emulator uses mountable disk images stored on your development machine to
simulate flash (or similar) partitions on an actual device. For example, it uses
disk image containing an emulator-specific kernel, the Android system, a
ramdisk image, and writeable images for user data and simulated SD card.
To run properly, the emulator requires access to a specific set of disk image
files. By default, the Emulator always looks for the disk images in the
private storage area of the AVD in use. If no images exist there when
the Emulator is launched, it creates the images in the AVD directory based on
default versions stored in the SDK.
Note: The default storage location for
AVDs is in
~/.android/avd on OS X and Linux,
Settings\<user>\.android\ on Windows XP, and
on Windows Vista.
To let you use alternate or custom versions of the image files, the emulator
provides startup options that override the default locations and filenames of
the image files. When you use the options, the emulator searches for the image
file under the image name or location that you specify; if it can not locate the
image, it reverts to using the default names and location.
The emulator uses three types of image files: default image files, runtime
image files, and temporary image files. The sections below describe how to
override the location/name of each type of file.