This page describes how to install the Android SDK and set up your development environment for the first time.
If you encounter any problems during installation, see the Troubleshooting section at the bottom of this page.
If you already have an Android SDK, use the Android SDK and AVD Manager tool to install updated tools and new Android platforms into your existing environment. For information about how to do that, see Adding SDK Components
Before getting started with the Android SDK, take a moment to confirm that your development computer meets the System Requirements. In particular, you might need to install the JDK, if you don't have it already.
If you will be developing in Eclipse with the Android Development Tools (ADT) Plugin—the recommended path if you are new to Android—make sure that you have a suitable version of Eclipse installed on your computer (3.4 or newer is recommended). If you need to install Eclipse, you can download it from this location:
For Eclipse 3.5 or newer, the "Eclipse Classic" version is recommended. Otherwise, a Java or RCP version of Eclipse is recommended.
The SDK starter package is not a full development environment—it includes only the core SDK Tools, which you can use to download the rest of the SDK components (such as the latest Android platform).
If you haven't already, get the latest version of the SDK starter package from the SDK download page.
If you downloaded a
.tgz package (instead of the SDK installer), unpack
it to a safe location on your machine. By default, the SDK files are unpacked
into a directory named
If you downloaded the Windows installer (
.exe file), run it now and it will check
whether the proper Java SE Development Kit (JDK) is installed (installing it, if necessary), then
install the SDK Tools into a default location (which you can modify).
Make a note of the name and location of the SDK directory on your system—you will need to refer to the SDK directory later, when setting up the ADT plugin and when using the SDK tools from command line.
Android offers a custom plugin for the Eclipse IDE, called Android Development Tools (ADT), that is designed to give you a powerful, integrated environment in which to build Android applications. It extends the capabilites of Eclipse to let you quickly set up new Android projects, create an application UI, debug your applications using the Android SDK tools, and even export signed (or unsigned) APKs in order to distribute your application. In general, developing in Eclipse with ADT is a highly recommended approach and is the fastest way to get started with Android.
If you'd like to use ADT for developing Android applications, install it now. Read Installing the ADT Plugin for step-by-step installation instructions, then return here to continue the last step in setting up your Android SDK.
If you prefer to work in a different IDE, you do not need to install Eclipse or ADT, instead, you can directly use the SDK tools to build and debug your application. The developer guide has more information about Developing in Other IDEs.
The last step in setting up your SDK is using the Android SDK and AVD Manager (a tool included in the SDK starter package) to download essential SDK components into your development environment.
The SDK uses a modular structure that separates the major parts of the SDK—Android platform versions, add-ons, tools, samples, and documentation—into a set of separately installable components. The SDK starter package, which you've already downloaded, includes only a single component: the latest version of the SDK Tools. To develop an Android application, you also need to download at least one Android platform and the SDK Platform-tools (tools that the latest platform depend upon). However, downloading additional components is highly recommended.
If you used the Windows installer, when you complete the installation wizard, it will launch the Android SDK and AVD Manager with a default set of platforms and other components selected for you to install. Simply click Install to accept the recommended set of components and install them. You can then skip to Step 5, but we recommend you first read the section about the Available Components to better understand the components available from the Android SDK and AVD Manager.
You can launch the Android SDK and AVD Manager in one of the following ways:
SDK Manager.extfile at the root of the Android SDK directory.
tools/directory in the Android SDK, then execute:
To download components, use the graphical UI of the Android SDK and AVD Manager, shown in Figure 1, to browse the SDK repository and select new or updated components. The Android SDK and AVD Manager will install the selected components in your SDK environment. For information about which components you should download, see the following section about Recommended Components.
By default, there are two repositories of components for your SDK: Android Repository and Third party Add-ons.
The Android Repository offers these types of components:
<sdk>/tools/directory of your SDK and read more about them in the Tools section of the developer guide.
<sdk>/platform-tools/directory. Read more about them in the Tools section of the developer guide.
The Third party Add-ons provide components that allow you to create a development environment using a specific Android external library (such as the Google Maps library) or a customized (but fully compliant) Android system image. You can add additional Add-on repositories, by clicking Add Add-on Site.
The SDK repository contains a range of components that you can download. Use the table below to determine which components you need, based on whether you want to set up a basic, recommended, or full development environment:
|Basic||SDK Tools||If you've just installed the SDK starter package, then you already have the latest version of this component. The SDK Tools component is required to develop an Android application. Make sure you keep this up to date.|
|SDK Platform-tools||This includes more tools that are required for application development. These tools are platform-dependent and typically update only when a new SDK platform is made available, in order to support new features in the platform. These tools are always backward compatible with older platforms, but you must be sure that you have the latest version of these tools when you install a new SDK platform.|
|SDK platform||You need to download at least one platform into your environment, so that you will be able to compile your application and set up an Android Virtual Device (AVD) to run it on (in the emulator). To start with, just download the latest version of the platform. Later, if you plan to publish your application, you will want to download other platforms as well, so that you can test your application on the full range of Android platform versions that your application supports.|
|Documentation||The Documentation component is useful because it lets you work offline and also look up API reference information from inside Eclipse.|
|Samples||The Samples components give you source code that you can use to learn about Android, load as a project and run, or reuse in your own app. Note that multiple samples components are available — one for each Android platform version. When you are choosing a samples component to download, select the one whose API Level matches the API Level of the Android platform that you plan to use.|
|Usb Driver||The Usb Driver component is needed only if you are developing on Windows and have an Android-powered device on which you want to install your application for debugging and testing. For Mac OS X and Linux platforms, no special driver is needed.|
|Google APIs||The Google APIs add-on gives your application access to the Maps external library, which makes it easy to display and manipulate Maps data in your application.|
|Additional SDK Platforms||If you plan to publish your application, you will want to download additional platforms corresponding to the Android platform versions on which you want the application to run. The recommended approach is to compile your application against the lowest version you want to support, but test it against higher versions that you intend the application to run on. You can test your applications on different platforms by running in an Android Virtual Device (AVD) on the Android emulator.|
Once you've installed at least the basic configuration of SDK components, you're ready to start developing Android apps. The next section describes the contents of the Android SDK to familiarize you with the components you've just installed.
For more information about using the Android SDK and AVD Manager, see the Adding SDK Components document.
Once you've installed the SDK and downloaded the platforms, documentation, and add-ons that you need, we suggest that you open the SDK directory and take a look at what's inside.
The table below describes the full SDK directory contents, with components installed.
||Contains add-ons to the Android SDK development environment, which let you develop against external libraries that are available on some devices.|
||A full set of documentation in HTML format, including the Developer's Guide,
API Reference, and other information. To read the documentation, load the
||Contains development tools that may be updated with each platform release (from the Android
SDK Platform-tools component). Tools in here include
||Contains a set of Android platform versions that you can develop applications against, each in a separate directory.|
||Platform version directory, for example "android-1.6". All platform version directories contain a similar set of files and subdirectory structure.|
||Storage area for default fonts and resource definitions.|
||Storage area for default disk images, including the Android system image, the default userdata image, the default ramdisk image, and more. The images are used in emulator sessions.|
||A set of emulator skins available for the platform version. Each skin is designed for a specific screen resolution.|
||Storage area for file templates used by the SDK development tools.|
||This directory is used only by SDK Tools r7 and below for development tools that are specific to this platform version—it's not used by SDK Tools r8 and above.|
||The Android library used when compiling applications against this platform version.|
||Sample code and apps that are specific to platform version.||
||Contains the set of development and profiling tools that are platform-independent, such
as the emulator, the AVD and SDK Manager, ddms, hierarchyviewer and more. The tools in
this directory may be updated at any time (from the Android SDK Tools component),
independent of platform releases, whereas the tools in
||A file that explains how to perform the initial setup of your SDK, including how to launch the Android SDK and AVD Manager tool on all platforms|
||Windows SDK only. A shortcut that launches the Android SDK and AVD Manager tool, which you use to add components to your SDK.|
Optionally, you might want to add the location of the SDK's
platform-tools to your
PATH environment variable, to provide easy
access to the tools.
platform-tools/ to your PATH lets you run
command line tools without needing to
supply the full path to the tool directories. Depending on your operating system, you can
include these directories in your PATH in the following way:
platform-tools/directories to the path.
~/.bashrcfile. Look for a line that sets the PATH environment variable and add the full path to the
platform-toolsdirectories to it. If you don't see a line setting the path, you can add one:
.bash_profileand proceed as for Linux. You can create the
.bash_profileif you don't already have one.
Once you have completed installation, you are ready to begin developing applications. Here are a few ways you can get started:
Set up the Hello World application
Following the Hello World tutorial is an essential first step in getting started with Android development.
Learn about Android
Explore the development tools
Follow the Notepad tutorial
Following the Notepad tutorial is an excellent second step in getting started with Android development.
Explore some code
Visit the Android developer groups
apt-get install ia32-libs
apt-get install sun-java6-jdk