Setting up Flutter - Google's cross-platform native app development framework

Since you are reading this post, I am guessing, you are probably familiar with Flutter. If not,

Flutter is Google’s mobile UI framework for crafting high-quality native interfaces on iOS and Android in record time. Flutter works with existing code, is used by developers and organizations around the world, and is free and open source.

"... in record time.", well I am sold! You can see it in action in this Google I/O '17 talk. Let's begin by setting it up.


Flutter can be installed by cloning it, for the master channel. Or you can be safer by sticking to the Beta or Dev release channels.

Once you have cloned or downloaded the zip and extract it to the desired location. You will need to add flutter tool to your $PATH.

  $ export FLUTTER_HOME="$HOME/Developer/experimental/sdk/flutter"
  $ export PATH="$FLUTTER_HOME/bin:$PATH"

You would have the flutter tool available now.

  $ flutter --version
  Flutter 0.2.11-pre.23 • channel master •
  Framework • revision a2951a9a1f (7 hours ago) • 2018-04-10 18:12:34 -0700
  Engine • revision ed303c628f
  Tools • Dart 2.0.0-dev.47.0.flutter-23ae4fa098

You should see something like the above output. Now its time to install all dependencies of flutter. flutter doctor -v should check and let you know about all the dependencies.


I get the following output from flutter doctor -v.

[✗] Android toolchain - develop for Android devices
    ✗ ANDROID_HOME = /usr/local/share/android-sdk/
      but Android SDK not found at this location.

#Brew cask installations

I have installed android-sdk and android-ndk.

  $ brew cask install android-sdk android-ndk

#Setting up PATH and environment variables

I have set the environment variables.

export ANDROID_SDK_ROOT="/usr/local/share/android-sdk/"
export ANDROID_NDK_HOME="/usr/local/share/android-ndk/"

and $PATH

export PATH="$ANDROID_HOME""tools:$ANDROID_HOME""tools/bin:$ANDROID_HOME""platform-tools:$PATH"

#Using sdkmanager to install android dependencies

But this is not enough! It says it can't find the 'Android SDK' at the location. Time to install using sdkmanager.

  $ sdkmanager --list
  Exception in thread "main" java.lang.NoClassDefFoundError: javax/xml/bind/annotation/XmlSchema
  Caused by: java.lang.ClassNotFoundException: javax.xml.bind.annotation.XmlSchema
    at java.base/jdk.internal.loader.BuiltinClassLoader.loadClass(
    at java.base/jdk.internal.loader.ClassLoaders$AppClassLoader.loadClass(
    at java.base/java.lang.ClassLoader.loadClass(
    ... 5 more

Uh, oh! Looks like my java version is different than expected. Perhaps I am on Java 10. Using jenv

  $ jenv versions
* 10 (set by /private/tmp/.java-version)

Let's switch to Java 1.8, restarting the shell and retrying...

  $ jenv local 1.8
  $ exec bash
  $ sdkmanager --list
Installed packages:
  Path    | Version | Description              | Location
  ------- | ------- | -------                  | -------
  tools   | 26.0.1  | Android SDK Tools 26.0.1 | tools/

Flutter doctor is still not happy. Perhaps we need to look more closely. Reading the file in the repository, I can see that the sdkmanager is used to install a bunch of stuff. Let's do the same locally.

  $ sdkmanager "tools"
  $ sdkmanager "platform-tools"
  $ sdkmanager "build-tools;27.0.3"
  $ sdkmanager "platforms;android-27"
  $ sdkmanager "extras;android;m2repository"
  $ sdkmanager "extras;google;m2repository"
  $ sdkmanager "patcher;v4"

This seems to take care of almost everything.

  $ flutter doctor -v
  [!] Android toolchain - develop for Android devices (Android SDK 27.0.3)
      • Android SDK at /usr/local/share/android-sdk/
Android NDK location not configured (optional; useful for native profiling support)
      • Platform android-27, build-tools 27.0.3ANDROID_HOME = /usr/local/share/android-sdk/
      • Java binary at: /Applications/Android
      • Java version OpenJDK Runtime Environment (build 1.8.0_152-release-1024-b01)
      ! Some Android licenses not accepted.  To resolve this, run: flutter doctor --android-licenses

One last thing, I suppose:

  $ flutter doctor --android-licenses


I get the following output from flutter doctor -v.

[✓] iOS toolchain - develop for iOS devices (Xcode 9.3)
    • Xcode at /Applications/
    • Xcode 9.3, Build version 9E145
    • ios-deploy 1.9.2
    • CocoaPods version 1.5.0

All my dependencies for iOS are in place. Well I am an iOS developer after all.

#Setting up Cocoapods

I generally prefer installing Cocoapods using bundler. I have my Gemfile written:

  source ""

  gem 'cocoapods'

And running bundle install. After that pod setup should do the trick.

#Setting up Xcode

After installing Xcode, install the 'Command Line Tools' using xcode-select --install.

Install the xcode dependency six, as reported by the flutter doctor.

  $ pip install six

#Brew installations

  $ brew install --HEAD libimobiledevice
  $ brew install ideviceinstaller ios-deploy


Flutter works best with 'Android Studio'. It also detects 'IntelliJ Idea' and 'Visual Studio Code'. You will need to install the appropriate plugins.

#Connect device

Connect your iOS or Android device to your machine over USB. That should take care of itself.

Hopefully, flutter doctor is happy now. And you can begin writing your first application (flutter create) in Dart or run from the examples directory.

  $ cd examples/flutter_gallery/
  $ flutter run

For iOS, you will need to configure the development team by opening Xcode workspace in ios/Runner.xcworkspace.

As always, please leave your comments and feedback in the comment section below. I hope you found this post useful. Happy developing.

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