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Easily setup an Android development environment on a Mac

Here is a high level overview for what you need to do to get most of an Android environment setup and maintained.

Prerequisites (for Homebrew at a minimum, lots of other tools need these too):

  • XCode is installed (via the App Store)
  • XCode command line tools are installed (xcode-select --install will prompt up a dialog)
  • Java

Install Homebrew:

ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL"

Make sure the doctor is happy (do what it tells you):

brew doctor

Use Homebrew to install Android dev tools:

brew install ant
brew install maven
brew install gradle
brew install android-sdk
brew install android-ndk

Install all of the Android SDK components (you will be prompted to agree to license info and then this will take a while to run):

android update sdk --no-ui

Install HAXM for blazing fast emulators. Check out the "Configuring VM Acceleration on Mac" section here:

Update your environment variables:

export ANT_HOME=/usr/local/opt/ant
export MAVEN_HOME=/usr/local/opt/maven
export GRADLE_HOME=/usr/local/opt/gradle
export ANDROID_HOME=/usr/local/opt/android-sdk
export ANDROID_NDK_HOME=/usr/local/opt/android-ndk

Update your paths (bonus points to a better solution to the hardcoded build tools version):

export PATH=$ANT_HOME/bin:$PATH
export PATH=$ANDROID_HOME/platform-tools:$PATH
export PATH=$ANDROID_HOME/build-tools/19.1.0:$PATH

Periodically run these commands again to ensure you're staying up to date:

brew update
android update sdk --no-ui
  • Note: It looks like there might be an issue with brew update and the android-sdk formula.

Install Eclipse, IntelliJ, Android Studio, or your other favorite IDE.

If everything goes smoothly on a moderate network connection you can expect this process to take 2-4 hours.

Homwbrew install url has been changed to this.

ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL"

Dorian commented Jul 23, 2015

You can use brew cask install intel-haxm to install Intel HAXM (I just fixed the cask file, it needs to be merged to master).

Dorian commented Jul 24, 2015

Same for android studio: brew cask install android-studio.

skizzo commented Oct 19, 2015

tried to install the Android SDK via android update sdk --no-ui but it failed cause I ran out of disk space. I can't find the location where the files have been downloaded to, anybody knows where it can be found? Need to delete this since it fills up my hard drive.. Thanks

kim0 commented Jan 3, 2016

For the build-tools embedded version problem, try

export PATH=$ANDROID_HOME/build-tools/$(ls -tr $ANDROID_HOME/build-tools/ | tail -1):$PATH

Of course, brew cask install java will install and help you maintain the JDK.

If you want the latest version of the build-tools and not the most recently installed try this

export PATH=$ANDROID_HOME/build-tools/$(ls $ANDROID_HOME/build-tools | sort | tail -1):$PATH

How would you setup environment variables if using zsh shell rather than the default one?

ciscoo commented Aug 10, 2016

@gkimpson edit ~/.zshrc like you would .bashrc

xjones commented Feb 27, 2017

ANT_HOME should be set as:

export ANT_HOME=/usr/local/opt/ant/libexec

to-kra commented Apr 18, 2017

Hi, android-sdk is no more available in brew install but brew cask install android-sdk

brew cask install android-sdk brings in the version without the android command. You now have to use sdkmanager

my android_sdk path is set to /usr/local/Caskroom/android-sdk/25.2.3 after i did brew cask install android_sdk
But when i try to create android app using native CLI, it gives me an error
The ANDROID_HOME environment variable points to incorrect directory. You will not be able to perform any build-related operations for Android

For anyone with NPE error and a stacktrace related to NDK i had to do this to fix.
Remove export ANDROID_NDK_HOME=/usr/local/opt/android-ndk

Use sdkmanager --update instead android sdk update

cesar-oyarzun-m commented Jun 12, 2017

@hprobotic I'm trying to run the emulator but I get android sdk not found, has anyone see same problem. I'm using brew cask install android-sdk and my configuration is this

export ANDROID_SDK_ROOT=/usr/local/share/android-sdk
export ANDROID_HOME=/usr/local/share/android-sdk
export ANDROID_NDK_HOME=/usr/local/opt/android-ndk
export PATH="$ANDROID_SDK_ROOT/platform-tools:$ANDROID_SDK_ROOT/tools:$PATH"
sdkmanager "system-images;android-25;google_apis;armeabi-v7a"
sdkmanager --update 
sdkmanager  --list
#avdmanager create avd -n Nexus6P -k "system-images;android-23;google_apis;x86_64" -b google_apis/x86_64 -c 100M -d 7 -f
avdmanager create avd -n test -k "system-images;android-25;google_apis;armeabi-v7a" -b armeabi-v7a -c 100M -d 7 -f
avdmanager list avd
cd $(dirname $(which emulator)) && ./emulator @test -no-audio -no-window -verbose

I get error

emulator: qemu backend: argv[00] = "../emulator/qemu/darwin-x86_64/qemu-system-armel"
emulator: qemu backend: argv[01] = "@test"
emulator: qemu backend: argv[02] = "-no-audio"
emulator: qemu backend: argv[03] = "-no-window"
emulator: qemu backend: argv[04] = "-verbose"
emulator: Concatenated backend parameters:
 ../emulator/qemu/darwin-x86_64/qemu-system-armel @test -no-audio -no-window -verbose
emulator: ERROR: can't find SDK installation directory
emulator: could not find virtual device named 'test'

jpca999 commented Jul 17, 2017

I get this error

@jpca999 use
brew install caskroom/cask/android-ndk

hendricius commented Jul 24, 2017

or just:

brew cask install android-sdk
brew cask install android-ndk

Having the ANT_HOME environment variable set breaks ant.

With it set:
% ant --execdebug
exec "$JAVACMD" -classpath "$LOCALCLASSPATH" -Dant.home="$ANT_HOME" -Dant.library.dir="$ANT_LIB" -cp "$CLASSPATH" "-lib" "/usr/local/share/ant" Error: Could not find or load main class

Without it set:
% ant --execdebug
exec "$JAVACMD" -classpath "$LOCALCLASSPATH" -Dant.home="$ANT_HOME" -Dant.library.dir="$ANT_LIB" -cp "$CLASSPATH"
Buildfile: build.xml does not exist!
Build failed

Ref. this issue.

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