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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.

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xjones commented Feb 27, 2017

ANT_HOME should be set as:

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

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tokra commented Apr 18, 2017

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

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gngchrs commented Apr 21, 2017

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

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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

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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

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Use sdkmanager --update instead android sdk update

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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'

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jpca999 commented Jul 17, 2017

I get this error

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

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hendricius commented Jul 24, 2017

or just:

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

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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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agrcrobles commented Nov 28, 2017

Update your environment variables


android-28 / android-30

sdk can be installed on /Library/Android/sdk or /usr/local/ to be sure check it by

which sdkmanager


export ANDROID_HOME=$HOME/Library/Android/sdk


export ANDROID_HOME="/usr/local/share/android-sdk"

Both are valid locations for the android sdk from what I am aware of :)

android-28 / android-30

Copy paste, It's a good idea double check your paths anyways.

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


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mrded commented Mar 11, 2018


Use Homebrew to install Android dev tools:

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

Update your environment variables:

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

Install all of the Android SDK components:

sdkmanager --update

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Thanks @mrded !
Almost one-line offer.

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amityweb commented May 21, 2018

Can you update the instructions save reading all the threads, its the following for me:
brew cask install android-sdk
brew cask install android-ndk

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I had so much trouble getting the android sdk and java sdk working with my Pixel, running through multiple iterations of Android Studio setup and different versions of Java. I am on OSX

I finally started over and settled on the following:
java version "1.8.0_171" (JDK 8)

This brew cask was the only thing I could get my Pixel working with:
brew cask install android-studio

react-native-cli: 2.0.1

Thanks to the makers of that cask.

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molcik commented Jul 11, 2018

Do you want to avoid struggle with this setup? Read this tutorial

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ngryman commented Jul 23, 2018

@molcik Just curious, where did you struggle exactly? @mrded's update is pretty straightforward and worked for me ¯_(ツ)_/¯

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@molcik that website is just absolute spam. It only provides an alternative "solution" of installing Android Studio. And then links to this very gist.
Should probably be reported as spam...

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

or asdf plugin-add java && asdf install java oracle-8.191 && asdf global java oracle-8.191

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X901 commented Jan 3, 2019

Thank you so much , Finally working with showing this error Cannot find AVD system path. Please define ANDROID_SDK_ROOT

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android-ndk is no longer available.

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andrewhavens commented May 1, 2019

2019 Update:

Some packages have been removed or changed (such as java, android-ndk, etc). This is what worked for me:

brew cask install adoptopenjdk8
brew cask install android-sdk

echo "export ANDROID_HOME=/usr/local/share/android-sdk" >> ~/.bash_profile
source ~/.bash_profile

touch ~/.android/repositories.cfg
sdkmanager --update
sdkmanager "platform-tools" "platforms;android-28"

The sdkmanager had a problem when ~/.android/repositories.cfg didn't exist, but by simply creating the file, it solved the problem.

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romenigld commented May 11, 2019

Install with:
brew cask install android-studio

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brew cask install android-studio

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brew install android-studio --cask since new brew

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For People who make both Android, iOS Apps i made a crazy doc here

Enjoy !

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Note, adoptopendk8 has been officially discontinued, it may stop working in recent versions of MacOS.
Temurin is the official successor:

brew install --cask temurin8

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I advice you guy to use Jabba instead of anything else !

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intfrr commented Mar 6, 2023

It's better to use sdkman to instal any jdk version (temurin or any other), ant, gradle and maven

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