Flutter on Windows without Android Studio

tldr; Install Gradle

Lately I’ve been falling more in love with Dart and Go, two modern open-source languages by Google, and with the recent murmuring around the Magenta kernel and Fuchsia OS,  I’ve been spending more and more time working in both languages (even writing an Epub reader in Dart).

While I’ve been enjoying writing console apps and libraries, I wanted to try my hand at writing some U.I. apps.

Enter Flutter.

Flutter “is a new mobile app SDK to help developers and designers build modern mobile apps for iOS and Android.” and it feels like a lighter-weight competitor to Xamarin. It has a great getting started guide, so I began with the setup.

Note: I’m running Windows 10 Creator’s edition with Hyper V disabled and Xamarin Installed. Your mileage may vary

After git clone -ing the repo and adding the flutter/bin folder to my PATH, I ran the flutter doctor command and got the following:1_flutterDoctorNoSdk

Flutter couldn’t discover my Android SDK (which I had installed via Xamarin previously), which was no problem: I simply set my ANDROID_HOME environment variable and it picked it up.3_sdkInstalled

Android Studio not being installed was problematic for two reasons:

  1. I was on a bad coffee shop WiFi and probably couldn’t download the entire 1.5 GB installer in a reasonable amount of time.
  2. I am a big fan of the Dart community, in particular Danny Tuppeny’s (@dantup)  Dart Code Visual Studio Code extension which makes developing Dart libraries a breeze, so I’d rather use VSCode and his extension over Android Studio.

With those considerations in mind, I decided to skip installing Android Studio and just run

flutter create myapp

4_flutterCreateWorksNoAndroidStudio

Which made a perfectly good Flutter application I can open and work in with Visual Studio Code.5_aWellCreatedFlutterApp

So let’s flutter run !6_cannnotLocateGradeInstallAS

Unable to locate gradle. Please install Android Studio

So that’s what Flutter needed from Android Studio! At this point my download of Android Studio was 50% complete with another hour to go, so I decided to download and install Gradle manually, update my PATH environment variable and give flutter run another try:8_gradleWorksButBadVM

I’m getting an entirely different error now:

Could not reserve enough space for 1572864KB object heap

A quick Google of this instructed me to update my gradle.properties file with

org.gradle.jvmargs=-XX\:MaxHeapSize\=256m -Xmx256m

Now flutter run took me further, informing me that I had not accepted the license agreement for Android SDK Build-Tools 25.0.3. Which was actually somewhat misleading. In fact I had not even installed the 25.0.3 Build-Tools.

A quick trip to the SDK Manager to install and accept licence for the 25.0.3 Build-Tools, and one last flutter run got me to a successfully running Flutter app, all before Android Studio finished downloading.17_runningProperly

18_runningInEmulator

Success!

From here you can iterate and improve on their sample apps or get started with your own!

Happy coding!

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