Android Dev Setup: What is step one, really?

Finally got a few minutes to poke a toe into the world of Android development.  Started the installation of the Android SDK for Ubuntu (Oneiric).  Eclipse won't start.  Segfault just after telling it where the workspace should be.  Apparently no one has ever changed the default working directory in the first dialog they ever see in Eclipse?

Oh well, symlink it in.  Go to install the SDK.  Botched dependency for the standard install on Ubuntu current?  Okay, try to update the JDT for Eclipse.  Botched dependency there such that it can't install on the Ubuntu current.

So, lazy-web, apparently people do *not* do this (Android development) using the "official" approach of installing Eclipse, then installing the ADT when using Ubuntu, so what do they do?  Is there some special Eclipse distribution/package that people use when they want to do Android dev on Ubuntu?  Do they manually install Eclipse rather than using the package manager (does anyone else feel dirty even suggesting that)?

Do people just use the raw command-line tools?  Honestly, they *sound* better to me (more direct, simpler, closer to my normal (Python) tool-chain), but I'm guessing I'd be missing out on a lot of whiz-bang, and I may need some whiz :) .

Update: the missing detail is to only use a downloaded Linux64 version of Eclipse (direct from the Eclipse homepage).  Unpack the tar-file somewhere and then link the "eclipse" executable into your ~/bin .  Even with this version, any attempt to upgrade plugins always seems to fail in dependency heck, but the versions currently on offer seem to work.


  1. kevin

    kevin on 12/28/2011 9:36 a.m. #

    You may want to give IntelliJ IDEA Community Edition a try, I found it to be a lot more user friendly for getting started with Android. The only downside was that it required Sun java instead of OpenJDK. The same company also builds a python IDE as well.

  2. Jeff Licquia

    Jeff Licquia on 12/28/2011 12:03 p.m. #

    I develop an Android app using the Ubuntu-packaged Eclipse (as yet unreleased).

    Generally, I follow the instructions on, using "apt-get install eclipse" for the "make sure Eclipse is installed" step. But there are a few undocumented steps you have to take.

    First, Ubuntu turns off the Eclipse update repos. This turns out to be a big part of the hassle, since Eclipse-in-Ubuntu is missing a few optional frameworks that would otherwise be pulled in when installing the SDK/AVD Manager stuff. It's easy enough to fix: Help->Install New Software, click "Available Software Sites", and add a repo something like this:

    The "indigo" part should match the release codename Eclipse displays in its little splash screen (which is Indigo for Oneiric's Eclipse).

    Then, when following the directions, instead of being told that the ADT stuff can't be installed because of missing whatsis, everything installs OK (with the missing whatsis being downloaded from the repo above).

    The other thing I typically have to do is install ia32-libs on 64-bit systems. Yes, Oneiric is multi-arch now. No, apt-get hasn't quite got all the little weird tics out for supporting that. Installing ia32-libs is the only way I know of to coax apt into installing some of the 32-bit libs you need.

    But once all that's done, everything seems to work OK.

  3. Roger

    Roger on 12/28/2011 1:05 p.m. #

    I do Android development on Ubuntu.

    Unfortunately the Eclipse shipped with Ubuntu tends to lag and is not updated much. However it is what I use. The biggest problem recently is that Eclipse needs an HTML display infrastructure for tooltips, completions and documentation. There was some incompatibility between various backends available and Eclipse which would result in the process crashing. If you did a fresh install this wasn't a problem, but if your system had been through upgrades you would experience it.

  4. Mike C. Fletcher

    Mike C. Fletcher on 12/28/2011 8:49 p.m. #

    Thanks for the comments all. I may wind up re-doing the installation in the future, so may attempt one of the other approaches.

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