Thursday, September 3, 2009

My perfect Android development environment.

Hi Everyone

In case you spotted my previous post, I'm dabbling right now with software development on the Android phone platform. To do this, I've set-up a dedicated development system on my Acer 4520 laptop, and below is my installation guide, in case anyone wants to do something similar.

The specification for the system is as follows:

  • Kubuntu 9.04 running KDE 4.2 (I wanted a KDE environment specifically for this system, mainly for the looks!)
  • Latest Eclipse Galileo development environment.
  • Latest Android 1.5 SDK

Here's the installation sequence I used:

Screenshot of the finished environment:

Base installation

  • Clean installation of 32 bit Kubuntu 9.04. 32 bit required for Android IDE compatibility.
  • Boot into desktop and enable wireless networking.
  • Enter the WPA password twice when prompted.
  • Just enter a blank password for the KDE Wallet.
  • KDE might crash once networking has been enabled. Reboot at this point, and network will connect when you log-in again.
  • Install all updates using System Settings -> Add & Remove software.
  • Reboot
  • Next install NVIDIA v180 driver using Hardware Drivers tool. Ignore the proprietary Atheros driver option.
  • Reboot

Packages to install

  • Using command line to install these packages in order for the Java license to be displayed correctly:
  • sudo apt-get install flashplugin-installer sun-java6-jdk
  • Verify Java version with:
  • java -version
  • javac -version

Installing Android development environment


  • Download eclipse Galileo and Android SDK 1.5. Then install as follows:
  • tar -xvf eclipse-jee-galileo-linux-gtk.tar.gz
  • unzip
  • sudo mv eclipse /usr/local/bin
  • sudo mv android-sdk-linux_x86-1.5_r3 /usr/local/bin
  • Then add Eclipse manually to the KDE start menu:
  • Name: Eclipse
  • Location: /usr/local/bin/eclipse/eclipse
  • Description: Java IDE
  • Icon: Search for 'Eclipse'
  • Start Eclipse, select the default workbench location, then close the Welcome tab on launch.
  • Then select Help -> Check for updates.
    Install all updates then restart Eclipse.
  • Now set-up the Android plugin in Eclipse with:
  • Help > Install new software....
  • Click Add Site...
  • Enter the Location:
  • Select the checkbox next to Developer Tools and click Install...
  • On the subsequent Install window, "Android DDMS" and "Android Development Tools" should both be checked. Click Next.
  • Read and accept the license agreement, then click Finish.
  • Restart Eclipse.
  • Now modify your Eclipse preferences to point to the Android SDK directory:
  • Select Window > Preferences... to open the Preferences panel.
  • Select Android from the left panel.
  • For the SDK Location in the main panel, click Browse... and locate /usr/local/bin/android-sdk-linux_x86-1.5_r3.
  • Click Apply, then OK.
  • Disable Google usage stats.

The Android environment is now ready to use. All that is left is to fine-tune the desktop to my preferences, and we're done.

Configure Konqueror

  • Install Adobe flash player: Having installed the flash plugin in the earlier steps, launch Konqueror and do the following:
  • Settings -> Configure Konqueror
  • Web Browsing -> Plugins
  • Plugins tab -> Scan for Plugins
  • Flash plugin should then appear in the list.
  • Hit 'OK' to confirm, then test at
  • Settings -> Configure Konqueror
  • Set homepage as: /usr/local/bin/android-sdk-linux_x86-1.5_r3/documentation.html
  • Set Konqueror to load homepage on start-up.

KDE desktop configuration

  • Right-click workspaces -> Configure Desktops. Increase workspaces from 2 to 4.
  • System Settings -> Appearance -> Fonts. Change font DPI to 96.
  • Add the following apps to Start menu Favourites: Applications -> System -> Terminal; Development -> Eclipse
  • System Settings -> Notifications. Event Source -> KDE System Notifications. Remove sound from Logout and Login events.
  • Go into sound mixer and maximise Front and PCM sliders (or there will be no sound in Flash Player).
  • Set wallpaper.
  • Lock widgets.



  1. Now, Have you been seeing an eclipse-gtk bug on KDE4.2 ?

  2. Just a point on where you've put eclipse.

    Generally, /usr/bin /usr/local/bin are used just to store the binary files, or executables, or scripts to run programs.

    I've never really seen the used to hold all the files for an application. i.e. the eclipse folder.

    I would put the eclipse folder into /opt and then either add /opt/eclipse to the path, or create a shell script in /usr/local/bin called eclipse, which runs /opt/eclipse/eclipse (or even a sym link might do it).

    Just a suggestion. Nice post though!

  3. Thanks Eoin - I'm all for keeping the file-system in-order. I'll do this next time!


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