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Ubuntu

How to Install Flutter in Ubuntu 20.04

Ubuntu Flutter Development Setup
Written by Divine Okoi
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Flutter is a free, open-source SDK for creating cross-platform applications using a single code base. Designed, developed, and optimized by Google to be the ideal UI software development kit used for the development of Android, Linux, Mac, Windows, iOS, and Google Fuschia applications, Flutter is written in C, C++, and Dart, which makes it easy for seasoned developers to use it comfortably.

Flutter has been getting traction in the development community since its release because it is attractive to professional developers for rapidly building apps as well as to new programmers who are excited about learning cross-platform app development. One issue, though, is that Flutter can be quite a headache to install.

In this article, you will be learning how to set the Flutter app on your Linux machine in the loaded steps below. At the end of the day, you should be able to build Flutter apps using an emulator of your choice and Visual Studio Code.

System requirements

To install and run Flutter, your development environment must meet these minimum requirements:

  • A 64-bit Linux operating system with at least 10 GB of storage and 8 GB (recommended) memory.
  • A Java 8 is installed and that your JAVA_HOME environment variable is set to the JDK’s folder.
  • An Android Studio is installed and your ANDROID_SDK_ROOT environment variable is set to that installation directory.

Install Java in Ubuntu

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First, run the following command to check if the Java version you’re running in case it is already installed.

$ java -version

If it isn’t, run the following command to install it and then check the version again to confirm it has been properly installed.

$ sudo apt install openjdk-11-jdk
$ java -version

Install Android Studio in Ubuntu

Android Studio needs to be installed on your device in order to run Flutter. Since you want to set up a development environment, I’m assuming your machine meets the minimum requirements.

  Which Ubuntu Flavor Should You Choose?

Download the Android Studio package for your Linux and extract it to a directory of choice.

From your terminal, launch Android Studio by navigating to the directory location you extracted the package to and running the script like so:

$ cd android-studio/bin
$ ./studio.sh

When Android Studio opens, select whether you want to import previous settings or not and click OK. Right now, you don’t need to import anything.

Import Android Studio Settings

Import Android Studio Settings

Download the various files of the Android SDK and any updates that are pending. When you have everything set, click to Start a new Android Studio Project.

Android Studio Setup Wizard

Android Studio Setup Wizard

Create New Project

Create New Project

Give the project some time to build. The first builds typically take longer than usual because it is during such phases that the project preferences and default options are set in the system.

Project Details

Project Details

If you would like to launch Android Studio without going through the terminal next time, create a desktop icon from Tools –> Create Desktop Entry.

Create Android Studio Desktop Shortcut

Create Android Studio Desktop Shortcut

Install Flutter in Ubuntu

To install Flutter in Ubuntu, you need to first install a few tools and libraries required to use Flutter on Ubuntu.

$ sudo apt install curl file git unzip xz-utils zip libglu1-mesa clang cmake ninja-build pkg-config libgtk-3-dev

Next, download the Flutter SDK, extract the file to the /development folder. It will be called flutter.

$ mkdir ~/development
$ cd ~/development
$ wget https://storage.googleapis.com/flutter_infra_release/releases/stable/linux/flutter_linux_2.8.0-stable.tar.xz
$ tar xf flutter_linux_2.8.0-stable.tar.xz

Add the flutter tool to your path in the .bashrc file.

$ nano .bashrc

When the file opens for editing, add the path of the Flutter SDK to the end of the file.

export PATH="$PATH:/home/ubuntu/development/flutter/bin"

Updated the terminal by running the following command. Mind you, this works only if the Flutter SDK is in your home directory.

$ source .bashrc

Save and close the file. Close your terminal too.

In a new terminal window, run echo $PATH to see the updated path which should now contain the Flutter SDK.

$ echo $PATH

/usr/local/sbin:/usr/local/bin:/usr/sbin:/usr/bin:/sbin:/bin:/usr/games:/usr/local/games:/snap/bin:/home/ubuntu/development/flutter/bin

Next, run flutter doctor.

$ flutter doctor
Run Flutter Doctor

Run Flutter Doctor

Expect a list of issues to be displayed for different categories. Don’t be scared, here are the steps to fix them:

  What Are Snaps? And How Are They Important?

1. Android SDK Command-line Tools from File -> Settings -> Appearance & Behavior -> System Settings -> Android SDK -> SDK Tools and Check the box given for “Android SDK Command-line Tools (latest)” and then press the OK button to install.

Install Android Studio Commandline Tools

Install Android Studio Commandline Tools

2. To use Flutter, you must run the following command to agree on the licenses of the Android SDK platform.

$ flutter doctor --android-licenses  

Install Flutter Plugin in Android Studio

To install the Flutter plugin, click ‘Configure’ on the ‘Welcome to Android Studio’ screen and select ‘Plugins’. Or search for Flutter from File > Settings > Plugins > Search in repositories.

Install Flutter in Android Studio

Install Flutter in Android Studio

From there, install Flutter and Dart plugins for Android Studio.

Adding the Android Emulator

Now that Dart and Flutter plugins are installed, select the Android Virtual Device (AVD) Manager from Tools and Create Virtual Device. Select the Phone category to pick any device hardware of your choice and click Next.

Virtual Device Configruation

Virtual Device Configuration

The next step is to select an image. Select R and click next.

Creating Your First Project in VS Code

First, search for and install the Flutter and Dart extensions in VS Code. When that’s done, enter the following command in your terminal:

$ flutter create example_project && code example_project

This will create a project with the name ‘example_project’ and launch it in VS Code. Select No Device in the bottom right of the editor to download an Emulator. When the download is complete, launch the emulator if it doesn’t open automatically.

Congratulations, Flutter is installed and fully set up on your Linux machine! Happy developing!

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About the author

Divine Okoi

Divine Okoi is a cybersecurity postgrad with a passion for the open-source community. With 700+ articles covering different topics in IT, you can always trust him to inform you about the coolest tech.