Setting up flutter without Android studio

jay_js profile image Jayesh Kale Updated on ・3 min read

Sometimes due the hardware constraints or some other reasons developer will prefer light weight solution rather than Big Bulky Android Studio. So heres a good news for you in this article we will configure visual studio code to work with flutter without android studio. We are using ubuntu 19.04 as operating system but you can choose choice of your linux distros. So lets get started....

Packages we required

  1. Android command line tools
  2. Flutter Binaries
  3. Gradle build
  4. OpenJDK 8

Installing Packages

We are installing it by following below steps respectively:

  1. Navigate to folder where you downloaded your binaries.
  2. Extract it and move it to relevant location.
  3. Set up path and refresh .profile file to access utilities.

Installing Packages

To set up path open profile type in terminal
$ gedit ~/.profile

Android tools

$ unzip sdk-tools-linux-4333796.zip
$ mkdir Android
$ mv tools/ Android/
$ sudo mv Android/ /usr/lib 
#android home
export ANDROID_HOME=/usr/lib/Android
export PATH=$ANDROID_HOME/tools/bin:$PATH
export PATH=$ANDROID_HOME/platform-tools:$PATH

#android sdk root
export ANDROID_SDK_ROOT=/usr/lib/Android


$ tar xvf flutter_linux_v1.9.1+hotfix.2-stable.tar.xz
$ sudo mv flutter/ /usr/lib
export FLUTTER_HOME=/usr/lib/flutter


$ unzip gradle-5.6.2-bin.zip
$ mkdir gradle
$ mv gradle-5.6.2/ gradle/
$ sudo mv gradle/ /opt
export GRADLE_HOME=/opt/gradle/gradle-5.6.2

OpenJDK 8

  • Open synaptic package manager if you don't have it install via
$ sudo apt install synaptic
  • Type in OpenJDK 8 to search bar.
  • Select
    1. openjdk-8-jdk
    2. openjdk-8-jdk-headless
    3. openjdk-8-jre
    4. openjdk-8-jre-headless
  • Apply and wait for install. Don't worry it will set up environment variable for you automatically.

Our installation of packages is done use subsequent command to refresh .profile
$ . ~/.profile

Setting up Android environment

For setting Android environment you have to download following packages. I'm Downloading latest one as the date of publishing but you can download many system images to support wide array of devices using sdkmanager.

Note: If you're facing issue with sdkmanager as Warning: Could not create settings then open up terminal and type $sdkmanager --sdk_root=${ANDROID_HOME} tools this will upgrade binaries to latest and everything will works as expected.

$ sdkmanager "system-images;android-29;google_apis;x86_64"
$ sdkmanager "platforms;android-29"
$ sdkmanager "platform-tools"
$ sdkmanager "patcher;v4"
$ sdkmanager "emulator"
$ sdkmanager "build-tools;29.0.2"

Accept all licenses using

sdkmanager --licenses

Setting up flutter config

Update flutter config and set path to android sdk directory where it is installed.

$ flutter config --android-sdk /usr/lib/Android

You have to install flutter extension in visual studio code in order use flutter.

creating Emulator

Create emulator with name pixel or choose the name you want

$ avdmanager -s create avd -n pixel -k "system-images;android-29;google_apis;x86_64"

Create emulator using existing devices features

$ avdmanager -s create avd -n pixel -k "system-images;android-29;google_apis;x86_64" -d 19

you can get list of exting devices using

$ avdmanager list

Moment of truth

$ flutter doctor -v

This command should give all green and ok except android studio path.

Run emulator

$ flutter emulator --launch pixel

Here's an image in action:

Posted on by:

jay_js profile

Jayesh Kale


Loves to play with different framework and crave for awesome things.


Editor guide

Nice and concise article.

This line: $ sudo mv gradle/ opt/ should read: $ sudo mv gradle/ /opt/.


yeah forgot to mention that thanks for help.


Worked fine for me, thanks!
Besides noticed that the "$" is missing in variable GRADLE_HOME at "export PATH=GRADLE_HOME/bin:$PATH".


bro thank you in advance
but i have this little small issue will following along your post

sdkmanager "system-images;android-29;google_apis;x86_64"

ERROR: JAVA_HOME is set to an invalid directory: path_to_java_home

Please set the JAVA_HOME variable in your environment to match the
location of your Java installation.

please respond asp


can you check your java home path where it is installed.


good article :D

the line sdkamanger "platform-tools" has a typo --> sdkmanager


yeah corrected it.👍


Hi, you save my journey to learn flutter. I got and issue with sdk trying to use flutter and Android Studio on ubuntu. Now i can learn thanks to your tutorial. So i join the community to say thanks.


Thats what community for❤️


I have downloaded the sdk-tools-linux-4333796.zip, and I can't find the platform-tools directory inside. I'm running on arch-linux


you won't find platform tools inside it directly.. you have to install it using command -> sdkmanager "platform-tools"


If anyone else is trying to executing that code and geting 'Warning: Failed to read or create install properties file.'

Go here askubuntu.com/questions/1227439/18...


Does your ubuntu version have to be '19.04'? Mine is currently 18.04


no it doesn't matter but it at least has to be 18.04 or above wiil be great


any plan to expand your work to support debugging flutter apps remotely via vnc+headless android emulator?


no not currently but will research on it.. btw thanks for advice👍


Nice article...
But I have an issue I have done all the steps perfectly but when I tried to launch the emulator it's not launching.
Please help..


can you provide some detailed information on that.