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How to install Android emulator without installing Android Studio

koscheyscrag profile image Andrei Fedotov Updated on ・2 min read

This is the step-by-step note that answering the question: How to install and launch Android emulator without installing Android Studio itself.

  1. Download and install JDK

  2. Set JAVA_HOME variable.

    Open Command Prompt (Win+R, type cmd and press Enter) or use any other terminal you like. For me path to JDK is E:\Program Files\Java\jdk1.8.0_251. Execute the following:

    setx JAVA_HOME "E:\Program Files\Java\jdk1.8.0_251"
    

    or use Start -> Edit the system environment variables -> Environment variables... -> New...
    JAVA_HOME

  3. Download and install Intel Hardware Accelerated Execution Manager (HAXM) (you also need to switch off Hyper-V feature and enable Virtualization in BIOS for successful installation).

  4. Download Command-Line-Tools: Go to Downloads page , scroll down to "Command line tools only" section and download the archive with tools.

  5. Go to AppData\Local:

    cd %localappdata%
    
  6. Create the following folder structure and go inside:

    mkdir Android\cmdline-tools
    cd Android\cmdline-tools
    
  7. Extract downloaded commandlinetools-win-*_latest.zip folder into cmdline-tools folder:

    tar -xf C:\Users\a\Downloads\commandlinetools-win-6200805_latest.zip
    

    Starting from Android SDK Command-line Tools 1.0.0 (6200805), in contrast to Android SDK 26.1.1 (4333796), the tools directory hierarchy has been changed. Previously it was placed right inside ANDROID_HOME, now it's still named as tools (the only thing you'll get after unpacking the downloaded commandlinetools zip file), but differently, you have to place it inside a directory called cmdline-tools on your own.

  8. The structure is supposed to be the following:

    ├── cmdline-tools
       └── tools
           ├── bin
           ├── lib
           ├── NOTICE.txt
           └── source.properties  
    
  9. Set ANDROID_HOME environment variable:

    setx ANDROID_HOME %localappdata%\Android
    
  10. Create new entry in Path environment variable:

    setx path "%PATH%;%ANDROID_HOME%\cmdline-tools\tools\bin" /m
    

    Note: you'll probably need to restart cmd in order the changes take effect.

  11. The next command allows us to see the list of available packages:

    sdkmanager --list
    
  12. We need to install such packages like platform-tools, platforms;android-* and system-images;android-*;google_apis;x86_64, where * means the version:

    sdkmanager "platforms;android-29" "system-images;android-29;google_apis;x86_64" "platform-tools"
    
  13. Next we have to accept a bunch of licenses. Type the next command and answer y to each question:

    sdkmanager --licenses
    
  14. Now we are ready to create new virtual device:

    avdmanager create avd -n test_avd_29 -k "system-images;android-29;google_apis;x86_64"
    
  15. To see the list of virtual devices just type:

    avdmanager list avd
    
  16. Go to emulator folder:

    cd %ANDROID_HOME%\emulator
    
  17. Last but not least thing is launching:

    emulator -avd test_avd_29
    

emu1
emu2
emu3

Cheers!

Discussion

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hemanthjabalpuri profile image
HemanthJabalpuri

Can you please update the guide to commandline-tools 3.0.
I am having error as said in stackoverflow.com/questions/655464...

Use ANDROID_SDK_ROOT instead of ANDROID_HOME according to stackoverflow.com/a/61176718/11620356

Also unzip correctly as said in UPDATE! in above stackoverflow link.

Thanks for guide.

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govarthenan profile image
Govarthenan

Is this procedure guaranteed to work?
And also does the AVD save the changes or do I get a brand new one every time I boot it up?

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koscheyscrag profile image
Andrei Fedotov Author

Hey Govarthenan,
if by saying "procedure" you mean this step-by-step note for launching emulator then the answer is yes, it is. I use it for dev purposes and it works.
In terms of saving changes yes it does: you can launch emulator, do some actions, close it, open again and see the previous state