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How to generate a debug apk in react-native

What is an .apk file?

An Android Package Kit (APK) is the package file format used by the Android OS for distribution and installation of mobile apps. It is similar to the .exe file you have on Windows OS, a .apk file is for android.

What can I use it for?

A debug .apk file will allow you to install and test your app before publishing to app stores. Mind you, this is not yet ready for publishing, and there are quite a few things you'll need to do to before you can publish. Nevertheless, it'll be useful for initial distribution and testing.

You'll need to enable debugging options on your phone to run this apk.


  • react-native version > 0.57

How to generate one in 3 steps?

Step 1: Go to the root of the project in the terminal and run the below command:

react-native bundle --platform android --dev false --entry-file index.js --bundle-output android/app/src/main/assets/ --assets-dest android/app/src/main/res

Step 2: Go to android directory:

cd android

Step 3: Now in this android folder, run this command

./gradlew assembleDebug

There! you'll find the apk file in the following path:

Now you have your .apk file generated, install it on your android phone and enjoy!

Thank you.

Top comments (17)

impdp profile image
Pradeep Annadurai

And if you build frequently, you can make the shortcut for bundle command in the scripts of Package.json

"bundle-android": "react-native bundle --platform android --dev false --entry-file index.js --bundle-output android/app/src/main/assets/ --assets-dest android/app/src/main/res"

and in the terminal use:
npm run bundle-android

nickap profile image
nickap • Edited

This might be because the files monitored by the system have reached the limit!

You can increase the number of the files like this:

sudo gedit /etc/sysctl.conf
You might want to check:
sudo sysctl -p

gautham495 profile image
Gautham Vijayan

I did what the documentation said and got aab. With this post I got an apk thank you!!!

edufrazao profile image
Eduardo Frazão

Hi. Its possible to link a local debugger to this "self-contained bundled" APK, in order to get errors or warnings, or even "console.log/warn" outputs?

I have a APP where part of the developers feeds the application with dynamic code (views and business rules with javascript), that are parsed at runtime.
This developers don't need the entire application project + development server in order to do their work. If they can only get this errors/warnings in some attached debugger, it will be nice!

zanottaa profile image

worked like a charm, thank you my friend.

nitish173 profile image

Sorry for late reply, I hope you've been able to figure out the problem. Apparently, this error means there's no space on the drive. Check out this if it helps:

kaulsalil88 profile image
Salil Kaul

Just a heads in case you get an error that error ENOENT: no such file or directory, open 'android/app/src/main/assets/'. Please create the same using mkdir -p android/app/src/main/assets . Source :

noursaloom profile image

thx a lot
but be careful guys
u should use npx before first command

mustafasagdic profile image

Helps me a lot, thx!

paulhoriachiy profile image
Paul Horiachiy

Thanks, it works!

joweltisso profile image
Jowel Tisso

Great Thanks... Helped me alot..

danebrown profile image
Dane Brown

Awesome stuff! Thank you very much

harishkarthick profile image

Thanks bro..

samihdev profile image


for anyone facing file not found issue, refere to this:

mostafijurrahman299 profile image
Md.Mostafijur Rahman

That's worked like a charm..thanks bro