Install Ionic and Android on Ubuntu 19.04

I haven’t developed a mobile application for almost a year, today I need to start a new mobile application. For the particular application I am building Ionic will be a good fit, and not having developed with Ionic for a few years I was keen to try out the new features in Ionic 5.

I had a couple of issues, in getting my workstation configured correctly to use Ionic and Android, so I thought I would just cover the steps I had to go through just to save others who may face the same pain.

Install Node.JS

A prerequisite to using IONIC is that that you will need Node.JS installed. If you have not installed Node on your workstation yet, I recommend you install it making use of Node Version Manager (nvm),

Install Java 8

Android requires the installation of Java on your machine, it also appears that specifically this needs to Java 8.

Shell

Install Android Studio

You will also need to install Android Studio, although you may not necessarily use it to develop with, it seems it is a bit of necessity when it comes to developing Android Applications, primarily because it enables you to install and configure the Android SDK.

Jetbrains provide a great guide to installing and configuring Android Studio

Also ensure you follow the instructions on Update the IDE and SDK Tools which will guide you through the process of installing the Android SDK.

Install SDK Man and Gradle

SDKMAN! is a tool for managing parallel versions of multiple Software Development Kits on most Unix based systems. It provides a convenient Command Line Interface (CLI) and API for installing, switching, removing and listing Candidates.

The install process is really easy and well documented.

Once you have SDK Man installed you can install Gradle, an open-source build automation system that builds upon the concepts of Apache Ant and Apache Maven and introduces a Groovy-based domain-specific language instead of the XML form used by Apache Maven for declaring the project configuration.

Gradle is used by Ionic to build your Android Application. Installing Gradle using SDK Man is super easy. Just use

Shell

Set your Environment Variables

You will now need to configure your environment variables in your bashrc.

Open your bash profile, using any text editor, personally I prefer to use gedit to edit it

Shell

Then paste the following environment variables, assuming you have installed all everything using their default locations.

Plain Text

Save and close file. then ensure your current terminal window is refreshed with new values either by closing and opening a new window or just simply using

Shell

install Ionic

With all the pre-requisites now installed you can now install Ionic framework, simply using the following node package manager commands

Shell

This command may take a little time to complete, depending your system and internet connection.

Check your version of ionic installed using

Shell

in my case the command returns 5.2.8 but this will obviously vary depending on date etc you installed the framework

Start a new ionic project

You are now ready to start developing your first ionic based project and create your first project using

Shell

This will generate a new folder which will contain all the new project files making use of a Blank project template.

You can change into the new directory and open the project in your prefered Text Editor or IDE, I prefer to use Webstorm – The smartest JavaScript IDE

Shell

Once the project is opened we now need to add the android platform to the project. In the Integrated Terminal window of your prefered IDE use the following command to do so.

Shell

Information

If you have previously installed WebStorm, it is is a good idea to refresh the installation in order for WebStorm to pick up the new references etc.

This is easily done by simply executing the ./webstorm.sh in your /bin of your Webstorm installation directory

After this command has completed you will notice a new folder appears in your project explorer named platforms

You can now run the application using ionic serve to see it action in your browser.

Build for android

You are now able to build your application for deployment to android using the following command

Shell

Configure an Emulator

It is highly likely that you will want to execute your APP using an emulator so you can see your App running as if it was running on the device. You will need to use the Android Studio to create an Emulator for which ever device you wish to target.

It is worth taking the time to read through the documentation on Run apps on the Android Emulator

Conclusion

The above is list of configuration options I had to carry out in order to get my Ubuntu Desktop configured to start developing Android applications. I didn’t find these details documented together in one place, and instead I had to stumble across them piecing them together from several blog posts.

Hopefully I have saved you that frustrating process. If I missed anything please let me know.

Gary Woodfine

Technical Director at Denizon
Gary is Technical Director at Denizon, an independent software vendor specialising in IoT, Field Service and associated managed services,enabling customers to be efficient, productive, secure and scalable in a way which helps them address and reduce their ecological impact.

Denizon's product line successfully integrate IoT, Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain technology to enable efficient, productive, secure and scalable solutions to help organisations address increasing energy demands, ecological impact and Health & Safety concerns of their staff.

Latest posts by Gary Woodfine (see all)