Eclipse Setup for Android Development

Have you ever had the urge to develop your own apps for the Android platform? If so, this tutorial will help you begin setting up the foundation to do so. You will need various components before you can begin developing your applications, and we will show you how to install each component step by step, beginning with the Java SE Development Kit and the Eclipse IDE.

The Eclipse Integrated Development Environment (IDE) is essential for creating your Android apps.  Prior to jumping in and using it, there are some accompanying programs that are necessary.  With that being said, let’s start our journey on the road to Android development by downloading and installing some prerequisites first.

Download and install the Java SE Development Kit

The Java SE Development Kit (JDK) allows you to develop Java programs.  You will need to have it installed for the Android SDK to work properly.  Having just the Java Runtime Environment, which lets you run Java applications and applets, is not enough.  So, if you do not already have the JDK installed, do so now.  Visit the following link to install the program:

Click on Download JDK.  You will be taken to a page where you must select the platform for your download.  You can choose between Linux, Solaris, and Windows.  We will use Windows for this installation.  Check the box to agree to the license agreement and click Continue.

On the next page, click on the .exe file to begin the download.  Depending on your browser, you will be asked to either save or run the file.  Since we are using Firefox, we will save the file.  After the file has downloaded, double-click it to begin the installer.

The JDK installation wizard will appear.  Click Next.

The next page will show the separate features that will be downloaded.  Click Next to install them.

The JDK installation will begin.  Give it some time to complete.  Once the installation is complete, a message will appear to saying that the JDK has been successfully installed.  Click Finish.

Download the Android SDK

Now that you have the Java SE Development Kit installed, it is time to get the Android Software Development Kit (SDK).  The Android SDK is essentially a collection of tools and libraries that helps you begin on your quest to create apps for the mobile platform. 

Download the Android SDK by visiting this link:

Before you begin the download, make sure that you meet the system requirements.  Next, select the proper SDK package for your platform.  There are downloads available for Windows, Mac, and Linux users.  This tutorial will use Windows, and we will download the .zip file.

Click on the .zip link to begin the Android SDK download.  Save the file or run it, depending on the browser you are using.  Make sure to save the zip file in a location that you will remember easily, because you will need to find it soon.

Download Eclipse

The final component to download and install is Eclipse.  Visit this link:

You will see various Eclipse packages that you can download for Windows, Mac, or Linux.  If you are unsure of which to download, you can compare the different packages to see what they have to offer.  We will download the the Windows version of Eclipse IDE for Java Developers.  Click on the link for the zip file, which will lead you to the download page.  On the download page, click on the large green arrow to begin the download.  Make sure to save the file in a location that is easy to remember.  Once the zip file has downloaded, it is time to begin setting up your files.

File setup

This set of steps is recommended for smoother sailing later on.  The first thing you want to do is to create the following directory folder on your root drive:


Do you remember the locations of the zip files you downloaded for the Android SDK and Eclipse?  Find the two files and extract their contents to the C:Android directory.  After both of the zip files have extracted to the Android directory, you want to create one more folder:


This is the folder you want to use as the location for saving all of your Eclipse projects.  You should now have three folders in the Android directory: one for the Android SDK, one for Eclipse, and the workspace folder.

{mospagebreak title=Installing and configuring the Eclipse plugin}

Locate the executable file for Eclipse.  It will be located in the Eclipse folder in your Android directory:


Double-click or run the file to load the program.  Before the program fully loads, you will be asked to select a workspace.  Browse to the workspace folder you previously created:


Click OK.  The Eclipse IDE should load and you should see a welcome screen.  At the top of the screen, click Help and select Install New Software.  In the Work with field, paste one of the following addresses: or

Click Add.  In the middle of the screen, you should see Developer Tools appear.  Expand it to see four sub-categories.  Click Select All.  Click Next.

The Install Details page will show you what you are about to install.  Click Next.

Accept the license and click Finish.  The software installation will begin.  Give it some time to finish.  After it is finished, you will be asked to restart Eclipse for the changes to take effect.  Click Restart Now.

Eclipse will restart and ask you to select a workspace.  Select the C:Androidworkspace and click OK.  In the Eclipse interface, click on Window then Preferences.  Click on the Android section on the left.  Click Browse.  Select your Android SDK folder.  It is one of the three folders in the Android directory you created earlier.  Click OK.

You should now be able to begin developing Android projects.  To develop a new project in the Eclipse interface, simply go to File > New > Project.  Select Android Project and you can start immediately.







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