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Android | How-To Install Android SDK in Eclipse on a MacBook Pro

Updated on October 17, 2011

Recently I started developing apps for Android devices. Stay tuned....Anyway I started it out following the instructions on how to the prepare my MacBook Pro and checking the System Requirements and downloading all the components. The installation instructions didn't go exactly as planned. After a few hours of work, I finally got it figured out.

I downloaded and installed Eclipse Helios. This is available from

I also checked my Java version on my MacBook. It has to be the JDK 5 or 6. The JRE won't do. You can check this on your MacBook by opening the Terminal and typing this command at the prompt: java - version . Your output should get an output like this:

Last login: Mon Apr  4 20:08:48 on ttys000
Kevin-Languedocs-MacBook-Pro:~ klanguedoc$ java -version
java version "1.6.0_24"
Java(TM) SE Runtime Environment (build 1.6.0_24-b07-334-10M3326)
Java HotSpot(TM) 64-Bit Server VM (build 19.1-b02-334, mixed mode)

If your Java is older than version 5, you going to need to update your Mac since this is the only way you can update your Java environment.

Once the Java environment is ok, you will need to install the ADT (Android Development Tools) which you must do from the Eclipse Update Manager. In Apple's version of Eclipse, this is under "Help/Install New Software". The instructions are well documented on the Android SDK web site. 

Next you will need to install the SDK itself. Download the appropriate version for your Mac.  I am using the version. Unpack it, I use Zipeg ( to your user (usr) directory or another sub directory.Once unpacked the file structure should look like this:

If you try to complete the installation with the archive as per the Android documentation, you will get different errors stating that the platform is missing and that the SDK cannot be configured and or no target is available in Eclipse. To correct the issue and to proceed with the installation, follow these steps:

First add the following folders to the android-sdk-mac_x86 sub folder.

  • platforms
  • add-ons

The file structure of the SDK should look like this (the 'docs', extras', 'platform-tools', 'samples' and 'temp' sub-folders will be created by the installer during the downloading and installation of the various packages). The screenshot below is showing the file structure after the installation is complete and all packages have been downloaded from the Android site. What is important for the installation is the above mentioned sub folders :

Next, you need to open Eclipse and configure the SDK in the Preferences. In the Mac version of Eclipse, the Preference dialog is under the Eclipse menu item. In the Preference page, select the Android node and browse and select the top level folder of the SDK. Look at the following screenshot:

After you set the SDK in the Preference page, go into the SDK folder in Finder. Expand the Tools sub folder and launch the android executable. This will launch the "Android SDK and AVD Manager" and this will start downloading the available platforms and add-ons from the Google Android site.

Select the "Installed packages" and follow the instructions. Do the same with "Available packages". Finally create a Virtual Device and select the target platform. Once all the packages are installed, close the AVD and close Eclipse.

Re open Eclipse and re open the Preference page, the target platforms should be visible in Eclipse. You can now proceed to build your first app.

Good Luck!


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    • klanguedoc profile imageAUTHOR

      Kevin Languedoc 

      7 years ago from Canada

      Try updating your tools, Eclipse -> Updates. Also check the Java SDK against Android SDK requirements.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Iam getting a [2011-08-23 08:44:59 - SDK Manager] Error: null when trying to start a avd - and suggestions?


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