AndroSDK comes to Town!

With all the hype, fame and glamour Android has been picking up, it felt like the right time to start developing applications for the World's favorite Linux-based Mobile OS!
(You don't know what Android is? Shame on you! Read this now! :P  )

In today's post, we shall learn how to set up an Android App Developer system, using a regular Linux System. The instructions I provide here, will work for Debian and it's derivatives with no changes, and will work for other Linux systems, with minute changes here and there.

Things You Will Need:

1. A Linux System with a good amount of free space (say 3GB, to be safe).
2. A good Internet Connection (cant stress enough on this point.)
3. The latest Java Development Kit
4. An IDE that you can use to develop the Android Applications! (Eclipse SDK)
5. Google's Android SDK tools.

The large space is because of the fact that the Google APIs and Supporting  Packages take up quite a bit of space, after they are downloaded. (Mine are currently at 1.9GB, with support for Android versions 2.2 and up, till 4.0.3)

Here's How To Set It All Up!

Step 1
Get The Software!
Get these software downloaded and ready to begin setting up your Development Environment
1. Eclipse SDK : I go with 3.7.2 (Indigo, classic), but I recommend going with the latest version of the classic type you find in the download page.
2. Android SDK : This is the SDK that Google provides for Android Development. Download the "Linux (i386)" version from the list given in the page. Yes, The SDK is 32bit, but it can run fine on a 64bit system as well. (My system is Debian 64, and it runs!)
3. Java Development Kit : This is a pre-requisite, and is probably already there on your system. However, just to make sure, check for its existence, and if not there, download and install. You could do this with the help of your favorite package manager. I recommend atleast v6.
[In debian, apt-get install sun-java6-jdk as root]

Step 2
Set up Eclipse!
Once you have the software, you need to install it on your system. Many Linux OSes provide the option to set up customized Eclipse versions, through their package managers. however, I have experienced enough problems with that route, and heartily recommend against it. Now, the file you downloaded (eclipse-SDK-3.7.2-linux-gtk-x86_64.tar.gz in my case) is a compressed file. It needs to be extracted. Extract this in your Debian system's /opt directory, or your home directory, with the following command:
tar -xf eclipse-SDK-6.2-linux-gtk-x86_64.tar.gz

You can extract it in your home directory, and use it from there. However, if you plan to move the directory to /opt, you might need to provide rwx permissions to the username that you will use to develop apps in Eclipse. a simple chmod or chown command will work

Step 3
Set Up Android SDK!The android SDK that you have downloaded, can now be extracted using the command:
tar -xf android-sdk_r11-linux_x86.tgzYour AndroidSDK directory must be extracted in the Home or /opt directory
Step 4
Link up Eclipse and AndroidSDK!Now that both software have been successfully set up, we need to link them together.
1. Start Eclipse, by running
/opt/eclipse/eclipse (if installed in /opt)
~/eclipse/eclipse (if installed in home directory)

2. Select a workspace for your development work

3. In the Help menu, choose "Install New Software"

4. In the new window, Add a new repository, with name "ADT Plugin" and
URL  and click "Add"
Once done, Android Development plugins will turn up. (this may take some time)

5. Go ahead and install all the plugins. Once done, you may need to restart Eclipse.

6. You have successfully linked the AndroidSDK with Eclipse. Now, go to Window>Preferences,

and chose "Android" in the left column. 

Click Proceed, and provide the path to the directory where you extracted the Android SDK. (In my case, /opt/androidSDK)

Once done, Go to Window>Android SDK Manager, and select the packages you want to work with.

After choosing all the packages you need, Install them. They get downloaded directly, and configured on the fly. This may take some time, depending on the number of packages you have chosen.

Unattended downloading may not work sometimes, as in some cases, license agreements from manufacturers like Motorola and Samsung pop up, halting the process till you approve the licenses..

There you go! You have now successfully configured, linked and set up a complete Development Environment for Android Application Making!

More to come!