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Ukwueze Onyedikachi
Ukwueze Onyedikachi

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Ultimate Guide to Flutter Development Setup 2024

Introduction to Flutter

Welcome to the fascinating world of Flutter, the revolutionary framework that has taken mobile app development by storm. Flutter, an open-source UI software development toolkit created by Google, allows you to craft natively compiled applications for mobile, web, and desktop from a single codebase. It's an innovative solution designed to streamline the development process and deliver beautiful, high-performance apps.

Why Choose Flutter in 2024?

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As technology advances, so does the demand for sophisticated and efficient development tools. Flutter stands out in 2024 as the premier choice for developers due to its comprehensive capabilities and robust performance. With a rapidly growing community, extensive documentation, and continuous updates from Google, Flutter ensures that you stay ahead in the competitive app development landscape. The ability to write once and deploy across multiple platforms saves time and resources, making it an invaluable asset for developers and businesses alike.

Overview of Flutter's Evolution

Since its inception, Flutter has undergone significant evolution. Originally launched in 2017, Flutter has continuously expanded its functionality and improved its performance. Early versions focused primarily on mobile applications, but with the release of Flutter 2.0, support extended to web and desktop applications, flutter has improved more since its recent release of flutter 3.22. Each iteration has introduced enhancements in speed, usability, and developer experience, solidifying Flutter's position as a versatile and powerful development tool.

System Requirements for Flutter

Before diving into Flutter, it's crucial to ensure your system meets the necessary requirements. Flutter is versatile and runs on various operating systems, including Windows, macOS, and Linux. For optimal performance, a system with at least 8GB of RAM, a multi-core processor, and sufficient storage space for the SDK and additional tools is recommended. A stable internet connection is also essential for downloading the SDK and accessing online resources.

Setting Up Your Development Environment

Setting up your development environment is the first step toward Flutter mastery. This involves installing the Flutter SDK, configuring your IDE, and ensuring all dependencies are correctly installed. A well-configured environment allows for smooth development and testing, ensuring you can focus on creating your application without unnecessary interruptions.

Installing Flutter on Windows

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For Windows users, installing Flutter is a straightforward process. Start by downloading the Flutter SDK from the official Flutter website. Extract the downloaded file to a desired location on your system. Next, update your system’s PATH environment variable to include the Flutter bin directory. This step ensures that you can run Flutter commands from any terminal window. Finally, open a new command prompt and run flutter doctor to check for any dependencies you may need to install, such as Git or Android Studio.

Installing Flutter on macOS

Installing Flutter on macOS follows a similar procedure. First, download the Flutter SDK and extract it to a location of your choice. Open the Terminal and update your PATH environment variable to include the Flutter bin directory. You can do this by editing your shell configuration file, such as .zshrc or .bash_profile. After updating the PATH, run flutter doctor to identify and install any additional tools or dependencies required for Flutter development on macOS.

Setting Up Flutter SDK

Setting up the Flutter SDK is a critical step in your development journey. This process involves downloading the SDK, configuring environment variables, and verifying the installation to ensure everything is set up correctly.

Downloading the Flutter SDK

Begin by visiting the Flutter website and downloading the latest version of the SDK. Choose the appropriate version for your operating system and extract the contents to a dedicated directory on your computer. This directory will house all the necessary files and tools to develop Flutter applications.

Configuring Environment Variables

After downloading the SDK, the next step is to configure your system's environment variables. This involves adding the Flutter bin directory to your system’s PATH. By doing so, you enable the use of Flutter commands globally, making it easier to run and manage your projects from any terminal or command prompt.

Setting Up Android Studio / VS Code

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For an optimal development experience, it’s recommended to use Android Studio, Xcode (for macOS users), or Visual Studio Code with the Flutter and Dart plugins/extensions installed. Below are the steps to set up each IDE for Flutter development:
Begineers might think that there is a choice between Visual Studio Code (VS Code) and Android Studio for app development, but that is incorrect. For app development, you must install Android Studio to run Android apps and Xcode to run iOS apps. VS Code is just an alternative to Android Studio if you consider it solely as an Integrated Development Environment (IDE), not as an SDK for Android apps. Hopefully, this clarifies the situation.

  • Download Visual Studio Code: Visit the Visual Studio Code website and download the latest version of VS Code for your operating system.
  • Download Android Studio: Visit the Android Studio website and download the latest version of Android Studio for your operating system. 8 Install Xcode: Xcode is available for free on the Mac App Store. Search for “Xcode” and download/install it on your Mac. If you’re using Android Studio, ensure that the Flutter and Dart plugins are installed by navigating to Preferences/Settings -> Plugins -> Marketplace. If you prefer Visual Studio Code, simply search for Flutter and Dart extensions in the extensions marketplace and install them.

Setting Up Android Emulator
Setting up the Emulator is relatively simple, but it takes the most time. If you have an AMD processor, you will have to enable some features on Windows to allow emulation. If you have an intel processor, continue to the next step.

If you have an AMD processor, please follow these preliminary instructions

  1. Right click on the Windows button and select ‘Apps and Features’.
  2. Select Programs and Features on the right under related settings.
  3. Select Turn Windows Features on or off.
  4. Select Hyper-V and Windows Hypervisor Platform and click OK.
  5. Restart your PC

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Open up Android Studio and open the flutter project you made on the first page.
Go to File > Settings > System Settings > Android SDK > SDK Tools
Check the box that says Android Emulator Hypervisor Driver for AMD Processors (for AMD) or Intel x86 Emulator Accelerator (Haxm Installer) (for Intel)

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Click on AVD Manager

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Click on Create New Virtual Device
You can choose any one of the Android phone models, butwe will be using the Nexus 5x, click next after selecting the phone model.
For Intel, Click on Recommended and then Download/Select the same one but the difference is that it will say HAXM instead of x86_64. If it does not show up on recommended then click on More Images and locate it there.
Click Next and then change the settings to match the image below

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Click Finish and then click the Play button next to the newly created emulator.

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It will take a bit to load up the emulator but once you see the phone and it is running, congratulations! You have a running emulator.
Create Your First Flutter Project
Now that Flutter is set up, it’s time to create your first Flutter project. Run flutter create my_first_app in your terminal to generate a new Flutter project named my_first_app.
Navigate to the newly created directory (my_first_app) and run flutter run to launch your app on the connected device or emulator.

Verify Installation
To verify that Flutter has been set up successfully, run flutter doctor in your terminal. This command will check your system for any issues and provide guidance on how to resolve them.

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Congratulations! You’ve successfully set up Flutter on your machine and created your first Flutter project. Now, it’s time to unleash your creativity and build amazing cross-platform applications with Flutter.


Embarking on your Flutter development journey in 2024 is an exciting venture filled with potential. By following this comprehensive guide, you’ll have a solid foundation for setting up your development environment, ensuring you’re equipped to create stunning and efficient applications. Happy coding!

Top comments (2)

bernert profile image

Thanks for the detailed guide! Just curious, how does Flutter compare to other cross-platform frameworks in 2024?

ukwueze_onyedikachi profile image
Ukwueze Onyedikachi

It excels in creating native-like experiences and has strong community support. Compared to React Native and Xamarin, Flutter offers a more seamless and robust development experience.