How to install Flutter on Linux

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Google and Canonical have joined forces to make Flutter to be had for the Linux desktop. Jack Wallen explains why that is vital and the way to install the SDK.

Recently, Canonical and Google made a statement that may be a major game-changer for the Linux panorama: the supply of alpha liberate of Flutter for the Linux running gadget.

Of route, that announcement could have the usual squadron of naysayers declaring that Canonical has tied Flutter to snap, which is akin to systemd – aka, the preferred factor to rail towards.

But the Linux neighborhood has all the time discovered one thing to hate.

  • vi

  • emacs

  • Mono

  • GNOME

  • Ubuntu harmony

  • SCO

  • Windows

  • Google

There’s by no means a dearth of objections.

SEE: Implementing DevOps: A guide for IT pros (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

But, what Flutter may be offering is a local desktop revel in for apps that may in a different way by no means see the sunshine of day on the Linux platform. Any app designed with Flutter may run on any platform. The large one – Google Assistant. Imagine gaining a full-fledged virtual assistant on Linux. And sure, I find out about Mycroft. I’ve just lately put in and used Mycroft and located it to be nowhere close to in a position for top time, particularly for the common person.

Another remarkable instance of a Flutter app is Flokk Contacts (Figure A–installed by way of snap on Linux). Flokk is without doubt one of the perfect designed touch apps I’ve noticed in a while.

Figure A

Flokk Contacts, built with Flutter, installed on Linux via snap.

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Flokk Contacts, built with Flutter, installed on Linux via snap.

Flutter could open an entire world up for the Linux desktop – a world it desperately needs. It could bring games and a host of other types of applications to the open source desktop.

What is there to hate about that?

Is it about purity? Is it about favoritism? Is this an extension of the age-old distribution battle, where someone would rather see Distro X fade into memory, simply because it was not Distro Y?

We knew this was coming

The writing has been on the wall for some time. As Linux continued to gain corporate popularity, it was clear the open source platform wouldn’t remain the darling underdog it had been for so many years.

In 1999, I attended my first Linux convention and saw nothing but hackers, small startups, and fans roaming the halls. The closest thing to a corporation was Red Hat, and that was before RHEL was ever a consideration. Even then, you knew something was going to blossom, some large company was going to catch wind of this powerful platform and strip away the charm, in favor of a more corporate sheen.

With every step Linux has taken towards that brilliant, high-gloss glow, it has gained something new to make it better, more marketable.

Flutter could be that next step. With companies like Google, Capital One, Square, eBay, BMW, and SONOS already working with Flutter, the sky’s the limit to what it can do for Linux.

Of course, Canonical is also investing in Flutter, by adding their own developers into the mix. The Canonical devs will work alongside Google. Ken VanDine, Canonical engineering manager, said this:

Canonical is making a significant investment in Flutter by dedicating a team of developers to work alongside Google’s developers to bring the best Flutter experience to the majority of Linux distributions. Canonical will continue to collaborate with Google to further improve Linux support and maintain feature parity with the other supported platforms.

The big appeal

For many, the big appeal of Flutter is similar to the appeal of Xamarin, where you could build an application using C # and that app would run on Android, iOS, macOS, or Windows as though native.

With Flutter, you could build a single app that would run on any application that supported the framework. So, that app you developed for Android would run on the Linux desktop as well. But, Flutter apps aren’t limited to the desktop. In 2018, Google launched a web runtime (codename “Hummingbird”) which was a new project focused on bringing Flutter apps to the web using the same code. Not much has been said of Flutter’s Web runtime over the past year, but it points to the seemingly limitless possibilities for the platform.

From my perspective, Flutter opens up a world of possibilities for Linux. The combination of a native package manager (such as apt), a universal package manager (such as snap), and Flutter could cause a massive boost to the amount of apps available for Linux.

How is that not a good thing?

How to install the Flutter SDK on Linux

Now that you have my take on Flutter, let’s get it installed, so you can start building your first app. I’ll demonstrate how to install Flutter via snap. If you work with a distribution that does not support snap packages, you can install from source, downloaded here.

To install, open a terminal window on your snap-supporting Linux desktop and issue the command:

sudo snap install flutter --classic

Along with the Flutter snap, install the flutter-gallery bundle, which highlights quite a few construct elements to be had to use for construction desktop apps. To install the flutter-gallery bundle, factor the command:

sudo snap install flutter-gallery

Next, initialize Flutter with the command:

flutter channel dev

Upgrade Flutter with the command:

flutter improve

Finally, as a way to construct Linux desktop apps, allow the capability with the command:

flutter config --enable-linux-desktop

And that is all there may be to it – why I imagine Flutter is but every other sure step ahead for the Linux platform and the way you’ll be able to install the SDK, so you’ll be able to get started construction your first Flutter app for the Linux desktop.

Also see

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Image: Jack Wallen

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