React Native is developed on macs for macs. Let’s see how to properly setup a react native environment on an ubuntu 14.04 machine.

Install Android SDK

Since Google partners with the JetBrains team and uses IntelliJ for their Android Studio its very simple to setup a android environment on your machine. So lets install Android Studio:

Downlod Android Studio

sudo apt-get install lib32z1 lib32ncurses5 lib32bz2-1.0 lib32stdc++6
cd Downloads
unzip android-studio-ide-*.zip
sudo mv android-studio /opt
sudo chmod +x /opt/android-studio/bin/

Create the file /usr/share/applications/android-studio.desktop an put in the following contents

[Desktop Entry]
Name=Android Studio
Exec="/opt/android-studio/bin/" %f

Now launch Android Studio. You will see a dialog that wants to download the AndroidSDK for you. Choose a sdk directory and start downloading, that will take a while. A good location for the sdk would be /usr/local/opt/android-sdk.

After downloading the sdk, lets edit your bash PATH:
Add following lines to your ~/.bashrc. This adds adb to your path.

# /usr/local/opt/android-sdk if you use that directory for the sdk
export ANDROID_HOME=/usr/local/opt/android-sdk

Install React Native

React native requires node>=4.0 and watchman. Let’s install those dependencies, according to their documentation: Node Install Docs and Watchman Install Docs

# nodjs
curl -sL | sudo -E bash -
sudo apt-get install nodejs
# watchman
sudo apt-get install autoconf automake python-dev
git clone
git checkout v4.5.0
sudo make install

Finally, we can install react-native:

sudo npm install -g react-native

Use React Native

react-native init TestApp
cd TestApp
react-native start & react-native run-android

This creates a folder TestApp and install all necessary dependencies. start starts the development server and run-android initializes a android virtual device.


Start Android Studio and remember two utilities:

  1. Tools > Android > AVD Manager
  2. Tools > Android > SDK Manager

Wrong SDK Version

Go to the SDK Manager, click Launch Standalone SDK Manager and look which version the Android SDK Build Tools have. Then go into your TestApp directory, replace buildToolsVersion in ./android/app/build.gradle with your local version.

Watchman Error

If there occurs any error with watchman, try to fix it with that Github fix

Missing SDK packages

Look at React Android Setup, if there are any missing packages.