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Substratum Theme Development: Project Setup

Project setup

There are two ways to setup the project and build on your computer:

1. Android Studio IDE


  • Android Studio with Android SDK
  • JDK(Java Development Kit)

2. Command-line(Recommended for low-end PCs)


  • Only Android SDK
  • JDK

Setting up the project with Android Studio

Android Studio is Google’s official IDE (integrated development environment) which is based on Jetbrain’s IntelliJ IDEA for Android Operating System.

There are two ways for Setting up the project with Android Studio:
1. Git clone (recommended)
2. Download source-code as a zip

Git clone (recommended)

1. After installing Android studio and setting up SDK, copy the repo URL of template.

Copy repository URL – Github

2. Open Android studio and click on Checkout project from version control and select the version control service on which your project being hosted on (In this case it’s Git).

Checkout Version Control – Android Studio

3. Paste the copied repo URL and change directory of clone if necessary and click Clone.

Git clone setup

4. Android studio will start cloning the repo.

Git clone progress

5. It will throw a prompt saying whether you want to create android studio project for the checked out/cloned source, select Yes.

Git clone checkout

6. Now it’ll show import window. Select Import projects from external model and click Next.

Git clone project import

7. Gradle setup window will appear, now click on Finish.

Git clone gradle setup

Downloading the zip from Github

1. Open template repo and click on Clone or download and select Download ZIP.

Manual Download Setup – Android Studio

2. Save and extract it.

Extracting Archive

3. Open Android studio and click on Import project (Gradle, Eclipse, ADT etc.).

Manual Import – Android Studio

4. Browse to the extracted template directory and press OK.

Browse for downloaded repo

After importing project, Android studio will try to sync gradle. If the project using outdated gradle distribution then it'll throw a prompt to update gradle version manually. Click Update.

Gradle outdated

And the gradle synced successfully!.

Gradle sync complete

Setting up “Run” configuration

Run is a very handy feature for testing new changes as quickly as possible. It will compile the source and automatically installs to the device which is connected through ADB.

As theme template doesn’t comes with any launch-able activity, we need to setup the Run configuration to launch nothing, so that it can compile & install silently without launching any activity.

1. Press App button and click on Edit configuration.

Edit configurations

2. Click on Launch:, select activity to Nothing and press OK.

Edit config setup

3. Connect phone using USB and press Run icon to start compiling and install into the connected device.

Launch Run

Android studio will open dialog with a list of devices connected to "ADB". Select the device you want Android studio to install the app after compilation.

Select device dialog

Disable Instant run

Instant run is a latest feature of Android studio which pushes only updated code and resources to your connected device by performing swap which might cause issues with template as we do changes only on assets most of the time. So its recommended to disable Instant run.

1. Open Android studio Settings.

Android Studio Settings

2. Select Build, Execution, Deployment and uncheck the Instant run option and press OK.

Uncheck instant run

Setting up the project with command-line

The command-line method is the simple & easiest way compared to Android studio method and its the recommended option for low-end or old PC’s.

Before proceeding further, make sure Android SDK is installed and following environment variables are set:

JDK_HOME = JDK installed path
JRE_HOME = JRE installed path
ANDROID_HOME = Android SDK installed path

Environment Setup

1. Either clone the template using Git for Windows or download the template as a zip(only first two steps) and extract it.

2. Open the cloned/extracted directory and hover mouse to empty area and hold shift + right click and select Open PowerShell window here or if you’re on older version of windows, select Open command line window here.

Open command line window

3. In the command window, type ./gradlew assembleDebug and press Enter. Gradle wrapper will begin downloading dependencies and will setup everything automatically.

Gradle is syncing dependencies required for the project.

Dependencies sync

Gradle is compiling the project after syncing successfully.

Compiling Project

Project is successfully compiled.

Project compilation successful

4. To build and install app to the connected device, type ./gradlew installDebugin the command line and press Enter.

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Written by Adarsh MR


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