Installing the Adobe AIR SDK on Mac OS X Mavericks

March 19, 2014, 5:26 pm
Author: James Griffiths

If you're looking to develop Applications for the Desktop and Mobile (iOS, Android & Blackberry) platforms then using and installing the Adobe AIR SDK (Software Development Kit) on Mac OS X is pretty straightforward.

Firstly download the Adobe AIR SDK to your Mac and unzip to a location of your choice. For example, using the Mac OS X Terminal, we can move the unzipped folder from the Downloads directory to the Documents directory instead:

mv /Users/username/Downloads/AIRSDK_Compiler /Users/username/Documents/AIRSDK_Compiler

Renaming the AIRSDK_Compiler directory to something different (if you wish to do so) is fairly simple. In our example below we are renaming the AIRSDK_Compiler to AIR_SDK:

mv /Users/username/Documents/AIRSDK_Compiler /Users/username/Documents/AIR_SDK

Shell configuration

Now we need to add the bin folder of the newly installed AIR SDK to the system path so we can access, from the command line, the following installed tools:

  • Air Development Tool (adt)
  • Air Debug Launcher (adl)

To add these to our system path we'll need to configure the bash shell (which is the preset shell for current versions of Mac OS X). The bash shell (short for Bourne Again Shell) is one of many different types of shells used by unix operating systems and a shell is simply a software program that accepts input from the user allowing them to interact with the unix operating system.

To add the adt and adl tools to your bash shell simply navigate to your home directory and open up the .bash_profilelocated there with a unix text editor of your choice. For example: nano .bash_profile or vi .bash_profile (if a .bash_profile doesn't already exist in your home directory create it using the following command: touch .bash_profile).

Inside your .bash_profile enter the following:

export PATH="$PATH:/Users/username/Documents/AIR_SDK/bin/"

This line instructs the bash shell to export the current path of the bash shell (represented by $PATH) plus the full path to the SDK bin directory (represented by /Users/username/Documents/AIR_SDK/bin/) which provides a shortcut to the adt and adl tools when subsequently accessing them via the command line.

Now save your edited .bash_profile, close the current Terminal window and then open a new Terminal window.

Type out the following:

adt -version

All things proceeding smoothly you should see the adt version number being displayed (which, as of typing, is currently:

If you see this then congratulations, you're good to go with starting to develop AIR applications.

If you're experiencing difficulties with the installation or need any further information take a read of this Adobe help article on the subject.


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