Setup Android

Create native Android mobile applications with Lime and OpenFL by compiling to C++.

Automatic Install

There is no automatic setup available for Android.

Manual Install

Similar to standard Android native development, you will need the following installed:

A variety of vendors offer free Java OpenJDK builds that work well with Lime, OpenFL, and Android. If you’re not sure which one to choose, a good option is Temurin OpenJDK from

After installing the Android SDK, you should install the Android SDK platform-tools and Android API 26 packages from the Android SDK Manager. Gradle requires specific versions of the Android SDK Build Tools, and Lime will try to find the latest version installed. You can override this by setting <config:android build-tools-version="" /> in your project file.

Lime uses API 26 to support modern Android features, but is still compatible with API 16 devices. You only need to install the newer API package.

Using the latest HXCPP, and targeting modern Android platforms properly, requires NDK version r15c. Newer versions are not compatible with the release version of HXCPP, but an update is coming soon that will support later releases.

The Android build tools did not properly support new versions of Java for a long time, but now Java 8 is recommended to work properly with the current Android Gradle build system. Make sure that you have a JDK version installed.

After these tools are installed, Lime still needs to know where they are installed. Open a command-prompt or terminal and run the following command:

lime setup android

When prompted to automatically download and install each component, type “n” and press enter. At the end, the setup process will ask for each location. When prompted, enter the path to where the Android SDK, NDK and other components are installed.

If you intend to use an Android emulator, create an AVD with hardware acceleration that targets Android 4.1 or greater. You may also need to install drivers for your Android device, before you can deploy to it. Note that x86 emulators and devices are supported.

Build & Run

To compile an Android application bundle, run lime build android. Add the -debug option to create a debug build. Add the -release option to create a release build.

To compile and launch an Android application with one command, run lime test android. The app will run on a device connected to your computer with USB. Add the -emulator option to target the Android emulator included with the Android SDK instead of a device.

Note: The first time that you compile a project for C++, it will take a noticably long time. However, compiling the same project again should be significantly faster because parts of your code that have not changed do not need to be recompiled. To force all of code to be recompiled for C++, use the -clean option.

Code Signing

During development, Android builds will automatically use a self-signed certificate. To distribute an Android app, you must specify code signing options. These may be added to a <certificate/> element in your project.xml file. You may need to add the if="android" attribute, if your app targets any other platforms besides Android.

Specify the path and alias attributes for your certificate.

<certificate path="path/to/keystore.p12" alias="1" if="android"/>

Need to know which aliases are included in your certificate?

Open a terminal, and run the following command to list the keystore entries, including alias names:

keytool -list -v -keystore path/to/keystore.p12

If the keytool command is not available on the system path, you may be able to find it in a Java JDK.

You should not save a keystore password in your project.xml file because it is a serious security risk. It is technically allowed, though.

<!-- you should NOT specify the password like this -->
<certificate path="path/to/keystore.p12" alias="1" password="hunter2" if="android"/>

Instead, you have two options.

  1. Specify the password on the command line. Example: --certificate-password=hunter2

  2. Don’t specify the password, and wait for the build to request it automatically.


If you encounter any problems when setting up Lime for Android, please visit the forums.

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