Hariharan Srinath

Making Android Studio (or Eclipse ADT) work on 64-bit Ubuntu Saucy 13.10 or Trusty 14.04

The Issue

Getting Android Studio (or Eclipse Android Development Tools) to run successfully on 64-bit (ie. amd64) installations of the newer Ubuntu (or underlying Debian) distributions like Trusty Thar (14.04) is not a very straightforward process. While the IDE you download itself will work assuming you have JDK installed, it will throw a bunch of build errors when you try to build any app.

Why does this happen

The build errors happen because the Android build-tools are actually 32-bit (ie. i386) binaries dynamically linked to several 32-bit libraries. For instance, this is what the the file outputs on my installation of the aapt tool in the build-tools folder within the sdk file aapt aapt: ELF 32-bit LSB shared object, Intel 80386, version 1 (SYSV), dynamically linked (uses shared libs), for GNU/Linux 2.6.8, not stripped

While the 64-bit installations of Linux can run 32-bit binaries, they do not come pre-installed with the necessary 32-bit libraries pre-installed. Googling throws up dozens of posts advising installation of the ia32-libs but this advise is unfortunately outdated. Newer versions of Ubuntu from 13.10 Saucy onwards have removed the ia32-libs package and rely fully on Multiarch which is a much more comprehensive solution.

The Solution

To get Android Studio (or Eclipse ADT) build properly on the newer 64 bit Ubuntu releases like 13.10 Saucy or 14.04 Trusty you need to add the 32-bit i386 library dependencies as follows:

sudo dpkg --add-architecture i386
sudo apt-get install libc6:i386 libncurses5:i386 libstdc++6:i386 zlib1g:i386

That’s it! You shouldn’t get the build errors any more! Happy app development!

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