This page will help you install and build your first React Native app. If you already have React Native installed, you can skip ahead to the Tutorial.
Follow these instructions if you need to build native code in your project. For example, if you are integrating React Native into an existing application, or if you “ejected” from Create React Native App, you’ll need this section.
The instructions are a bit different depending on your development operating system, and whether you want to start developing for iOS or Android. If you want to develop for both iOS and Android, that’s fine – you just have to pick one to start with, since the setup is a bit different.
You will need Node, the React Native command line interface, Python2, a JDK, and Android Studio.
While you can use any editor of your choice to develop your app, you will need to install Android Studio in order to set up the necessary tooling to build your React Native app for Android.
Node, Python2, JDK
We recommend installing Node and Python2 via Chocolatey, a popular package manager for Windows.
React Native also requires a recent version of the Java SE Development Kit (JDK), as well as Python 2. Both can be installed using Chocolatey.
Open an Administrator Command Prompt (right click Command Prompt and select “Run as Administrator”), then run the following command:
choco install -y nodejs.install python2 jdk8
If you have already installed Node on your system, make sure it is version 6 or newer. If you already have a JDK on your system, make sure it is version 8 or newer.
You can find additional installation options on Node’s Downloads page.
The React Native CLI
Node comes with npm, which lets you install the React Native command line interface.
Run the following command in a Command Prompt or shell:
npm install -g react-native-cli
If you get an error like
Cannot find module 'npmlog', try installing npm directly:
curl -0 -L https://npmjs.org/install.sh | sudo sh.
Android development environment
Setting up your development environment can be somewhat tedious if you’re new to Android development. If you’re already familiar with Android development, there are a few things you may need to configure. In either case, please make sure to carefully follow the next few steps.
1. Install Android Studio
Download and install Android Studio. Choose a “Custom” setup when prompted to select an installation type. Make sure the boxes next to all of the following are checked:
Android SDK Platform
Performance (Intel ® HAXM)
Android Virtual Device
Then, click “Next” to install all of these components.
If the checkboxes are grayed out, you will have a chance to install these components later on.
Once setup has finalized and you’re presented with the Welcome screen, proceed to the next step.
2. Install the Android SDK
Android Studio installs the latest Android SDK by default. Building a React Native app with native code, however, requires the
Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) SDK in particular. Additional Android SDKs can be installed through the SDK Manager in Android Studio.
The SDK Manager can be accessed from the “Welcome to Android Studio” screen. Click on “Configure”, then select “SDK Manager”.
The SDK Manager can also be found within the Android Studio “Preferences” dialog, under Appearance & Behavior → System Settings → Android SDK.
Select the “SDK Platforms” tab from within the SDK Manager, then check the box next to “Show Package Details” in the bottom right corner. Look for and expand the
Android 6.0 (Marshmallow)entry, then make sure the following items are all checked:
Android SDK Platform 23
Intel x86 Atom_64 System Image
Google APIs Intel x86 Atom_64 System Image
Next, select the “SDK Tools” tab and check the box next to “Show Package Details” here as well. Look for and expand the “Android SDK Build-Tools” entry, then make sure that
23.0.1 is selected.
Finally, click “Apply” to download and install the Android SDK and related build tools.
3. Configure the ANDROID_HOME environment variable
The React Native tools require some environment variables to be set up in order to build apps with native code.
Open the System pane under System and Security in the Control Panel, then click on Change settings…. Open the Advanced tab and click on Environment Variables…. Click on New… to create a new
ANDROID_HOME user variable that points to the path to your Android SDK:
The SDK is installed, by default, at the following location:
You can find the actual location of the SDK in the Android Studio “Preferences” dialog, under Appearance & Behavior → System Settings → Android SDK.
Open a new Command Prompt window to ensure the new environment variable is loaded before proceeding to the next step.
Creating a new application
Use the React Native command line interface to generate a new React Native project called “AwesomeProject”:
react-native init AwesomeProject
This is not necessary if you are integrating React Native into an existing application, if you “ejected” from Create React Native App, or if you’re adding Android support to an existing React Native project (see Platform Specific Code).
Preparing the Android device
You will need an Android device to run your React Native Android app. This can be either a physical Android device, or more commonly, you can use an Android Virtual Device which allows you to emulate an Android device on your computer.
Either way, you will need to prepare the device to run Android apps for development.
Using a physical device
If you have a physical Android device, you can use it for development in place of an AVD by plugging it in to your computer using a USB cable and following the instructions here.
Using a virtual device
You can see the list of available Android Virtual Devices (AVDs) by opening the “AVD Manager” from within Android Studio. Look for an icon that looks like this:
If you have just installed Android Studio, you will likely need to create a new AVD. Select “Create Virtual Device…”, then pick any Phone from the list and click “Next”.
Select the “x86 Images” tab, then look for the Marshmallow API Level 23, x86_64 ABI image with a Android 6.0 (Google APIs) target.
If you don’t have HAXM installed, click on “Install HAXM” or follow these instructions to set it up, then go back to the AVD Manager.
Click “Next” then “Finish” to create your AVD. At this point you should be able to click on the green triangle button next to your AVD to launch it, then proceed to the next step.
Running your React Native application
react-native run-android inside your React Native project folder:
cd AwesomeProject react-native run-android
If everything is set up correctly, you should see your new app running in your Android emulator shortly.
react-native run-android is just one way to run your app – you can also run it directly from within Android Studio or Nuclide.
If you can’t get this to work, see the Troubleshooting page.
Modifying your app
Now that you have successfully run the app, let’s modify it.
App.jsin your text editor of choice and edit some lines.
- Press the
Rkey twice or select
Reloadfrom the Developer Menu (
Ctrl + M) to see your changes!
Congratulations! You’ve successfully run and modified your first React Native app.
- Turn on Live Reload in the Developer Menu. Your app will now reload automatically whenever you save any changes!
- If you want to add this new React Native code to an existing application, check out the Integration guide.
If you’re curious to learn more about React Native, continue on to the Tutorial.