Getting started with your first Flutter app

This page describes how to create and run your first Flutter app.

Creating your first Flutter app

To create a starter project, open a terminal and run the flutter create <project name> command .

Here is an example:

$ flutter create myapp

The above command creates a Flutter project directory called myapp that contains a simple demo app that uses Material Design.

In the project directory, the code for your app is in myapp/lib/main.dart.

Running your Flutter app

Use the flutter run command to run your Flutter app on a connected device or simulator.

To run your app from the command-line:

  1. Open a terminal and change directories to the root of your app (the same directory that contains the pubspec.yaml file for your project).
  2. Run the following command. Once the flutter tool is running, if you change the app’s source code, you can hit r to hot-reload your application (updating the source on the fly without actually restarting the entire app).
$ cd myapp
$ flutter run

If more than one device is connected, use the flutter devices command to get their IDs, and then flutter run -d deviceID to run your app.

Alternatively, if you are using the IntelliJ IDEA IDE (either the free Community Edition, or the Ultimate Edition) with the Flutter plugins, you can start your Flutter app from there:

  1. In IntelliJ, click Create New Project from the Welcome window or File > New > Project… from the main IDE window.
  2. Select Flutter in the menu, and click Next.
  3. Under Project location enter, or browse to, the directory holding your new Flutter app.
  4. Click Finish.
  5. Click the Run icon in the toolbar, or invoke the menu item Run > Run.

Main IntelliJ toolbar

Note: If the Run & Debug buttons are disabled, and no targets are listed, Flutter has not been able to discover any connected iOS or Android devices or simulators. You need to connect a device, or start a simulator, to proceed.

If everything works, you should see your starter app on your device or simulator.

Starter App on iOS
Figure 1. iOS (iPhone 6s Plus)
Starter App on Android
Figure 2. Android (Nexus 6P)

Quickly viewing source code changes with ‘hot reload’

Flutter offers a fast development cycle with hot reload, the ability to reload the code of a live running app without restarting or losing app state. Simply make a change to your source code, tell your IDE or command-line tool that you want to hot reload, and see the change in your simulator, emulator, or device.

Hot reload in IntelliJ

To edit your code and hot reload changes:

  1. Start your app with ‘Run’ (without breakpoints) or ‘Debug’ (with breakpoints).
  2. Make desired changes in your source code.
  3. Do not press the ‘Stop’ button; let your app continue to run.
  4. To see your changes invoke Save All (cmd-s / ctrl-s), or click the Hot Reload button (the button with the lightning bolt icon).

A more detailed detailed description on how to use the IntelliJ plugin and which changes are supported by the hot reload feature can be found on the page Developing apps in the IntelliJ IDE.

Next steps

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Happy Fluttering!