Setting Up Your 64-bit Linux Machine for Native BlackBerry 10 Development

Native SDK Development

Guest post from Didiet – Ed.

BlackBerry 10 is known to be one of the most open platforms out there right now. The Native SDK is available for all three operating systems, including GNU/Linux. I’m one of the GNU/Linux fans; Linux had introduced me to the world of UNIX and POSIX. Because QNX is POSIX-compliant, the development tools play well with the Linux environment.

Linux installation varies from computer to computer; there will be some differences in experience when installing BlackBerry 10 SDK. I will highlight some of these differences below and guide you through to make your Linux box a full-fledged BlackBerry 10 Native Development Workstation.

The Linux I am using is Ubuntu Linux 12.10 64-bit. I use the 64-bit distro because it’s the distro with a few issues needing to be resolved before the BlackBerry 10 Native SDK can be used. Furthermore, it’s also the system I use as the build server for my personal projects.

Let’s start with the first potential issue:

Issue #1: Cannot connect to device

BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha uses TCP/IP over USB to communicate with the host computer (i.e. your computer). However, sometimes it doesn’t work. If you face this problem, you need to set your handset as Windows Connection manually.

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To test if the connection is running well, ping the IP address of the device while in development mode.

Issue #2: Cannot run the Native SDK Linux installer

The installer of BlackBerry 10 is built in a Java platform that runs in 32-bit infrastructure; it uses 32-bit GNU Standard C and C++ library, which isn’t installed in 64-bit Linux by default. Therefore, it will say something like “cannot find /path/to/tmp/java”. If you try to find it, it’s there. The error happens because the 32-bit Java runtime can’t be executed; the 32-bit libraries are missing. So we need to install it first. To do that, use apt-get or aptitude command:

$ sudo aptitude install libc6:i386 libstdc++6:i386

After that, execute the installer. Don’t forget to make the installer executable after download:

$ chmod u+x ./ installer-bbndk-bb10_0_09-linux-1673-201212072306-201212091625.bin
$ ./installer-bbndk-bb10_0_09-linux-1673-201212072306-201212091625.bin

Voila! The error is gone.

Issue #3: Cannot run Momentics

Momentics is the name of the IDE to create Native Apps on BlackBerry 10. It’s also built on Eclipse on 32-bit Java Platform. The installer embeds the runtime to the NDK. However, some libraries are missing so it can’t be started. It turns out that it needs 32-bit X11 and GTK+Pango libraries. So we need to install it to be able to run the Momentics IDE.

$ sudo aptitude install libatk1.0-0:i386 libc6:i386 libcairo2:i386 libexpat1:i386 libffi6:i386 libfontconfig1:i386 libfreetype6:i386 libgcc1:i386 libgdk-pixbuf2.0-0:i386 libglib2.0-0:i386 libgtk2.0-0:i386 libpango1.0-0:i386 libpcre3:i386 libpixman-1-0:i386 libpng12-0:i386 libselinux1:i386 libstdc++6:i386 libx11-6:i386 libxau6:i386 libxcb1:i386 libxcb-render0:i386 libxcb-shm0:i386 libxcomposite1:i386 libxcursor1:i386 libxdamage1:i386 libxdmcp6:i386 libxext6:i386 libxfixes3:i386 libxi6:i386 libxinerama1:i386 libxrandr2:i386 libxrender1:i386 libxtst6:i386 zlib1g:i386

And try to run the IDE by executing command line (adapt the paths of your bbndk installation, mine is in ${HOME}/bbndk/)

$ ~/bbndk/bbndk.sh

Now you’ll be able to code and run your Native/Cascades apps on Linux.

Happy coding, folks! Don’t forget to submit your applications before January 21, 2013 and be the first of apps to be discovered and used by BlackBerry 10 users!

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