How To: Google App Inventor in Ubuntu 10.04

I was recently given access to Google’s App Inventor. You know, that ‘building-block’ development environment that’s supposed to make application development on Android handsets easy and fun?

If you’re like me, you followed the setup procedures provided by Google. And then you eagerly created a new project and tried to start the “Blocks Editor”, as per the next set of instructions provided by Google. And then things broke.

The Blocks Editor requires super user permissions to run, otherwise the web start crashes. Here’s how to easily launch the Blocks Editor.

From the command line, create a file


and make it executable

chmod +x

and open it in your favorite editor.

Paste the following into the file

gksudo /usr/bin/javaws $1

and save it!

Now when you click “Open the Blocks Editor” and it asks you what program you want to open it with, point it to that script. It will ask for your root password (the gksudo part does that) and Blocks Editor has everything it needs to set itself up. No more crash!

4 Responses to “How To: Google App Inventor in Ubuntu 10.04”

  1. William says:

    Thanks a ton. I wasn’t getting an error, it just wouldn’t open.

    App Inventor is pretty sweet. Much better and easier than I expected. If you have any programming experience, you can instantly start using it without needing to read any documentation.

  2. JimpaWes says:

    Works great! Thanks a ton…

  3. You really should NOT use sudo for this.

  4. kdnewton says:

    @Brandon R. Stoner
    I agree, elevated permissions should not be required to have this software work. However, at the time of writing up the original post, it was the only way (that I knew of) to have the software work as advertised.

    Do you have an alternative solution?

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