An IntelliJ template project for android developers, pre-configured to work with Robolectric, Roboguice, an other common, useful Android libraries.
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Current Issues/ToDos

  • Build release apks without requiring a password. This will enable auto-generation of apks in continuous integration.

Android IntelliJ Starter

This is a "template" IntelliJ project created to bootstrap Android development. We have included as many of our go-to tools and as much hard earned configuration knowledge as possible to aid new projects. This includes out-of-the-box support for robolectric, robojuice, C2DM, great-expectations, android source Jars, and other important libraries.

Configuration By Deletion

There is a lot of stuff in here, everything from android source jars to dependency injection; we acknowledge that your project might not want all of it. We encourage your project to remove whatever you don't want.


We make the following assumptions. Feel free to deviate but you will likely need to fix some things as you go.

  • You are working on a Mac
  • Your android SDK is in ~/android-sdk-mac_x86, or you are going to put it there, or create a symlink, etc.
  • Robolectric will live in submodules/robolectric
  • You have java, ruby and git installed

Summary Instructions (for Power Users)

Don't open IntelliJ yet.

So you know what you're doing, eh? Let's do this thing!

  • Don't open IntelliJ yet. Did you already launch it? Close it.

  • Install Android to ~/android-sdk-mac_x86/

  • Install SDKs -- this project assumes SDK 10 with Google APIs (2.3.3). You change this later.

  • Create a local git repo for your new project, or create one on GitHub and clone it.

  • Optionally, fork the robolectric repo on GitHub if you wish to use a fork for your project to make it easy to contribute changes back to robolectric. We recommend that you fork robolectric. Go to and click the "Fork" button.

  • Clone this project to get the code, then add all of its code to your new project's repo by running:

      git clone git:// starter_tmp
      cd starter_tmp
      ./script/project_setup YourProjectName path_to_your_project_repo #or ruby script/project_setup ...
      # This script will prompt you for a package name and a robolectric repo, both are optional.
      # Default package name:
      # Default robolectric repo is the read-only offical robolectric repo: git://
      # Run tests: 
      cd path_to_your_project_repo && (cd submodules/robolectric && ant clean findAndroidUnix && ant test) && ant clean test
  • Open YourProject in IntelliJ 10.5 or higher.

  • Import IntelliJ Settings: File => Import Settings => YourProject/support/IntellijSettings.jar. This will destroy your existing IntelliJ settings!


  • "Import Settings" should have fixed the global Project SDKs and Module SDKs. Fix them if they are still broken. See "4. IntelliJ: Some Manual Configuration" below.
  • Robolectric's unit test suite requires SDK 10 with Google APIs (2.3.3). If you do not install this SDK you cannot run Robolectric's tests.
  • Once you are done, you can delete the starter_tmp directory.

In IntelliJ, Run Unit Tests, Robolectric Unit Tests, and launch StarterApp and make sure they work.

At least glace at the stuff below about robojuice, C2DM, gp and gpp, forking robolectric, etc.

Stuck? Keep reading!

Super Detailed Instructions

Salvation lies within.

1. Android Setup

Don't open IntelliJ yet.

Download the latest Mac SDK:

Unzip the archive and move the android-sdk-mac_x86 dir to ~/android-sdk-mac_x86. This project assumes that android lives in ~/android-sdk-mac_x86. You will need to fix paths in several places if you choose a different location.

Add the android tools to the PATH.

# Note: change .bash_profile to .bashrc or something else if needed
echo "export PATH='$PATH:$HOME/android-sdk-mac_x86/tools:$HOME/android-sdk-mac_x86/platform-tools'" >> $HOME/.bash_profile

Open a new Terminal window and run android:

# in a new Terminal window:

Use the "Android SDK and AVD Manager" to download all of the SDKs. This project assumes SDK v10 (2.3.3) with Google APIs. You can change this later.

To install:

  • Available packages => Android Repository => SDK Platform 2.3.3
  • Available packages => Third party Add-ons => Google Inc => Google APIs by Google Inc., Android API 10

Install other SDKs using this method.

Virtual Devices

Make at least one Virtual Device (emulator) for the SDK(s) you installed above.

Note: This project assumes you have SDK 10 with Google APIs (2.3.3) installed. You can change this in

2. Setting Up Your New Project's Repo

Don't open IntelliJ yet.

Before you can start, you have to have a git repo for your new project on your machine.

If you are using GitHub, to create a new repo for your project, create it on GitHub and clone it to your local machine.

If you are NOT using GitHub, just create a repo on your local machine for your project (i.e. git init).

Optionally, if you are using git pair on your project, create a .pairs file in your new project's repo and run git pair.

Finally, clone pivotal/AndroidIntelliJStarter be sure to use the read-only URI to avoid accidentally pushing changes to it.

git clone git:// starter_tmp

Project Setup Script

project_setup will rename the files and file contents that need to be changed from AndroidIntelliJStarter to YourProject and copy/commit all of the files into your project's repo.

cd starter_tmp
./script/project_setup YourProject path_to_your_project_repo

This script will prompt you for a package name and a robolectric repo, both are optional.

  • The default package name is
  • Robolectric is a git submodule in this project. By default, submodules/robolectric is a non-pushable clone of (HEAD). You can specify your own fork at the prompt.

We recommend that you fork robolectric for your project. For details on how to set up your fork to easily sync with pivotal/robolectric, see "Open Source Robolectric" below.

Note that Robolectric unit test require SDK v10 (2.3.3) with Google APIs. If you do not install this SDK then you will not be able to run Robolectric's own test suite.

3. IntelliJ: Settings, Libraries, and SDKs

Open YourProject in IntelliJ 10.5 or higher.

Import IntellijSettings.jar

Import support/IntellijSettings.jar to automatically configure your SDKs and other important settings:

File => Import Settings => YourProject/support/IntellijSettings.jar

If everything goes well everything will be fixed when IntelliJ restarts.

My IntelliJ SDKs are Broken!

Something about your machine's configuration does not match our settings. Manually fix all using the following instructions. Likely issues include:

  • Are you are not running IntelliJ 10.5
  • Android SDKs are not installed in ~/android-sdk-mac_x86/. Check out that "x"! It's "mac_x86", not "mac_86".

If these are not the issue keep going to the SDK sections below.

Platform Settings: SDKs -- JSDK

  • File => Project Structure
  • Platform Settings => SDKs

If 1.6 is not listed, add it:

  • Add (plus sign) => JSDK
  • Take the default if you can, deep in /System/Library/.../CurrentJDK/Home

Platform Settings: SDKs -- Android SDKs

Check your Android SDKs:

  • File => Project Structure
  • Platform Settings => SDKs

Your Android SDKs are listed here. You might need to add a few. Note that if you want to run Robolectric's own test suite you will need to add Google APIs (2.3.3). For example:

  • Add (plus sign) => Android SDK
  • locate and choose ~/android-sdk-mac_x86
  • Select internal Java Platform: 1.6
  • Create new Android SDK: Google APIs (2.3.3)

If you need SDKs that are not listed you will need to install it via the Android SDK and AVD Manager. See above.

Module SDKs

You might need to fix the Module SDKs for YourProject and Robolectric:

  • File => Project Structure
  • Modules => YourProject => Dependencies
  • Module SDK: choose one.
  • Repeat for Modules => Robolectric => Dependencies

Highlighted Libraries And Tools

We have included several libraries and configurations that we use on most projects. You are free to keep them or remove them.


By default this project uses Roboguice for dependency injection.

Configure dependency injection in MySampleApplication.ApplicationModule and RobolectricTestRunnerWithInjection.TestApplicationModule.

RobolectricTestRunnerWithInjection is a test runner configured to use Roboguice. See StarterActivityWithRoboguiceTest for example usage.

To remove Roboguice:

  • Delete MySampleApplication and remove references
  • Delete RobolectricTestRunnerWithInjection and remove references
  • Delete guice* and roboguice* jars in libs/main and libs-src/
  • Remove all uses of @Inject, @InjectView, etc.
  • Remove reference to MySampleApplication from AndroidManifest


We have added base support for C2DM - C2DM is Google's push notification service used for Android and is available in API v. 2.2 and above, though it is safely ignored in lower versions.

While 2.2 devices support C2DM, Android SKDs do not provide hooks for integrating with the service -- no registration, unregistration, or notification-receipt handling code. Google suggests copying code from one of their sample projects for this support, which we have done. See Note that we modified to support Roboguice.

To handle C2DM notifications you will need to implement C2DMReceiver, which is stubbed-out but heavily documented.

C2DM Resources:

To Remove C2DM:

  • Remove C2DMReceiver and test
  • Delete
  • Remove the C2DM Section of AndroidManifest.xml

Great Expectations

great-expectations ( provides Jasmine-style test expectations for Java. While the framework is a little rough around the edges, we love this style of expectation assertions; see

Robolectric-gem (Robolectric Great Expectations Matchers)

Robolectric-gem is a library of matcher classes for using great-expectations in Robolectric-powered unit tests. For example, it provides a matcher on View called toBeVisible():

TextView titleView = (TextView) activity.findViewById(;

You can add your own matcher classes too. Add the robolectric-gem repo as a submodule instead of using the jar, or keep it as a jar file and add your own matcher classes by subclassing RunnableExpectGenerator and running that class to create your own in your project.

For more information, see

Lots of Jars

We have added many handy Jars, such as apache commons, google's Guava, the Jackson JSON parsing libraries, and more. Check them out in libs/main/ and libs/test-- keep them or delete them.


These Ruby scripts should make your life easier. Feel free to edit them. They assume ruby lives in /usr/bin/ruby so you might need to edit their #!/usr/bin/ruby if yours is different. Alternatively these scripts can be run with ruby explicitly: ruby script/[the script].

Be sure to check out "Project Setup Script", above, for more details on many of these scripts.

  • script/gp -- "Git Pull" script. This pulls and rebases your project and robolectric.
  • script/gpp -- "Git Pull Push" script. Same as script/gp but also runs all tests in robolectric. and your project. If they pass it will git push.
  • script/project_setup [YourProject] -- changes this project from being configured for AndroidIntelliJStarter to YourProject, including a creating a new local git repo if desired.
  • script/set_package -- Change the Java package from the default to the provided package name.
  • script/init_git_repo -- create a new local git repository. Existing .git directory safely moved to .git.bak.


In addition to the build-in Android ant tasks you will likely use the following additions often. You can chain them, such as ant clean test. Edit build.xml at will. In addition to the

  • ant clean -- deletes up all output dirs
  • ant test -- executes the project tests

Open Source Robolectric

Robolectric is open source and it continuously improves. We recommend that your project fork robolectric. By forking you have the freedom to choose when (if ever) to update to later versions of robolectric, make changes to your fork as needed, and contribute those changes back to pivotal/robolectric using the official github pull-request workflow.

Merging in pivotal/robolectric

The official Github workflow ( details how to merge another repo's code into your own fork, such as merging pivotal/robolectric into yourproject/robolectric:

Do the following once per machine:

# add pivotal/robolectric HEAD as an upstream remote
cd submodules/robolectric
git remote add upstream git://

When you want to merge in upstream:

# merge pivotal/robolectric into your fork
cd submodules/robolectric
git fetch upstream
git merge --no-commit upstream/master
  • Fix merge conflicts
  • Run robolectric tests
  • Run main project tests
  • Commit robolectric and push
  • Commit project and push

Contributing Back

Note: get permission from your client before contributing code back to any open source project.

Assuming you forked as detailed above, make a pull request as your client user:

The pull request can be handled by someone with commit right to robolectric, maybe even you! See "Managing Pull Requests" at

Changing from using the default Robolectric to using your own fork

If you started with the default (non-pushable submodule) robolectric, you can change your mind later and set up your project to use your own fork later by following these instructions.

.gitmodules -- delete the '[submodule "submodules/robolectric"]' section if present.

.git/config -- delete the '[submodule "robolectric"]' section if present.

Clean up git and directories

git rm --cached submodules/robolectric
rm -rf submodules

After forking robolectric on Github, add a submodule that points to your robolectric repository:

git submodule add ***YOUR-GIT-REPOSITORY-URI-HERE*** submodules/robolectric
git submodule init
(cd submodules/robolectric && ant clean test)

Also see Open Source Robolectric.