Start building Flutter native desktop apps on macOS

Verify system requirements


To install and run Flutter, your macOS environment must meet the following hardware and software requirements.

Hardware requirements


Your macOS Flutter development environment must meet the following minimal hardware requirements.

CPU Cores48
Memory in GB816
Display resolution in pixelsWXGA (1366 x 768)FHD (1920 x 1080)
Free disk space in GB36.056.0

Software requirements


To write and compile Flutter code for desktop, install the following packages.

Operating system


Flutter supports macOS 10.15 (Catalina) or later. This guide presumes your Mac runs the zsh as your default shell.

To verify your shell configuration, expand this section

Like most UNIX-like operating system, macOS can support multiple shells, like bash, zsh, and sh. As of the October 2019 release of macOS Catalina (macOS 10.15), Zsh or zsh is the default shell for macOS.

Check and set zsh as default

  1. To verify zsh was set as the default macOS shell, run the Directory Services command line utility.

    dscl . -read ~/ UserShell

    The command should print the following as its response.

    UserShell: /bin/zsh

    You can skip the remaining steps.

  2. If you need to install zsh, follow the procedure in this Wiki.

  3. If you need to change your default shell to zsh, run the chsh command.

    chsh -s `which zsh`

To learn more about macOS and zsh, check out Use zsh as the default shell on your Mac in the macOS documentation.

Some Flutter components require the Rosetta 2 translation process on Macs running Apple silicon. To run all Flutter components on Apple silicon, install Rosetta 2.

sudo softwareupdate --install-rosetta --agree-to-license

Development tools


Download and install the following packages.

  • Xcode 15 to debug and compile native Swift or ObjectiveC code. The Xcode installation includes Git 2.27 or later to manage source code.
  • CocoaPods 1.15 to compile enable Flutter plugins in your native apps.

The developers of the preceding software provide support for those products. To troubleshoot installation issues, consult that product's documentation.

When you run the current version of flutter doctor, it might list a different version of one of these packages. If it does, install the version it recommends.

Text editor or integrated development environment


You can build apps with Flutter using any text editor or integrated development environment (IDE) combined with Flutter's command-line tools.

Using an IDE with a Flutter extension or plugin provides code completion, syntax highlighting, widget editing assists, debugging, and other features.

Popular options include:

Install the Flutter SDK


To install the Flutter SDK, you can use the VS Code Flutter extension or download and install the Flutter bundle yourself.

Use VS Code to install Flutter


To install Flutter using these instructions, verify that you have installed Visual Studio Code 1.77 or later and the Flutter extension for VS Code.

Prompt VS Code to install Flutter

  1. Launch VS Code.

  2. To open the Command Palette, press Command + Shift + P.

  3. In the Command Palette, type flutter.

  4. Select Flutter: New Project.

  5. VS Code prompts you to locate the Flutter SDK on your computer.

    1. If you have the Flutter SDK installed, click Locate SDK.

    2. If you do not have the Flutter SDK installed, click Download SDK.

      This option sends you the Flutter install page if you have not installed Git as directed in the development tools prerequisites.

  6. When prompted Which Flutter template?, ignore it. Press Esc. You can create a test project after checking your development setup.

Download the Flutter SDK

  1. When the Select Folder for Flutter SDK dialog displays, choose where you want to install Flutter.

    VS Code places you in your user profile to start. Choose a different location.

    Consider ~/development/

  2. Click Clone Flutter.

    While downloading Flutter, VS Code displays this pop-up notification:

    Downloading the Flutter SDK. This may take a few minutes.

    This download takes a few minutes. If you suspect that the download has hung, click Cancel then start the installation again.

  3. Once it finishes downloading Flutter, the Output panel displays.

    Checking Dart SDK version...
    Downloading Dart SDK from the Flutter engine ...
    Expanding downloaded archive...

    When successful, VS Code displays this pop-up notification:

    Initializing the Flutter SDK. This may take a few minutes.

    While initializing, the Output panel displays the following:

    Building flutter tool...
    Running pub upgrade...
    Resolving dependencies...
    Got dependencies.
    Downloading Material fonts...
    Downloading Gradle Wrapper...
    Downloading package sky_engine...
    Downloading flutter_patched_sdk tools...
    Downloading flutter_patched_sdk_product tools...
    Downloading windows-x64 tools...
    Downloading windows-x64/font-subset tools...

    This process also runs flutter doctor -v. At this point in the procedure, ignore this output. Flutter Doctor might show errors that don't apply to this quick start.

    When the Flutter install succeeds, VS Code displays this pop-up notification:

    Do you want to add the Flutter SDK to PATH so it's accessible
    in external terminals?
  4. VS Code may display a Google Analytics notice.

    If you agree, click OK.

  5. To enable flutter in all Terminal windows:

    1. Close, then reopen all Terminal windows.
    2. Restart VS Code.

Download then install Flutter


To install Flutter, download the Flutter SDK bundle from its archive, move the bundle to where you want it stored, then extract the SDK.

  1. Download the following installation bundle to get the latest stable release of the Flutter SDK.

    Intel ProcessorApple Silicon

    For other release channels, and older builds, check out the SDK archive.

    The Flutter SDK should download to the macOS default download directory: ~/Downloads/.

  2. Create a folder where you can install Flutter.

    Consider creating a directory at ~/development/.

  3. Extract the file into the directory you want to store the Flutter SDK.

    unzip ~/Downloads/ \
           -d ~/development/

    When finished, the Flutter SDK should be in the ~/development/flutter directory.

Add Flutter to your PATH


To run Flutter commands in the Terminal, add Flutter to the PATH environment variable. This guide presumes your Mac runs the latest default shell, zsh. Zsh uses the .zshenv file for environment variables.

  1. Launch your preferred text editor.

  2. If it exists, open the Zsh environmental variable file ~/.zshenv in your text editor. If it doesn't, create ~/.zshenv.

  3. Copy the following line and paste it at the end of your ~/.zshenv file.

    export PATH=$HOME/development/flutter/bin:$PATH
  4. Save your ~/.zshenv file.

  5. To apply this change, restart all open terminal sessions.

If you use another shell, check out this tutorial on setting your PATH.

Configure iOS development


Install and configure Xcode


To develop Flutter apps for desktop, install Xcode to compile to native bytecode.

  1. Open the App Store and sign in.

  2. Search for Xcode.

  3. Click Install.

    The Xcode installer takes up 6+ GB of storage. The download make take some time.

  4. To configure the command-line tools to use the installed version of Xcode, use the following commands.

    sudo sh -c 'xcode-select -s /Applications/ && xcodebuild -runFirstLaunch'

    Use this path for the latest version of Xcode. If you need to use a different version, specify that path instead.

  5. Sign the Xcode license agreement.

    sudo xcodebuild -license

Try to keep to the current version of Xcode.

Install CocoaPods


If your apps depend on Flutter plugins with native desktop code, install CocoaPods. This program bundles various dependencies across Flutter and desktop code.

To install and set up CocoaPods, run the following commands:

  1. Install cocoapods following the CocoaPods install guide.

    sudo gem install cocoapods
  2. Launch your preferred text editor.

  3. Open the Zsh environmental variable file ~/.zshenv in your text editor.

  4. Copy the following line and paste it at the end of your ~/.zshenv file.

    export PATH=$HOME/.gem/bin:$PATH
  5. Save your ~/.zshenv file.

  6. To apply this change, restart all open terminal sessions.

Check your development setup


help Help

Run Flutter doctor


The flutter doctor command validates that all components of a complete Flutter development environment for macOS.

  1. Open your Terminal.

  2. To verify your installation of all the components, run the following command.

    flutter doctor

As you chose to develop for desktop, you do not need all components. If you followed this guide, the result of your command should resemble:

Running flutter doctor...
Doctor summary (to see all details, run flutter doctor -v):
[✓] Flutter (Channel stable, 3.22.1, on macOS 14.4.0 23E214 darwin-arm64, locale en)
[!] Android toolchain - develop for Android devices
[!] Chrome - develop for the web
[✓] Xcode - develop for iOS and macOS (Xcode 15)
[!] Android Studio (not installed)
[✓] VS Code (version 1.89)
[✓] Connected device (1 available)
[✓] Network resources

! Doctor found issues in 3 categories.

Troubleshoot Flutter doctor issues


When the flutter doctor command returns an error, it could be for Flutter, VS Code, Xcode, the connected device, or network resources.

If the flutter doctor command returns an error for any of these components, run it again with the verbose flag.

flutter doctor -v

Check the output for other software you might need to install or further tasks to perform.

If you change the configuration of your Flutter SDK or its related components, run flutter doctor again to verify the installation.

Start developing macOS desktop apps with Flutter


Congratulations! Now that you have installed all prerequisites and the Flutter SDK, you should be able to start developing Flutter apps for macOS desktop.

Manage your Flutter SDK


To learn more about managing your Flutter SDK install, consult the following resources.