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AS3 in Linux

[edit 2: new updated article! Check it out here]

[edit: I am not sure this article is still relevant. Still interesting, but not exhaustive. There is a few new methods I did not know about (thanks tom) that I have to try…See the comments for more details]

Ok, I have been trying to code in AS3 in Ubuntu.
All I can say is Adobe is not making an easy life to the coder who doesn't want to use Windows.
I have been on the lookout for a solution for quite some time now…Just to be clear from the start: I did not find a suitable answer. But keep on reading, there is half-baked solutions here.

For the sake of exhaustivity (what a nice word), I will be listing all the previous solutions that I found, and finally tell ya what I finally did.
Just a note before we begin; To avoid redundancy, I did not repeat it, but for any of the setups that involve Adobe Flex SDK, you will need the latest Java( sudo apt-get install java-package sun-java6-jdk). For more information about installing Java & Flex SDK, click here or there

  1. Using Eclipse + Adobe Flex Builder

    This works well. This is, if you are comfortable with the Eclipse IDE. In my opinion, Eclipse, as great as it might be, is clunky and slow. I always get confused when using it. Plus, Adobe does give out a Flex Builder Version for Linux, but it has been alpha since ages, and it does not seem likely they are going to update it anytime soon.

  2. Using Eclipse + Adobe Flex SDK

    This is already nicer. Since you are using the SDK and not some plugin, you have a compiler separated from your IDE, which is much more flexible. To edit AS3 code under Eclipse, you can get the As Development Tool (ASDT http://aseclipseplugin.sourceforge.net/updates/) as a plugin.
    I still don't like Eclipse.

  3. Using Netbeans + Adobe Flex SDK

    This would actually be my best option, because I love netbeans. The interface knows how to blend in the background so I am not distracted from my code, and the shortcuts make sense to me. It is already my IDE of choice for coding PHP. Alas! There is no AS3 support for Netbeans! To be completely exhaustive, there is, it is called FlexBean, but it will only provide syntax highlighting.

  4. Using Gedit + Adobe Flex SDK

    Well, this is really minimal. Using gedit as your IDE will not get you very far; in fact, it is not very different from using Netbeans with the plugin. You only get syntax highlighting. This said, compared to solution (3), it has the added value of not having to download anything beside the SDK. To get AS3 syntax highlighting in gedit, click here and go to "downloads"

After trying all of these solutions, + a few others…

My solution:

Get virtualBox Ose, and do your flash stuff there. It is a bit of a chore, since you have to set up virtualBox, and install SP3, .Net, and flash debug player. And of course, you need a working copy of windows, something that goes against my idea of a fully free, legal, and open-source desktop. But at least it works exactly the way it is intended to, no surprises.
Yeah. There is no viable solution for large-scale flash development as I write. It is a shame but this is how it is.
Today I am able to draw, paint, write, animate and even model and animate in 3D in Linux; you'd think it is easy to use any coding language, due to the strong ties of Linux with programming. I mean, all Linux distros have extensive support for c++, python, java, etc….But no, nada, nothing here for AS3.

This and after effects are my last ties with windows, so if anyone has found a solution I would be glad to know.


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  • Hello from Russia!
    Can I quote a post "No teme" in your blog with the link to you?

  • Pingback: Tweets that mention AS3 in Linux | yelostudio -- Topsy.com()

  • x

    Feel free to! I'd be honored. I have to warn you tho that this post might change (get updated) if I find a solution, since I will not stop looking.

  • tom

    have you tried axdt and eclipse? i'm interested but can't get it all working on karmic koala…

    also what about haxe? the only AS3 stuff i've got going has been by using haxe in gedit and then compiling using the terminal! bit of a chore compared to using flashdevelop for code and the timeline for assets…

  • x

    No I didn't…What's not working? Eclipse, or the plugin?
    Sadly, since Karmic, I've been running XP exclusively; Karmic is exploding whenever I do anything, and I have to fix so many issues I just don't have the time. As soon as I free some, I am gonna either get back to 8.10, which was really stable, or wait for the next version.
    I had Eclipse running fine in 8.10; Had not the chance to try in Karmic (it freezes as soon as I try to install it).
    About haXe…Frankly, I only heard about haxe, never tried it. I might be wrong, but the idea of translating from haxe to actionscript (php, java, whatever) before compiling puts me off. It's an added step. How can I know how clean is my (virtual) AS3 code? Yeah, somewhat anal, I know. This said, thank you: I had totally forgotten about haxe and it should be a valuable addition to my list, but I can't try it right now for the reasons mentioned above.
    I'll tell you what, since I am lazy, If you provide me with some info (4-5 lines), I'll post it as is (with ur name of course).

  • tom

    ok, for the haxe it's pretty similar to your number 4, you have to usae gedit no auto completion. for your concerns about translation, they claim speed increases on haxe.org i love the idea myself, the syntax is pretty much AS3 but you can write PHP, C and javascript that way. how great is that.

    BUT, check this out…

    AS3 autocompletion, code hinting, syntax highlight, all built in AS3 as an AIR application, runs on any operating system, only an alpha version but i think it will have a big future 🙂

    p.s. apart from issues with eclipse karmic koala has been great for me (only thing i can't get going on my laptop is bluetooth…)

  • x

    Ok, you have definitely raised my eyebrows (for like five consecutive minutes). I am going to make temporary corrections to my article but it seems I have to write it all over again, as soon as I can free some time to experiment in Karmic…after I fix it.

  • cfeeling

    Hello from China!

    Mmm…. I used virtualBox Ose + Flash Builder Beta 2, I love Netbeans, and I love Ubuntu too. As you said, we could code with C++,Java… in Netbeans under Linux,but now, we had to code with AS under Gates' Win.

  • Someone mentioned MiniBuilder here. Yes, it's cool. for certain project sizes, it's a real option.

    I am on Ubuntu and Mint distros, and I use FlexBuilder Alpha. It's really ok but you need to tweak it a little to work with Eclipse 3.5 and with newer SDK's (3.5).



    you lose 15-20 min to set all up, but then you have a complete tool for flash/air.

    Now, if anyone is interested in MiniBuilder, drop me a line at victor.dramba – gmail