A super cool thing in Flutter is that it can compile too many different outputs. We've seen mobile apps, but Flutter can also output to native desktop apps!
Today we are doing just that. We'll take our Flutter side menu application and convert it to work on desktop!
Requirements for desktop
First of all, we need Flutter installed, but we also need some additional resources for the desktop.
Windows: Visual Studio 2019 (Not visual studio code)
MacOS: Xcode and CocaoPods installed
Linux: Clang, Cmake, GTK development headers, Ninja build, and pkg-config.
Enable Flutter desktop
To enable Flutter, we can run the following command to allow it to installation wide:
flutter config --enable-<platform>-desktop
Where the platforms will be:
flutter config --enable-windows-desktop flutter config --enable-macos-desktop flutter config --enable-linux-desktop
Next up, you can run the following command to get a list of connected devices. This should show at least one more.
flutter devices 1 connected device: Windows (desktop) • windows • windows-x64 • Microsoft Windows [Version 10.0.18362.1082] macOS (desktop) • macos • darwin-x64 • macOS 11.2 20D64 darwin-x64 Linux (desktop) • linux • linux-x64 • Linux
Creating the Flutter desktop app
In the case of a new application, you can run the following command:
flutter create myapp
If your application already existed, you can navigate to the folder above it and execute the following command:
flutter create --platforms=macos flutter_app
Where the last part,
flutter_app is the name of your existing folder. This command will rebuild the folder with the desktop config.
Run Flutter app on desktop
We can use the run command to run the app on the desktop. It should ask us for which device:
Or we can specify the device right away:
flutter run -d macos flutter run -d windows flutter run -d linux
And that's it. We now have a Flutter application that can run natively on a desktop!
Very excited about this addition and looking forward to trying desktop apps out. The styling part of your applications will convert right away. However, some plugins might need platform-specific configuration changes.
If you want to download this converted demo, you can find the complete code on GitHub.