I have started developing on a windows machine, I use the ADT with Eclipse, my SDK is updated with all the possible Android APIs, ie, (1.6-4.4). The windows machine is pretty slow so lately I got a Mac (Mavericks), so I am confused between ADT for mac and windows. Is the APIs updated with the SDK work with mac(can i copy and paste the version images to mac sdk from the windows sdk)? or should I update the SDK (APIs) for mac? thank you for any suggestion!

3 Answers 3


Some parts of the SDK are the same between Windows, Linux, and Mac, and some are not.

The developer tools, such as adb, fastboot, and hprof, are native binaries so they're different for each OS. The emulator too is different for each OS.

The Android system images for the emulator are the same between the different host OSes, so you don't need to download these again.

The android.jar files containing the Android framework library itself are also the same between the different host OSes. It has to be this way because the JAR files are compiled into your app.

If you're not sure what to update, it's probably best to just start a fresh installation of ADT. That way you're sure to end up with a working version, and there's no risk of failing to update something you should have, or mimatched versions. It might seem that you're wasting time by downloading some of the same things again, but at least you'll be able to trust your tools. If you try and Frankenstein your installation to save downloading, then even if you manage to do it right, you'll suspect it's broken every time you have an unusual bug, and you'll waste more time in the long run.


I know its a late reply but here is the answer. Some parts of the SDK are same except the SDK manager AVD manager ADB etc. all the system images jar are common Remember Java is a platform independent language. In real life, I use the same SDK library for Windows, Mac and Linux. The files are kind of intact for Windows and Linux. But for mac, you have to download some other files too. And ya, you don't have to copy-paste. Just share via a network. That the best so that both copies will be same. download New version of android in Linux will reflect that in Windows. I use the same SDK for:

  1. Android Studio Windows
  2. Android Studio Linux
  3. Android Studio Mac
  4. Xamarin Studio in Windows
  5. Visual Studio in Windows (Xamarin development)
  6. Xamarin Studio in Mac

All works cool. Only thing is you have to give write access for both Linux and Mac users.

Thank you!

Please comment for any doubts.

  • the avd does not link up can you tell me how to perform it Jun 27, 2017 at 6:05
  • you need separate avd because the executable extensions are different. just simple download all missing stuffs. Jun 27, 2017 at 10:20

The list of folders that you can share between Linux & Windows file system as they are the same files for Android SDK are below. You can just copy & paste these folders between any OS you use:

add-ons, docs, extras, ndk-bundle, platforms, skins, sources, system-images, tools

Apparently, you will need to download the below folders i.e. SDK Tools differently for each OS, as they are platform dependent tools which rely upon OS like Linux, Windows & Mac OS differently:

build-tools, platform-tools

These two folders don't eat up much of a download bandwidth. So you can easily download it as per the OS you are working on.

I have tested and tried this successfully so far and all worked well with full support. This will save a lot of disk space as well as download bandwidth & time for sure!

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