How to install Apache Flex 4.8.0 SDK in Flash Builder

In this post I’ll explain in an easy step by step tutorial how to install Apache Flex 4.8.0 in Flash Builder, I know that it’s not rocket science but maybe newbie developers could need more information to start play with new SDK.

The new SDK is more or less the same of 4.6 but under Apache flag, like you can read at Spoon website, but we hope people behind the project could give us new opportunities for our RIAs and Mobile projects.

So let’s start!

First of all download Apache Flex 4.8.0 binaries for your operating system (in my case OS X), keep attention, you need the binaries release not the source one.
After unzip the downloaded file create a folder called 4.8.0 in /Applications/Flash Builder 4.5/sdks

Then download playerglobal.swc for Flash Player 11 on Adobe website.

Save it in /Applications/Adobe Flash Builder 4.5/sdks/4.8.0/frameworks/libs (it could be better create a folder called “player” or as you want, in my case I use “11.1” and save the swc inside).

Finally, open Terminal navigate trough your folders and position it to this location /Applications/Adobe Flash Builder 4.5/sdks/4.8.0/frameworks then launch this ANT command:

ant thirdparty-downloads

After 10 minutes you will download everything:
. OMSF dependencies
. TLF framework
. Flex 4.6 SDK and so on

Last but not least, in Flex 4.8 SDK folder you will find a, you have to duplicate the file, call and set the right path for each folder:

env.AIR_HOME= path to AIR SDK on your filesystem

env.FLASHPLAYER_DEBUGGER = path to Flash Player Debugger, if you have Flash Pro installed you can find a version in Players/Debug/Flash Player Debugger

env.PLAYERGLOBAL_HOME= path to playerglobal.swc (it’s not an absolute path, it’s relative and starts from frameworks folder in Flex SDK!!!)

env.PIXELBENDER_HOME= path to Pixel Bender Toolkit 2 (it’s not important to set if you don’t use it)

env.ADOBE_EXTENSION_MANAGER= path to Adobe Extension Manager

Remember that in template file you can read an accurate explanation on how to set those environment variables

Then you can start to enjoy the new Flex SDK.

The team behind Flex in Apache is working on a new AIR application that will help you to install in Flash Builder the SDK but it’s not released yet… we hope to have it soon, in the meanwhile I hope this tutorial could help you to set your IDE.
There is another way to install the SDK trough an AIR app that you can download from here:
If I forgot some steps in my description please comment to this post to help everybody to enjoy Apache Flex, thank you in advance.


Published by

luca mezzalira

Being associated with the industry since 2004, I have lent my expertise predominantly in the solution architecture field. I have gained accolades for revolutionising the scalability of frontend architectures with micro-frontends, from increasing the efficiency of workflows, to delivering quality in products. My colleagues know me as an excellent communicator who believes in using an interactive approach for understanding and solving problems of varied scopes. I helped DAZN becoming a global streaming platform in just 5 years, now as Principal Architect at AWS, I'm helping our customers in the media and entertainment space to deliver cost-effective and scalable cloud solutions. Moreover, I'm sharing with the community the best practices to develop cloud-native architectures solving technical and organizational challenges. My core industry knowledge has been instrumental in resolving complex architectural and integration challenges. Working within the scopes of a plethora of technical roles such as tech lead, solutions architect and CTO, I have developed a precise understanding of various technicalities which has helped me in maximizing value of my company and products in my current leadership roles.

50 thoughts on “How to install Apache Flex 4.8.0 SDK in Flash Builder”

  1. ‘ant’ is not recognized as an internal or external command,operable program or batch file.

    1. What a palava! Reminds me of installing X Windows software back in the day 🙂

      Thanks for that link, Gert. It is the 21st century after all and installing software these days shouldn’t require any brain power whatsover 🙂


  2. ….
    impossibile aprire “C:\Program Files (x86)\Adobe\Adobe Flash Builder 4.5\sdks\4.8\frameworks\\player\11.1\playerglobal.swc”

      1. eh ho avuto un po di problemi con i path del ma ora è a posto! grazie x il tutorial!!

  3. Alternatively, on Mac OSX, you can download and unzip the binaries into a directory.

    cd apache-flex-sdk-4.8.0-incubating-bin/ide/flashbuilder
    ./ /Applications/Adobe\ Flash\ Builder\ 4.5/sdks/4.8.0

    The script will pull together all the parts you need and copy the sdk to the specified directory.

    There is also a bat script but it has some limitations so I would recommend using the AIR app on Windows.

  4. Any idea how to correct this error or what’s causing it?

    unable to open ‘D:\Program Files (x86)\Adobe\Adobe Flash Builder 4.6\sdks\4.8.0\frameworks\D:\Program Files (x86)\Adobe\Adobe Flash Builder 4.6\sdks\4.8.0\frameworks\libs\air\airglobal.swc’ project-iOS Unknown Flex Problem

    Thanks, in advance

      1. I was using an absolute path as the file says to use absolute. I changed it to relative and still getting an air. For example, my AIR_HOME is set to AIRSDK. I now get the following error:

        unable to open ‘D:\Program Files (x86)\Adobe\Adobe Flash Builder 4.6\sdks\4.8.0\frameworks\AIRSDK\frameworks\libs\air\airglobal.swc’ Unknown Flex Problem

        Looks like it is appending the relative path to an existing path.

        Thanks for your assistance!

  5. Deleted 4.8.0 directory and re-downloaded it. Everything working now. Thanks for the assistance!

  6. I tried to setup the env but with AIR does not work. Any idea?
    env.AIR_HOME=/Applications/Adobe\ Flash\ Builder\ 4.6/sdks/4.6.0
    But it can’t recognize de path to AIR SDK

  7. I’m sorry, but this install procedure is crap. Why so many steps to take? If the previous sdks were a simple download and copy, why can’t this be the same?

      1. Well, I’m having a little problem during the install procedure with the automation tool. First, I can’t select the directory, so I did this manually. And second: I can’t even download anything because the automation tool abort the procedure :/ And I don’t even know why D;

    1. I’m sorry that the installation is more difficult.

      Please take a minute at least read the RELEASE_NOTES ( and the README (

      This is an Apache project. Apache projects are source which must have the Apache v2 license. Adobe AIR, swfobject, expressInstall.swf, embedded font support and Adobe BlazeDS integration are all thirdparty dependencies since we either don’t have the source and/or they do not have that license.

      The README describes how to set up your environment using either or actual environment variables. If you use actual environment variables you can check that AIR_HOME is set up properly by doing a dir/ls of the variable.

  8. The SDK installation was perfect.

    When you open the IDE Flash Builder 4.6, select an existing project, change the version and displays a warning message when you press the Desing:

    The Design Mode is disabled to use as the project incompatible version of the Flex SDK

  9. i was successfully install flex 4.8 in flash builder. after run and that is nothing display in browser . anyone can assist. thanks

  10. I successfully install flex 4.8 in flash builder 4.7 beta, I follow ALL your instructions but after Run a simple proyect, web page and that is nothing display in browser some Idea?

  11. After seeing how this synergy of adobe and apache is for flex, I deleted all adobe flash builders and flex related products. We used adobe products because we expect a certain advantage from commercial products, but this is just bullshit. When in a time everything can be simplified and automated and we have to go back resorting classic ways of configuring/developing like 10 years ago. No, thank you.

  12. I have used the installer to install the sdk 4.8.0 and I have noticed the file swfobject.js is missing from project files. so you will have to manually add it to the project and to the template folder on the sdk. This caused the app failed being added/embeded to the page.

  13. hello, to let working airglobal.swc I had to:
    – paste/merge airsdk all content dir in flexsdk dir
    – edit
    (leave blank)

    edit air-config.xml (line 83):


  14. oops, some comment content was stripped:
    node in air-config.xml:
    (change with appropriate brackets for xml compliance)

  15. I have the “old” version of Flex Builder (4.0). I know we can also add SDKs but I had troubles when trying the SDK 4.5. Do you know if it works better with the SDK 4.6 or the new 4.8 ?

  16. I installed apache-flex 4.10 in my flash builder 4.6 (by apache-flex-SDK-installer), but the design mode is disabled, why? How do I do to enable it?

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