Gradle is a build automation tool with a focus on extensibility and performance. It can be used to perform tasks related to software compilation, deployment, testing, static analysis (e.g., linting), and more.
Gradle is very easy to learn if you are new to automated builds or want an alternative solution for any of the above tasks that your current build system does not support well enough or is unable to do at all. Gradle has some advantages over other tools like Ant, Maven, SBT (Scala Build Tool), etc., especially when it comes down to customizability and performance of the generated output during the process of creating a final executable jar for example.
A Gradle plugin is an add-in that extends the Gradle build with some new functionality. Gradle ships with a set of plugins that we can use in our builds right away without any extra configuration. For example, by default, we get tasks for our build and test execution, dependency management, code quality analysis (through the JaCoCo plugin), and so on. We can also add more plugins to enhance our builds further if needed.
There are some advantages of each that have to be considered carefully when choosing a build tool(Gradle vs. Maven).
Maven is one of a few widely used build systems for Java, and is considered to be the industry-standard. It has been around since the early days of Java and has been able to adapt as new versions are released. The software and ecosystem around it ensure that it will always remain relevant and supported.
Gradle, on the other hand, was designed from scratch by Google engineers in Gradle to build hybrid applications using Groovy, becoming one of its main languages. Gradle can be seen as an open-source alternative to Maven that is faster and more lightweight due to the use of Groovy language and the plugins available. The Gradle project is less than a year old and has not yet been fully polished. However, these shortcomings are slowly being improved as compared to Maven.
Have you ever been stuck on a feature or project because it just doesn’t compile/run/build as expected? When you’re working on Android and Java, a single code or configuration mistake can make your entire build fail. Now you can automate your Android development with the Gradle Build Automation Tool.
In this article, we’ll show you how to install Gradle on your Rocky Linux 8 to build and execute your Java Android applications. After this tutorial, you’ll have a fully-fledged environment in which to build your applications using Gradle.
In order to proceed with this article, you need the following:
- A Rocky Linux 8 server with a minimum of 2GB of RAM.
- A non-root user with sudo privileges.
- A working internet connection.
Updating the system
There are a few things we need to do in order to get the latest version of Gradle installed on Rocky Linux 8.
First, let’s update your rocky Linux 8 with the following commands.
sudo dnf check-update sudo dnf update -y
These commands will take a bit of time, depending on your internet connection. Please be patient and wait till it completes.
You should reboot your Rocky Linux 8 after these two commands. So that the changes take effect.
Installing Java JDK
Gradle requires a JDK to be installed on your system. Java is a programming language developed by Sun Microsystems in the 1990s. It is used to build applications for desktop, mobile platforms, and the web. Gradle uses the Java codebase to interpret Groovy code. The Groovy programming language is an object-oriented language that can run on the Java platform.
JDK is an acronym for Java Development Kit. It is a software library that includes the basic components that are needed to run a Java program.
In this example, we will install JDK 11 using the OpenJDK or Oracle’s open-source Java Development Kit.
Run the command below to install Java JDK 11 on your Rocky Linux 8.
sudo dnf install java-11-openjdk-devel -y
Run the java -version command to see the JDK version installed on your server.
You will get the following output.
Installing Gradle on Rocky Linux 8
Now that we have installed JDK 11 we can now install Gradle on Rocky Linux 8. There are two ways of doing this.
The first is to use a Gradle binary. The second method is to download a Gradle zip file and build it manually. We will be using the first method. The Gradle binary is self-contained and can be used on any Linux machine where JDK is already installed. In this example, we will download and install the Gradle binary.
Open your favorite browser and navigate to the Gradle releases page.
Locate the latest releases on the page. Cope the URL for the latest release and make a note of it. In this example, we will be using Gradle 7.3.3 as it is the most current version as of writing this article.
Run the wget command below to download the gradle 7.3.3 binary. Replace version=7.3.3 with your latest version number.
wget https://downloads.gradle-dn.com/distributions/gradle-7.3.3-bin.zip -P /tmp
Run the unzip command below to unzip the downloaded Gradle binary.
unzip -d /opt/ /tmp/gradle-7.3.3-bin.zip
Now that we have the Gradle binary in place, we can now proceed with configuring our Rocky Linux 8 to use it.
Run the chmod +x /etc/profile.d/gradle.sh command to make the file executable. The chmod command is used to change the access permissions on files and folders. In this case, we are using it to make the gradle.sh script file in /etc/profile.d directory executable.
sudo chmod +x /etc/profile.d/gradle.sh
Run the source /etc/profile.d/gradle.sh command to force the system to use the updated PATH environment variable. The source command is used to inject a file into the current shell environment. Essentially, it adds the contents of this gradle.sh file as a new layer to the current shell environment.
Now that our PATH has been updated, we can proceed with using the Gradle command to build and execute our Java Android applications. But first, let’s check if the installation has been successful.
Run the gradle -v command to view the Gradle version installed on your Rocky Linux 8.
You should see something like the following output.
Now that you have successfully installed Gradle on Rocky Linux 8, you can now use Gradle to build and execute your Java Android applications. Don’t forget to share this article with others.