Add Desktop support for Flutter and write your first app

Desktop support allows developers to write app which can be run on Windows, macOS, and Linux. Even though it is not ready for production yet, it won’t keep us from playing around with writing an desktop app.

Warning: Work in progress! This page covers desktop support for macOS and Linux, which are available as alpha-quality features in the Flutter dev channel. Windows platform support is still under development.

Even though the support is still in master/dev channel, we still see some developers who start to take advantage of it to create their business app.

  • Flokk – A fresh and modern Google Contacts manager that integrates with GitHub and Twitter.
  • Sharezone – A student planner aimed at the German educational market.

Table of Contents


We must be on the dev channel. It used to be master channel before September 2020.

flutter channel dev
flutter upgrade

Enable respective OS support

flutter config --enable-windows-desktop
flutter config --enable-macos-desktop
flutter config --enable-linux-desktop

Run flutter devices to see the list of connecting devices. Your desktop will be among the devices if all previous steps are followed correctly.

Then run flutter doctor to check whether your machine are still missing any tools.

The most common issue is that latest Visual Studio isn’t installed. In my case, it is Visual Studio - develop for Windows (Visual Studio Community 2019 16.7.3).

Write your first app

Just open your IDE and create a Flutter project normally. To add Desktop support for old project, use :

flutter create .

I think you will use this command a lot. Sometimes, when there are new upgrade for the Desktop support, you need to delete old windows folder in your project and create again for getting latest changes with the command.

Above is my first testing app on Windows 10.

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