• Introduction
  • Dev Environment Setup
  • Developing Apps
  • Data Handling
  • Device Capabilities
  • Testing & Debugging
  • Extending
Warning Older Docs! - You are viewing documentation for a previous released version of RhoMobile Suite.

Install RhoMobile Suite

The RhoMobile Suite allows the development of apps that can run on multiple mobile platforms from a single code base. In essence, these apps employ a web-like front end that renders on a platform-specific webkit, which passes device calls through to the underlying hardware. RhoStudio also can build native apps for Android, iOS and Windows Mobile and Windows Phone 8 using the corresponding SDK(s).

At minimum, the RhoMobile installer places the Rhodes open-source development framework and the RhoStudio (Eclipse) IDE on the development host system. Also included RhoConnect, optional module for creating apps that connect and sync with one or more back-end systems. Rhodes supports Zebra’s enterprise-grade devices. Native SDKs, if desired, are installed separately.

RhoMobile depends on Java, Ruby, Git and other tools. Depending on the development host platform, these components are either installed automatically with the main suite or must be installed manually using the platform-specific processes below. Please read and follow all instructions carefully to ensure a trouble-free installation.

Upgrading From a Prior Installation

Upgrading a system that already has a prior version of RhoMobile Suite usually requires fewer steps than a full installation, but still requires you to download the latest software image. If upgrading, follow those steps first. If that fails, try a full installation.

IMPORTANT: The update function in the "About RhoStudio..." dialog is currently disabled.

If your machine already has RMS installed, get the latest RhoMobile suite for Mac or Windows, then follow the instructions below.

For Mac OS X (.dmg file):

1- Drag-copy the RhoStudio folder from the .dmg to your Applications folder. You’ll see a message like the one below. Be sure your ‘workspace’ folder is not in the same folder as the RhoStudio application (by default, it’s in the user’s home directory, not in the RhoStudio folder).


2- When you’ve confirmed that your projects are elsewhere, click ‘Replace’
3- When copying from Step 2 is compete, run the “Install Gems” script from the .dmg
4- Launch RhoStudio from the latest Launcher script (provided)
5- Go to RhoMobile>>Preferences>>RhoMobile and update Java bin path settings

  • Be sure to browse to your System Library, which is directly below the root
  • Do not point to your user’s Library folder

6- If you’re building locally, click Android (under RhoMobile prefs branch) and re-enter path settings for Android SDK and NDK

RMS 5.1 is NOT compatible with Android NDK 10; Android NDK 9d is recommended.

7- Create or update any application aliases for the new RhoSuite Launchers.


For Windows (.exe file):

1- Launch the RhoMobile Suite Installer (.exe)
2- Update Start Menu/Start Screen shortcuts as necessary
3- Go to Window>>Preferences>>RhoMobile and update Java bin path settings, if necessary
4- If you’re building locally, click Android (under RhoMobile Preferences branch) and re-enter path settings for Android SDK and NDK if necessary

RMS 5.1 is NOT compatible with Android NDK 10; Android NDK 9d is recommended.

If the upgrade steps have failed, or if you’re installing RhoMobile Suite for the first time, follow the instructions below for a first-time installation.

Windows First-time Install (32- and 64-bit)

STEP 1: Run the RhoMobile Suite Installer

Download the RhoMobile Suite Installer for Windows and launch it. This will install Rhodes, RhoStudio, RhoConnect, as well as Ruby and Redis open source tools.

Additional installers will automatically launch for Git and Node.js. Follow prompts and read and accept their respective open-source license agreements as appropriate.

During installation, certain virus detectors might warn about a “Suspicious.MLApp” security risk in the “rubyw.exe” file. This false-positive can be safely ignored.

STEP 1a: For Windows 8.1 Only

Since Windows 8.x lacks a Start Menu, a few extra steps are needed to make the RhoMobile launchers visible.

After running the RhoMobile installer in Windows 8.x, do the following:

  • Go to the “Start Screen” of Windows 8 (aka “Metro”) and right-click at the bottom of the screen until the App Bar appears (on Win8.1, the button should appear without right-clicking).

  • Click the “All Apps” button to show all apps. Locate the “RhoMobile Suite” group (see image, below). Once installation is completed, you can run the desired RhoMobile launcher from there, or…

  • Right-click the desired launcher and select “Pin to Taskbar.” This will make it easy to access from the Desktop in the future. Repeat this action for other launchers and for links to Documentation and Developer Community, if desired.

RhoStudio on Win_8

By default, the Windows 8 Desktop allows 32-bit applications only. For running the 64-bit version of RhoStudio, see "Notes for 64-bit Windows Systems, below. Additional Windows settings also might be necessary.

STEP 2: Install the Java Development Kit

RhoStudio requires the Java Development kit, which is different than the Java that might already be present for browsers. Unless you’re sure you already have the JDK, visit Oracle’s Java Developer Kit download page and select, download and install the version that’s appropriate for your system.

Notes for 64-bit Windows

The 32- and 64-bit versions of RhoMobile are functionally equivalent, and there’s no disadvantage to using the 32-bit RhoMobile suite on development hosts with 64-bit Windows. However, if you’d prefer to run the 64-bit version of RhoMobile on your 64-bit Windows machine, you’ll need to manually download and install the 64-bit version of the Java development kit.

The Java Development Kit is different than Java versions that might already be on your system for browsers.

To get the 64-bit JDK:

  • Visit visit Oracle’s Java Developer Kit download page and select, download and install the 64-bit Java version for Windows.
  • To confirm the the JDK path, launch RhoStudio and go to Window>>Preferences>>RhoMobile. The “Java bin path” should be: C:\Program Files\Java\jdk<version number>\bin

STEP 3: Launching RhoStudio

The RhoMobile installer for Windows places the following items in the Windows Start menu or Start Screen (Windows 8.x in “All Apps” view mode):


Ruby Notes

The RhoMobile Suite installer for Windows contains Ruby 2.3.3. This version of Ruby is used for executing rake commands on the development host computer and for running RhoConnect applications.

Native applications built with RhoStudio use Ruby 2.3.3 on the target device.

Mac OS X First-time Install

Apple XCode Required

The Mac OS X installation relies on Apple’s XCode development environment and the corresponding Command Line Tools. If XCode is not already installed, please visit Apple’s developer download site and download and install the version appropriate for your system before proceeding.

The Mac OS X installation steps:

-->> This process requires administrator access and write permissions in all areas. <<--

-->> Steps MUST be performed in the following order <<--

0. Download and install XCode and corresponding Command Line Tools
1a. Download RhoMobile Suite (.dmg) from Tau-Technologies.com
1b. Copy RhoStudio to the development system’s Applications folder DO NOT LAUNCH!
2. Download and install the Java 6 SDK from Java.com (see link, below)
3. Use Terminal to install Ruby Version Manager (RVM)
4. Use RVM to install Ruby 2.3.3 (even if you have a newer version)
5. Run the “install gems” Terminal script from the RhoMobile Suite .dmg


Set up native SDKs for specific target devices (Android, iOS, Sailfish)
Run the “Install RhoConnect-push” Terminal script

Detailed instructions for Mac OS X Installations:

STEP 1: Download and Copy RhoMobile Suite

-->> Steps MUST be performed in the following order <<--

  1. Download RhoMobile Suite disc image (a .dmg file) and double-click it. A window similar to the following will open:


b. Drag the RhoStudio icon to the Applications folder alias (in the direction of the arrow). This will copy the suite’s main executables and some other useful files to the Applications folder of the development Mac. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO LAUNCH RHOSTUDIO AT THIS TIME.

Keep the RhoMobile Suite Installer .dmg handy; we’ll refer to it again in STEP 5.

STEP 2: Install the Java Development Kit

RhoStudio relies on desktop Java, which Apple stopped including with Mac OS X as of version 10.7 (Lion). RhoMobile supports JDK 6.0 and higher. Regardless of what you currently have, we recommend that you download the latest JDK from Java.com. This is different than the version of Java that might already be on your system for browsers.

Download and open the JDK .dmg, double-click the package within it and follow prompts to install the latest JDK.

STEP 3: Install Ruby Version Manager (RVM)

This step installs a tool called Ruby Version Manager (RVM) that we’ll use to install Ruby 2.3.3. RVM makes it easy to switch between Ruby versions if you need to later.

WARNING: Do not use sudo to install RVM; it can cause problems with file permissions when running bundle commands from within RhoStudio.

To install RVM, open a Terminal* window and enter (or copy and paste) the following command at the $ prompt:

\curl -sSL https://get.rvm.io | bash -s stable

This command securely downloads the latest stable version of RVM from the “get.rvm.io” web site.

Follow prompts and enter information as needed.

Terminal is included with Mac OS X and is in the Applications folder. To launch Terminal without having to navigate to the Apps folder: CMD-SPACE >> Type ‘Term’ >> Hit ENTER

STEP 4: Install Ruby 2.3.x

Now that you have RVM, you can use it to install Ruby 2.3.x and some other useful stuff. Remember, RhoMobile requires Ruby 2.3.x and may not work with other versions. This step will not affect existing Ruby version(s) on your Mac, but Ruby 2.3.x will become the default.

Open a NEW Terminal window and install Ruby 2.3.3 with the following command:

rvm install 2.3

You also might be prompted to install homebrew. If so, just hit ENTER to install it in the default /user/local directory. Respond to additional prompts as needed. This step may take a few minutes.

Once complete, verify that Ruby 2.3 is the default by entering this command:

ruby -v

The result should be something similar to this: ruby 2.3.7p456 (2018-03-28 revision 63024) [x86_64-darwin14.0.0]

STEP 5: Install Ruby Gems

Almost done! The final required step is to install Ruby gems. Gems are platform- and processor-specific Ruby apps and libraries that deliver much of the key functionality of the RhoMobile platform. Gems are copied from the installation disk image (.dmg) to your hard drive using a Terminal script included with the installer image.

Double-click “Install gems” from the RhoMobile Suite Installer .dmg (below) introduced earlier.
A Terminal window will open and execute an installation script.


When prompted, select N to avoid using sudo to install gems. This process might take a while; it copies several groups of gems.

WARNING: If additional gems are needed in the future, do not use sudo to install them; it can cause problems with file permissions when running bundle commands from within RhoStudio.

If you’re given a choice similar to the one below, select option 1.


CAUTION: In the unlikely event that you’ve mounted more than one disc image containing gems, it’s important to unmount all except the current RhoMobile Suite version. Failure to do so might result in an improper installation.

That’s it! You’ve completed all the required steps to use your Mac and RhoMobile to develop cross-platform applications from a single code base!

IMPORTANT: To launch RhoMobile, you MUST use one of the RhoMobile Launchers indicated in the image below.


FYI: The 32- and 64-bit versions of RhoMobile are functionally equivalent.

The installer image also contains files labeled “Launchpad” and “RhoMobile Docs” (scroll down in the .dmg window if you can’t see them). You can copy these or bookmark their links to the RhoMobile developer community and RhoMobile documentation sites.

Installing Native SDKs (Optional)

RhoStudio permits development of native apps for Android, iOS, Sailfish, Windows Mobile and Windows 10 Mobile on the local development host. If you plan to build native apps locally, you’ll need to install the corresponding SDKs for each. For detailed instructions, please visit RhoMobile’s native SDK setup documentation page.

Troubleshooting Windows Installs


“Failed to create the Java Virtual Machine”

Insufficient memory

Reduce the size of the JVM heap:

1) Use a text editor to open the file:


2) Search for -Xmx1024m

3) Change it to -Xmx512m

This will halve the memory used by the Java Virtual Machine


“Failed to load the JNI shared library…”

Incompatibility between the RhoStudio launcher and the JDK version installed.

- Make sure the JDK and RhoStudio launcher match x86 vs. x64)
- Reinstall the JDK


RhoStudio fails to start and displays no message

Attempting to launch 64-bit RhoStudio without 64-bit Java

Install 64-bit Java (see above)


RhoConnect applications don’t work properly

Spaces exist in the Workspace path

Go to Window>>Preferences>>Startup and Shutdown>>Workspaces and select a Workspace path that contains no spaces.

Troubleshooting Mac OS X Installs



Failed to use one of the RhoStudio launcher scripts

Launch RhoStudio using either “RhoStudio 32-bits” or “RhoStudio 64-bits” scripts in the RhoStudio folder. DO NOT launch apps in the “cocoa” folders.

FACT: The 32- and 64-bit versions of RhoMobile are functionally equivalent. img



Java not installed, installed incorrectly or wrong version

Install Java using instructions found in the Mac OS X section of this page



Mac OS X security policy is preventing an unsigned/downloaded app from launching

1) Open the Mac OS X Preferences panel
2) Click on “Security & Privacy” prefs, then hit General (below)
3) The last blocked app will be shown. Click the “Open Anyway” button
4) if necessary, re-launch RhoStudio using the launcher script



Random Java-related issues

Incorrect Java bin path

Go to RhoStudio>>Preferences>>RhoMobile and set the Java bin path. The correct path should be similar to the image below:


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