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FmxLinux for Delphi

How to start using FmxLinux

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FmxLinux can also be referred to as FireMonkey for Linux. It is a set of tools that can be applied by Delphi developers. FmxLinux for Delphi allows creating GUI Linux applications, extending FireMonkey cross-platform framework owned by RAD Studio.

In other words, this toolchain is aimed at compiling Linux desktop applications using the x86 64-bit Linux compiler for Delphi that was built and is supported by Embarcadero.

FmxLinux was presented in 2017 as a modification of FireMonkey that had to bring it to Linux.

Delphi and RAD Studio Enterprise customers have the possibility to use FMX Linux, starting with Delphi 10.3.1. And it is further supported by newer Delphi versions. It means that from June 2019 FmxLinux is available via the RAD Studio GetIt Package Manager.

Why do Delphi developers choose FmxLinux today?

With FmxLinux there is no need to focus on anything else except your FMX app as FMXLinux will make it available for the Linux platform. FmxLinux ensures the native feel and look of your apps. Moreover, you can work on your app, write code and debug it fully in Delphi while having access to all RAD Studio.

To better understand the reasons for the popularity of this toolchain, let’s also have a look at the list of new features that it has brought to developers:

  • Capacity to reengineer FMX UI apps for the Linux platform;
  • FireMonkey components support for Linux;
  • Live Bindings, FireDAC and other RAD Studio features;
  • Several ready-to-use GUI styles that can match not only Linux but other platforms.

It’s also worth mentioning that FmxLinux uses the same components and frameworks as those that are available for macOS, Windows, iOS and Android.

Moreover, it provides WebKitGTK support which makes it possible to run an FMXLinux app in the browser as an HTML5 web app.

But you should also bear in mind that FMX is a framework adopted for developing cross-platform apps. If you want to build a fully native Linux app on Embarcadero Delphi, there is another set of tools, Delphi VCL for Linux.

How to start using FmxLinux

Step 1. Before you can proceed directly to the installation process of FMXLinux, you should get ready for it and make sure that you have the support of the Linux platform for Delphi. To do that, you need to open Delphi, go to Tools and then to Manage Platforms. You should have Delphi Linux 64-bit.

Step 2. As soon as you see that you have the necessary support of Linux, you should install PAServer (Platform Assistant server) that will allow building and deploying Linux apps. It will also enable you to get access to the Deployment Manager, work with Linux SDK and conduct the Linux system debugging process distantly. Also, it’s important to remember that to start creating FMX apps for Linux it will not be enough to install the Platform Assistant server, you need to run it.

Step 3. For using graph features in your app, it is crucial to add some dependencies for it via Delphi FmxLinux apt: sudo apt install libgl1-mesa-glx libglu1-mesa libgtk-3-common libgstreamer1.0 libgstreamer-plugins-base1.0

However, the installation of the entire X11 system on the server is not required.

Step 4. Now, when all the preparation tasks are done, you need to open the GetIt Package Manager (Delphi – Tools) and find FmxLinux there. After the tools set will be downloaded and installed, a restart of the IDE will be required.

Step 5. After you prepare everything, it’s time to work on your first project. In the GetIt Package Manager you should go to File and then either to Open a FireMonkey Project that you have already created earlier or to start a new one (File – New – Multi-Device Application). Then with the right click on the project, open a drop-down menu where you should opt for an action Add Linux platform.

As soon as it is done and Linux is added to the project that you want to work on, you will get the possibility to go to Linux 64-bit and deploy FireMonkey GUI apps to the Linux platform. Please, note that at that time PAServer should run on your Linux machine.

For more detailed instructions on how to work with FmxLinux for Delphi, we offer you to watch the video called Introduction to FmxLinux that is published on the official Embarcadero Technologies YouTube channel.

Where you can get FmxLinux

On GetIt Package Manager you can use FmxLinux as a free addon.

FmxLinux personal and FmxLinux site license life-time are available for $349 and $1299 respectively. Life-time licenses presuppose that you pay for the toolset only once when you start using it and you will get all fresher versions without any additional fees during the entire lifecycle of the product.

For those users who have bought a license of RAD Studio 10.3.1 and it is still valid, there is an offer to upgrade this license to FmxLinux Life-Time License for a special price of $99.

You can place an order for one of the FmxLinux licenses in accordance with your needs on the official website of the product, following the link.

At Softacom, we have a team of seasoned Delphi developers who have a deep understanding of all the most advanced tools and approaches to Delphi Linux software development. If you want to learn more about the options available or have ideas for implementing Delphi integrations, just contact us. We will always be happy to hear from you.

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