The AIR environment

Adobe AIR must be installed for a user to install and run AIR applications.

Each AIR application runs in a separate process.

AIR applications are written using tools and languages used in web development, including HTML, Ajax, Flex, and Flash. Adobe AIR enables developers to use these to deploy rich Internet applications that run on the desktop.

AIR runtime files and locations

Adobe AIR is installed to the following locations:

  • On Microsoft® Windows® —In the Program Files\Common Files\Adobe AIR directory.

  • On Mac® OS® —In the /Library/Frameworks/Adobe AIR.framework directory. (Also installed are the Adobe AIR Application and Adobe AIR files, both added to the /Applications/Utilties/ directory.)

  • On Linux—In the /opt directory. AIR is installed as either rpm or dpkg packages, with package names: adobeairv.n and adobecerts. Installation requires a running X server. AIR registers the mime type: application/vnd.adobe.air-application-installer-package+zip .

Adobe AIR is a runtime in which AIR applications run. It also includes the AIR application installer, used to install AIR applications.

For information on installing and removing Adobe AIR, see Adobe AIR installation .

Data formats used

AIR applications are deployed as AIR files (files with the .air filename extension). An AIR file is an installer file for a specific AIR application.

When the user launches an AIR file (for example, by double-clicking the AIR file), the runtime opens the AIR application installer, which provides a graphical user interface for installing the application. The application installer displays the identity of the application’s developer (based on the developer’s certificate), if known.

The installed AIR application is added to a subdirectory of the standard application directory (for example, a subdirectory of C:\Program Files on Windows and /Applications on Mac OS). The installed application directory includes the following:

  • A native executable file, which opens the application in Adobe AIR.

  • HTML and SWF files used by the application. (Each AIR application is built using at least one HTML or SWF file). HTML and SWF files developed for Adobe AIR may contain APIs specific to AIR, which do not work in web browsers.

  • Other resources, such as images, style sheets, and other media, used by the application.

AIR applications can access the local file system, and they can write files (of any type) to directories for which the user has write privilege.

Each AIR application is signed, and an installed application cannot run if any files in the installed application directory do not match the application’s signature.

Network protocols used

Adobe AIR applications can use the following network protocols:

  • HTTP


  • RTMP (Real Time Messaging Protocol)—a proprietary protocol used with Flash Media Server to stream audio and video over the web. The default connection port is 1935.

  • RTMPT—RTMP tunneling via HTTP. The default connection port is 80.

  • RTMPS—RTMP tunneling via HTTPS. The default connection port is 443. (For more information about using the RTMP protocols, see HTTP Tunneling Protocols .)

  • TCP/IP—Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol

  • UDP—User Datagram Protocol

  • FTP—File Transfer Protocol

  • SMB—Server Message Block. SMB is a message format used by DOS and Windows to share files, directories, and devices. AIR applications can access files from remote SMB shares.

  • SSL—Secure Sockets Layer

  • TLS—Transport Layer Security

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