Most of us here are already quite familiar with the ADB (Android Debug Bridge). Heck, I’d even wager that many of us use it on quite a regular basis—adb pushing and pulling files, adb rebooting, running shell commands, and so on. Most new users, however, have not had such exposure. And let’s face it: For youngsters born after the emergence and popularization of the GUI, command line interfaces can be rather intimidating. So if you’re a seasoned veteran who knows ADB like the back of your hand, this article is not for you. But if you’re a new user looking to learn a little more about this great tool, read on!
The Android Debug Bridge, which comes as part of the Android SDK, allows for communication between your desktop computer and target device. So what can you do with ADB? Quite a bit. As alluded to earlier, you can push files to the device from the client PC, pull device from the device to the client PC, you can reboot (to Android, bootloader, or recovery), record a logcat, obtain a bug report, execute many standard Linux commands, and much, much more.
The biggest problem for new users becomes knowing what commands can be executed and remembering the proper syntax. Luckily, these commands and their syntax are all pretty understandable. For example, take a look at the following commands in proper syntax:
The above, however, is not nearly comprehensive. These are just some of the more common commands that you’ll encounter.
For those looking to learn a few more, or those who would simply like to see a visual output of these commands in action, XDA Recognized Contributor doctor_droid has created a basic guide that covers everything a beginner needs to know in order to accomplish basic tasks through ADB.
Doctor_droid has also includes a direct link to the required ADB binaries for Windows users so that you don’t have to download the SDK for the sole purpose of getting ADB up and running. While the installation procedures are strictly for Windows users, the rest of the guide is equally valid for Linux and Mac users.
If you’re a new user looking to learn a little more about ADB, or even if you’re a seasoned vet looking to make sure you know all of the common commands, head over to the guide thread to learn more.
Chances are, you’ve heard of XDA Elite Recognized Developer AdamOutler‘s CASUAL tool before. Although the Java-based tool is most frequently used for acquiring root quickly and easily on various devices, there is a whole lot more that you can do with CASUAL. For those who may have forgotten, CASUAL stands for Cross-platform Android Scripting, Unified Auxiliary Loader. And as its name implies, it’s a universal infrastructure for deploying firmware and other hacks to Android from any Windows, Linux, or Mac computer—provided that you have Java Runtime Environment installed.
Not content with simply using CASUAL for his own wiles, Adam made the project open source for other developers to build from. Now, Adam is launching a new website, CASUAL-Dev.com, where developers can find anything and everything related to CASUAL development. You may be wondering why you would want to use CASUAL as the launching point for your own development work. Well, in the words of Adam:
If you’re a developer of Android firmware, software, or exploits; CASUAL is meant for you. CASUAL provides a way to package these developments and distribute them in a way that does not exclude Windows, Linux, or Mac users. It also solves platform/device-specific problems, troubleshoots errors, and in the event that CASUAL cannot fix the problem, it provides the user with steps to take.
In addition to describing the package and its components, Adam describes how to create a CASPAC (CASUAL Package Action Container) using the CASCADE IDE. Adam’s site also walks new CASUAL developers through the process of taking a CASPAC and turning it into a full CASUAL package using CASPACkager. The whole process is documented through the use of sample code and syntax, so that the mental cost of entry is as low as possible.
Head over to CASUAL-Dev to learn how you can get started with CASUAL development.
PS. If you’re “simply” an end-user, don’t think Adam has forgotten about you either. He is also contemplating implementing a new and cleaner user interface developed by Randall Schwartzentruber. So if you like it,
then you’d better put a ring on it leave a comment on Adam’s page stating that you’d like to see the new UI in the next version of CASUAL.
September 2, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
You can now easily command your device with ADB commands from the comfort of a Windows GUI with ADB GUI. That and more are covered by Jordan, as he reviews all the important stories from this weekend. Included in this week’s news is an article about an update to Android APKTool and an app to keep track of Xbox 360 Achievements.
Jordan talks about the other videos released this weekend on XDA Developer TV. Jordan released a video talking with XDA:DevCon 2013 Sponsor Oppo and Jayce released a video talking about the day in the life of a software developer. Pull up a chair and check out this video.
I run Linux exclusively and I was not happy when my Android device stopped enumerating as a mass storage device. The OS version I have right now doesn’t automount MTP, so how am I supposed to get files on and off of my phone? There are several options, but I think the most simple answer is to use ADB.
I have long ago figured out all the commands and syntax used with the Android Debug Bridge, but I can’t say the same for Fastboot. That’s a tool that compliments what ADB brings to the table. It can flash image files directly from your computer, unlock the bootloader, and a lot more (if you know what you’re doing).
Check out XDA Senior Member Ricky310711‘s guide thread covering common uses of both ADB and Fastboot. You may remember his Android Everything Tool that was featured on the XDA Portal last Saturday. He’s also been working on this guide since the end of April.
Included is a zip for Windows users that provides the packages needed to run ADB and Fastboot, but you may want to use this suite that always installs the latest versions. I wouldn’t say this is a noob-level guide, but anyone who’s had to look up an ADB command to get it to work (or needs a very quick refresher on Android partitions) will benefit from his accumulation of knowledge.
ADB and Fastboot are two of the most indispensable tools for manipulating and modifying your Android device. Offering the ability to perform all kinds of actions ranging from simple operations such as pushing and pulling certain files to unlocking bootloaders and flashing custom recovery images, these two tools are something that nearly everyone who has tinkered with an Android device in some way has been exposed to.
Despite the simple nature of both these utilities, actually getting hold of the latest versions and setting them up can often be troublesome for the less experienced user. The sure fire way to get the most recent versions is to download the Android SDK. That, however, means downloading a lot of stuff for two relatively tiny tools and let’s be honest, ain’t nobody got time for that. If it is just the single tools you’re after, there’s a very simple way of getting hold of them.
XDA Forum Member shimp208 created Minimal ADB & Fastboot which is a Windows-based installer that simply grabs the latest versions of ADB and Fastboot before installing them to a location of your choice, eliminating the need for an enormous downloads or trawling the internet for a specific version. Once you’re connected via USB and your device is recognized, you should be ready to start using ADB and Fastboot. It’s as simple as that.
Check out the original thread for more information.
You may remember that a while back, we brought you news of a guide for creating your own Android utilities for Windows. Although fully functional and incredibly simple to put together, command line utilities can often feel a little rough around the edges. If you have your own custom tool but would like to make it look a little more polished, this might be of interest to you.
XDA Forum Member QuantumCipher has put together a guide for creating similar tools for Windows using C#, which provides the opportunity for a much cleaner looking interface. The guide covers creating a utility capable of performing basic tasks such as ADB commands to push/pull files, reboot your device, and install APK files. Once you know how to do this, it’s possible to create tools for much more complex tasks such as rooting and unlocking devices. If you have some basic knowledge of C# already, you’ll have no trouble diving straight into this tutorial. However, complete beginners might want to do a little research on the basics before getting started.
The guide fully explains the code required to add ADB functions to the elements of the interface, as well as how to use a text box to select a file to be pushed to the device. It should have you well on the way to creating your own toolkit in no time. Check out the tutorial thread for more information.
If you’re an Android user, there’s really almost no reason why you shouldn’t have some basic knowledge on how to use ADB and pull a logcat. After all, what better way is there to give back to the developers that help make our mobile devices better than by giving them the tools they need to diagnose issues effectively whenever they arise? And while most casual users have used the Dalvik Debug Monitor Service to take screenshots before the feature was officially added to the stock Android UI, there’s much more that can be done with the tool.
By now, you should be no stranger to the importance of logcat. We’ve covered the topic quite a few times in the past with various tools to help you help devs looking to troubleshoot their applications. However, even with tools at your disposal, it’s always nice to know how to do the same process manually. The same can be said about ADB knowledge in general. It’s just plain useful to have, and something we’d highly recommend around here. And the ability to do so manually is the extra icing on the cake.
In this spirit, XDA Senior Member -MR.WORLDWIDE- has created a simple and introductory- to intermediate-level guide to help you accomplish all of the tasks listed above. The guide is focused towards Windows users, and it covers topics ranging from installing the Java JDK and the Android SDK, all the way to actually connecting via ADB, pulling a logcat, and using DDMS for various monitoring-related tasks. Regarding ADB commands, sample commands are given that will teach you how to accomplish tasks such as installing and uninstalling an APK from your local computer, pushing and pulling devices to and from your device, and using adb shell to access your device via command line.
Head over to the guide thread to get started
April 29, 2013 By: Conan Troutman
It used to be the case that whenever you wanted to use ADB or FastBoot with a device, you were required to install a specific driver for each device. For anyone regularly flashing several devices or developers who test on numerous different phones and tablets, this could prove to be something of an inconvenience, especially when setting up for the first time and having to hunt around in a dingy corner of an OEM website looking for the correct driver. Thankfully, things are somewhat simpler nowadays thanks to several different solutions to this old issue.
You may remember us previously talking about the Universal Naked Driver by XDA Senior Member 1wayjonny. This is a Windows based tool (compatible with XP, Vista, 7 and 8) that allows you to make use of ADB, Fastboot, and (for ASUS devices) APX on over 250 different devices with minimal effort. Check out the link above and the forum thread for more information on this one.
Continuing on from the success of the Universal Naked Driver, Koush has taken the device/vendor ids collected within the UND thread and used them to create an alternative solution, which claims to work on all Android phones and all versions of Windows, presumably XP and above. You can find Koush’s Universal ADB Driver and the source for it from the G+ post linked to above.
Last but certainly not least is a project entitled Casual Android Driver Installer, or CADI for short. This is the brainchild of XDA Senior Member jrloper, and like the two already mentioned options, it attempts to alleviate the frustration of device-specific drivers. The difference with CADI though is that it is fully integrated into the CASUAL by XDA Elite Recognized Developer AdamOutler and takes a somewhat different approach to the problem. It uses elements of an open source USB device driver installer called libwdi by Pete Batard and essentially determines which devices are connected via USB before generating drivers on the fly and automatically taking care of the installation process. That’s a pretty good example of three open source projects coming together in a glorious trinity of non-proprietary loveliness if ever I saw one.
So if you are still plagued by the problem of individual drivers for each of your devices, it’s definitely in your best interests to look into one, or indeed all of these options. Let us know your preferred method of driver avoidance in the comments below.