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[GUIDE] ADB for Noobs - How to get adb working !

OP steviewevie

8th December 2010, 05:04 PM   |  #1  
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A lot of people seem scared to use "adb" (Android Debug Bridge), or try it out and hit problems, then immediately give up.

I personally think that the method of rooting using adb (rage) is "better" than Visionary, because you have more control over the process and can see what it's doing. e.g. if there's an error message then you can see that, and ask for help.

But even if you don't use adb in rooting, it's still a very useful tool to have available. You can use it to run commands on your phone, copy files between your PC and phone, and to debug various issues that may occur at some point (plus lots more).

The guide in this first posting is for Windows, since I think this is what the majority of what people are using, and also it's what I use myself. Though you can use adb on Linux or Mac too. There's a Mac guide in the second posting, with a Linux guide "coming soon".

There are different ways to install adb. Below I list two methods, the first method I call "Complete", which involves installing the Android SDK (Software Development Kit), and the second "Quick" way. Either should be fine for rooting etc.

There's also a guide by gtrab in his useful FAQ posting (thanks !) HERE , which involves a very quick way to get it up and running (scroll down to the "Adb Mini Package" section).


INSTALLING ADB ON WINDOWS - METHOD A, THE "COMPLETE" WAY, USING THE SDK

Step 1

If you haven't done so already, then download and install HTC Sync from HTC's website.

You'll find it in the Support section for the Desire Z (works on the G2 too), e.g. at http://www.htc.com/www/help/htc-desire-z/#download.

This is HTC's software to sync various stuff from your phone to your PC, such as email, bookmarks etc. However, even if you don't need that stuff, HTC Sync has a bunch of USB drivers for your phone, and that's what we *do* need.


Step 2

Download and install the Android SDK (Software Development Kit) Starter package from http://developer.android.com/sdk/index.html

There are two choices for Windows there, a simple zip file which you can unzip somewhere appropriate on your PC (e.g. put it on C:\ if you like). Or there's an installer (which is the recommended option according to the Android website), though that forces you to download some Java stuff which we don't really need for adb and takes a lot longer to install (but there won't be any harm in getting). It doesn't really matter which one you pick though.

You can read all about how to install the SDK at http://developer.android.com/sdk/installing.html . Ignore all the stuff about Eclipse though, you don't need that unless you're going to start writing Android apps.


Step 3

Now we need to add the Platform Tools component to the SDK, because that contains adb.

Run "SDK Manager" on your PC. You will find that in the root directory of the SDK, so you can open up a file explorer window to find that, then double-click on "SDK Manager" to run it.

Wait for a few seconds while it checks on the Android website for updates etc, let it then pop up with a window showing you what is on offer.

Add the "Android SDK Platform Tools", you can "reject" (i.e. don't install) all the other things it offers you if you like, though there's no harm in installing them (just takes up disk space on your PC).


Step 4

Now we need to update your Path variable. This lets you run adb on your PC from a command window no matter which directory you are in (which makes things a lot easier). If you don't setup your Path, then every time you want to run adb, you will either have to type the whole long pathname where you put adb, or cd to where you've put adb and run it from there (which could be inconvenient if you are transferring files to/from your phone).

On your PC, right-click on "My Computer" and select "Properties". (on Vista, click on "Change Settings"). Go to the "Advanced" tab, then select "Environment Variables". Find the "Path" variable in the list of variables that it shows (you might need to scroll), and then double-click on that entry to edit it. Add the full path of the "tools" and "platform-tools" folders of the SDK to your path. e.g. if the SDK has been installed in "c:\Program Files\android-sdk-windows", then add to your Path "c:\Program Files\android-sdk-windows\tools;c:\Program Files\android-sdk-windows\platform-tools" (Please Note - don't put any spaces between the semi-colon and pathname, otherwise it won't work !)


Step 5

On your phone, go into Menu->Settings->Applications->Development and make sure you have the entry "USB Debugging" ticked. adb will not work without this.


Step 6

Plug your phone into your PC using the original HTC cable. This is important, do not use a third-party cable since it might not work with adb (even though it might seem fine with other communication with your phone). If this is the first time you've done it since installing HTC Sync, you might have to wait while it installs additional drivers.


Step 7

Fire up a command prompt on your computer, e.g. "Run" then "cmd", or pick the "Command prompt" option from the menus, and type in the following (obviously the C:\> bit is your actual PC's prompt, not what you type). To emphasise, you are running this on your PC, not directly from your phone (e.g. terminal emulator) :

Code:
C:\>  adb devices
This should display something like the following :

Code:
List of devices attached
XXX12345    device
... where the "XXX12345" bit is actually your phone's serial number. If the list is blank and the phone is plugged in ok, go back to Step 5 and make sure USB Debugging is enabled. If you can see your phone, then you're in business, adb can see your phone and communicate with it, and you're ready to start using adb !

By the way, the first adb command that you type may well also come up with some lines similar to "adb deamon out of date" etc, but don't worry, that's normal, just check the rest of the output.



INSTALLING ADB ON WINDOWS - METHOD B, THE "QUICK" WAY, NO SDK

Thanks to amroush_1800 for the input on this.

Step 1

If you haven't done so already, then download and install HTC Sync from HTC's website.

You'll find it in the Support section, e.g. at http://www.htc.com/uk/supportdownloa...act=sd&cat=all.

This is HTC's software to sync various stuff from your phone to your PC, such as email, bookmarks etc. However, even if you don't need that stuff, HTC Sync has a bunch of USB drivers for your phone, and that's what we *do* need.


Step 2

Download this zip archive and unzip it somewhere memorable on your PC (e.g. into a folder on your desktop) - http://dl-ssl.google.com/android/rep...04-windows.zip


Step 3

On your phone, go into Menu->Settings->Applications->Development and make sure you have the entry "USB Debugging" ticked. adb will not work without this.


Step 4

Plug your phone into your PC using the original HTC cable. This is important, do not use a third-party cable since it might not work with adb (even though it might seem fine with other communication with your phone). If this is the first time you've done it since installing HTC Sync, you might have to wait while it installs additional drivers.


Step 5

Fire up a command prompt on your computer, e.g. "Run" then "cmd", or pick the "Command prompt" option from the menus.

Use the "cd" command to change to the folder that contains the adb.exe and other files that you unzipped in Step 2.

Then type in the following (obviously the C:\> bit is your actual PC's prompt, not what you type). To emphasise, you are running this on your PC, not directly from your phone (e.g. terminal emulator) :

Code:
C:\>  adb devices
This should display something like the following :

Code:
List of devices attached
XXX12345    device
... where the "XXX12345" bit is actually your phone's serial number. If the list is blank and the phone is plugged in ok, go back to Step 3 and make sure USB Debugging is enabled. If you can see your phone, then you're in business, adb can see your phone and communicate with it, and you're ready to start using adb !

By the way, the first adb command that you type may well also come up with some lines similar to "adb deamon out of date" etc, but don't worry, that's normal, just check the rest of the output.
Last edited by steviewevie; 23rd December 2011 at 10:15 AM.
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8th December 2010, 05:05 PM   |  #2  
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INSTALLING ADB ON MAC

The following excellent guide kindly provided by siedkins, please thank him and not me !

What you will need:
A Mac
USB cable
Android SDK for OSX- http://developer.android.com/sdk/index.html

At the time of writing this the version was "android-sdk_r08-mac_86" so please have a look at the above link and let me know if you can't find that same version.

So download the zip file and I would extract it to a folder where you are happy to keep it such as within your user home folder i.e. Macintosh HD/Users/{Your User Name} and for my mac it is Users/siedkins which is how I have my OSX set up.

Then open then still in Finder, open "android-sdk-mac_86" then "tools".

Now launch Terminal - ⌘ + space then type Terminal or Applications>Utilities>Terminal

Now drag and drop the file called "android" in the "tools" folder into your terminal window and you should see something like:
/Users/siedkins/android-sdk-mac_86/tools/android

Then hit enter - this should load Android SDK

Next go to Available Packages on the left and Android Repository > Android SDK Platform-tools, revision 1 -tick the box and hit "Install Selected"

It should download and install the Platform Tools which includes ADB !!!!

Now quit Android SDK after it has downloaded and go back into Finder. Now you should see a new folder "platform-tools" in the "android-sdk-mac_86" folder. Open that and you can now see a file called adb.

Now .... I am going to show you how to make your life a lot easier in Terminal to run ADB without having to navigate to the folder every time you want to launch it.

Go back to your Terminal window and type (or copy & paste):

Code:
cd ~
The screen should then look like
NAME_OF_YOUR_MACHINE:~ USERNAME$

For me I have:
Mac-Pro:~ siedkins$

Next, type

Code:
touch .bash_profile
to create your new bash / path file

Next, type

Code:
open -e .bash_profile
to open it in TextEdit.

Now into Text Edit please copy:

Code:
export PATH=${PATH}:
Then go into Finder and navigate your your "android-sdk-mac_86" folder. Then click on the "platform-tools" folder and drag and drop this into TextEdit at the end of the code above that you copied. Mine looks like:
export PATH=${PATH}:/Users/siedkins/android-sdk-mac_86/platform-tools/

Yours should look like:
export PATH=${PATH}:insert your path to the "platform-tools" folder in your Android SDK here

All you need is that one line. Then Save and exit TextEdit and then very importantly QUIT TERMINAL.


Now ........ to turn on USB Debugging in your handset Settings > Applications > Development > USB Debugging - ticked and also go to Settings > Connect to PC > Default connection type > Charge Only and also UNTICK "Ask me ..." there also. You can always go back here and change these settings back.

Now plug in your phone to a USB port. I noticed that if I plugged my phone into one of the standard USB ports on the front of my machine I couldn't see the phone further down the line and if I plugged it into a powered USB port on the front (I have an "akasa AK-ICR-08" which has a powered connector behind the 5 USB ports. But you guys will probably be using a MacBook or MacPro and there shouldn't be any issues with the power to your USB ports.

Now to launch ADB - re-open terminal (remember that you had quit it - very important!) then type in:

Code:
adb devices
And you should see:
List of devices attached
HXXXXXXXXXX device

where XXXXXXXX is your unique phone ID.

Now you can run all of your favourite ADB commands straight by typing:
adb shell

etc straight into Terminal. I won't go into that here as there are plenty of guides about what to do with ADB once it's installed!



Now you have ADB setup on your Mac and can run it without the need for installing HTC Sync - un-installing it - loading some modified drivers over the top !!!!

It all just works !!!!!!


INSTALLING ADB ON LINUX

Coming soon ...
Last edited by steviewevie; 20th December 2010 at 11:26 AM.
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8th December 2010, 05:05 PM   |  #3  
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USING ADB

There's a comprehensive guide to using adb, including all its commands, at http://developer.android.com/guide/d...tools/adb.html

Here are a few example commands :

Code:
C:> adb push hello.txt /data/local/tmp
The above copies the file hello.text from the current directory of your PC (i.e. the directory shown in the command prompt) into the /data/local/tmp directory on your phone.


Code:
C:\> adb pull /sdcard/error.log error.log
The above copies the file /sdcard/error.log onto your PC.


Code:
C:\> adb install Superuser.apk
The above installs the app in the Superuser.apk file in the current directory of your PC, onto your phone.


Code:
C:\> adb shell
The above starts a command prompt session on your phone. So when you see the $ prompt, that's your phone and commands you type there will be executed on your phone.


Code:
C:\> adb shell ls
The above runs the command "ls" on your phone and displays the results. So it's a way of issuing one command at a time, without starting your own shell session. You can subsitute other shell commands for the "ls".


Code:
C:\> adb reboot
The above reboots the phone.


Code:
C:\> adb reboot bootloader
The above reboots the phone into the bootloader (hboot).


Code:
C:\> adb reboot recovery
The above reboots the phone into recovery.




USING ADB FOR DIAGNOSTICS (logcat)

Coming soon ...
Last edited by steviewevie; 24th May 2011 at 04:27 PM.
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8th December 2010, 06:15 PM   |  #4  
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Thank god! Lol thanks for all your hard work.

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8th December 2010, 07:39 PM   |  #5  
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Get a "how to logcat" section added.

Nice work. Can we elect you to be a mod?

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8th December 2010, 08:01 PM   |  #6  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ddotpatel

Get a "how to logcat" section added.

Thanks for the suggestion, will do
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8th December 2010, 11:19 PM   |  #7  
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Nice dude. Just what I needed

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9th December 2010, 02:19 AM   |  #8  
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+1 mod vote!

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9th December 2010, 01:36 PM   |  #9  
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Nice guide mate. Let me know if you need any more posts or help in any way
9th December 2010, 05:57 PM   |  #10  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steviewevie

Using adb
Using adb for logcat

adb logcat
Or
adb lolcat

Also update it for Mac / Linux users.

Mainly different adb files (I had adb and fastboot for Win/Mac/Lin uploaded somewhere, if you want?) and they go in /system/bin instead of PATH.

Otherwise, good idea + well done.

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