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[GUIDE] Setting up ADB and fastboot on an x86_64 Chromebook

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By nathanchance, Senior Recognized Developer / Recognized Contributor on 19th June 2018, 08:19 PM
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Hey everyone!

I know that one of the biggest barriers for completely ditching my MacBook Pro for my Pixelbook was the ability to use ADB and fastboot (upgrading Android versions, flashing TWRP, factory resetting). ADB and fastboot are installed on later versions of Chrome OS; unfortunately, these versions are too old for devices like the Pixel 2 (XL) and there isn't a ton of information on how to get them updated and working properly.

As such, I created an installation script that will push the latest versions of the platform tools to the local binary directory and install a small wrapper script so you can use the commands as you normally would. The scripts should be fairly easy to read if you have a basic understanding of the command line, I have commented them so it's clear what is going on.

The installation script can be used to install the tools for the first time as well as upgrading to newer version as they come out. The changelog for each version can be found here.

Please see the README for the full instructions and let me know if you have any questions, enjoy!
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20th June 2018, 05:32 PM |#2  
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On Chrome OS Canary version 69 on an ARM CPU, ADB and Fastboot are both installed by default.
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20th June 2018, 05:36 PM |#3  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zarthan

On Chrome OS Canary version 69 on an ARM CPU, ADB and Fastboot are both installed by default.

Do they actually work? They were installed on my Chromebook Plus out of the box but they are too outdated for my Pixel 2 XL.
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20th June 2018, 06:04 PM |#4  
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Will this work in Acer c720p, or is it too old? If not what about Samsung Chromebook pro? Would it have to be in developer mode?
20th June 2018, 06:18 PM |#5  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firegoblin

Will this work in Acer c720p, or is it too old? If not what about Samsung Chromebook pro? Would it have to be in developer mode?

In theory, it should work for both.

Please see the README as it answers the second question.
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20th June 2018, 06:27 PM |#6  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nathanchance

In theory, it should work for both.

Please see the README as it answers the second question.

Dear lord my c720p has a purpose now. Thank you! ChromeOS ftw
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21st June 2018, 12:59 AM |#7  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nathanchance

In theory, it should work for both.

Please see the README as it answers the second question.

Do you know if there is anyway to run a shell directly from the downloads folder in ChromeOS? I couldn't get fastboot to function properly.
21st June 2018, 05:58 AM |#8  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firegoblin

Do you know if there is anyway to run a shell directly from the downloads folder in ChromeOS? I couldn't get fastboot to function properly.

Going to have to give me more details, like the stuff I request in the README.

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using XDA Labs
22nd June 2018, 03:37 PM |#9  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nathanchance

Do they actually work? They were installed on my Chromebook Plus out of the box but they are too outdated for my Pixel 2 XL.

fastboot doesn't report version but adb is 1.32 which is old. I don't know how recent adb was added to Chrome OS but I am sure I have used them in the past. I have lived in Canary for the last 2 years so I have no idea whether it was a Canary thing or widely available within developer mode.
Another option since you are in developer mode is Crouton and install a fullish version of Linux. adb does work within a Crouton session. Even if I was to update the version installed in Chrome OS, I would need to reinstall it every day since Canary is updated daily and sometimes two or three times a day. Even stable can be updated mid-cycle so you could get caught with the outdated one at an inopportune time.
22nd June 2018, 04:32 PM |#10  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zarthan

fastboot doesn't report version but adb is 1.32 which is old. I don't know how recent adb was added to Chrome OS but I am sure I have used them in the past. I have lived in Canary for the last 2 years so I have no idea whether it was a Canary thing or widely available within developer mode.
Another option since you are in developer mode is Crouton and install a fullish version of Linux. adb does work within a Crouton session. Even if I was to update the version installed in Chrome OS, I would need to reinstall it every day since Canary is updated daily and sometimes two or three times a day. Even stable can be updated mid-cycle so you could get caught with the outdated one at an inopportune time.

For me personally, I bought a Chromebook for Chrome OS, not the hardware, so Crouton wasn't really an option.

You don't need to reinstall these as they are in /usr/local/bin so they're not touched during a Chrome OS upgrade.
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22nd June 2018, 08:46 PM |#11  
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I don't think I understand "Crouton wasn't really an option". Crouton is a simple script that installs various versions of Linux desktops that run alongside Chrome in a chroot. Probably any Chromebook made can install Crouton. The only thing required is to be in developer mode, which you are. I choose to run my sessions in a tab but it can be a separate window. Not much you can't install and run in these sessions.
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