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

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nathanchance

Senior Recognized Developer / Contributor
Jul 22, 2015
13,753
50,012
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Mesa, AZ
nathanchance.dev
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!
 

firegoblin

Senior Member
May 11, 2010
328
57
Houston,TX
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?
 

zarthan

Senior Member
Dec 27, 2007
72
18
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 They were installed on my Chromebook Plus out of the box but they are too outdated for my Pixel 2 XL.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 Even stable can be updated mid-cycle so you could get caught with the outdated one at an inopportune time.
 

nathanchance

Senior Recognized Developer / Contributor
Jul 22, 2015
13,753
50,012
27
Mesa, AZ
nathanchance.dev
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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zarthan

Senior Member
Dec 27, 2007
72
18
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.
 

nathanchance

Senior Recognized Developer / Contributor
Jul 22, 2015
13,753
50,012
27
Mesa, AZ
nathanchance.dev
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.

Would help if I actually did proper research into Crouton :silly:thanks for the clarification, I'll have to check it out soon
 

zarthan

Senior Member
Dec 27, 2007
72
18
Crouton was developed by a Google employee. You can create a pretty complete development environment. An i7 and 16 GB RAM are becoming more and more appealing.
 

Intelli69

Senior Member
Jan 22, 2018
79
11
Hello!

First off I would like to thank you very much for making this installation script! I've been waiting the whole time since I bought my Chromebook about 3 weeks ago for somebody to post a script to install ADB/fastboot since the recent added support of the 2 to ChromeOS. ADB/fastboot support is the entire reason why I bought this Chromebook, if it did not have it, I would of been stuck buying a Windows laptop. :( I was really excited when I read they just added support recently for ADB/fastboot! I have a couple of small problems and if anybody can help me out, it will be greatly appreciated.
1. I cannot get ADB to work yet on my Pixel 2 XL, but fastboot works no problem. When I try to use ADB, it says device is "offline". Sometimes it says "unauthorized" when I've accepted permissions and click 'always allow from this computer' etc etc. Do I have to use a root shell to run adb/fastboot or can i use a regular shell like on my old windows laptop? Do i have to use sudo before every single command as well or just 'adb devices' like I would on a windows. I know these are noob questions but it is because I am a noob and have only used ADB/fastboot on a WIndows 7 laptop before this.
2. My other question is when I powerwashed and it booted to the user sign in screen, I tried to click enable debugging features but it said not all of the features could of been enabled. Wth does that mean? How can I fix it? Does the chromebook stay in developer mode after I powerwash it if it was in dev mode before I powerwashed it? I did return it back to the dev channel after the powerwash bc I noticed it was back on stable.

Do I have to install a custom version of Chromium OS before this will work?
Thank you guys so much, and thanks again @nathanchance for making this script. Also thanks for your Pixel 2 XL kernel, I use that as well. Cheers!

My device is the Acer Chromebook R11 .. 32 GB HD / 4 GB RAM with a 64 GB sdcard in it .. 2 in 1 tablet/laptop .. x86_64
 
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dew912

Senior Member
Mar 20, 2010
70
30
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!

Hi Nathan,
I also have a Chromebook plus which is not x86_64. Have you written a script compatible with the Chromebook plus?
Thank you for all your contributions to the community!
-Dan
 

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  • 18
    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!
    3
    On Chrome OS Canary version 69 on an ARM CPU, ADB and Fastboot are both installed by default. :)
    3
    Can you use the command
    Code:
    ./flash-all.sh
    instead of the
    Code:
    bash flash-all.sh
    that you are trying to use?

    I actually got a reply from the dev who posted the guide. It's actually
    Code:
    source ./flash-all.sh
    for it to work. Now I know but thanks!
    2
    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.

    Would help if I actually did proper research into Crouton :silly:thanks for the clarification, I'll have to check it out soon
    2
    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.