How To Guide How to install packages (apk files) for Android via script

Search This thread

bnsmb

Senior Member
Aug 22, 2017
115
33
Frankfurt
How to install packages (apk files) for Android via script

Sometimes, for example after a reinstallation of the phone from scratch, it's quite useful to install all the apps via an script.

The command on Android to do that is

Code:
pm install [apk_file]


But unfortunately that does not work, neither as user shell (due to missing file access rights) nor as user root:

Code:
ASUS_I006D:/ # id
uid=0(root) gid=0(root) groups=0(root) context=u:r:magisk:s0
ASUS_I006D:/ #
ASUS_I006D:/ # pm install /sdcard/Download/EssentialApps/MiXplorer_v6.58.4-API29_B22020920.apk                                                  
avc:  denied  { read } for  scontext=u:r:system_server:s0 tcontext=u:object_r:fuse:s0 tclass=file permissive=0
System server has no access to read file context u:object_r:fuse:s0 (from path /sdcard/Download/EssentialApps/MiXplorer_v6.58.4-API29_B22020920.apk, context u:r:system_server:s0)
Error: Unable to open file: /sdcard/Download/EssentialApps/MiXplorer_v6.58.4-API29_B22020920.apk
Consider using a file under /data/local/tmp/
Error: Can't open file: /sdcard/Download/EssentialApps/MiXplorer_v6.58.4-API29_B22020920.apk

Exception occurred while executing 'install':
java.lang.IllegalArgumentException: Error: Can't open file: /sdcard/Download/EssentialApps/MiXplorer_v6.58.4-API29_B22020920.apk
    at com.android.server.pm.PackageManagerShellCommand.setParamsSize(PackageManagerShellCommand.java:572)
    at com.android.server.pm.PackageManagerShellCommand.doRunInstall(PackageManagerShellCommand.java:1337)
    at com.android.server.pm.PackageManagerShellCommand.runInstall(PackageManagerShellCommand.java:1303)
    at com.android.server.pm.PackageManagerShellCommand.onCommand(PackageManagerShellCommand.java:193)
    at com.android.modules.utils.BasicShellCommandHandler.exec(BasicShellCommandHandler.java:97)
    at android.os.ShellCommand.exec(ShellCommand.java:38)
    at com.android.server.pm.PackageManagerService.onShellCommand(PackageManagerService.java:24812)
    at android.os.Binder.shellCommand(Binder.java:950)
    at android.os.Binder.onTransact(Binder.java:834)
    at android.content.pm.IPackageManager$Stub.onTransact(IPackageManager.java:4818)
    at com.android.server.pm.PackageManagerService.onTransact(PackageManagerService.java:8887)
    at android.os.Binder.execTransactInternal(Binder.java:1184)
    at android.os.Binder.execTransact(Binder.java:1143)
255|ASUS_I006D:/ #

After a little searching on the Internet I found a very useful workaround on this page:

https://stackoverflow.com/questions...ling-new-limitations-of-data-local-tmp-folder


pm install also supports the installation of a package piped to stdin, e.g

Code:
cat [package_file] | pm install -S [package_size]

Example:

Code:
127|ASUS_I006D:/sdcard/Download # ls -l OmniStore.apk                                                                                           
-rw-rw---- 1 u0_a120 media_rw 4601419 2022-07-03 16:37 OmniStore.apk
ASUS_I006D:/sdcard/Download #
ASUS_I006D:/sdcard/Download # cat OmniStore.apk  | pm install -S 4601419                                                                        
Success
ASUS_I006D:/sdcard/Download #

Or, from the PC:

Code:
[[email protected] /data/backup/Android]$ adb shell id
uid=2000(shell) gid=2000(shell) groups=2000(shell),1004(input),1007(log),1011(adb),1015(sdcard_rw),1028(sdcard_r),1078(ext_data_rw),1079(ext_obb_rw),3001(net_bt_admin),3002(net_bt),3003(inet),3006(net_bw_stats),3009(readproc),3011(uhid) context=u:r:shell:s0
[[email protected] /data/backup/Android]$

[[email protected] /data/backup/Android]$ cat EssentialApps/F-Droid.apk | adb shell pm install -S $( ls -l EssentialApps/F-Droid.apk | awk '{ print $5 }' )
Success
[[email protected] /data/backup/Android]$

So I wrote a little script to install one or more packages on an Android phone using this method.

The script can run on a PC with a connected phone with a working adb connection or in a shell on the phone

The usage of the script is:

Code:
#
# Usage on a phone:
#
# install_apk.sh [apk1|dir1 ... apk#|dir#]
#
# Usage on a PC:
#
# install_apk.sh [options_for_adb --] [apk1|dir1 ... apk#|dir#]
#
# apk# is the name of an apk file to install; dir# is a directory with apk files
# If a parameter is a directory the script will install all files with the extension .apk from that directory
#
# The options for adb are optional; the script will not check the options for adb
# the number of apk files or directories is only limited by the maxium parameter supported by the used shell.
#
# Set the variable PM_INSTALL_OPTIONS with additional options for the "pm install" command before starting the
# script if neccessary
#
# Prerequisites
#   The packages to install must exist as file either on the PC or on the phone
#   A shell on the phone or via adb command is required
#   root access is NOT neccessary
#

Sample script output for running on tjhe phone:

Code:
ASUS_I006D:/storage/emulated/0/Download $ sh ./install_apk.sh myapps/ OmniStore.apk                                                              
Running on a phone
Directory found in the parameter: Installing all apk files found in the directory "myapps/"
The apks will be installed on the phone model ASUS_I006D with the serial number M6AIB760D0939LX
Installing these apks

 myapps//Magisk-25.1_25100.apk
myapps//Magisk-v25.0.apk
myapps//MiXplorer_v6.58.4-API29_B22020920.apk
myapps//Notecase_Pro_1.2.2.apk
myapps//com.keramidas.TitaniumBackupAddon_v1.apk
myapps//com.keramidas.TitaniumBackup_v417.apk
OmniStore.apk


Installing the apk "myapps//Magisk-25.1_25100.apk" ...
Success
"myapps//Magisk-25.1_25100.apk" succcessfully installed

Installing the apk "myapps//Magisk-v25.0.apk" ...
Failure [INSTALL_FAILED_VERSION_DOWNGRADE: Package Verification Result]
ERROR: Error installing the apk  "myapps//Magisk-v25.0.apk"

Installing the apk "myapps//MiXplorer_v6.58.4-API29_B22020920.apk" ...
Success
"myapps//MiXplorer_v6.58.4-API29_B22020920.apk" succcessfully installed

Installing the apk "myapps//Notecase_Pro_1.2.2.apk" ...
Success
"myapps//Notecase_Pro_1.2.2.apk" succcessfully installed

Installing the apk "myapps//com.keramidas.TitaniumBackupAddon_v1.apk" ...
Success
"myapps//com.keramidas.TitaniumBackupAddon_v1.apk" succcessfully installed

Installing the apk "myapps//com.keramidas.TitaniumBackup_v417.apk" ...
Success
"myapps//com.keramidas.TitaniumBackup_v417.apk" succcessfully installed

Installing the apk "OmniStore.apk" ...
Success
"OmniStore.apk" succcessfully installed

Installation summary
====================

6 package(s) successfully installed:
 
myapps//Magisk-25.1_25100.apk
myapps//MiXplorer_v6.58.4-API29_B22020920.apk
myapps//Notecase_Pro_1.2.2.apk
myapps//com.keramidas.TitaniumBackupAddon_v1.apk
myapps//com.keramidas.TitaniumBackup_v417.apk
OmniStore.apk


1 package(s) not installed:
 
myapps//Magisk-v25.0.apk


ASUS_I006D:/storage/emulated/0/Download $

Sample script output for running on a PC:

Code:
[[email protected] /data/backup/Android/myapps]$ /data/develop/android/install_apk.sh -d  -- /data/backup/Android/myapps/ ./Notecase/Notecase_Pro_1.2.1.apk
Running on a PC
Using adb with the options " -d " to install the packages
Directory found in the parameter: Installing all apk files found in the directory "/data/backup/Android/myapps/"
The apks will be installed on the phone model ASUS_I006D with the serial number M6AIB760D0939LX
Installing these apks

 /data/backup/Android/myapps//com.android.keepass_196.apk
/data/backup/Android/myapps//com.keramidas.TitaniumBackup_v417.apk
/data/backup/Android/myapps//com.matoski.adbm_v27.apk
/data/backup/Android/myapps//F-Droid.apk
/data/backup/Android/myapps//FoxMagiskModuleManager_0.4.0-rc1.apk
/data/backup/Android/myapps//Magisk-25.1_25100.apk
/data/backup/Android/myapps//MiXplorer_v6.58.4-API29_B22020920.apk
/data/backup/Android/myapps//Notecase_Pro_1.2.2.apk
./Notecase/Notecase_Pro_1.2.1.apk


Installing the apk "/data/backup/Android/myapps//com.android.keepass_196.apk" ...
Success
"/data/backup/Android/myapps//com.android.keepass_196.apk" succcessfully installed

Installing the apk "/data/backup/Android/myapps//com.keramidas.TitaniumBackup_v417.apk" ...
Success
"/data/backup/Android/myapps//com.keramidas.TitaniumBackup_v417.apk" succcessfully installed

Installing the apk "/data/backup/Android/myapps//com.matoski.adbm_v27.apk" ...
Success
"/data/backup/Android/myapps//com.matoski.adbm_v27.apk" succcessfully installed

Installing the apk "/data/backup/Android/myapps//F-Droid.apk" ...
Success
"/data/backup/Android/myapps//F-Droid.apk" succcessfully installed

Installing the apk "/data/backup/Android/myapps//FoxMagiskModuleManager_0.4.0-rc1.apk" ...
Success
"/data/backup/Android/myapps//FoxMagiskModuleManager_0.4.0-rc1.apk" succcessfully installed

Installing the apk "/data/backup/Android/myapps//Magisk-25.1_25100.apk" ...
Success
"/data/backup/Android/myapps//Magisk-25.1_25100.apk" succcessfully installed

Installing the apk "/data/backup/Android/myapps//MiXplorer_v6.58.4-API29_B22020920.apk" ...
Success
"/data/backup/Android/myapps//MiXplorer_v6.58.4-API29_B22020920.apk" succcessfully installed

Installing the apk "/data/backup/Android/myapps//Notecase_Pro_1.2.2.apk" ...
Success
"/data/backup/Android/myapps//Notecase_Pro_1.2.2.apk" succcessfully installed

ERROR: The file "./Notecase/Notecase_Pro_1.2.1.apk" does not exist or is not readable

Installation summary
====================

8 package(s) successfully installed:
 
/data/backup/Android/myapps//com.android.keepass_196.apk
/data/backup/Android/myapps//com.keramidas.TitaniumBackup_v417.apk
/data/backup/Android/myapps//com.matoski.adbm_v27.apk
/data/backup/Android/myapps//F-Droid.apk
/data/backup/Android/myapps//FoxMagiskModuleManager_0.4.0-rc1.apk
/data/backup/Android/myapps//Magisk-25.1_25100.apk
/data/backup/Android/myapps//MiXplorer_v6.58.4-API29_B22020920.apk
/data/backup/Android/myapps//Notecase_Pro_1.2.2.apk


1 package(s) not found:
 
./Notecase/Notecase_Pro_1.2.1.apk


[[email protected] /data/backup/Android/myapps]$

Notes:

Another method to install packages via script from an PC is

Code:
adb install [package]

This command copies the file to a temporary location on the phone and installs it then via "pm install".

e.g

Code:
[[email protected] /data/backup/Android/myapps]$ adb install F-Droid.apk
 Performing Streamed Install
 Success
 [[email protected] /data/backup/Android/myapps]$

Another ugly and insecure method on the phone to install an apk file using pm install as root is

Code:
130|ASUS_I006D:/ # id
uid=0(root) gid=0(root) groups=0(root) context=u:r:magisk:s0
ASUS_I006D:/ #
ASUS_I006D:/ # getenforce
Enforcing
ASUS_I006D:/ # setenforce 0
ASUS_I006D:/ #
ASUS_I006D:/ # getenforce                                                                                                                       
Permissive
ASUS_I006D:/ #
ASUS_I006D:/ # pm install /sdcard/Download/EssentialApps/com.matoski.adbm_v27.apk                                                               
avc:  denied  { read } for  scontext=u:r:system_server:s0 tcontext=u:object_r:fuse:s0 tclass=file permissive=1
Success
ASUS_I006D:/ # setenforce 1
ASUS_I006D:/ #
ASUS_I006D:/ # getenforce
Enforcing
ASUS_I006D:/ #


pm install supports a lot of options -- to get the usage help for pm use

Code:
adb shell pm help

or on the phone

Code:
pm help

or see here: https://developer.android.com/studio/command-line/adb#pm (Google Account neccessary) or here: http://adbcommand.com/adbshell/pm

Update 06.07.2022


I attached the script to this entry but I can not see the attachment.

Therefor: The script is also available on my web site:

http://bnsmb.de/files/public/Android/install_apk.sh
 
Last edited: