17 March, 2012

How to Install ADB with Android SDK [Tips, Tricks]

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The ADB which is a part of standard Android SDK and it stands for Android Debug Bridge. This ADB is needed during rooting your Android device. This is actually a toy that all android devs love it and hence know what this is all about. This endow with terminal-based interface for intermingle with your phone or tablet file system. All these can be done directly on your device but, it will be too small to perform certain complex commands by using some terminal emulator. This difficult task is accomplished in your computer and ADB provides that bridge between the device and computer. So, come to know about the ADB works and it’s time to know how we will install this on your system and related features.

how to install adb

How to Install ADB

Step 1: Android SDK installation

Going through the step 1 note that you must get the latest version of Android SDK. The earlier version will also be fine but the latest is recommended.

Download Android SDK

Platform Package Size MD5 Checksum
Windows android-sdk_r16-windows.zip 29562413 bytes 6b926d0c0a871f1a946e65259984701a
installer_r16-windows.exe (Recommended) 29561554 bytes 3521dda4904886b05980590f83cf3469
Mac OS X (intel) android-sdk_r16-macosx.zip 26158334 bytes d1dc2b6f13eed5e3ce5cf26c4e4c47aa
Linux (i386) android-sdk_r16-linux.tgz 22048174 bytes 3ba457f731d51da3741c29c8830a4583
From the above link download the Android SDK and there are download version available in Windows, Linux and Mac OS X. In Microsoft Windows there is an installer download link and you need not need to install as the formal installation is not necessary. After the SDK download is finished, just extract the zip file to a location on your system. It is better to install in the root of C drive and that will be “C:\android-sdk-windows” (without inverted commas) which is the location for installation of SDK. And in the further steps we will refer it as ‘SDK folder’.

Step 2: SDK Platform Tools downloading

The ADB is located in ‘platform-tools’ sub-folder which was previously used to be included in the SDK’s default ‘tools’ subfolder. The ‘platform-tools’ sub-folder is needed to be downloaded as the SDK package. To perform this task you need to browse to the SDK folder and launch the SDK manager. If it’s the first time to launch then you must check out the ‘Android SDK Platform-tools’ (placed in 1st) and make sure that other packages are unchecked. By clicking the desired name to check and uncheck a package. To select click on the Accept/Reject radio button. After selecting the desired package, just click ‘Install’ and wait till its installed completely and you get ‘platform-tools’ folder inside the SDK folder which will contain both the ADB and its dependencies. Refer the window image below;

android sdk packages

Step 3: Path variable setting

After ADB installation use it this way and it will require you use the complete path of the ADB command ‘C:\android-sdk-windows\platform-tools\adb’ or change the directory first to platform-tools subfolder of the SDK folder each time. This is bit a messy and complex work, so to make ADB along with other Android SDK tools and platform tools easily accessible from anywhere at the command line, we need to add their path to PATH environment variable which is applicable in Windows only. In case you are a LINUX or Mac user then add the ‘tools’ and ‘platform-tools’ sub folder of the Android SDK in system’s PATH variable with the help of standard method like:

  • Make a system restore point so that you can revert back to it if something mistakenly happens.
  • For Windows 7 users, right-click the ‘Computer’ icon and click ‘Properties’. After that click on the options ‘Advanced System Settings’ in the left pane to bring up the ‘System Properties’ window. All the Windows XP users right-click ‘My Computer’ and click ‘Properties’ to get it directly.
  • In the ‘System Properties’ window, click the ‘Environment Variables’ button on the ‘Advanced’ tab.

Path change

  • In the ‘System variables’ search the ‘Path’ and double click it to edit it by not changing (deleting) the existing entry in ‘Variable value’ or it will mess everything in your system. Only add the string to the end of it including both the semi-colons:
;c:\android-sdk-windows\tools;c:\android-sdk-windows\platform-tools
Note that the contents of extracted SDK to another directory must be used for your PATH variable. After adding the string it will look like this:

C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Windows Live;C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Windows Live;%SystemRoot%\system32;%SystemRoot%;%SystemRoot%\System32\Wbem;%SYSTEMROOT%\System32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\;C:\Program Files (x86)\ATI Technologies\ATI.ACE\Core-Static;C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Live\Shared;C:\Program Files\Java\jdk1.6.0_23\bin;C:\Program Files (x86)\Java\jdk1.6.0_23\bin;C:\android-sdk-windows\tools;C:\android-sdk-windows\platform-tools

Fret not! If you are missing any text, actually the important thing is the way the new entries should be added to the existing one. Remember that the semi-colons are necessary to separate each path variable entry from the next and previous ones. Now the system needs reboot.
If any mishap occurs then just restore the system restore point that you made it and retry but be careful.

Step 4: The USB driver installation
This step is needed depending on your device. It is all required when you are using a device like Nexus One that ships with stock Android OS. In case of other device like HTC or Samsung that are ship with their custom version of Android and some tools to sync the device with the PC like HTC sync or Samsung own software KIES. However, the suitable driver for your device will be automatically getting installed with the software package. Let’s see how it is done.

  • First you download USB drivers by launching the SDK Manager from the SDK folder and in the left panel click on ‘Available packages’.
  • Expand ‘Third party Add-ons’ followed by ‘Google Inc. add-ons’ and check ‘Google USB Driver package’. View the image below to know how it is made.

android sdk usb driver

  • Just click on ‘Install Selected’ and in that window when pops up, click on the ‘Accept all’ radio button followed by the ‘Install’ button. It will take few minutes to download and get installed, so be patient.
  • In the SDK folder under ‘usb_driver\x86′ and ‘usb_driver\x64′ sub-folders the drivers for both 32 bit and 64 bit systems will now be there respectively.
Now the USB drivers have been successfully downloaded and it’s time to install them to your system by follow the guideline below:

Step 1: Go to home screen, press Menu, select Applications-> Development and enable USB Debugging on the device.

Step 2: Via USB connect your device to the computer and as soon as you connect the system will start searching new hardware and look for the divers.

Step 3: Point yourself the drivers to the folder appropriate for your OS and let them install.

Step 4: Once they are successfully installed and verify the installation through the device manager and the phone now will show under ‘ADB Interface’, like in image showing below:

device manager

How to Use ADB

Currently, all the setting is done and now you can simply use the ADB to manipulate your android device in way you want. The Windows user can use the command prompt and to ensure that the ADB has been correctly set, run the command prompt and type ‘adb devices’ and hit enter. View the below image that shows the serial number when the device is connected.

command prompt adb devices
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