ADB & Fastboot Guide: Introduction and Installation (Windows, MacOS, and Linux)
Rooting an Android device or flashing a ROM on your Android phone can be tricky and complicated for many. However, if you have ever tried doing such advanced operations on your Android, then you must have come across the terms ADB and Fastboot. While both these tools are very useful to root your Android phone or flash a ROM, both of them can be slightly tricky to install. However, before we get on to the installation part, let’s know a bit more about both these tools.
What are ADB and Fastboot?
ADB and Fastboot help you send terminal commands to your Android device from your PC through USB media. While both these tools operate differently, they are essential tools and it is always helpful to include both on your device. Let’s learn about them one by one:
What is ADB (Android Debug Bridge)?
Android Debug Bridge, popularly known by its acronym ADB, is an excellent tool that lets you send a wide array of terminal commands related to basic Linux shell commands as well as a few specialty developer commands to your device at any time as long as the USB debugging is active on the device. With ADB, you can send commands to your device not only when it is turned on but also during the recovery mode. The main purpose of ADB is rooting or modifying an Android device, however, you can also use this tool to send commands to unrooted Android devices too.
What is Fastboot?
In order to modify the Android device’s firmware, Fastboot can be a very handy tool that you must install. Fastboot lets you flash/modify stuff such as custom recovering by sending commands to the bootloader. However, this tool can’t flash whole ROMs, Fastboot can be very helpful for tasks that ADB can’t manage. Unlike ADB, Fastboot isn’t available on all Android devices and you must ensure that Fastboot is enabled on your device before installing it.
Well, now that you have got the basic understanding about ADB and Fastboot, it’s time to learn how to install them. You can get both these tools within the Android SDK, but that would be a large download and if you are only interested in these tools, then I would suggest skipping the SDK part. In order to root your device, flash ROMs on your phone, or playing with the terminal commands, you don’t require the whole Android SDK.
How to Install ADB and Fastboot on your PC (Windows, MacOS and Linux)
We’ve already explained you about ADB and Fastboot, In case you are planning to root your android devices or send some commands to your unrooted android device then both of these are important. Steps to install ADB and Fastboot can be different for different platforms, that’s why we’ve created different sections which will help you to setup ADB and Fastboot on Windows, Mac or Linux systems.
Install ADB and Fastboot on Windows
Windows can be a complex OS when compared to other UNIX-based operating systems. Hence, you need to be a bit cautious while installing ADB and Fastboot. But, thanks to XDA developers, People have released Minimal ADB and Fastboot for Windows which can be installed in a single click, you can go through this 15 second ADB installer.
Install ADB and Fastboot on Mac
To install both these tools on Mac, you need to follow the below steps. While the script was created for HTC One, it actually works for any Android phone that is compatible with ADB or Fastboot.
Follow these instructions to Install ADB and Fastboot
- Download ADB & Fastboot for Mac
- Use this zip file and download it on your system.
- Once you extract the zip file, move the Android folder within the extracted data onto your desktop.
- Start a new Terminal Window.
- Enter cd Desktop/Android
- Enter ./ADB-Install-Mac.sh
The script may take some time to run, however when it starts, you will be able to run ADB and Fastboot commands from the same Terminal window.
Install ADB and Fastboot on Linux
Installing ADB and Fastboot on Linux can be a piece of cake as it will be a simple one-command task. However, if the Linux distribution you are using doesn’t have the required repositories, then you must add the necessary repositories with an additional command. Ubuntu users can skip the repository step and directly step on to the install command.
Linux Command to Install ADB and Fastboot on Linux
sudo apt-get install android-tools-adb android-tools-fastboot
In order to add the necessary repositories, you must enter the following command prior to the install command:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:phablet-team/tools && sudo apt-get update
That’s it. Now send commands to your Android phone or tablet from any terminal window.
Installed ADB and Fastboot on your computer system? You shall start playing with the commands. Although, most of the tutorials will have the commands mentioned, but knowing them would save time, it would also be helpful in the long run. Follow the below-mentioned guides to check the most popular commands.
Although we’ve tried to cover things in detail, there are chances that we might have missed something. You can let us know if we have missed something or have not covered it by filling the comment section below or by contacting us. We’ll be glad to add information which is valuable to our readers.