With a market share of over 70 percent, Android is the most popular mobile operating system worldwide. Under the hood, it uses a modified version of the Linux kernel for all of its core system services. Since it's open source, you can also tinker with your phone's software using Android.
ADB and Fastboot are tools that unlock elevated access to the Android system by connecting your phone to a desktop computer. Here is everything you need to know about using ADB and Fastboot on Linux computers.
What are ADB and Fastboot?
By default, some inherent functions of the Android operating system are abstracted from the average user and require a special method to access them. Android Debug Bridge, or ADB, is a command line tool that allows you to communicate and execute commands through your computer on your Android phone.
Before you can use ADB, you must first enable USB debugging on your phone. Once you're done, you can now enjoy elevated access to your phone's software and run various ADB commands to install packages, reboot your phone, take phone screenshots from the desktop, and more.
Fastboot is also a command line tool built into the Android SDK and mainly used to change the flash file system on your phone over a USB connection from a host computer. This is especially useful for rooting your Android device or flashing a custom ROM or recovery.
Be careful when using the Fastboot tool as the actions are irreversible and may even lock your phone if you enter the wrong commands. Although the likelihood of this is low, it never hurts to back up your data in the cloud or on external storage for security reasons.
Install ADB and Fastboot on Linux
To begin installing these tools on a Linux computer, visit the Android SDK Platform Tools version page and scroll down to the page Downloads Section. click on the Download SDK Platform Tools for Linux Link to download the latest version of ADB and Fastboot as a ZIP file.
Extract the downloaded ZIP file to a desired location and open a new terminal instance in the Platform tools Folder. This folder contains the adb and the Fastboot File along with various other tools that are part of the Android SDK.
To use ADB, run this command after connecting your phone to the laptop and enabling USB debugging:
If your phone is recognized successfully, the output will show an alphanumeric code with device written next to it. If not, make sure to allow all prompts on your phone to authorize your laptop for USB debugging permissions.
To boot into Fastboot or Bootloader mode on your phone, run the following ADB command:
Restart ./adb bootloader
Once you are in Fastboot mode, you can use this command to check that your phone has been successfully detected on your desktop:
Similar to the output provided by the. is produced adb devices Command that Fastboot devices Command should also display an alphanumeric code to indicate that your phone has been recognized. Now you can do all of the fastboot operations such as: lightning, Boots, Unlock oem, format, and more.
To reboot into the Android operating system from Fastboot mode, enter the following command:
Become an Android Power User with ADB and Fastboot
ADB and Fastboot are powerful tools that you can use to manage and debug or modify the existing software on your phone. With ADB permissions, some applications also offer additional functionality that would not be available without rooting your device.
However, you may not always have a USB cable lying around to connect your phone to your computer. You can also set up and use ADB wirelessly.
How to set up and use ADB wirelessly with Android
ADB is usually used on Android through a USB cable. You can also set up and use ADB wirelessly. Here is how.
About the author
(39 published articles)
By Nitin Ranganath
Subscribe to our newsletter
Subscribe to our newsletter for tech tips, reviews, free e-books, and exclusive offers!
Click here to subscribe