ADB, ADB drivers, and Fastboot are one of those Android terms that you are bound to encounter when rooting your Android device, unlocking the bootloader, installing a custom recovery or flashing a custom ROM on it. While both the ADB and Fastboot are powerful tools when it comes to tinkering with your Android device, but it gets a bit frustrating when comes to installing and setting them up. In this guide, we’ll try to make it as simple as possible to setup and install Fastboot and ADB drivers on your Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux running computers.
Before getting our hands dirty with the installation procedure, let’s get a basic understanding or what the ADB and Fastboot tools are.
What is ADB?
ADB is short for Android Debug Bridge. It is a command-line tool that comes bundled with Android SDK and allows you to send a good number of terminal commands to an Android device connected to your computer through a USB connection. ADB is often used to send shell commands, install or remove apps, reboot the device, transfer files between computer and the phone, reboot into recovery or bootloader and much more. It can also be used to take a complete backup of your phone or tablet. ADB required USB debugging to be enabled on your Android device. While ADB is usually known in relation to rooting and tinkering with the Android device, you can also use it to send terminal commands to an unrooted device as well.
What is Fastboot?
Fastboot is a handy tool to tinker directly with the firmware of your Android device. It is a special diagnostic and engineering mode that your device can boot into. One can send commands to the bootloader from the Fastboot mode. It means that you can modify or flash custom recoveries, file system, or an unsigned partition image to the Android devices right from your computer over a USB connection. While Fastboot cannot flash a whole custom ROM, it provides some really useful stuff that you cannot do with ADB.
Now that we have discussed the basics of both ADB and Fastboot tools, let’s get to the main objective, which is to setup and install ADB drivers and install Fastboot on your Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux computers. To quickly jump to your section of interest, please click on any of the following links:
- How to install ADB and Fastboot on Windows
- How to install ADB and Fastboot on Mac OS X
- How to install ADB and Fastboot on Linux
How to install ADB and Fastboot on Windows
While the official way of installing ADB and Fastboot on your Windows PC involves downloading Android SDK which is huge in size and then extracting the tools from within the SDK folders. However, there is an easier and much quicker way to install Fastboot and ADB with ADB Installer which promises to install both tools under 15 seconds without installing the huge Android SDK.
Installing ADB and Fastboot on Windows can get very frustrating at times as compared to other Linux base operating system because of the driver issues. Thanks to the great pool of developers over at XDA who have made the installation process much easier. The tool not only install ADB and Fastboot tools, it also installs ADB USB drivers as well. Follow these steps to install Fastboot and ADB drivers and setup them in under 15 seconds:
- Download the latest version of ADB Installer on your Windows PC.
- Right-click on the downloaded .exe file and choose “Run as Administrator.” This should open the command prompt.
- Press Y to install ADB and Fastboot on your Windows computer.
- Press Y to install ADB system-wide. This will allow you to access ADB command from anywhere in the Windows.
- Press Y to install device USB drivers on your system.
- Continue with the USB drivers installation wizard and complete it.
Now to test if ADB and Fastboot have been properly setup on your computer:
- Open the command prompt by pressing Windows + R keys on your keyboard.
- Type in and hit enter:
- Now type the following command and hit Enter key on your keyboard:
- If this returns “Android Debug Bridge version x.x.xx,” it means that you’ve successfully installed ADB drivers and setup both ADB and Fastboot on your Windows computer.
How to install ADB and Fastboot on Mac OS X
Just like the Windows, there is an easy way to install ADB and Fastboot on Mac OS X as well, thanks to a script that automatically downloads and installs ADB and Fastboot. Simply follow these steps to properly install and setup ADB and Fastboot on your Mac:
- Download the script.
- Extract the .zip file and put the Android folder on your Desktop.
- Open Terminal on your Mac and type in the following commands and hit Return key after each command:
- The script will take some time to download and install both the Fastboot and ADB on your Mac computer. Once done, you should be able to use ADB and Fastboot commands at your will.
How to install ADB and Fastboot on Linux
Installing ADB and Fastboot on Linux is just a matter of a single command. The only problem you may face is that your Linux distribution does not have the required repository, for which your will have to run an additional command. Ubuntu users can skip the repository command and directly run the ADB and Fastboot installation command.
To add necessary repository for installing ADB and Fastboot, run the following command:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:phablet-team/tools && sudo apt-get update
Once you’ve run the above command or you’re already on Ubuntu, enter the following command:
sudo apt-get install android-tools-adb android-tools-fastboot
That’s it! you can run ADB and Fastboot commands on your Linux at your will.
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