My computer is a Sys76 Lemur running Maverick, and my phone is a Nexus S running stock Gingerbread. I want to set up to use ADB (android debug bridge). I installed the Android SDK per instructions on the SDK website, but ADB doesn't work. Can someone help me with directions that are specific to Ubuntu?


Install adb & fastboot via PPA

You can install from the WebUpd8 PPA which support both 32-bit and 64-bit. Granted you can install directly from google. But I prefer to use PPAs to keep everything up to date.
Works for Ubuntu 11.04, 11.10 and 12.04.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nilarimogard/webupd8
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install android-tools-adb android-tools-fastboot

Source: Install ADB And Fastboot Android Tools In Ubuntu Via PPA

Install Android SDK via PPA

If you want to install the SDK which will allow you to update everything you can install via the upubuntu ppa.

So first thing is to add the ppa.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:upubuntu-com/sdk
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install android-sdk

Only issue at this point is that android-sdk needs to be run as root. Well the link in the menu didn't do much. So I updated the link in the menu, you can also run:

gksu android-sdk

From there you will need to install "Android SDK Platform-Tools" I also recommend updating "Android SDK Tools". You can deselect anything else you don't need.

Now you will need to set your environmental variables.
First you will need to make everything executable.

sudo chmod -R 755 /root/android-sdk-linux

Now to add the variables.

nano ~/.bashrc

Add these lines (at the top)

#AndroidDev PATH
export PATH=${PATH}:/root/android-sdk-linux/tools
export PATH=${PATH}:/root/android-sdk-linux/platform-tools

Source: Install Android SDK Manager (Revision 20) From PPA On Ubuntu 12.04/Linux Mint 13
Source: AndroidSDK - Community Ubuntu Documentation

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  • It's not needed to compile adb, so installing with the android-sdk it's not from source. Furthermore he tags the question with 10.10, so this answer doesn't work. Great is, that this solution provides a 64 bit version. – BuZZ-dEE Sep 25 '12 at 0:19
  • Yeah my bad. Didn't notice that is was for 10.10. But hopefully it will help others. As for the source I meant "source" as google. – mywebslave Sep 25 '12 at 1:41
  • Yes, if anyone wants to install it, but in this case the question was how to set up after install. – BuZZ-dEE Sep 25 '12 at 1:48
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    none of this worked for me on 16.04. gksu did nothing other than ask for a password – mango Jul 1 '16 at 7:32
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    nilarimogard/webupd8 don't contain android-tools-* and upubuntu-com/sdk is outdated – abumalick Jan 5 '17 at 8:11

Ubuntu 14.04+

Since Trusty the android-tools-adb and android-tools-fastboot packages in the Universe repository provide, respectively, adb and fastboot.

To install them:

  • Enable the Universe repository: sudo add-apt-repository universe
  • Update the APT cache: sudo apt-get update

To install adb:

sudo apt-get install android-tools-adb

To install fastboot:

sudo apt-get install android-tools-fastboot
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  • 1
    What's the difference between the android-tools-adb package and the adb package? Both claim to provide the Android Debug Bridge. – Dan Dascalescu Oct 15 '17 at 0:09
  • @DanDascalescu apt show android-tools-adb says is a transitional package. AFAIK adb should be used. – Pablo Bianchi Sep 24 '19 at 3:52
  • these are now available in the general repo's? – Thufir Sep 9 at 8:29

I'm only guessing but perhaps you need to make sure Ubuntu is looking in the right place. As it says on the website, make sure you have added the directory that adb is located to your $PATH by adding export PATH=${PATH}:/usr/local/src/android-sdk-linux_x86/tools & export PATH=${PATH}:/usr/local/src/android-sdk-linux_x86/platform-tools to your .bashrc and running source .bashrc

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  • 2
    It works :o) with one small correction, export PATH=${PATH}:/usr/local/src/android-sdk-linux_x86/platform-tools/ – bigcat42 Apr 13 '11 at 5:55

2017-Oct update

You don't need to install any package on Ubuntu 16 to get ADB working. No setup is necessary.

Simply download the official SDK Platform-Tools for Linux from Google and extract adb and fastboot from the zip file.

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  • 1
    can these now just be installed directly with apt and the standard repo's? – Thufir Sep 9 at 8:31

@mywebslave answered it perfectly, I just want to add one more thing to that. If you're running a 64 bit machine and doing an offline install, you may have to install the 32 bit compatibility libraries as mentioned here.

sudo apt-get install ia32-libs

Update: The above command works only if you're running 13.04 and below. For newer versions ia32-libs has been replaced by other packages. See here.

sudo dpkg --add-architecture i386
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install libncurses5:i386 libstdc++6:i386 zlib1g:i386
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On Linux systems you will find adb and fastboot under ~/Android/Sdk/platform-tools directory. Just add this as bin and you're good to go e.g.

sudo cp ~/Android/Sdk/platform-tools/adb /usr/bin/adb
sudo chmod +x /usr/bin/adb
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  • What creates ~/Android/Sdk? That directory doesn't exist on my Ubuntu Linux system. – Dan Dascalescu Sep 10 at 8:07

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