How to Install / Set Up ADB on Mac OS X / Linux

In order to take full advantage of your Android based handset you first have to free its system from the factory restrictions and then you need to apply customization and optimization procedures for improving the performances and for upgrading the Android experience. But in order to complete such operations you might need to use the Android SDK and the Android Debug Bridge. Well, if ADB is being required, then you can anytime use the present guide for learning on how to install ADB on a Mac OS X or Linux based device.

ADB, or Android Debug Bridge is a tool that is being often required when trying to root, unlock the bootloader or updating your Android devices with a custom ROM firmware. ADB consists in some commands that are being introduced in your computer’s terminal offering access to your phone’s (or tablet) internal system and in-built programs. By using these commands (which can be learned by using several dedicated step by step guides) you can tweak or troubleshoot your handset therefore, installing ADB on your Mac OS X, or Linux device is a must have.

Be aware as this tutorial is suitable and must be applied only for those who own a Mac OS X or Linux based computer; if you want to learn how to install the Android SDK / ADB on Windows then use another method (search through our how to section for the same). Now, the steps from below are being divided: one section is for Mac while the other is for Linux, so use the procedure you need; don’t mess things up.

The best part is that you don’t have to make any preparation tasks as the installation procedure can be easily applied. You just have to follow the below steps and in the end your Mac / Linux will be installed with ADB and you will be ready to tweak your Android powered smartphone / tablet. As mentioned, usually, the adb commands are being used when trying to unchain the devices from the factory and default restrictions so if you want to gain access and control to your phone then completing this tutorial is not an option for you.

Of course, most of the mentioned operations can be performed without using ADB but in a more complex and risky way. Therefore, if you are an entry level or an inexperienced user then it is strongly recommended to use the adb based tutorials instead of trying to complete other procedures that can damage or brick your device. Anyway, let’s head to the installation process as you are prepared for the same. Stick to the steps from below and don’t do things by yourselves.

How to Install / Set Up ADB on Mac OS X

  1. First, download the Android SDK tool from here.
  2. Save the file on the desktop.
  3. Extract the file and move the obtained folder to the root of your hard drive.
  4. Rename the folder Android-SDK.
  5. On the device you need to open terminal.
  6. On the same enter “C:/Android-SDK /tools/android”.
  7. The file manager will be displayed.
  8. From there select “Available Packages -> Android Repository”.
  9. Up next choose “Android SDK Platform-tools” and click on install selected button.
  10. ADB is now there on your computer. In order to set it up you will have to add the “export PATH=${PATH}:/Android-SDK/tools:/platform-tools” line on the end of the ~/.bashrc or ~/.profile or ~/.bash_profile configuration files
  11. If that file is not there you can anytime create it by choosing “~/.profile”.

How to Install / Set Up ADB on Linux

  1. You need to get this file (the download link is here) and extract it to “~/bin”.
  2. Up next just go to /etc/udev/rules.d and type the following commands (see the image from below):

    Type in terminal:

    Type in terminal:

  3. Take your phone / tablet and enable the USB debugging option; you can do it by going to “Settings -> Applications -> Development -> USB debugging”.
  4. Now, use the USB cable and connect your handset with the computer.
  5. Open terminal on your PC and type “adb devices”.
  6. A list of devices will be displayed; if that happens, you are done.

Well, that was all for today. That was the how to guide that can be used by those who need to install / Set Up ADB on Mac OS X / Linux. Therefore now you have what it takes in order to complete other complex operations, such as root, unlock bootloader, update with custom ROM firmware and so on. If you have questions related to the above explained step by step guide or if you just want to share your impressions or talk with us use the comments section from below. Also, for other tutorials check out our how to section as you will find everything you need there.

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  • tekkitan

    Why in the holy hell would you make an image of text and tell everyone to type it instead of having it to copy & paste? Your directions are all messed up too. C: on a Mac???

    • Sangie Nativus

      Hahaha I saw that too. I don’t have a C drive on my Mac either :p

  • Anthony Scott Pancurak

    theres no download anywhere….

    • JGallardo

      I think they just scrape from other sites and automate these posts. Not ensuring quality along the way.

  • adam

    Fail. Really. C:. Really?

  • Yu

    please tell us where is the downdload for the Android SDK Tool…I dont see it.

  • Gillian

    Whoever wrote these instructions is a certified moron.

    • JGallardo

      I think it was a bot

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  • Prakash Chettri

    Really?? Your “Here” has no links, plus C: on a mac? , Image file as a set of instruction? FAIL!

  • bro

    useless article

  • Danny

    Ha Ha Ha…… C:… Ha Ha…. Where will I find the C:, in the Start Menu?
    Make sure you do the Windows Update also on your Mac before you follow the steps above.

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