Guide: What Is ADB? How To Setup Android SDK For Development

No matter you’re a developer, tester or just an Android user! If you have been through the process of rooting, creating recoveries, installing ROMs, overclocking the processor speed etc, its obvious you are familiar with ADB and SDK setup! Well this article is prepared as a quick crash course for new learners. We will review the concept of ADB and the Android SDK setup.

Define ADB?

ADB, short form for Android Debug Bridge. ADB collaborates with the Android Development Kit and creates an overall interface which lets user debug with the device file system.  ADB acts as a bridge between device and computer which lets developer debug code. It is a Linux server type program that developers use to create all sorts of applications. All is done from here when it comes to pushing files to the device, exploring those files, and rooting.

Setup Requirements

Just like a setup for almost anything, there are some requirements for setting up this debug bridge between your device and machine.
– a computer running Windows / Linux / Mac
– Android Drivers
– Android SDK (click here to download)

Installing Android SDK

First and foremost step is to download Android SDK. Different versions are available for Windows, Linux and Mac. Download the required SDK and extract the files. Its recommended that you extract them to the root of your C drive, easier to remember and use in command prompt later on.

Updating Packages With SDK Manager

ADB was a part of SDK by default but now it needs to be downloaded as a separate package like many others. The step is simple. Navigate to the SDK Folder (C:\android-sdk..),and launch SDK Manager. On the main screen, you can see virtual devices, installed packages, available packages, settings and a about tab. Though, the first time you open the SDK Manager, a window will pop up with a number of packages to install from. Make sure you check ‘Android SDK Platform Tools’ and click Accept and install.

Define Path To Pass Quick Arguments From Command Line

As we mentioned earlier in the article about archiving the Android SDK in the root folder. Reason being, it becomes easier when using the command prompt for passing arguments. If you don’t define a path, complete path would be required to use ADB command (C:\android-sdk\platform-tools\adb). To make ADB easily accessible from the command line, path definition is required. A new path would be added to the Path environment variable for Windows. And for Linux or Mac, use the standard method to add sub folders (tools and platform-tools) to system Path variable.

For Windows, get into Properties by right-clicking the Computer icon. Click Advanced System Settings and click System Properties. On Advanced tab, click Environment Variables. Find Path in System Variables. Add the following string by double-clicking on it.

;c:\android-sdk-windows\tools;c:\android-sdk-windows\platform-tools

*Make sure to use the proper path, where ever you have extracted Android SDK contents.

Lastly, you will be required to install your device drivers. Navigate to Device Manager and connect your device to check if you have them installed or not. Drivers can be installed from SDK Manager by clicking Available Packages > Third Party Ad-ons and locate your Manufacturer driver or simply download it from their website support.

Enjoy exploring your device and its content!.