Resolving “adb: command not found” on Linux

Resolving "adb: command not found" on Linux

22 April 2024 Stephan Petzl Leave a comment Tech-Help

When working with Android devices, the Android Debug Bridge (ADB) is an indispensable tool for communicating with the device. However, users may encounter the frustrating issue of the system not recognizing the ‘adb’ command. This typically returns an error message similar to:

$ adb install -r /path/to/your/app.apk
-bash: adb: command not found

Let’s explore how to resolve this issue.

Setting Up ADB Correctly

To ensure that the ‘adb’ command is recognized, you must include the path to the ADB executable in your system’s PATH environment variable. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Locate your Android SDK directory. The ADB tool is typically found in the platform-tools folder within the SDK.
  2. Open your .bashrc file in a text editor. This file is located in your home directory and may be hidden. You can open it with a command like gedit ~/.bashrc or nano ~/.bashrc.
  3. Add the following line to the end of the file, replacing /path/to/android-sdk with the actual path to your Android SDK:
  4. export PATH=${PATH}:/path/to/android-sdk/platform-tools
  5. Save the file and close the editor.
  6. Apply the changes by running source ~/.bashrc in the terminal.
  7. Verify that ADB is properly set up by typing adb devices in the terminal. You should see a list of connected devices.

Another approach is to create a symlink to the ADB executable in a directory that’s already in your PATH, such as /usr/local/bin:

sudo ln -s /path/to/android-sdk/platform-tools/adb /usr/local/bin/adb

This way, you can use ‘adb’ directly without modifying the PATH.

Installing ADB via Package Manager

If ADB is not installed on your system, you can easily install it via your distribution’s package manager. For example, on Ubuntu:

sudo apt install adb

Repeato Integration

Once you have resolved the ‘adb’ command not found issue, you can leverage tools like Repeato to enhance your testing process. Repeato is a no-code test automation tool that supports all sorts of app frameworks and comes with ADB onboard, allowing you to execute ADB commands via script steps. This can be particularly useful for automating and running tests on your Android apps, ensuring that they function correctly across different devices and scenarios.

Repeato’s computer vision and AI capabilities can help you identify UI components and interactions more effectively, making it faster to create and maintain automated tests. This integration with ADB ensures that you can handle a wide range of testing tasks without having to delve into complex coding, saving time and resources.

By following the steps outlined in this article and utilizing tools like Repeato, you can streamline your development and testing workflows, leading to more robust and reliable Android applications.

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