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Android Debug Bridge

Android Debug Bridge (adb) is a versatile command-line tool that lets you communicate with a device (an emulator or a connected Android device). The adb command facilitates a variety of device actions, such as installing and debugging apps, and it provides access to a Unix shell that you can use to run a variety of commands on a device. It is a client-server program that includes three components:

adb is included in the Android SDK Platform-Tools package. You can download this package with the SDK Manager, which installs it at android_sdk/platform-tools/. Or if you want the standalone Android SDK Platform-Tools package, you can download it here.

How adb works

When you start an adb client, the client first checks whether there is an adb server process already running. If there isn't, it starts the server process. When the server starts, it binds to local TCP port 5037 and listens for commands sent from adb clients—all adb clients use port 5037 to communicate with the adb server.

The server then sets up connections to all running devices. It locates emulators by scanning odd-numbered ports in the range 5555 to 5585, the range used by the first 16 emulators. Where the server finds an adb daemon (adbd), it sets up a connection to that port. Note that each emulator uses a pair of sequential ports — an even-numbered port for console connections and an odd-numbered port for adb connections. For example:

Emulator 1, console: 5554
Emulator 1, adb: 5555
Emulator 2, console: 5556
Emulator 2, adb: 5557
and so on...

As shown, the emulator connected to adb on port 5555 is the same as the emulator whose console listens on port 5554.

Once the server has set up connections to all devices, you can use adb commands to access those devices. Because the server manages connections to devices and handles commands from multiple adb clients, you can control any device from any client (or from a script).

Enable adb debugging on your device

To use adb with a device connected over USB, you must enable USB debugging in the device system settings, under Developer options.

On Android 4.2 and higher, the Developer options screen is hidden by default. To make it visible, go to Settings > About phone and tap Build number seven times. Return to the previous screen to find Developer options at the bottom.

On some devices, the Developer options screen might be located or named differently.

You can now connect your device with USB. You can verify that your device is connected by executing adb devices from the android_sdk/platform-tools/ directory. If connected, you'll see the device name listed as a "device."

Note: When you connect a device running Android 4.2.2 or higher, the system shows a dialog asking whether to accept an RSA key that allows debugging through this computer. This security mechanism protects user devices because it ensures that USB debugging and other adb commands cannot be executed unless you're able to unlock the device and acknowledge the dialog.

For more information about connecting to a device over USB, read Run Apps on a Hardware Device.

Connect to a device over Wi-Fi

adb usually communicates with the device over USB, but you can also use adb over Wi-Fi after some initial setup over USB, as described below. If you're developing for Android Wear, however, you should instead see the guide to debugging an Android Wear app, which has special instructions for using adb with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

  1. Connect your Android device and adb host computer to a common Wi-Fi network accessible to both. Beware that not all access points are suitable; you might need to use an access point whose firewall is configured properly to support adb.
  2. If you are connecting to an Android Wear device, turn off Bluetooth on the phone that's paired with the device.
  3. Connect the device to the host computer with a USB cable.
  4. Set the target device to listen for a TCP/IP connection on port 5555.
    adb tcpip 5555
    
  5. Disconnect the USB cable from the target device.
  6. Find the IP address of the Android device. For example, on a Nexus device, you can find the IP address at Settings > About tablet (or About phone) > Status > IP address. Or, on an Android Wear device, you can find the IP address at Settings > Wi-Fi Settings > Advanced > IP address.
  7. Connect to the device by its IP address.
    adb connect device_ip_address
    
  8. Confirm that your host computer is connected to the target device:
    $ adb devices
    List of devices attached
    device_ip_address:5555 device
    

You're now good to go!

If the adb connection is ever lost:

  1. Make sure that your host is still connected to the same Wi-Fi network your Android device is.
  2. Reconnect by executing the adb connect step again.
  3. Or if that doesn't work, reset your adb host:
    adb kill-server
    

    Then start over from the beginning.

Query for devices

Before issuing adb commands, it is helpful to know what device instances are connected to the adb server. You can generate a list of attached devices using the devices command.

  adb devices -l
  

In response, adb prints this status information for each device:

The following example shows the devices command and its output. There are three devices running. The first two lines in the list are emulators, and the third line is a physical device that is attached to the computer.

$ adb devices
List of devices attached
emulator-5556 device product:sdk_google_phone_x86_64 model:Android_SDK_built_for_x86_64 device:generic_x86_64
emulator-5554 device product:sdk_google_phone_x86 model:Android_SDK_built_for_x86 device:generic_x86
0a388e93      device usb:1-1 product:razor model:Nexus_7 device:flo

Emulator not listed

The adb devices command has a corner-case command sequence that causes running emulator(s) to not show up in the adb devices output even though the emulator(s) are visible on your desktop. This happens when all of the following conditions are true:

  1. The adb server is not running, and
  2. You use the emulator command with the -port or -ports option with an odd-numbered port value between 5554 and 5584, and
  3. The odd-numbered port you chose is not busy so the port connection can be made at the specified port number, or if it is busy, the emulator switches to another port that meets the requirements in 2, and
  4. You start the adb server after you start the emulator.

One way to avoid this situation is let the emulator choose its own ports, and don't run more than 16 emulators at once. Another way is to always start the adb server before you use the emulator command, as explained in the following examples.

Example 1: In the following command sequence, the adb devices command starts the adb server, but the list of devices does not appear.

Stop the adb server and enter the following commands in the order shown. For the avd name, provide a valid avd name from your system. To get a list of avd names, type emulator -list-avds. The emulator command is in the android_sdk/tools directory.

$ adb kill-server
$ emulator -avd Nexus_6_API_25 -port 5555
$ adb devices

List of devices attached
* daemon not running. starting it now on port 5037 *
* daemon started successfully *

Example 2: In the following command sequence, adb devices displays the list of devices because the adb server was started first.

To see the emulator in the adb devices output, stop the adb server, and then start it again after using the emulator command and before using the adb devices command, as follows:

$ adb kill-server
$ emulator -avd Nexus_6_API_25 -port 5557
$ adb start-server
$ adb devices

List of devices attached
emulator-5557 device

For more information about emulator command-line options, see Using Command Line Parameters.

Send commands to a specific device

If multiple devices are running, you must specify the target device when you issue the adb command. To specify the target, use the devices command to get the serial number of the target. Once you have the serial number, use the -s option with the adb commands to specify the serial number. If you're going to issue a lot of adb commands, you can set the $ANDROID_SERIAL environment variable to contain the serial number instead. If you use both -s and $ANDROID_SERIAL, -s overrides $ANDROID_SERIAL.

In the following example, the list of attached devices is obtained, and then the serial number of one of the devices is used to install the helloWorld.apk on that device.

$ adb devices
List of devices attached
emulator-5554 device
emulator-5555 device

$ adb -s emulator-5555 install helloWorld.apk

Note: If you issue a command without specifying a target device when multiple devices are available, adb generates an error.

If you have multiple devices available (hardware or emulated), but only one is an emulator, use the -e option to send commands to the emulator. Likewise, if there are multiple devices but only one hardware device attached, use the -d option to send commands to the hardware device.

Install an app

You can use adb to install an APK on an emulator or connected device with the install command:

adb install path_to_apk

To first build your APK, you can build it with Gradle or instead build and install it with Android Studio.

Set up port forwarding

You can use the forward command to set up arbitrary port forwarding, which forwards requests on a specific host port to a different port on a device. The following example sets up forwarding of host port 6100 to device port 7100:

adb forward tcp:6100 tcp:7100

The following example sets up forwarding of host port 6100 to local:logd:

adb forward tcp:6100 local:logd

Copy files to/from a device

Use the pull and push commands to copy files to and from an device. Unlike the install command, which only copies an APK file to a specific location, the pull and push commands let you copy arbitrary directories and files to any location in a device.

To copy a file or directory and its sub-directories from the device, do the following:

adb pull remote local

To copy a file or directory and its sub-directories to the device, do the following:

adb push local remote

Replace local and remote with the paths to the target files/directory on your development machine (local) and on the device (remote). For example:

adb push foo.txt /sdcard/foo.txt

Stop the adb server

In some cases, you might need to terminate the adb server process and then restart it to resolve the problem (e.g., if adb does not respond to a command).

To stop the adb server, use the adb kill-server command. You can then restart the server by issuing any other adb command.

adb commands reference

You can issue adb commands from a command line on your development machine or from a script. The usage is:

adb [-d | -e | -s serial_number] command

If there's only one emulator running or only one device connected, the adb command is sent to that device by default. If multiple emulators are running and/or multiple devices are attached, you need to use the -d, -e, or -s option to specify the target device to which the command should be directed.

The table below lists all of the supported adb commands and explains their meaning and usage.

Table 1. Available adb commands and options

Global Options Description
-a Listen on all network interfaces instead of only on localhost.
-d Direct an adb command to the only attached USB device. Returns an error when more than one USB device is attached.
-e Direct an adb command to the only running emulator. Returns an error when more than one emulator is running.
-s serial_number Direct an adb command to a specific device, referred to by its adb-assigned serial number (such as emulator-5556). Overrides the serial number value stored in the $ANDROID_SERIAL environment variable. See Send Commands to a Specific Device.
-H server The name of the adb server host. The default value is localhost.
-P port The adb server port number. The default value is 5037.
-L socket Listen on the provided adb server socket. The default value is tcp:localhost:5037.
General Commands Description
devices [-l] Print a list of all devices. Use the -l option to include the device descriptions. For more information, see Query for Devices.
help Print a list of supported adb commands and their descriptions.
version Print the adb version number.
Networking Commands Description
connect host[:port] Connect to a device over TCP/IP. If you do not specify a port, then the default port, 5555, is used.
disconnect [host | host:port] Disconnect from the specified TCP/IP device running on the specified port. If you do not specify a host or a port, then all devices are disconnected from all TCP/IP ports. If you specify a host, but not a port, the default port, 5555, is used.
forward -list List all forwarded socket connections.
forward [--no-rebind] local remote Forward socket connections from the specified local port to the specified remote port on the device. You can specify both local and remote ports in the following ways:
  • tcp:port. To choose any open port, make the local value tcp:0.
  • localabstract:unix_domain_socket_name.
  • localreserved:unix_domain_socket_name.
  • localfilesystem:unix_domain_socket_name.
  • dev:character_device_name.
  • jdwp:pid.
forward -remove local Remove the specified forwarded socket connection.
reverse -l List all reverse socket connections from the device.
reverse [--no-rebind] remote local Reverse a socket connection. The --no-rebind option means the reversal fails if the specified socket is already bound through a previous reverse command. You can specify the port for both local and remote arguments in the following ways:
  • tcp:port. To choose any open port, make the remote value tcp:0.
  • localabstract:unix_domain_socket_name.
  • localreserved:unix_domain_socket_name.
  • localfilesystem:unix_domain_socket_name.
reverse -remove remote Remove the specified reverse socket connection from the device.
reverse --remove-all Remove all reverse socket connections from the device.
File Transfer Commands Description
push local remote Copy files and directories from the local device (computer) to a remote location on the device.
pull [-a] remote local Copy remote files and directories to a device. Use the -a option to preserve the file time stamp and mode.
sync  [system|vendor|oem|data|all] Synchronize a local build from the location specified in $ANDROID_PRODUCT_OUT to the device. All changed files are copied from the specified partition. The default is to sync all partitions. This command is only used when you build the Android platform source. App developers don’t need to use this command.

The $ANDROID_PRODUCT_OUT environment variable is automatically set by the Android build system to contain the location of the system images. Normally you won't need to set $ANDROID_PRODUCT_OUT when doing adb sync, but it can be useful if you're not in a build tree (but have one) or are syncing between build trees without switching between them.

$ANDROID_PRODUCT_OUT=/out/target/product/generic
adb sync
App Installation Commands Description
install [options] package Push packages to the device and install them. Possible options are the following:
  • -l: Forward lock application.
  • -r: Replace the existing application.
  • -t: Allow test packages.
  • -s: Install the application on the SD card.
  • -d: Allow version code downgrade (debugging packages only).
  • -g: Grant all runtime permissions.
install-multiple [options] packages

Same options as install with the addition of the following:

-p: Partial application install.

uninstall [-k] package Remove this app package from the device. Add the -k option to keep the data and cache directories.
Backup and Restore Commands Description
backup [-f file] [-apk | -noapk] [-obb | -noobb] [-shared | -noshared] [-all] [-system | [-nosystem] package_names Write an archive of the device's data to file. If you do not specify a file name, the default file is backup.adb. The package list is optional when you specify the -all and -shared options. The following describes the usages for the other options:
  • -apk | -noapk: Back up or do not back up .apk files. The default value is -noapk.
  • -obb | -noobb: Back up or do not back up .obb files. The default value is -noobb.
  • -shared | -noshared: Back up or do not back up shared storage. The default value is -noshared.
  • -all: Back up all installed applications.
  • -system | -nosystem: Include or do not include system apps when backing up all installed applications (-all). The default value is -system.
restore file Restore the device contents from file.
Debug Commands Description
bugreport path Print a bugreport to the specified path. If path is a directory, then the bug report is saved to that directory using the default file name, bugreport.zip. Devices that do not support zipped bug reports print to stdout.
jdwp Print a list of the available JDWP processes on a given device. Use forward jdwp:pid to connect to a specific JDWP process. For example:
adb forward tcp:8000 jdwp:472
jdb -attach localhost:8000
logcat [-help] [option] [filter-spec] Print log data to the screen. For information about the logcat command and the $ANDROID_LOG_TAGS environment variable, see Filtering Log Output on the logcat page.

The $ADB_TRACE environment variable contains a comma-separated list of the debug information to log. Values can be any combination of the following: all, adb, sockets, packets, rwx, usb, sync, sysdeps, transport, and jdwp.

See also Logcat Command-Line Tool.

Security Commands Description
disable-verity Disable dm-verity checking on userdebug builds. The dm-verity option ensures that when a user boots a device that it is in the same state that it was in when it was last used. For more information, see Verified Boot.
enable-verity Re-enable dm-verity checking on userdebug builds. The dm-verity option ensures that when a user boots a device that it is in the same state that it was in when it was last used. For more information, see Verified Boot.
keygen file Generate adb public and private RSA encrypted keys. The private key is stored in file. The public key is stored in file.pub. An RSA key pair is needed when you use adb to connect over USB for the first time. You must accept the host computer's RSA key to explicitly grant adb access to the device.

Use the $ANDROID_VENDOR_KEYS environment variable to point to a file or directory that contains 2048-bit RSA authentication key pairs that you generated with the keygen command. These key pairs are in addition to the RSA key pairs generated by the adb server.

When the adb server needs a key, it first searches the adb server key store directory. If no keys are found, it then checks the $ANDROID_VENDOR_KEYS environment variable for a location. If still no keys are found, the local adb server generates and saves a new key pair in the adb server key store directory. For this reason, only an OEM creating a new Android device should need to run 'adb keygen' themselves.

By default key pairs generated by the adb server are stored in the following key store directories as adbkey (private key) and adbkey.pub (public key):

  • Linux and Mac: $HOME/.android.
  • Windows: %USERPOFILE%\.android.
Scripting Commands Description
wait-for [-transport] -state Wait for the device to be in the specified state.
  • state: Values can be device, recovery, sideload, or bootloader.
  • transport: Values can be usb, local, or any.
get-state Print the adb state of a device. The adb state can be print offline, bootloader, or device. For more information, see Query for Devices.
get-serialno Print the adb device serial number string. For more information, see Query for Devices.
get-devpath Print the adb device path.
remount Remount the /system, /vendor, and /oem partitions in read-write mode.
reboot [bootloader | recovery | sideload | sideload-auto-reboot ] Reboot the device. This command defaults to booting the system image, but also supports bootloader and recovery.
  • The bootloader option reboots into bootloader.
  • The recovery option reboots into recovery.
  • The sideload option reboots into recovery and starts sideload mode.
  • The sideload-auto-reboot option is the same as sideload, but reboots after side loading completes.
sideload otapackage Side load (install in APK format) the specified full OTA package onto the device.
root Restart adbd with root permissions.
unroot Restart adbd without root permissions.
usb Restart the adb server listening on USB.
tcpip port-number Restart the adb server listening on TCP at the specified port.
Internal Debugging Commands Description
start-server Check whether the adb server process is running.
kill-server Terminate the adb server process.
reconnect Force a reconnect from the host.
reconnect device Force a reconnect from the device to force a reconnect.
Shell Commands Description
shell Start a remote interactive shell in the target device. For more information, see Issue shell commands.
shell -e escape_char [-n] [-T] [-t] [-x] [command] Issue a shell command in the target device and then exit the remote shell. Use any combination of the following options:
  • -e: Specify an escape character or the value none if you do not want to use an escape character. If you do not provide a value, the default escape character (a dash (-)), is used.
  • -n: Do not read from stdin.
  • -T: Disable pseudo-terminal utiity (PTY) allocation.
  • -t: Force PTY allocation.
  • -x: Disable remote exit codes and stdout/stderr separation.

For more information, see Issue shell commands.

emu command Run an emulator console command. For more information, see Control the Emulator from the Command Line

Issue shell commands

You can use the shell command to issue device commands through adb, with or without entering the adb remote shell on the device. To issue a single command without entering a remote shell, use the shell command like this:

adb [-d |-e | -s serial_number] shell shell_command

Or enter a remote shell on a device like this:

adb [-d | -e | -s serial_number] shell

When you are ready to exit the remote shell, press Control + D or type exit.

The shell command binaries are stored in the file system of the device at /system/bin/.

Note: With Android Platform-Tools 23 and higher, adb handles arguments the same way that the ssh(1) command does. This change has fixed a lot of problems with command injection and makes it possible to now safely execute commands that contain shell metacharacters, such as “adb install Let\’sGo.apk”. But, this change means that the interpretation of any command that contains shell metacharacters has also changed. For example, the “adb shell setprop foo ‘a b’” command is now an error because the single quotes () are swallowed by the local shell, and the device sees “adb shell setprop foo a b”. To make the command work, quote twice, once for the local shell and once for the remote shell, the same as you do with ssh(1). For example, “adb shell setprop foo “‘a b’””.

Call activity manager (am)

Within an adb shell, you can issue commands with the activity manager (am) tool to perform various system actions, such as start an activity, force-stop a process, broadcast an intent, modify the device screen properties, and more. While in a shell, the syntax is:

am command

You can also issue an activity manager command directly from adb without entering a remote shell. For example:

adb shell am start -a android.intent.action.VIEW

Table 2. Available activity manager commands

Command Description
start [options] intent Start an Activity specified by intent.

See the Specification for intent arguments.

Options are:

  • -D: Enable debugging.
  • -W: Wait for launch to complete.
  • --start-profiler file: Start profiler and send results to file.
  • -P file: Like --start-profiler, but profiling stops when the app goes idle.
  • -R count: Repeat the activity launch count times. Prior to each repeat, the top activity will be finished.
  • -S: Force stop the target app before starting the activity.
  • --opengl-trace: Enable tracing of OpenGL functions.
  • --user user_id | current: Specify which user to run as; if not specified, then run as the current user.
startservice [options] intent Start the Service specified by intent.

See the Specification for intent arguments.

Options are:

  • --user user_id | current: Specify which user to run as; if not specified, then run as the current user.
force-stop package Force stop everything associated with package (the app's package name).
kill [options] package Kill all processes associated with package (the app's package name). This command kills only processes that are safe to kill and that will not impact the user experience.

Options are:

  • --user user_id | all | current: Specify user whose processes to kill; all users if not specified.
kill-all Kill all background processes.
broadcast [options] intent Issue a broadcast intent.

See the Specification for intent arguments.

Options are:

  • [--user user_id | all | current]: Specify which user to send to; if not specified then send to all users.
instrument [options] component Start monitoring with an Instrumentation instance. Typically the target component is the form test_package/runner_class.

Options are:

  • -r: Print raw results (otherwise decode report_key_streamresult). Use with [-e perf true] to generate raw output for performance measurements.
  • -e name value: Set argument name to value. For test runners a common form is -e testrunner_flag value[,value...].
  • -p file: Write profiling data to file.
  • -w: Wait for instrumentation to finish before returning. Required for test runners.
  • --no-window-animation: Turn off window animations while running.
  • --user user_id | current: Specify which user instrumentation runs in; current user if not specified.
profile start process file Start profiler on process, write results to file.
profile stop process Stop profiler on process.
dumpheap [options] process file Dump the heap of process, write to file.

Options are:

  • --user [user_id | current]: When supplying a process name, specify user of process to dump; uses current user if not specified.
  • -n: Dump native heap instead of managed heap.
set-debug-app [options] package Set application package to debug.

Options are:

  • -w: Wait for debugger when application starts.
  • --persistent: Retain this value.
clear-debug-app Clear the package previous set for debugging with set-debug-app.
monitor [options] Start monitoring for crashes or ANRs.

Options are:

  • --gdb: Start gdbserv on the given port at crash/ANR.
screen-compat {on | off} package Control screen compatibility mode of package.
display-size [reset | widthxheight] Override device display size. This command is helpful for testing your app across different screen sizes by mimicking a small screen resolution using a device with a large screen, and vice versa.

Example:
am display-size 1280x800

display-density dpi Override device display density. This command is helpful for testing your app across different screen densities on high-density screen environment using a low density screen, and vice versa.

Example:
am display-density 480

to-uri intent Print the given intent specification as a URI.

See the Specification for intent arguments.

to-intent-uri intent Print the given intent specification as an intent: URI.

See the Specification for intent arguments.

Specification for intent arguments

For activity manager commands that take an intent argument, you can specify the intent with the following options:

Call package manager (pm)

Within an adb shell, you can issue commands with the package manager (pm) tool to perform actions and queries on application packages installed on the device. While in a shell, the syntax is:

pm command

You can also issue a package manager command directly from adb without entering a remote shell. For example:

adb shell pm uninstall com.example.MyApp

Table 3. Available package manager commands.

Command Description
list packages [options] filter Prints all packages, optionally only those whose package name contains the text in filter.

Options:

  • -f: See their associated file.
  • -d: Filter to only show disabled packages.
  • -e: Filter to only show enabled packages.
  • -s: Filter to only show system packages.
  • -3: Filter to only show third party packages.
  • -i: See the installer for the packages.
  • -u: Also include uninstalled packages.
  • --user user_id: The user space to query.
list permission-groups Prints all known permission groups.
list permissions [options] group Prints all known permissions, optionally only those in group.

Options:

  • -g: Organize by group.
  • -f: Print all information.
  • -s: Short summary.
  • -d: Only list dangerous permissions.
  • -u: List only the permissions users will see.
list instrumentation [options] List all test packages.

Options:

  • -f: List the APK file for the test package.
  • target_package: List test packages for only this app.
list features Prints all features of the system.
list libraries Prints all the libraries supported by the current device.
list users Prints all users on the system.
path package Print the path to the APK of the given package.
install [options] path Installs a package (specified by path) to the system.

Options:

  • -l: Install the package with forward lock.
  • -r: Reinstall an existing app, keeping its data.
  • -t: Allow test APKs to be installed.
  • -i installer_package_name: Specify the installer package name.
  • -s: Install package on the shared mass storage (such as sdcard).
  • -f: Install package on the internal system memory.
  • -d: Allow version code downgrade.
  • -g: Grant all permissions listed in the app manifest.
uninstall [options] package Removes a package from the system.

Options:

  • -k: Keep the data and cache directories around after package removal.
clear package Deletes all data associated with a package.
enable package_or_component Enable the given package or component (written as "package/class").
disable package_or_component Disable the given package or component (written as "package/class").
disable-user [options] package_or_component

Options:

  • --user user_id: The user to disable.
grant package_name permission Grant a permission to an app. On devices running Android 6.0 (API level 23) and higher, the permission can be any permission declared in the app manifest. On devices running Android 5.1 (API level 22) and lower, must be an optional permission defined by the app.
revoke package_name permission Revoke a permission from an app. On devices running Android 6.0 (API level 23) and higher, the permission can be any permission declared in the app manifest. On devices running Android 5.1 (API level 22) and lower, must be an optional permission defined by the app.
set-install-location location Changes the default install location. Location values:
  • 0: Auto: Let system decide the best location.
  • 1: Internal: install on internal device storage.
  • 2: External: on external media.

Note: This is only intended for debugging; using this can cause applications to break and other undesireable behavior.

get-install-location Returns the current install location. Return values:
  • 0 [auto]: Lets system decide the best location
  • 1 [internal]: Installs on internal device storage
  • 2 [external]: Installs on external media
set-permission-enforced permission [true | false] Specifies whether the given permission should be enforced.
trim-caches desired_free_space Trim cache files to reach the given free space.
create-user user_name Create a new user with the given user_name, printing the new user identifier of the user.
remove-user user_id Remove the user with the given user_id, deleting all data associated with that user
get-max-users Prints the maximum number of users supported by the device.

Take a screenshot

The screencap command is a shell utility for taking a screenshot of a device display. While in a shell, the syntax is:

screencap filename

To use the screencap from the command line, type the following:

adb shell screencap /sdcard/screen.png

Here's an example screenshot session, using the adb shell to capture the screenshot and the pull command to download the file from the device:

$ adb shell
shell@ $ screencap /sdcard/screen.png
shell@ $ exit
$ adb pull /sdcard/screen.png

Record a video

The screenrecord command is a shell utility for recording the display of devices running Android 4.4 (API level 19) and higher. The utility records screen activity to an MPEG-4 file.

Note: Audio is not recorded with the video file.

A developer can use this file to create promotional or training videos. While in a shell, the syntax is:

screenrecord [options] filename

To use screenrecord from the command line, type the following:

adb shell screenrecord /sdcard/demo.mp4

Stop the screen recording by pressing Control + C, otherwise the recording stops automatically at three minutes or the time limit set by --time-limit.

To begin recording your device screen, run the screenrecord command to record the video. Then, run the pull command to download the video from the device to the host computer. Here's an example recording session:

$ adb shell
shell@ $ screenrecord --verbose /sdcard/demo.mp4
(press Control + C to stop)
shell@ $ exit
$ adb pull /sdcard/demo.mp4

The screenrecord utility can record at any supported resolution and bit rate you request, while retaining the aspect ratio of the device display. The utility records at the native display resolution and orientation by default, with a maximum length of three minutes.

There are some known limitations of the screenrecord utility that you should be aware of when using it:

Table 4. screenrecord options

Options Description
--help Displays command syntax and options
--size widthxheight Sets the video size: 1280x720. The default value is the device's native display resolution (if supported), 1280x720 if not. For best results, use a size supported by your device's Advanced Video Coding (AVC) encoder.
--bit-rate rate Sets the video bit rate for the video, in megabits per second. The default value is 4Mbps. You can increase the bit rate to improve video quality, but doing so results in larger movie files. The following example sets the recording bit rate to 6Mbps:
screenrecord --bit-rate 6000000 /sdcard/demo.mp4
--time-limit time Sets the maximum recording time, in seconds. The default and maximum value is 180 (3 minutes).
--rotate Rotates the output 90 degrees. This feature is experimental.
--verbose Displays log information on the command-line screen. If you do not set this option, the utility does not display any information while running.

Read ART profiles for apps

Starting in Android 7.0 (API level 24) the Android Runtime (ART) collects execution profiles for installed apps, which are used to optimize app performance. You might want to examine the collected profiles to understand which methods are determined to be frequently executed and which classes are used during app startup.

To produce a text form of the profile information, use the command:

adb shell cmd package dump-profiles package

To retrieve the file produced, use:

adb pull /data/misc/profman/package.txt

Other shell commands

For a list of all the available shell programs, use the following command:

adb shell ls /system/bin

Help is available for most of the commands.

Table 5 lists some of the more common adb shell commands.

Table 5. Some other adb shell commands

Shell Command Description Comments
dumpsys Dumps system data to the screen. The Dalvik Debug Monitor Server (DDMS) tool offers an integrated debug environment that you might find easier to use.
dumpstate Dumps state to a file.
logcat [option]...  [filter-spec]... Enables system and app logging and prints output to the screen.

See also Logcat Command-Line Tool.

dmesg Prints kernel debugging messages to the screen.
start Starts (restarts) a device.  
stop Stops execution of a device.  
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