The “adb shell” command is a fundamental feature of the Android Debug Bridge (ADB) tool that enables developers to run remote shell commands on an Android emulator instance or a connected Android device. It provides a direct interface to execute commands and interact with the operating system of the target device.
Here are some key points to understand about the “adb shell” command:
- Android Debug Bridge (ADB): ADB is a command-line tool that facilitates communication and interaction between a computer and an Android device or emulator. It serves as a bridge for executing various commands and performing operations on the connected device.
- Remote Shell Access: The “adb shell” command grants you access to a remote shell on the Android device or emulator. This means that you can execute commands directly within the context of the Android operating system, similar to running commands in a terminal or command prompt on the device itself.
- Running Commands: With “adb shell,” you can run a wide range of shell commands on the Android device or emulator. This includes executing system commands, accessing and modifying files, controlling services and processes, installing or uninstalling applications, and performing various administrative tasks.
- Interacting with the OS: The remote shell provided by “adb shell” allows you to interact with the Android operating system just as if you were using a local shell. You can navigate directories, read and modify files, query system information, modify system settings, and perform other actions to manage the device or emulator.
- Debugging and Testing: “adb shell” is particularly useful for debugging and testing purposes. It allows you to inspect the device’s state, retrieve system logs and debugging information, monitor running processes, simulate input events, and perform other tasks required for diagnosing issues and troubleshooting.
- Development and Automation: The ability to run remote shell commands through ADB facilitates development workflows and automation. Developers can write scripts or build automation processes that utilize “adb shell” commands to perform tasks on connected devices or emulators, such as installing or configuring applications, capturing screenshots, or running tests.
The “adb shell” command is a powerful tool for developers, providing direct access to the shell of an Android device or emulator. It allows for seamless execution of shell commands, debugging, testing, and automation, enabling efficient management and interaction with the Android operating system.
adb shell Command Examples
1. Start a remote interactive shell on the emulator/device:
# adb shell
2. Get all the properties from emulator or device:
# adb shell getprop
3. Revert all runtime permissions to their default:
# adb shell pm reset-permissions
4. Revoke a dangerous permission for an application:
# adb shell pm revoke package permission
5. Trigger a key event:
# adb shell input keyevent keycode
6. Clear the data of an application on an emulator or device:
# adb shell pm clear package
7. Start an activity on emulator/device:
# adb shell am start -n package/activity
8. Start the home activity on an emulator or device:
# adb shell am start -W -c android.intent.category.HOME -a android.intent.action.MAIN