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Thread: [GUIDE] ADB and Fastboot on Linux live CD

  1. #1
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    [GUIDE] ADB and Fastboot on Linux live CD

    On countless threads on many forums and with many different devices, I have read of problems with Windows adb and/or fastboot drivers. After all, everyone uses Windows, right? Well, you don't have to, not for adb and fastboot anyway. And with very few exceptions, driver problems simply disappear under Linux. Both my TFs, a 300 and a 700, work perfectly with these two command-line utilities, without my ever installing a driver at all. In fact the only Droid that I have run across that doesn't is the Hannspad tablet; I hope to find a workaround for it one day.

    It has been my observation in the past that adb and fastboot do not like the new line of Intel chipsets, and do not work well with them. I half suspected driver problems there, too, but didn't have the kung-fu to do anything about it. AFAIK it's still a problem in Windows, but the Linux kernel gods seem to have fixed it. Thank you Linus Torvalds and team!

    I have written about the live CD I put together in this forum before now, but it was always an awkward thing to use, and usually was a last resort sort of thing. I finally got off my butt and refined it. The new version does not require any symlinks or anything else to be created before use, and it uses a newer kernel that seems to run adb and fastboot with an Intel i5 and a Z87 chipset without any problems at all.

    I now propose that this be the easy go-to method for low-level PC-to-Android communication, rather than the PITA last-resort. The hardest part is setting your PC to boot from a CD, and I can't even about cover that here, as there are too many possible methods. If it isn't in your owner's manual, try the manufacturer's customer service or tech support.

    I'm sorry but Forum rules forbid me to link to the .iso file directly here. Anyone interested, please PM me and I'll send you the link. Or perhaps one of the moderators might make an exception here?

    Edit: Rather than making an exception, our mods and admins have invited me to be a (gulp!) developer! I'M NOT WORTHY...I'M NOT WORTHY... So after a suitable period of consideration, 2 or 3 seconds or so, I accepted, and here is the link:
    http://www.mediafire.com/download/62...07-android.iso

    and the md5: 489e2f1cef384e88576fa80548d855ff sulu2-528.007-android.iso

    @Droidbound, I'll send it to you because you were interested in the old version. If you have any suggestions for further improvements please poke me. With something soft please!

    Once you have the .iso, burn it to a CD (or DVD if that's what you have on hand). If your burning software allows it, make it multi-session, but don't sweat it if not. Boot your PC to the new CD; it has a first-run dialog that allows you to make several changes. The biggest one is screen resolution, you can change that if you want, it has a step-by-step wizard. Then boot your TF or whatever other Droid, make sure USB debugging is enabled in Developer Options (if you don't see that, tap "Build Number" seven times), and connect your data cable. This is exactly the same as if you were in Windows. Now click the "console" icon in the top row on the desktop (single-click only: you are in Linux), and type in "adb devices", again exactly as if you were in the Windows command-line box. ALL the commands and procedures will be exactly the same, as they are adb commands or fastboot commands, not Windows. So that if you are following Droidbound's Guide, the only thing you will do differently is skip the step about finding and installing drivers. Whenever a procedure calls for opening cmd.exe in Windows, click "console" in Linux. If the single-click thing bugs you it can be changed (in either OS). I leave my Windows systems double-click and my Linux single, sometimes just to remind me what OS I'm currently using! Fastboot works the same way, boot the tablet into fastboot mode, open the console and type "fastboot devices". Returns will be the same, again these are not Windows or Linux utilities, they are adb or fastboot utilities. You will also have to type in the full path to any files you might be using; for instance, if you had TWRP.blob on the root level of the first partition of the first hard drive of your PC, and wanted to flash it, you would enter:

    #fastboot -i 0x0B05 flash recovery /mnt/sda1/twrp.blob

    The easy way to find said path is to track it down in the Rox file manager and leave that window open so you can see the entire path in the top of it. All your PC's drive partitions will be shown at the bottom left, hover the pointer over each one to see a description, click to open it in Rox-filer. Another edit: Droidbound found it easier to copy the file (TWRP.blob or whatever) to Home (or /), and asked if there is a way to cd to the directory the file is in. Yes there is:

    #cd /mnt/sda1/

    Then enter the fastboot command, without the full path.

    Beats heck out of fighting with Windows driver problems, all day long it does.

    I also installed Cydia Impactor, the only GUI root tool that I've found for Linux. For some reason a desktop shortcut won't work with it, so if you would like to try it, click on the "home" icon on the desktop to open Rox, then the up arrow, then the gear icon labelled "impactor". It has several possible actions, but the default is to push su to /system/xbin/. I have not tried it on TFs, I would like to know if it works.

    For those interested in credits: this is based on (and contains in its entirety) Super Puppy Linux 2 5.2.8.007, an updated version of Lucid Puppy 5.2.8.005 which is what I based my first attempt on. It has a much newer kernel, and more drivers, and AFAIK will successfully boot more different PCs than any other OS, which is one reason I chose it. Rather than having the entire Android SDK, and the Java Runtime environment it requires, it simply has the two utilities themselves, which I copied into /usr/bin instead of adding symlinks to the SDK location. It was just a crazy thought, then an experiment, and it worked!

    Too many people contributed to this to thank, but I'd like to mention in particular: Barry Kauler, creator of Puppy Linux; Playdayz, original coordinator of Lucid Puppy; and Rerwin, its current maintainer and updater.
    Last edited by Kevinthefixer; 02-24-2015 at 06:27 AM. Reason: clarification, link added, md5 added
    Swipe, janner43, Tor and 2 others like this.

  2. #2
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    Phantastic Kevin!
    So much for doing something productive tonight....
    Downloading now.....

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    Good job Kevin. Thread stuck & [GUIDE] added to title...

    Thanks to Droidbound for peer reviewing the ISO image.
    Last edited by janner43; 01-02-2015 at 01:40 AM. Reason: add peer review comment
    Gtanner00 likes this.

    PLEASE Search for existing threads before posting a new one. Thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by janner43 View Post
    Good job Kevin. Thread stuck & [GUIDE] added to title...
    Careful, I might start to think I'm important!

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    Did you know that your thread is 2nd in Google search for "Puppy Linux adb fastboot"?
    2nd among 130,000 results. Pretty cool, eh?

    I tried to create a bootable USB stick with Rufus using your ISO but was unsuccessful. Is your ISO only good for CD??

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    As I said earlier, I might start thinking I'm important. I really can't remember where I read about someone else having problems with Rufus, nor whether it was just with Puppy or some other distro or what. Give Etcher a try:

    https://etcher.io/

    I honestly don't know if Puppy .iso files can be burned to bootable flash drive or no, I never tried it, but I would have thought I'd heard about it before now if it just wouldn't work. I used Puppy's internal tools to create that .iso, it shouldn't be any different from any other Puppy. Trying out Unetbootin has been on my list for years now but you know how that goes. Etcher worked flawlessly for the RPi Pixel .iso, which you might also try out; adb and fastboot are in Debian repositories now (Raspian Pixel is Debian with a new desktop environment). Search for "android-tools-adb" and "android-tools-fastboot". If you have an old 32-bit Intel-base machine laying around, maybe an old netbook like mine, install Pixel on a thumbdrive or SD card, boot to it, install those two tools and you have a lean fast machine with android flashing capability. My MSI Wind was on its last legs, didn't like to boot or shut down properly until I flashed Pixel to a SSD and installed it. Looks like the old MSI has a few years in it after all; good 'cause I've always liked it.
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    What Got Me In to All This Trouble--Linux live CD with ADB & Fastboot:
    http://www.transformerforums.com/for...x-live-cd.html

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    OK, OK, make me do my own homework. You're quite right, DB, that .iso is only good for burning CDs, something I'd never realized. Took me some time and frustration, perhaps because I was trying to use "modern" software to work with this older .iso, but here is a .img file that can be directly flashed to thumbdrive or card-in-reader:

    sulu2-528.007-android-USB.img


    I tested it with Etcher, which I find easy and effective. You may have to unzip it as administrator (root in Linux), I had to when testing the download. You will need at least a 4GB drive or card 'cos that's what I had to work with; if you use a larger one (at least with Etcher) you'll end up with the extra as unallocated space which you can use to add another partition, or you could expand the one you have. You'll already have two or three gigs free space on the primary partition though.

    md5sum: 4c4f59c851137d1d3b5b3375b57b2b4c sulu2-528.007-android-USB.img (after unzipping)

    Aside from that it all works just like the live-CD, that is (if you have enough RAM) it loads the entire OS into RAM and unmounts the drive. This makes it run like greased lightning and is the reason @DB finds it fast. Then when you shut down it offers to save whatever you've done in a seperate file called a savefile and lets you choose whether and where to save it. If you save it to the HDD of the computer you're using Puppy will find it on next boot and use it, leaving your thumbdrive "pristine" and ready to boot another machine if that's at all important. I suggest not saving display settings, or odd system parameters that another machine might not have, to the thumbdrive.
    droidbound likes this.
    Master Help Guide--guide to help from the masters:
    http://www.transformerforums.com/for...elp-guide.html

    T100 Master Help Guide:Caster's comprehensive guide to comprehending the T100
    http://www.transformerforums.com/for...elp-guide.html

    TF100 FAQ--Frequently Asked Questions about the TF100:
    http://www.transformerforums.com/for...s-guides-tips/

    What Got Me In to All This Trouble--Linux live CD with ADB & Fastboot:
    http://www.transformerforums.com/for...x-live-cd.html

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    There you go! I knew I just had to dangle the bait a bit and you would bite eventually!
    Good work! Will give it a whirl next chance I get!

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    "Dangle the bait" my butt, you shamelessly shamed me into it and you know it! While you're at it see what else it might need, Arizona summer is coming and I can't work on my nu-2-u tractor for more than a few hours each weekend. 60-year-old bolts are MUCH stronger than the ones we're building today! Unfortunately so is 60-year-old rust.
    Master Help Guide--guide to help from the masters:
    http://www.transformerforums.com/for...elp-guide.html

    T100 Master Help Guide:Caster's comprehensive guide to comprehending the T100
    http://www.transformerforums.com/for...elp-guide.html

    TF100 FAQ--Frequently Asked Questions about the TF100:
    http://www.transformerforums.com/for...s-guides-tips/

    What Got Me In to All This Trouble--Linux live CD with ADB & Fastboot:
    http://www.transformerforums.com/for...x-live-cd.html

  10. #10
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    Master Help Guide--guide to help from the masters:
    http://www.transformerforums.com/for...elp-guide.html

    T100 Master Help Guide:Caster's comprehensive guide to comprehending the T100
    http://www.transformerforums.com/for...elp-guide.html

    TF100 FAQ--Frequently Asked Questions about the TF100:
    http://www.transformerforums.com/for...s-guides-tips/

    What Got Me In to All This Trouble--Linux live CD with ADB & Fastboot:
    http://www.transformerforums.com/for...x-live-cd.html

 

 

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