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Tue, Apr 14, 2020 4:00 AM

Android Debug Bridge (ADB) and Chromebooks

During this period of lockdown, it is a good opportunity to learn some skills. If you always wanted to tinker with your Android device, now is your chance. Most who have used Android Debug Bridge (ADB)would use a Windoze PC. However, it is possible to get a Chromebook to run ADB commands. The added benefit is that Chrome OS is hard to mess up. Made a mistake? No problem! Just Powerwash and start again.


To get into Developer Mode, (note that all local data will be wiped, please backup if important)


  1. Since all, local data will be wiped, upload desired data to Google Drive or copy to a MicroSD or USB drive
  2. Set the Chromebook to Developer Mode. Steps:
  3. To do so, press and hold down the Esc and Refresh keys and then tap the Power button. (The Refresh Key is where the F3 key would be — the fourth key from the left on the top row of the keyboard.) Your Chromebook will immediately reboot into Recovery mode.
  4. Press Ctrl+D at the Recovery screen.
  5. To access a root shell, press Ctrl+Alt+T to open a terminal window. In the Crosh shell window, type shell and press Enter to get a full bash shell.
  6. The prompt should change to read “chronos@localhost,” after which ADB and Fastboot should both be available to use like normal.
  7. If you have trouble, you may need to update ADB. See this
  8. For future reboots, press Ctrl+D at the Recovery screen to skip and resume normal Chrome OS boot in Developer Mode. Of course, you may reenable Chrome OS checking and disable Developer Mode. Note that this will once again wipe local data.

Using this, was able to run ADB and tinker with with ASUS Zenfone Max to enable MicroSD as Internal Memory :-). It also gave new found respect for my Chromebook! The beauty of Chromebooks is Powerwash which reset the computer to original state. With dual partition, it minimizes corruption to Chrome OS and enhances security, since the OS is compared during bootup.






"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." - Edmund Burke
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