Setup ADB and Fastboot with Android SDK on Mac OSX


Download Android SDK (original article @

Download and extract Android SDK from to your desktop

Browse to Tools and double click “android”. It will open up a terminal window and load the SDK.

Install packages

Here go to “Available Packages” and select what you want to download. I selected everything. Wait for the packages to download and install.

Set the Path

Next you need to update the PATH for tools/ and platform-tools/ folder. To do this you need to edit your ~/.bash_profile (create it if you don’t already have one). Add the following two lines

export PATH=${PATH}:/Users/(username)/Desktop/android-sdk/tools
export PATH=${PATH}:/Users/(username)/Desktop/android-sdk/platform-tools

Download Fastboot

Now go to scroll to the middle of the page and download Fastboot binary for OSX. Because HTC host no longer the fastboot binary you can download the version on my blog. Unzip it and place it in /tools/


Now your all set for ADB and Fastboot

Tnx for the article!

To check if your fastboot works you can start your terminal and cd /Users/(username)/Desktop/android-sdk/tools
then run ./fastboot-mac devices

When you some output you are connected. Happy modding!! πŸ™‚

Note: please check the comments for more feedback


Author: Thomas Faddegon

Bla bla bla

  • PacoBell

    The HTC site no longer seems to be hosting the fastboot binary πŸ™

  • I see I try to get the Fastboot binary for OSX and mirror it on my blog πŸ™‚

  • PacoBell

    Thanks for the mirror. I ended up downloading a copy from the ClockworkMod blog. It’s surprising that there aren’t more mirrors out there. I guess people just expect you to compile AOSP yourself for the tools. Kinda hard when is down, tho πŸ˜‰

  • Just like to say a huge thanks!!!

    Took me ages to realise that fastboot had mysteriously disappeared since last updating my SDK… finally stumbled across your site and all good now πŸ™‚

  • Your welcome πŸ™‚

  • Gregory

    For sake of OTHER people being able to find this page easy on Google (took me a while) I’ll write my full experience to include important words.
    I had troubles finding information for rooting my Xperia Arc after unlocking the bootloader (from help with the XDA forum).

    You were the only page that explained how to install fastboot on mac. Also you include information to install adb on mac!

    Things I would like to add to help YOU and other users!

    The only package REQUIRED For installing ADB is: “Android SDK Platform-tools”
    Everything else isn’t required from what I have been reading at XDA.

    Also; On Lion, it’s hard to show hidden files for sake of finding bash_profile. After some searching, I learned that typing this in Terminal will show hidden files: β€œdefaults write AppleShowAllFiles TRUE” (Re-typing this with FALSE reverses it).

    You can use TextEdit to create/edit the bash_profile file. Just make sure you save it as plain text.

    Sorry for the big post, thank you very much for your post!
    (I know this is a lot of information, I am technical but from a windows background so I have trouble with mac sometimes!)

  • Kelly Smith

    Gregory makes a good post.

    That said, for you mac users who don’t want to permanently alter the behavior (you will forget how to hide those files again) of your OSX installation, I would suggest using Terminal and “nano” to edit your .bash_profile file.

  • Gregory

    I agree that people will forget πŸ™‚ I made certain I reversed it when I was done:
    β€œdefaults write AppleShowAllFiles FALSE”

    But that’s a solution πŸ™‚

  • Gregory

    Actually, scrap my advice, I agree with Kelly!

    For the FULL command. In terminal, just type:
    nano ~/.bash_profile

    It will open up the file whether it is there or not, so no need to check.

    Just make sure to save. BTW. ^ in that interface means control. So control+x to exit.

    Thanks for the tip Kelly πŸ™‚

  • Thomas

    Thanks for the instructions and the link to fastboot-mac! A few things I ran into while doing this:
    1. The Android SDK now unzips to android-sdk-macosx, this should be changed in the PATHs above.
    2. fastboot-mac should be placed in /Users/(username)/Desktop/android-sdk-macosx/tools not in /tools/
    3. To check if your fastboot-mac works there is no need to cd into the tools-directory, that’s why it was added to the PATH.
    4. The phone should be rebooted into bootloader (and connected with a usb-cable) before you run fastboot-mac devices

  • Yo people I greatly appreciate that you give so much feedback in the comments πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ Tnx!

  • John

    wouldn’t have been able to root my xoom without your instructions and some a few comments. thanks!

  • John

    I wouldn’t have been able to root my xoom without your instructions and some a few comments. thanks!

  • HaYoung

    After downloading fastboot and copying it into tools folder, I’ve tried to run it. But can’t run it successfully.
    MacBook-Air:kernel hayoung$ fastboot devices
    ERROR: Unable to create a plug-in (e00002be)

    Have you seen this before? Any help would be appreciated.

  • Nader

    I am an extreme beginner at Terminal.\. I altered something after typing in ~/.bash_profile because another forum told me to do so unclearly and I screwed up. I did it incorrectly. Now I need to reenter ~/.bash_profile to do it correctly and I am being denied permission. I have no idea what to do. If you could put the answer in babysteps that would be great because I have little to no idea what I am doing. Thanks in advance and sorry for the trouble.

  • carl

    I first downloaded the latest SDK and then installed the platform tools.
    I then set my XOOM to USB debugging mode.
    When I ran “adb devices” it showed my XOOM.
    However, when I ran “fastboot devices” nothing showed up πŸ™
    I had read that there was a fastboot-mac … so I googled for it
    and found this site. i then downloaded it and did “fastboot-mac devices”
    and still nothing showed up πŸ™
    What am I doing wrong?

  • PacoBell

    Now that AOSP is hosting it’s own repo, I decided giving it a shot at building my own fastboot under OSX. Turns out it actually works! Now, there might be an easier way, but I ended up doing a repo sync on the entire master branch. That took freakin’ FOREVER! Afterward, however, I just followed the advice on this page and I got a working fastboot binary:

  • b

    when i click android my terminal comes up and says this….

    Macintosh:~ brandonhunt$ /Users/brandonhunt/Desktop/android-sdk-macosx/tools/android ; exit;
    SWT folder ‘/Users/brandonhunt/Desktop/android-sdk-macosx/tools/lib/ppc’ does not exist.
    Please export ANDROID_SWT to point to the folder containing swt.jar for your platform.

    [Process completed]

    what do i have to do to complete these steps?

  • Dude the fastboot is an intel package not an ibm/ppc package πŸ˜›

    try these @ XDA

    you need an account to download the file.

  • Coolk

    Thanks a lot!! This removes any need to go back to crappy windows πŸ™‚

  • Hi !

    Thanks for your work. I’ve installed and setup the SDK.
    The problem I have is that when I try to test the “fastboot-mac” command, i’ve no “answer” from the command just a new prompt.
    My phone is an Xperia S and is linked to my MacBook in Fastboot mode. I’m running on Mac Os X Lion.
    Do you have an idea?

    Thx for your help πŸ™‚

  • When I give the command fastboot mac this is my output:

    usage: fastboot [

    update reflash device from
    flashall flash boot + recovery + system
    flash [ ] write a file to a flash partition
    erase erase a flash partition
    getvar display a bootloader variable
    boot [ ] download and boot kernel
    flash:raw boot [ ] create bootimage and flash it
    devices list all connected devices
    reboot reboot device normally
    reboot-bootloader reboot device into bootloader

    -w erase userdata and cache
    -s specify device serial number
    -p specify product name
    -c override kernel commandline
    -i specify a custom USB vendor id

    And when I give:
    fastboot-mac devices
    ERROR: could not get pipe properties

    The latest error is because my phone is not connected on the moment.

  • Yes, I had the same error before (I thought it was because the SDK wasn’t setup…).

    Ok, i’ve understan my error :/
    The file in the tools folder is called fastboot-mac but the command is “fastboot”…
    When I use “$ fastboot devices” instead of “$ fastboot-mac devices” everything works.

    Thanks for your answer it helps me to understand the result of the getvar version command too πŸ˜‰

    Your blog post helps me to write mine in french for the french people who don’t understand english!

  • Nice work πŸ™‚ Tnx for the feedback!

  • nokiboy

    it’s long time i look up for tuto to connect my phone with adb as far i have a mac…
    found your blog and it seems pretty easy so i tried
    just began to use terminal and all that stuff to connect my android phone to my mac.
    i just finished to do all what you said, changed dir names cause they are different on my mac “android-sdk-mac-x86” instead of “android-sdk” in bash_profile and for all commands.
    it was funny since it seemed to work but in fact it doesn’t
    i can’t run adb nor fastboot-mac: examples of my screen

    :platform-tools nokiboy$ adb
    -bash: adb: command not found

    if i run adb not from “terminal” but directly from “platform-tools”, it runs, gives all instructions catalog and stops but never let me write a single character

    :tools nokiboy$ ./fastboot-mac devices
    ERROR: could not get pipe properties

    i can’t figure out what’s wrong since i followed instructions step by step and i am beginner…
    “tools” dir and “platform-tools” dir are placed in /users/nokiboy/Desktop/android-sdk-mac-X86/sdk/…
    my phone is plugged on USB so far and configured “USB debug” and “charge mode”
    i use syncmate 4.1.18 to sync my phone with my mac
    hope this can help you to understand what’s going on and then help me