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How To Fix “Unable to detect adb version” Error in Android Studio on Ubuntu

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If you’re an Android developer using Android Studio on Ubuntu, you may have encountered the error “Unable to detect adb version”. This error typically occurs when there’s an issue with the Android Debug Bridge (adb) version in your Android Studio setup. In this article, we will walk you through a detailed step-by-step guide on how to fix this error.

Quick Answer

To fix the "Unable to detect adb version" error in Android Studio on Ubuntu, you can downgrade the /platform-tools folder to an older version. This can be done by downloading the compatible version from the official Android repository, removing the current /platform-tools folder, and replacing it with the downloaded one.

Understanding the Error

The error message “Unable to detect adb version” is usually accompanied by a syntax error. This problem arises due to incompatibility issues between the adb version and the system you’re using. It’s particularly common in 32-bit Ubuntu systems, as the Android SDK Platform-tools Rev. 23.1.0 and above no longer support 32-bit Linux platforms.

Solution: Downgrade the /platform-tools Folder

One of the most effective solutions to this issue is to downgrade the /platform-tools folder to an older version. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Download the platform-tools_r23.0.1-linux.zip file from the official Android repository. This is a version of the platform tools that is compatible with 32-bit Linux systems.
  2. Navigate to your Android SDK folder. This is the folder where Android Studio is installed on your system. In most cases, the path to this folder would be something like /home/username/Android/Sdk/.
  3. In the Android SDK folder, find the /platform-tools folder and remove it. You can do this by executing the following command in the terminal:
    rm -r /path-to-your-android-sdk/platform-tools
    Replace /path-to-your-android-sdk/ with the actual path to your Android SDK folder. The rm -r command is used to remove files and directories in Linux.
  4. Extract the downloaded platform-tools_r23.0.1-linux.zip file and move the extracted /platform-tools folder to your Android SDK folder. You can do this with the following terminal command:
    unzip /path-to-downloaded-file/platform-tools_r23.0.1-linux.zip -d /path-to-your-android-sdk/
    The unzip command is used to extract zip files in Linux, and the -d option is used to specify the directory where the files should be extracted.

Important Notes

This solution is specifically applicable to Ubuntu 14.04.3 LTS and other 32-bit Ubuntu systems. If you’re using a different version of Ubuntu or a 64-bit system, this solution may not work.

Also, be aware that the /platform-tools folder may revert to the incompatible version after an Android Studio update. In such cases, you may need to repeat the above steps to downgrade the /platform-tools folder again.

Conclusion

The “Unable to detect adb version” error in Android Studio on Ubuntu can be a hurdle in your Android development process, but it’s not insurmountable. By downgrading the /platform-tools folder as described in this article, you can get back to your development work in no time. Always remember to check the compatibility of your tools with your system to avoid such issues in the future.

What is Android Debug Bridge (adb)?

Android Debug Bridge (adb) is a command-line tool that allows communication between your Android device and your computer. It is used for various tasks such as installing and debugging applications, accessing the device shell, and transferring files between the device and computer.

Why am I getting the error “Unable to detect adb version” in Android Studio on Ubuntu?

The error "Unable to detect adb version" is usually caused by incompatibility between the adb version and the system you’re using. It is particularly common in 32-bit Ubuntu systems, as the Android SDK Platform-tools Rev. 23.1.0 and above do not support 32-bit Linux platforms.

How can I fix the “Unable to detect adb version” error in Android Studio on Ubuntu?

To fix the error, you can downgrade the /platform-tools folder to an older version that is compatible with 32-bit Linux systems. This involves downloading the appropriate version of platform-tools from the official Android repository, removing the existing /platform-tools folder from your Android SDK folder, and replacing it with the downloaded version.

Where can I download the compatible version of platform-tools for 32-bit Linux systems?

You can download the compatible version of platform-tools for 32-bit Linux systems from the official Android repository. The specific version that is compatible is platform-tools_r23.0.1-linux.zip. You can find the download link in the article.

Will this solution work for all versions of Ubuntu or only specific ones?

This solution is specifically applicable to Ubuntu 14.04.3 LTS and other 32-bit Ubuntu systems. It may not work for different versions of Ubuntu or 64-bit systems.

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