Introduction: A wrapper for adb and fastboot that returns convenient promises.
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A wrapper for Adb, Fastboot, and Heimall written in modern asynchronous TypeScript that provides convenient promises for interacting with Android and Ubuntu Touch devices. The package was originally developed for the UBports Installer but has since been expanded to cover all APIs of the included tools.


Install the package by running npm i promise-android-tools android-tools-bin.

Quick-start example

The default settings should cover most usecases.

import { DeviceTools } from "promise-android-tools";
const dt = new DeviceTools();

dt.wait() // wait for any device
  .then(state =>
      .then(name => console.log(`detected ${name} in ${state} state`))

Config, Env vars

Global command-line flags for tools are configurable on the <tool>.config property and described using an ArgsModel. The <tool>._withConfig() function allows overriding options temporarily. Additionally, <tool>.__<option>() helper functions are provided for all options.

import { Adb } from "promise-android-tools";
const adb = new Adb();
  adb.config.serialno, // null
  adb._withConfig({ serialno: "1337" }).config.serialno, // "1337"
  adb.__serialno("1337").config.serialno // "1337"
adb.hasAccess(); // will run command `adb devices`
adb._withConfig({ serialno: "1337" }).hasAccess(); // will run command `adb -s 1337 devices`
adb.__serialno("1337").hasAccess(); // will run command `adb -s 1337 devices`

Aborting pending Promises

Pending operations can be aborted using the standardized AbortSignal/AbortController APIs. Every tool implements its own HierarchicalAbortController for this purpose.

import { Adb, HierarchicalAbortController } from "promise-android-tools";
const adb = new Adb();
adb.wait(); // will resolve once a device is detected or reject on error/abort
adb.abort(); // will abort ALL pending promises from the instance

Additional AbortSignals can be passed on the signals constructor parameter to listen to for aborting pending operations. The <tool>._withSignals() function returns a clone for the tool instance listening to additional abort signals.

import {
} from "promise-android-tools";
const controller = new HierarchicalAbortController();
const adb = new Adb({ signals: [controller.signal] });
const fastboot = new Fastboot({ signals: [controller.signal] });
Promise.all([adb.wait(), fastboot.wait()]);
controller.abort(); // will abort ALL pending promises from both instances

A clone that will time out after a specified amount of time can be created using the <tool>._withTimeout() function.

import { Adb, HierarchicalAbortController } from "promise-android-tools";
const adb = new Adb();
adb._withTimeout(1000).wait(); // will resolve if a device is detected or automatically reject after the timeout of one second
const controller = new HierarchicalAbortController();
adb._withSignals(controller.signal).wait(); // will be pending until aborted
controller.abort(); // will abort only this promise, not the instance overall

Log execution events

Events are available to log or introspect tool executions.

import { DeviceTools } from "promise-android-tools";
const dt = new DeviceTools();

dt.on("exec", r => console.log("exec", r));
dt.on("spawn:start", r => console.log("spawn:start", r));
dt.on("spawn:exit", r => console.log("spawn:exit", r));
dt.on("spawn:error", r => console.log("spawn:error", r));"echo", "test");
// will log a compact object (i.e. no falsy values) consisting of the command array cmd, the error object, and the stderr and stdout buffers. The path to the executable will be replaced with the tool name for brevity:
// exec {
//   cmd: [ 'adb', '-P', 5037, 'shell', 'echo test' ],
//   error: {
//     message: 'Command failed: adb -P 5037 shell echo test\n' +
//       'adb: no devices/emulators found',
//     code: 1
//   },
//   stderr: 'adb: no devices/emulators found'
// }

Complex example

The library provides most features of the eponymous command-line utilities wrapped in the available classes. This example only serves as a demonstration - please consult the documenation to discover the full power of this library.

import { DeviceTools } from "promise-android-tools";
const dt = new DeviceTools();

  .wait() // wait for any device over adb
  .then(() => dt.adb.ensureState("recovery")) // reboot to recovery if we have to
  .then(() => dt.adb.push(["./config.json"], "/tmp", progress)) // push a config file to the device
  .then(() => dt.adb.getDeviceName()) // read device codename
  .then(name => {
    // samsung devices do not use fastbooot
    if (name.includes("samsung")) {
      return dt.adb
        .reboot("bootloader") // reboot to samsung's download mode
        .then(() => dt.heimdall.wait()) // wait for device to respond to heimdall
        .then(() => dt.heimdall.flash("boot", "boot.img")) // flash an image to a partition
        .then(() => dt.heimdall.reboot()); // reboot to system
    } else {
      return dt.adb
        .reboot("bootloader") // reboot to bootloader (aka. fastboot mode)
        .then(() => dt.fastboot.wait()) // wait for device to respond to fastboot commands
        .then(() => dt.fastboot.flash("boot", "boot.img")) // flash an image
        .then(() => dt.fastboot.continue()); // auto-boot to system
  .then(() => dt.adb.wait("device")) // ignore devices in recovery or a different mode
  .then(() => console.log("flashing complete, that was easy!")); // yay

function progress(p) {
  console.log("operation", p * 100, "% complete");


Typescript types are bundled and IntelliSense is supported. Run npm run docs to build html from JSdoc/Typedoc comments for all methods and types.

API Changes, Deprecation Notices, Upgrade Guide

Upgrading to 5.x

For version 5.0.0, the library has been migrated to typescript for increased stability and type safety. Many under-the-hood components have been redesigned for more efficient abstraction and ease of use.

  • CancelablePromise has been replaced by the the native AbortController interface. The <tool>.kill() method has been renamed to <tool>.abort().
  • Error handling has been restructured. Tools now throw AdbError, FastbootError, or HeimdallError objects implementing the ToolError interface and providing the original unaltered error in the cause property. Current standardized error messages include "aborted" | "no device" | "more than one device" | "unauthorized" | "device offline" | "bootloader locked" | "enable unlocking" | "low battery" | "failed to boot".
  • Dependencies have been re-evaluated and many external libraries have been replaced with more solid solutions from modern NodeJS built-ins.
  • Global command-line options for tools are now configurable on the <tool>.config property.
  • The execOptions parameter has been removed in favor of extraArgs and extraEnv properties and their respective helper functions.

Upgrading to 4.x

Version 4.0.0 includes a major re-factoring effort that touched almost every function. The APIs of most functions remained intact, but in most cases you will have to make changes to your code. This has been done to correct some early design decisions.

  • A new convenience class DeviceTools has been implemented that provides instances of all tool classes as well as some generic convenience functions such as deviceTools.wait() (wait for any device to be visible with any adb, fastboot, or heimdall) and deviceTools.getDeviceName() (read the device name from fastboot or adb). In most cases you will no longer need to instantiate any of the tool classes directly.
  • In order to properly follow the object-oriented paradigm, all tool wrapper classes now inherit from a new Tool class that implements the child_process wrappers along with some common interfaces. The implications of this are:
    • Our android-tools-bin package is now included as a dependency. If you require custom executables, you can use environment variables.
    • Specifying a custom exec function in the constructor arguments is no longer supported.
      • We no longer use child_process.exec to avoid spawining a shell. Confer with the official documentation to learn what this entails in detail. Most short-lived commands now use child_process.execFile. Long-running commands use
    • Specifying a custom log function in the constructor arguments is no longer supported. You can instead listen to the events exec, spawn:start, spawn:exit, and spawn:error on the tool object to implement your own logging or introspection logic.
    • The <tool>.<tool>Event event emitter has been deprecated. Instead, the tool class now inherits from the event emitter class directly.
  • <tool>.waitForDevice() and <tool>.stopWaiting() have been deprecated in favor of <tool>.wait().
    • On fastboot and heimdall, <tool>.wait() will poll using <tool>.hasAccess() at a fixed interval. It does not take arguments.
    • adb.wait() uses the adb wait-for-[-TRANSPORT]-STATE command instead. You can optionally specify the state or transport as arguments, eg adb.wait("recovery", "usb").
    • The <tool>.wait() function returns a CancelablePromise, which extends the native ES promise to support cancelling pending promises. Calling const p = adb.wait(); setTimeout(() => p.cancel(), 5000); will kill the waiting child-process and settle the pending promise.
  • adb.pushArray() has been deprecated and incorporated into the adb.push() API.
    • Since the adb push command supports pushing multiple files to the same location and this is the most common usecase, the adb.pushArray() function has been deprecated. The adb.push() function now takes an array of source file paths, a target destination path on the device, and a progress callback.
    • The progress is now reported on-the-fly and no longer requires polling via adb shell stat <file>. This results in faster and more accurate reporting.
  • Functions that are considered unstable or experimental have been makred as such in their documentation comments. If you're building a product around any of those, you're welcome to help us improve the library to ensure your needs will be accounted for in the future.

Upgrading to 3.x

  • Version 3.0.0 introduced a breaking API change in fastboot.flash() and fastboot.flashRaw(). Pervious the third and fourth arguments of fastboot.flash() were boolean arguments for indicating force and raw flashing. Similarly fastboot.flashRaw() is a convenience function that forwarded the third argument as a boolean flag for the force option. The new API of fastboot.flash() accepts a boolean value for raw flashing as the third argument, followed by any number of string arguments for additional flags. The fastboot.flashRaw() function similarly accepts any number of arguments for additional flags starting at the third argument. The fastboot.flashArray() function now takes an array like [ {partition, file, raw, flags}, ... ] as an argument. We believe that this change is more in line with the latest developments in the fastboot cli and provides better access to options like --force, --disable-verity, and --disable-verification.
  • NodeJS version 8 and below have been deprecated and are no longer supported. Versions 10, 12, and 14 are actively tested and supported.
  • New experimental backup and restore functions for use with Ubuntu Touch have been added to the ADB module. The API of these might change in the future.

Upgrading to 2.x

  • No breaking API changes were introduced in version 2.0.0.
  • A new Heimdall module provides access to Samsung devices.


Original development by Johannah Sprinz and Marius Gripsgård. Copyright (C) 2017-2022 UBports Foundation.

This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with this program. If not, see

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