pwnlib.adb — Android Debug Bridge

Provides utilities for interacting with Android devices via the Android Debug Bridge.

Using Android Devices with Pwntools

Pwntools tries to be as easy as possible to use with Android devices.

If you have only one device attached, everything “just works”.

If you have multiple devices, you have a handful of options to select one, or iterate over the devices.

First and most important is the context.device property, which declares the “currently” selected device in any scope. It can be set manually to a serial number, or to a Device instance.

# Take the first available device
context.device = adb.wait_for_device()

# Set a device by serial number
context.device = 'ZX1G22LH8S'

# Set a device by its product name
for device in adb.devices():
    if device.product == 'shamu':
    error("Could not find any shamus!")

Once a device is selected, you can operate on it with any of the functions in the pwnlib.adb module.

# Get a process listing
print adb.process(['ps']).recvall()

# Fetch properties

# Read and write files
adb.write('/data/local/tmp/foo', 'my data')
class pwnlib.adb.adb.AdbDevice(serial, type, port=None, product='unknown', model='unknown', device='unknown', features=None, **kw)[source]

Encapsulates information about a connected device.


>>> device = adb.wait_for_device()
>>> device.arch
>>> device.bits
>>> device.os
>>> device.product
>>> device.serial
pwnlib.adb.adb.adb(argv, *a, **kw)[source]

Returns the output of an ADB subcommand.

>>> adb.adb(['get-serialno'])
pwnlib.adb.adb.boot_time() → int[source]
Returns:Boot time of the device, in Unix time, rounded to the nearest second.*a, **kw)[source]

Returns the Build ID of the device.


Compile a source file or project with the Android NDK.


Returns an AdbDevice instance for the currently-selected device (via context.device).


>>> device = adb.current_device(any=True)
>>> device
AdbDevice(serial='emulator-5554', type='device', port='emulator', product='sdk_phone_armv7', model='sdk phone armv7', device='generic')
>>> device.port
pwnlib.adb.adb.devices(*a, **kw)[source]

Returns a list of Device objects corresponding to the connected devices.

pwnlib.adb.adb.disable_verity(*a, **kw)[source]

Disables dm-verity on the device.

pwnlib.adb.adb.exists(*a, **kw)[source]

Return True if path exists on the target device.


>>> adb.exists('/')
>>> adb.exists('/init')
>>> adb.exists('/does/not/exist')
pwnlib.adb.adb.fastboot(*a, **kw)[source]

Executes a fastboot command.

Returns:The command output.

Given a directory path, find the topmost project root.

tl;dr “foo/bar/jni/baz.cpp” ==> “foo/bar”

pwnlib.adb.adb.fingerprint(*a, **kw)[source]

Returns the device build fingerprint.

pwnlib.adb.adb.forward(*a, **kw)[source]

Sets up a port to forward to the device.

pwnlib.adb.adb.getprop(*a, **kw)[source]

Reads a properties from the system property store.

Parameters:name (str) – Optional, read a single property.
Returns:If name is not specified, a dict of all properties is returned. Otherwise, a string is returned with the contents of the named property.
pwnlib.adb.adb.install(apk, *arguments)[source]

Install an APK onto the device.

This is a wrapper around ‘pm install’, which backs ‘adb install’.

  • apk (str) – Path to the APK to intall (e.g. 'foo.apk')
  • arguments – Supplementary arguments to ‘pm install’, e.g. '-l', '-g'.
pwnlib.adb.adb.interactive(*a, **kw)[source]

Spawns an interactive shell.

pwnlib.adb.adb.isdir(*a, **kw)[source]

Return True if path is a on the target device.


>>> adb.isdir('/')
>>> adb.isdir('/init')
>>> adb.isdir('/does/not/exist')
pwnlib.adb.adb.listdir(*a, **kw)[source]

Returns a list containing the entries in the provided directory.


This uses the SYNC LIST functionality, which runs in the adbd SELinux context. If adbd is running in the su domain (‘adb root’), this behaves as expected.

Otherwise, less files may be returned due to restrictive SELinux policies on adbd.

pwnlib.adb.adb.logcat(*a, **kw)[source]

Reads the system log file.

By default, causes logcat to exit after reading the file.

Parameters:stream (bool) – If True, the contents are streamed rather than read in a one-shot manner. Default is False.
Returns:If stream is False, returns a string containing the log data. Otherwise, it returns a connected to the log output.
pwnlib.adb.adb.makedirs(*a, **kw)[source]

Create a directory and all parent directories on the target device.


Silently succeeds if the directory already exists.


>>> adb.makedirs('/data/local/tmp/this/is/a/directory/heirarchy')
>>> adb.listdir('/data/local/tmp/this/is/a/directory')
pwnlib.adb.adb.mkdir(*a, **kw)[source]

Create a directory on the target device.


Silently succeeds if the directory already exists.

Parameters:path (str) – Directory to create.


>>> adb.mkdir('/')
>>> path = '/data/local/tmp/mkdir_test'
>>> adb.exists(path)
>>> adb.mkdir(path)
>>> adb.exists(path)
>>> adb.mkdir('/init')
Traceback (most recent call last):
PwnlibException: mkdir failed for /init, File exists
pwnlib.adb.adb.packages(*a, **kw)[source]

Returns a list of packages installed on the system

pwnlib.adb.adb.pidof(*a, **kw)[source]

Returns a list of PIDs for the named process.

pwnlib.adb.adb.proc_exe(*a, **kw)[source]

Returns the full path of the executable for the provided PID.

pwnlib.adb.adb.process(*a, **kw)[source]

Execute a process on the device.

See pwnlib.tubes.process.process documentation for more info.

Returns:A pwnlib.tubes.process.process tube.


>>> adb.root()
>>> print adb.process(['cat','/proc/version']).recvall() 
Linux version ...
pwnlib.adb.adb.product(*a, **kw)[source]

Returns the device product identifier.

pwnlib.adb.adb.pull(*a, **kw)[source]

Download a file from the device.

  • remote_path (str) – Path or directory of the file on the device.
  • local_path (str) – Path to save the file to. Uses the file’s name by default.

The contents of the file.


>>> _=adb.pull('/proc/version', './proc-version')
>>> print read('./proc-version') 
Linux version ...
pwnlib.adb.adb.push(*a, **kw)[source]

Upload a file to the device.

  • local_path (str) – Path to the local file to push.
  • remote_path (str) – Path or directory to store the file on the device.

Remote path of the file.


>>> write('./filename', 'contents')
>>> adb.push('./filename', '/data/local/tmp')
>>> adb.push('./filename', '/does/not/exist')
Traceback (most recent call last):
PwnlibException: Could not stat '/does/not/exist'*a, **kw)[source]

Download a file from the device, and extract its contents.

  • path (str) – Path to the file on the device.
  • target (str) – Optional, location to store the file. Uses a temporary file by default.
  • callback (callable) – See the documentation for


>>> print'/proc/version') 
Linux version ...
Traceback (most recent call last):
PwnlibException: Could not stat '/does/not/exist'
pwnlib.adb.adb.reboot(*a, **kw)[source]

Reboots the device.

pwnlib.adb.adb.reboot_bootloader(*a, **kw)[source]

Reboots the device to the bootloader.

pwnlib.adb.adb.remount(*a, **kw)[source]

Remounts the filesystem as writable.

pwnlib.adb.adb.root(*a, **kw)[source]

Restarts adbd as root.

>>> adb.root()
pwnlib.adb.adb.setprop(*a, **kw)[source]

Writes a property to the system property store.*a, **kw)[source]

Returns an interactive shell.

pwnlib.adb.adb.uninstall(package, *arguments)[source]

Uninstall an APK from the device.

This is a wrapper around ‘pm uninstall’, which backs ‘adb uninstall’.

  • package (str) – Name of the package to uninstall (e.g. '')
  • arguments – Supplementary arguments to 'pm install', e.g. '-k'.

Unlinks a file or directory on the target device.


>>> adb.unlink("/does/not/exist")
Traceback (most recent call last):
PwnlibException: Could not unlink '/does/not/exist': Does not exist
>>> filename = '/data/local/tmp/unlink-test'
>>> adb.write(filename, 'hello')
>>> adb.exists(filename)
>>> adb.unlink(filename)
>>> adb.exists(filename)
>>> adb.mkdir(filename)
>>> adb.write(filename + '/contents', 'hello')
>>> adb.unlink(filename)
Traceback (most recent call last):
PwnlibException: Cannot delete non-empty directory '/data/local/tmp/unlink-test' without recursive=True
>>> adb.unlink(filename, recursive=True)
>>> adb.exists(filename)
pwnlib.adb.adb.unlock_bootloader(*a, **kw)[source]

Unlocks the bootloader of the device.


This requires physical interaction with the device.

pwnlib.adb.adb.unroot(*a, **kw)[source]

Restarts adbd as AID_SHELL.

pwnlib.adb.adb.uptime() → float[source]
Returns:Uptime of the device, in seconds
pwnlib.adb.adb.wait_for_device(*a, **kw)[source]

Waits for a device to be connected.

By default, waits for the currently-selected device (via context.device). To wait for a specific device, set context.device. To wait for any device, clear context.device.

Returns:An AdbDevice instance for the device.


>>> device = adb.wait_for_device()
pwnlib.adb.adb.which(*a, **kw)[source]

Retrieves the full path to a binary in $PATH on the device

  • name (str) – Binary name
  • all (bool) – Whether to return all paths, or just the first
  • *a – Additional arguments for adb.process()
  • **kw – Additional arguments for adb.process()

Either a path, or list of paths


>>> adb.which('sh')
>>> adb.which('sh', all=True)
>>> adb.which('foobar') is None
>>> adb.which('foobar', all=True)
pwnlib.adb.adb.write(*a, **kw)[source]

Create a file on the device with the provided contents.

  • path (str) – Path to the file on the device
  • data (str) – Contents to store in the file


>>> adb.write('/dev/null', 'data')
>>> adb.write('/data/local/tmp/')

This file exists only for backward compatibility