Tails: install and setup ADB for Android


Android phone and computer

Objective

Set up Tails to access an Android phone, manage applications, backup data and have a look behind the scenes

On the computer

Start Tails and setup an Administration password

Open a Root terminal in Applications → System Tools → Root Terminal

Enter your Administration password and install adb:

apt update ; apt install adb

In the same Root terminal, authorize access to port 5037

iptables -I OUTPUT -d localhost -o lo -p tcp --dport 5037 -m owner --uid-owner amnesia -j ACCEPT

On the phone

  • Got to Settings → System → About phone
  • Hit 7 times on Build number
  • In the previous menu, an entry Developer options should appear now
  • Open it, scroll down and activate Android debugging
  • Connect the phone to the computer
  • Switch the USB mode to File transfer or Data
  • Accept the access authorization on the phone

Solving problems

If it’s not working, check the following:

  • The transfer mode has to be changed on the phone. This setting may only appear in a tiny notification
  • Some USB cables do not allow file transfer but only battery loading. Try another cable

The cover picture was published by Jonathan Kemper


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