Android Debug Bridge for Firefox

I uploaded an experimental add-on on AMO that adds some kind of support for the Android Debug Bridge to Firefox. It requires the adb/adb.exe executable from the Android SDK. Disclaimer: the add-on is experimental and is known to leak small amounts of memory and have various problems handling errors. It’s also on github, if you want to give a hand.

The add-on provides three features.

The first one is access to Android and Firefox OS devices filesystem through the adb:// protocol. Without the serial number for any device, a list of connected devices is shown, like in the screenshot above. With a device serial number in the url (adb://serial/), it shows filesystem contents, as below:

Please note the add-on doesn’t work well with symbolic links at the moment.

Another feature is the ability to grab the framebuffer on a device and display it as a PNG image. This feature is available through adbview:// urls, and like adb://, a list of connected devices will be shown if no device serial is given.

It can show a screen capture of Android devices:

As well as Firefox OS devices:

For Firefox OS devices, it requires a fork of the screencap tool. It should be included in recent Firefox OS builds.

Finally, the add-on improves the Remote Debugging feature included in Firefox. As described on Mark Finkle’s blog, you would normally type an adb command to forward a tcp port first. When you have several devices, that requires forwarding different local ports to port 6000 on each device, and remembering which is which.

The addon allows to skip that step, and to connect through the Android Debug Bridge directly, without local port forwarding.

Check out Mark’s post for instructions to enable Remote Debugging on both the device and desktop.

The prompt shown when opening the Remote Debugger is augmented with a list of devices. local is the desktop machine running Firefox. The other items in the list are the connected Android or Firefox OS devices. This relies on monkey-patching Firefox Remote Debugger code, so this is not completely reliable, currently only works with a recent Firefox 17 nightly, and may break at any time in the future.

When you select a device, you shouldn’t need to change the host:port field, but you could theoretically change it to access even more remote devices through the device’s network.

Once you selected a device in the Remote Debugger prompt, you get the usual prompt on the device itself:

(By the way, the screenshot above was taken with adbview://)

That brings up scripts running in the Firefox instance on the device:

Thanks to the mobile team for having brought Remote Debugging.

2012-08-23 20:35:51+0200


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3 Responses to “Android Debug Bridge for Firefox”

  1. Mike Ratcliffe Says:

    I really like the fact that you have found a way to simplify connecting.

    I am excited about this.

  2. Kevin Dangoor Says:

    This is a very cool addon indeed. I do want to note that you don’t *have* to use adb to connect to Firefox on Android (I haven’t tried Firefox OS myself with it yet):

  3. kats Says:


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