Taking Android screenshots under Ubuntu 12.04

Before being able to take screenshots of an Android device connected via USB cable to a machine running Ubuntu 12.04, it is necessary to instruct Ubuntu to give the user full permissions over the device. Unfortunately the tutorials that I found on the web didn’t work, so here is what has worked for me.

  1. Connect the device and get the vendor and product ID by running
    lsusb

    in a console.
    The output should contain one line listing your Android device, similar to the following:

    Bus 002 Device 004: ID 18d1:4e22 Google Inc. Nexus S (debug)

    Note the two 4 character hex values separated by a colon behind ID, these the vendor ID and product ID for your device.

  2. With a text editor, create/edit the file
    /etc/udev/rules.d/51-android.rules

    and place the following text in it:

    SUBSYSTEM=="usb", ATTRS{idVendor}=="VENDORID", ATTR{idProduct}=="PRODUCTID", MODE="0666"

    Replace VENDORID and PRODUCTID with the values retrieved in step 1. Save the file and close the editor.

  3. Disconnect your device.
  4. Kill your Android debug server if it was running by executing
    ./platform-tools/adb kill-server

    from console in the Android SDK directory.

  5. Restart the udev subsystem to let it detect the rule created in step 2 with
    sudo service udev restart
  6. Reconnect your device.
  7. Run
    ./tools/ddms

    from console in your Android SDK directory to bring up the Dalvik Debug Monitor (DDM).

  8. In DDM, select your device in the top-left device list, wait a few seconds, then select “Device -> Screen Capture” from the application menu.
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