adb server out of date - linux

When you encounter an adb server out of date in a Linux environment, that might be because there’s more than one location in your machine where the Android tools are installed. This error happened to me on a Lubuntu 15, while I was using Genymotion (for the emulator) and Android Studio (for the IDE).

Problem. Cannot connect to adb server via the command line. Simple commands like adb devices produces the out of date error

adb server is out of date.  killing...
cannot bind 'tcp:5037'
ADB server didn't ACK
* failed to start daemon *

Possible solutions

Do not use the Genymotion SDK. When you launch genymotion, go to “Settings” then “ADB”. Choose “Use custom SDK” then provide the path to your android sdk.

Remove any android-tools that may have been installed on your machine. You can check if the adb tool shows up on the which command.

ls -l which adb 

If it shows up in a place other than /path-to/android-sdk/platform-tools, then you might have a copy of adb that is not part of the android sdk distribution.

You can try to remove the non-sdk copy of adb, perhaps using

sudo apt-get purge android-tools-adb android-tools-fastboot 

Alternatively, you can simply navigate to the directory of your android-sdk and invoke the adb command directly from there.

cd /path-to/android-sdk/platform-tools/
./adb services
./adb shell

Remember to replace /path-to/android-sdk/ with your own path to the android sdk. If you are using the sdk that came with an Android Studio installation, chances are, the sdk is located /home/your_username/Android/Sdk. So use the following command

cd Android/Sdk/platform-tools/
./adb services
./adb shell 

That should fix it.