Debugging Firefox for Android with WebIDE

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This article describes how to connect the Firefox Developer Tools to Firefox for Android from Firefox 36 onwards.

It's been possible for a long time to connect the Firefox Developer Tools to Firefox for Android so you can debug your mobile website. Until now, though, this was a fairly complex and error-prone process. From Firefox 36 we've made the process much simpler: in particular, you don't need to deal directly with the adb tool at all. Now you connect using the WebIDE, which takes care of setting up adb behind the scenes.

Note: For this to work, you need at least Firefox 36 on both the desktop and the mobile device. If you need to use an earlier version, see the older instructions for connecting the developer tools to Firefox for Android.


This guide's split into two parts: the first part, "Prerequisites" covers stuff you only need to do once, while the second part, "Connecting", covers stuff you need to do each time you connect the device.


First, you'll need:

  • a desktop or laptop computer with Firefox 36 or higher running on it
  • an Android device capable of running Firefox for Android with Firefox for Android 35 or higher running on it
  • a USB cable to connect the two devices

ADB Helper

Your desktop Firefox also needs to have the ADB Helper add-on, version 0.7.1 or higher. This should be installed for you automatically the first time you open the WebIDE. To check the version, type about:addons into the browser's address bar and you should see ADB listed.

If you don't have version 0.7.1 or higher, open the "Extra Components" window in WebIDE by clicking on the "Runtimes" menu, then clicking "Install Simulator". You should see an entry for ADB Helper:

Click "uninstall" then "install", and you should now have the latest version.

Setting up the Android device

First, enable USB debugging by following step 2 of this link only.

Next, enable remote debugging in Firefox for Android. Open the browser, open its menu, select "Settings", then "Developer tools" (on some Android devices you may need to select "More" to see the "Settings" option). Check the "Remote debugging" box:

The browser might display a notification reminding you to set up port forwarding, which you can ignore.




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