I have a ZTE phone I'm unable to reinstall facebook on using the Google Play Store - I get the notorious -505 unknown error.

If I install a downloaded facebook apk using adb I get the following error.

pkg: /data/local/tmp/com.facebook.katana.apk Failure [INSTALL_FAILED_DUPLICATE_PERMISSION
perm=com.facebook.katana.permission.RECEIVE_ADM_MESSAGE pkg=com.facebook.katana]

No facebook packages are installed according to the output of

pm list packages

So the problem appears to be caused by stray permissions that have been left behind and are prevent facebook from reinstalling.

Listing the facebook permissions over adb I get the following

adb shell pm list permissions | grep facebook

Uninstalling using adb doesn't get rid of these permissions adb uninstall or adb uninstall -k com.facebook.katana

I don't see the partial facebook 'not installed' entry in settings/apps/downloaded that some users report. My apparently customised settings app doesn't allow access to multi-user features which some people find is related to similar problems.

Can I clean up these permissions with adb? pm revoke won't do it perhaps due to Lollipop limitations. I don't currently have root access and I'm reluctant to root the phone.

adb shell pm revoke com.facebook.katana com.facebook.katana.permission.RECEIVE_ADM_MESSAGE
Operation not allowed: java.lang.SecurityException: Permission com.facebook.katana.permission.RECEIVE_ADM_MESSAGE is not
 a changeable permission type


To eliminate the possibility of an invalid APK I used the Google Play Store app to install the facebook app and at the same time monitored the system using logcat on its most verbose settings. Searching for facebook in the log finds the following error messages which are very similar to the errors from installing the APK directly above:

    [ 10-26 01:14:26.615   662: 1360 V/ActivityManager ]
Broadcast: Intent { act=com.android.launcher.action.ACTION_PACKAGE_INSTALLING dat=package:com.facebook.katana flg=0x10 pkg=com.google.android.googlequicksearchbox } ordered=false userid=0 callerApp=ProcessRecord{142b6192 2619:com.android.vending/u0a14}

[ 10-26 01:14:43.492   662:  704 W/PackageManager ]
Package com.facebook.katana attempting to redeclare permission com.facebook.katana.permission.RECEIVE_ADM_MESSAGE already owned by com.facebook.katana

[ 10-26 01:14:43.975  2619: 2619 E/Finsky   ]
[1] 2.onReceive: Error -505 while installing com.facebook.katana: INSTALL_FAILED_DUPLICATE_PERMISSION: Package com.facebook.katana attempting to redeclare permission com.facebook.katana.permission.RECEIVE_ADM_MESSAGE already owned by com.facebook.katana

[ 10-26 01:14:43.975  2619: 2619 W/Finsky   ]
[1] 3.installFailed: Install failure of com.facebook.katana: -505 null

"permission com.facebook.katana.permission.RECEIVE_ADM_MESSAGE already owned by com.facebook.katana".

Does this mean I have some sort of remnant APK from a previous com.facebook.katana installation (facebook was previously installed then uninstalled)? Or does this mean the permissions on the device still contain some reference to a non-existent app com.facebook.katana? Any further steps I can take to diagnose this problem?

EDIT - Blocking apk appears to be partially uninstalled system bloatware facebook app

If attempt to list uninstalled third-party packages, their apk files and installers using adb:

adb shell pm list packages -f -i -u -3 

I can see an entry for facebook

package:/system/vendor/operator/app/facebook/facebook.apk=com.facebook.katana installer=null

The only other third party entries in system appear to have been pre-installed bloatware on the phone. twitterappforzte is a good example...

  package:/system/vendor/operator/app/CleanMaster/CleanMaster.apk=com.cleanmaster.mguard installer=null
  package:/system/vendor/operator/app/twitterappforzte/twitterappforzte.apk=com.twitter.android installer=null

Using ADB it's apparent there is an apk file still present here which is presumably blocking the new installation:

shell@P182A20:/system/vendor/operator/app/facebook $ ls -l 
drwxr-xr-x root     shell             2015-03-20 09:30 arm
-rw-r--r-- root     root     26450949 2015-03-20 09:30 facebook.apk

facebook is not listed if I filter uninstalled apps by only listing disabled apps.

I've tried pulling this bloatware facebook.apk file from the phone to my local disk and reinstalling using adb but I get installation failures.

C:\Program Files (x86)\Minimal ADB and Fastboot>adb install facebook.apk
5155 KB/s (26450949 bytes in 5.010s)
        pkg: /data/local/tmp/facebook.apk

Trying to disable/enable the remnant package using ADB fails with security error, presumably because it's a system app.

C:\Program Files (x86)\Minimal ADB and Fastboot>adb shell pm disable com.facebook.katana
Error: java.lang.SecurityException: Permission Denial: attempt to change component state from pid=16143, uid=2000, package uid=10098

Huge demerits for lousy engineering to ZTE here. Pre-installing facebook and twitter apk files with unknown provenance that can't be updated and prevent updated play store versions from being installed. Great way to put security holes on their phones.

Is there any way to reinstall this system bloatware apk file which is very much still present? If not is it possible to flag this partially 'uninstalled' app as disabled so that it won't interfere with new installations?

  • 2
    Can you attempt to install its APK using Package installer? Tap the APK and agree for Install. I suppose it may fail here as well, but I'm interested in the error messages. Use logcat to log the installation.
    – Firelord
    Oct 22, 2015 at 3:23
  • Thanks for the suggestion, wasn't aware of this tool. Will try tomorrow when I have physical access to the device again.
    – persiflage
    Oct 22, 2015 at 13:01
  • Try doing a hard reset on your phone, not a factory reset. A hard reset will clear up many android problems while retaining data, settings, etc. A factory reset will wipe your data and settings. Oct 22, 2015 at 13:53
  • Another open question: Did you obtain that .apk from a trusted source? The error message suggests a "wrong Manifest" (with a permission declared twice) – rather an indicator of a "tainted .apk" (someone tampered with it – of the original dev got it wrong; I doubt the latter with a popular app like this, or we had heard of it pretty loud already).
    – Izzy
    Oct 25, 2015 at 11:23
  • I use the APK downloader plugin to the Facebook APK from the Google Play Store web site. This appears to be the only alternative to letting the Google Play Store performance the installation and silently swallow any error details. There are multiple reports of Lollipop suffering from similar problems with duplicate permissions preventing installation e.g. ohthehugemanatee.org/blog/2015/05/29/…
    – persiflage
    Oct 25, 2015 at 15:12


You must log in to answer this question.