In one answer I was adviced to use service call phone 2 s16 "$number". It works, but in service list I see other useful things I don't know how to use and can't easily find the information on the Internet.

I don't see any introspection in service apart from service list to findout myself...

Where to find more complete description of "service" calls and their parameters?


4 Answers 4


In Short

Code related to service call command are just the arguments of the function and order at which the function occur in the aidl file of that service.Here is a syntax

service call <your_service_name> <number at which the function appears in your_service_name.aidl> <type of the argument like i32 or i64> <argument>

In Detail
I faced a lot of problems to know about it and hence I will share the solution with the help of clipboard service.
First you need to know about the service you are interested in -
For that you need to look for all the service that is there for particular android system by typing

adb shell service list

Here is what you will get -

59  ethernet: [android.net.IEthernetManager]
60  wifip2p: [android.net.wifi.p2p.IWifiP2pManager]
61  rttmanager: [android.net.wifi.IRttManager]
62  wifiscanner: [android.net.wifi.IWifiScanner]
63  wifi: [android.net.wifi.IWifiManager]
64  overlay: [android.content.om.IOverlayManager]
65  netpolicy: [android.net.INetworkPolicyManager]
66  netstats: [android.net.INetworkStatsService]
67  network_score: [android.net.INetworkScoreService]
68  textservices: [com.android.internal.textservice.ITextServicesManager]
69  network_management: [android.os.INetworkManagementService]
70  clipboard: [android.content.IClipboard]
71  statusbar: [com.android.internal.statusbar.IStatusBarService]

As I am interested in clipboard service, here is how it look

70  clipboard: [android.content.IClipboard]

So from here we can summarise that the service name is clipboard service and the package path is android.content.IClipboard

Then you need to know the complete path where the IClipboard.aidl is.
To know that you need to search on google for IClipboard.aidl.
You need to look for something from android.googlesource.com website in the results, like in my case-


So after +/android-4.2.2_r1 is where your path lies.Let that path be path_of_clipboard.aidl=


As these service call codes are dependent on the android system, hence you need to know your android os name- In my case it is 8.1.0
So I will go to the following website where google puts there code and select my os version from the left hand side for the page -


In my case it is android-8.1.0_r50.I will click on it and then after that my url will look like this


And then after adding path_of_clipboard.aidl, my complete url will look like


Here there will be many methods in the interface.Like in my case

    void setPrimaryClip(in ClipData clip, String callingPackage);
    ClipData getPrimaryClip(String pkg);
    ClipDescription getPrimaryClipDescription(String callingPackage);
    boolean hasPrimaryClip(String callingPackage);
    void addPrimaryClipChangedListener(in IOnPrimaryClipChangedListener listener,
            String callingPackage);
    void removePrimaryClipChangedListener(in IOnPrimaryClipChangedListener listener);
     * Returns true if the clipboard contains text; false otherwise.
    boolean hasClipboardText(String callingPackage);

So the code for the first method i.e. setPrimaryClip will be 1 as it occured at first place and that for the last method i.e hasClipboardText will be 7 as it occured at seventh place in the aidl file. Similarly for the other methods.
So if I want to call the seventh method I will type

adb shell service call clipboard 7 

As you might have seen that I have not put the callingPackage name as it is not required.

If the method need arguments, then you can pass it like as show in this example.
Let us assume a method whose code is 8 in clipboard and that looks like this -

getDemo(String arg1, int arg2, boolean arg3)

So I will call it like this

adb shell call clipboard 8 s16 "first_argument" i32 12 i32 1

Here i32 stands for 32 bit integer and s16 for the string. We can, even pass boolean value as an integer as shown in the example.
In boolean integer 1 stands for true and 0 for false.

TIP Keep the logcat open(like in android studio) to check for any error that occured while executing that adb command.


The real problem with service call is that transaction codes are not only undocumented, but also not guaranteed to be stable — they can be silently changed between Android versions. Because of this, service call commands should never be used except for private debugging, when you know what Android version is used.


(Here FIRST_CALL_TRANSACTION = 1, so the actual transaction code which should be used in the service call phone command is the number seen in the source plus 1.)

Note that in the new version TRANSACTION_supplyPuk was inserted in the middle, and all following codes are now shifted by 1. Anything that used service call phone to perform those transaction will horribly break when used on Android 4.2.2 — the same codes will result in calling completely different methods, possibly with disastrous results.

  • Is there some thing that is a bit more high level than service call, yet still allows many things to be done from superuser console?
    – Vi0
    Jun 3, 2013 at 15:48
  • @Vi0 android-svc
    – Forivin
    Oct 19, 2020 at 8:59

There is no documentation. But you can find all the information you are looking for in the android source code. service list gives you the package name. So for the phone service it is com.android.internal.telephony.ITelephony. You will find all possible parameters for service call phone listed in com/android/internal/telephony/ITelephony.java for your Android version.


android-svc makes this way easier.

List services:

android-svc --adb list-packages'

List all methods of a service:

android-svc --adb list-methods clipboard'

Get method signature of a service method:

android-svc --adb method-signature 'clipboard.setPrimaryClip'

Call a service method:

android-svc --adb call 'phone.dial("555-0199")'

You can also use the long name instead. E.g. android.content.IClipboard instead of clipboard

And if you omit --adb you can even run it directly on your phone (in Termux).

This gif is taken from the repository: demo.gif

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