A couple of years or so ago, when I’d want to connect my Android phone to my computer, it was as simple as hooking up a micro-USB cord and plugging it into the computer. Then one day it didn’t connect. After searching for reasons, I found that I now had to do things like “Enable USB debugging” and choose what I wanted as a default when USB was detected by the phone, and then it seemed to work ok.
Recently, I found that even after selecting these options, Linux would show the icon for the phone on my desktop but it still wasn’t really connecting. I did some more searching and a handful of sites had multiple steps for installing MTP file system programs, none of which seemed to work very well as a practical solution. Criminy, I just want to transfer some files, not go through a ritual each time.
I then saw a reference to a free Linux program “KDE Connect” and an accompanying app for the phone (also free), and the transfer will happen over wifi for any device that is running the KDE Connect software.
On the PC (running Ubuntu with the Xfce desktop), I added the current PPA (some articles reference an outdated one):
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/indicator-kdeconnect
sudo apt-get update
To install the program:
sudo apt install indicator-kdeconnect
The icon “KDE Connect Indicator” showed up in my System drop-down folder. Two other very similar icons also showed up, one also in System called “KDE Connect Indicator Settings”, the other in Internet which is also called “KDE Connect Indicator Settings”.
The one I found useful was the first one. It tells the user to start the phone app and request pairing. Click that and an indicator in the upper right of the PC screen pops up and says “Pairing request from ____ Accept or Reject?”. Accept it and the indicator appears as an icon in the toolbar. Clicking the icon shows the name of my phone, the battery level, and some options for browsing the phone or sending files. Browse doesn’t seem to work at all for me, not sure if that is an issue with the Xfce desktop I’m using or what.
On the phone, I have the options to Send files, Multimedia control, Run a command, and Remote input which lets me control the PC mouse.
It struck me how utterly simple that was. No USB cable, no new filesystem installs.
Read up on how much this app is able to do, and what can be shared between the devices.
Here is the link to information about the updated “fork” of the program:
And a link to the wiki:
NOTE: The paranoid me says to be careful not to give a backdoor into your PC via a compromised phone. The number of malware infested Android phones are in the millions. This program acts just like you on your computer, so be aware of that.