How to Wirelessly Transfer Android Files to a Linux Desktop

Smartphone with a Linux logo and a laptopAlberto Garcia Guillen / Shutterstock

Do you have an Android phone and a Linux desktop? You can transfer files wirelessly, send text from your PC and control your phone from your computer. It's like The Windows 10 application of your phone for Linux!

Android and Linux integration

KDE Connect is a smooth and feature-rich software that integrates your Android handset directly into your KDE desktop environment.

It offers many features such as two-way notifications between your phone and your computer, two-way wireless file transfer and sending SMS by your computer. KDE Connect is an integral part of the KDE desktop environment.

GSConnect is a software version developed for GNOME office environment. It is built as a GNOME extension. GNOME users must install GSConnect.

To deal with the Android side, KDE and GNOME users need to install and use the KDE Connect Android app.

The computer to which you are going to pair your Android phone does not have to use Wi-Fi. It can be connected to the network using an Ethernet cable. It must be on the same network as your phone, but it's the only requirement.

The stages of installation

The installation of GSConnect is simple, but you have to follow the steps in the right order.

Install the KDE Connect app on your Android phone.
If you use Google Chrome, install the Linux chrome-gnome-shell software.
Configure Chrome or Firefox to integrate with the GNOME shell.
Use Chrome or Firefox to install the GSConnect GNOME extension.
Pair your Android handset with your KDE or GNOME desktop environment.

KDE users should only perform the first and last steps. GNOME users who use Firefox as a browser do not need to proceed to the second step.

Installing the Android application

On your Android device, open the Play Store and search for "KDE Connect." Once the application found, click on the green "Install" button.

KDE Connect on the Play Store

Once the installation is complete, you can find the "KDE Connect" icon in the Launcher.

KDE icon in the launcher

If you use Google Chrome as a browser, you will need to install the chrome-gnome-shell integration software. If you use Firefox, you do not need to do it. Skip this step and skip to the section called Configuring Firefox to Manage GNOME Extensions.

Use apt-get to install this package on your system if you are using Ubuntu or another Debian-based distribution. On other Linux distributions, use the package management tool of your Linux distribution instead.

sudo apt-get install chrome-gnome-shell

sudo apt-get installs chrome-gnome-shell in a terminal window

Set up Chrome to manage GNOME extensions

Open Google Chrome and go to Chrome Web Store. Search for "GNOME Shell Integration".

When you see the GNOME Shell integration extension, click the blue "Add to Chrome" button.

Google Chrome Online Shop

You will be prompted to confirm that you want to add the extension to Chrome. Click on the "Add an extension" button.

Confirm the addition of an extension to Chrome

When the extension has been added to Chrome, the GNOME fingerprint icon appears at the top right of the Chrome toolbar.

GNOME icon in the Chrome toolbar

You should now go to the Install the GNOME GSConnect Desktop Extension section, below.

Configure Firefox to manage GNOME extensions

Open Firefox and navigate to Firefox add-ons website. Search for "GNOME Shell Integration".

When you see the GNOME Shell integration extension, click the blue "Add to Firefox" button.

GNOME Shell Integrations in Firefox Add-ons

You will be prompted to confirm that you want to add the extension to Firefox. Click on the blue "Add" button.

Confirm the addition of an extension to Firefox

Once the extension is added to Firefox, you will see the GNOME fingerprint icon at the top right of the Firefox toolbar.

GNOME icon in the Firefox toolbar

We can now add the GSConnect GNOME desktop extension.

Install the GSConnect GNOME desktop extension

In Google Chrome or Firefox, click on the GNOME fingerprint icon at the top right of the toolbar. Find "GSConnect" and click on the "GSConnect" entry when it appears.

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Click the Power button to display the blue "On" section. This downloads, installs and activates the GSConnect GNOME extension.

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You can now close your browser.

Verify that mobile devices are in the System menu

Open the GNOME system menu. You should see a new entry in the menu labeled "Mobile Devices". If you can not see this new menu entry, repeat the steps above.

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Pairing your Android phone and your computer

Click the Mobile Devices menu entry. The menu will develop. Click on the "Mobile Settings" menu entry.

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A window will appear and is named after your computer. If the KDE Connect app is running on your Android phone, you will see it listed in this window.

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On your Android phone, start the KDE Connect app if it is not running. When the application opens, you should see the name of your computer listed as an available device. In this example, it is "howtogeek".

KDA Connect app with a non-paired computer

Tap the name of your computer. The app will tell you that the device is not paired. Press the blue "Pairing Request" button.

KDE Connect Query Pairing Screen

A Pair Request dialog box will appear on your computer. It will tell you the name of the Android phone that requests the connection. In this example, it is Honor.

Click on the "Accept" button to accept the match request.

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Your KDE Connect application will display a set of functions now available.

KDE Connect Main Menu

Your Android phone will be listed as connected to your computer.

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If you click on the name of your Android phone, the dialog box will show you a set of options and settings that you can use to fine-tune the interworking between your computer and your mobile phone.

Smartphone settings Honor "width =" 646 "height =" 397 "src =" / pagespeed_static / 1.JiBnMqyl6S.gif "onload =" pagespeed.lazyLoadImages.loadIfVisibleAndMaybeBeacon (this); "onerror =" this.onerror = null; pagespeed. lazyLoadImages.loadIfVisibleAndMaybeBeacon (this);

The Mobile Devices menu entry in the GNOME system menu will be replaced with a menu entry showing the name of the paired Android phone. By clicking on this menu entry, a submenu containing new features appears.

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Your two devices are now paired.

It's much simpler with KDE

KDE Connect is an integral part of KDE. Due to the seamless integration between the two, the configuration process is simplified compared to the GNOME process.

Open the system menu in KDE. Click on the "Applications" icon.

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Click on the "Settings" menu item.

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Click on the "System Settings" menu entry.

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The System Settings dialog box will appear.

Scroll down the screen to the KDE Connect menu item. Click on the "KDE Connect" menu item.

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On your Android phone, start the KDE Connect app if it is not running. When the application opens, you should see the name of your computer listed as an available device.

KDA Connect app with a non-paired computer

Tap the name of your computer. The app will tell you that the device is not paired. Press the blue "Pairing Request" button.

KDE Connect Query Pairing Screen

Accept the match request on your computer. Your Android phone will now be listed as a paired device in the System Settings window.

System settings with a paired Android device "width =" 646 "height =" 522 "src =" / pagespeed_static / 1.JiBnMqyl6S.gif "onload =" pagespeed.lazyLoadImages.loadIfVisibleAndMaybeBeacon (this); "onerror = this.onerror = null; pagespeed.lazyLoadImages.loadIfVisibleAndMaybeBeacon (this);

Click on the name of your phone. The System Settings dialog box lists the settings and features related to your paired device.

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Your Android phone and your computer are now paired.

Finishing Android settings

The KDE Connect app needs your permission to allow some of its plugins to work. Tap each plugin to make sure it has the necessary permissions.

KDE Connect plugin permissions

For example, pressing the "Notification sync" plug-in will take you to the notification access screen. Locate "KDE Connect" in the list, then toggle the toggle switch to the on position.

Screen for Android notifications access

Android will ask you to confirm that you want to grant KDE Connect permission. Press the "Allow" button.

Enable KDE Connect Verification Options

The KDE Connect slider button will be blue to indicate that permission has been granted.

KDE connect with the notification permission granted

Continue to grant permissions for the plug-ins that you want to use. Each plugin requiring permissions being processed, it is removed from the list.

To return to the settings of any plugin, tap the three-dot menu icon.

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Then press the menu item "Plug-in Settings".

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All plugins will be listed and can be administered from here.

List of plugins

Android storage slots

The file system plug-in exposes a location on your Android phone that is accessible on your computer. This allows files to be transferred to your mobile phone from your computer. If you only want to send files from your Android phone to your computer, you do not need to bother with this setting.

To set up a storage location, tap the "Expose File System" item.

Expose file system menu item

On the Display System Settings screen, tap the plus sign (+) blue.

Add a storage screen

Tap the "Click to Select" option in the Add Storage Location menu.

Select the storage location options

Your Android phone can offer multiple storage locations to choose from. The Android phone used to search for this article only provided one, the Downloads folder. Tap the location you want to use, then tap "Select."

Android Downloads Folder

Tap the Display Name menu entry and specify a name for the storage location. In our example, it is "downloads". Press "OK".

Provide a name for the storage location

The downloads will now appear on the screen of the file system's exposure settings.

Downloads in the file system display settings screen

Transfer files to your computer

Tap the "Send Files" option in KDE Connect.

Option to send files in KDE Connect

KDE Connect will open the default storage location, previously set to Downloads. We have only one file here. To transfer it to the paired computer, tap the file.

A file in the Android downloads folder

A transfer notification window appears on your computer to inform you that the transfer has been completed successfully.

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Transfer of several fields

You can transfer multiple files at once and from different locations on your phone.

If you want to transfer files from a location other than your default storage location, tap the "hamburger" menu.

The hamburger menu in KDE Connect

A side panel appears that lets you browse the storage on your Android.

Side navigation pane in KDE Connect

If you want to send images, you tap on the "Images" icon. If you want to transfer audio files, you must touch the "Audio" icon.

Let's say we have exploited the images. You can select multiple files by pressing each file in turn. A white check mark in a blue box appears on the selected files.

Several files selected in KDE Connect

To transfer files, tap the word "open".

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By default, the transferred files arrive on your computer in the Downloads directory.

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KDE File Manager Integration – Dolphin

KDE Dolphin File Manager integrates the KDE Connect application as soon as your Android phone is paired with the computer.

If you launch Dolphin, your Android phone will be listed under Devices.

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Click the name of your phone to see the default storage location configured in the KDE Connect app. Deleting files in this directory will transfer them to your Android phone.

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GNOME – Nautilus file manager integration

There is still a bit of work to do to achieve the same with GNOME. The results are just as good.

First, we need to install the integration provider Nautilus and KDE. Close all Nautilus windows, type the following command in a terminal window, and press Enter.

sudo apt install python-nautilus gir1.2-nautilus-3.0 sshfs

sudo apt install python-nautilus gir1.2-nautilus-3.0 sshfs in a terminal window "width =" 646 "height =" 77 "src =" / pagespeed_static / 1.JiBnMqyl6S.gif "onload =" pagespeed.lazyLoadImages.loadIfVisibleAndMaybeBea ... this); "onerror =" this.onerror = null; pagespeed.lazyLoadImages.loadIfVisibleAndMaybeBeacon (this);

Open the System menu, click on your Android phone's name, and then on the "Go Up" menu option.

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Open a Nautilus File Manager window. You will see an entry for your Android phone. It will not be listed by name, which is an advantage for KDE users. It will be listed by the IP address it has on your Wi-Fi network.

In this example, it is 192.168.4.24.

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Selecting the IP address that represents your Android phone allows you to search the phone's default storage location and transfer files by dropping them into that directory.

It looked like a marathon

Once you've started experimenting and exploring the features of GSConnect and KDE Connect, you'll find it worth it. The level of integration is impressive, feels professional and really helpful.

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