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Do you know if there is a ubuntu program (possibly a Nautilus plugin) to transfer files from/to an Android device? What is my mind is a program which does adb push, adb pull, and adb shell ls in the background and has a GUI.

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15 Answers 15

Try the "AirDroid" App from Play Store. It allows you to use a browser based interface (on your computer) to transfer files from a Windows/Linux pc. Since it's browser based UI, no need to install anything on the pc side.

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Install gmtp, and use it to connect to the phone or tablet :

sudo apt-get install gmtp
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Have a look at this:


And this:


Changing from MTP to PTP (camera transfer mode) also works with nautilus, at least with the built-in memory.

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Using PTP allowed me to access internal memory with Nautilus, which waht I was looking for. Thanks. –  PowerKiKi Jul 12 '12 at 8:06
up vote 5 down vote accepted

I found QtADB (qtadb.wordpress.com) the exact software that I needed.

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Note that many phones that have been released with Android v4 cannot be mounted as a mass storage device in ubuntu without extra work. There are instructions here on how to do it. If that doesn't work I have gathered a few alternatives here.

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Use Shotwell. If you need regular file access there are other questions covering this.

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Thanks. It is file access I need. Other solutions I've seen are for the samsung galaxy S2 or say it's impossible to do.if you have reason to believe this has been covered I'd be grateful if you could let me know. –  dez93_2000 Jun 6 '12 at 14:14
if mtpfs doesn't work I've wrote about alternatives here askubuntu.com/questions/110984/… –  daithib8 Jun 6 '12 at 16:31

I have been able to do this using the following:

$ sudo apt-get install mtp-tools mtpfs
$ mkdir phone
...Connect phone, set usb mode to MTP...
$ sudo mtpfs -o allow_other phone
...Trying to do anything with the new filesystem right now will take a minute or so, just be patient...
...Finally, you can access your phone and do whatever, then...
$ sudo umount phone

Here is the version this worked on:

$ mtpfs --version
FUSE library version: 2.8.6
fusermount version: 2.8.6
using FUSE kernel interface version 7.12

I haven't had perfect success with it, but I was able to get some files off of the phone. I imagine this will get better as newer software is released.

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This works fine on Quantal, but not on Precise :( I think the version of libmtp is too old –  KayEss Dec 16 '12 at 8:07

For the technically noob (including me) I found just copying the file(s)/Photo(s) from the SD and pasting it to the DCIM on the phone memory will allow me to copy using the USB camera mode. Then delete the phone file once you download to PC if you need want to clear the phone memory.

  1. Go to My Files.
  2. Select extSDCard
  3. In this example I will select DCIM
  4. Press the settings button on bottom left.
  5. Select Copy.
  6. Check box of files to be copied.
  7. Press copy on top right.
  8. Exit back to My Files. 9 Select sdcard0
  9. In this example I will select DCIM
  10. Press paste in top right.
  11. Exit out, select camera mode in the USB option and you should be able to transfer using simple "my computer".
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Android USB

From the home screen press Menu > Settings > Connect to PC > in this menu, make sure "Ask Me" is selected, if you want it to pop-up and ask you what connection type you want when you plug into the computer.

Or you can set a default action from this menu as well. You can set it to Charge Only, HTC Sync, Disk Drive, Mobile Broadband Connect.

Then Ubuntu will simply detect it as a MTP.

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There is no GUI needed for file transfer (No One on Ubuntu is interested in making a GUI for only file transfer). And there is no need for plugins for Nautilus either. I Use Samsung Galaxy Mini (Android 2.2 ~ Froyo), and I'm doing file transfer so far by three ways, Bluetooth connection, Cable connection or using Ubuntu One app.

For cable connection you can do it easily as plug the cable, wait a while and choose mass storage mode. Access and File Transfer via Nautilus. If you want to make the phone as modem, go here: http://shiliarr95z.weebly.com/2/post/2011/07/connecting-samsung-galaxy-mini-android-phone-to-ubuntu-1104-as-modem.html.

For Bluetooth Connection, you can go here : http://shiliarr95z.weebly.com/2/post/2011/08/howto-transfer-files-via-bluetooth-laptop-to-samsung-galaxy-mini-android-phone-vice-versa.html a bit complicated but fun as well.

Using Ubuntu app is the easiest one. On the phone side,just go to Android market and install the Ubuntu one app. photo sharing runs in the background in an instant. On the Ubuntu side, just register yourself on Ubuntu One (click the envelope icon and choose Ubuntu One). And, You Have GUI on the phone side (On the Ubuntu side, you got only an OSD Message)

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If you can't transfer songs through Rhythmbox you can, like others have pointed out, transfer files using mass storage.

On my Samsung Galaxy S II you do it by going: Applications->Settings->Connection settings->USB mass storage

Then if you plug in the USB cable it should prompt you to go to USB mass storage mode. If you say yes your phone will be available through Nautilus.

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The git master branch of libmtp (http://libmtp.git.sourceforge.net/git/gitweb-index.cgi) supports the S3. If you know how to install / compile from source, you can use this until a new version is released.

I'm not on an ubuntu machine right now, so I unfortunately can't give exact instructions regarding dependencies for compiling, etc. But it should be along the following lines:

git clone git://libmtp.git.sourceforge.net/gitroot/libmtp/libmtp
cd libmtp

sudo apt-get install libtool libusb-dev checkinstall

./autogen.sh  (answering yes to any questions)
./configure --prefix=/usr/
sudo checkinstall  (answering any questions)

Then, you should probably make it into a .deb package, so you can install it without breaking dependencies of the programs you want to use. I'm out of my knowledge, but this link seems to provide info: Compiling source into a DEB package

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Transfer files between Ubuntu PC and your Android phone via wifi:

Xender application on your android phone allows you to transfer files between Android and PC.


  • Install Xender application on your Android device from playstore.

  • Create wifi hotspot on your Ubuntu pc by following this method and turn it on.

  • Connect your phone to pc via the created hotspot.

  • Now open xender application and select "Connect PC" option on the settings menu.

  • It will generate an address, (Like an ip-address).

  • Put that address on your web-browser.Now you can transfer files between your phone and PC.

    enter image description here

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I have found one more application named "Qlix". You can download it from ubuntu software center.

It is for transferring files from PC to Android mobile phone.


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There is no need of installing anything. Follow this how-to.

Works on Ubuntu 12.04

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Welcome to Ask Ubuntu! Whilst this may theoretically answer the question, it would be preferable to include the essential parts of the answer here, and provide the link for reference. –  fossfreedom Nov 4 '12 at 11:12

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