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Nautilus can't copy between SMB and MTP device. same for rsync which gives:

rsync: [receiver] mkstemp "/run/user/1000/gvfs/smb-share:server=192.168.1.20,share=backup/phone/files/filename.txt" failed: Operation not supported (95)

All I am trying to do is a phone file backup, but smb or mtp implementation is apparently not compatible..

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Ubuntu isn't the only one on this case

MTP isn't a direct access Filesystem (See this answer), so you need to first copy the file into your system in order to do this (or use adb).Especially for rsync, the copy software has no idea of what the file is as the directory listing is "streamed" and then, when a copy is requested, the phone will upload that file

So manual copy is required before exporting to external server

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