This should be a stupid question, as android phones supporting ubuntu states that all android devices are based on linux and should be supported. Also How to fix USB-connection between Android 11 to Ubuntu 20.04 (to backup phone data - after not properly unmounting)? states that Android 11 is supported.

But my new Motorola G20 with Android 11 has troubles with mounting on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS:

  • The device does not show up in Android Studio.
  • Mounting the Android file system in Ubuntu needs a work-around

The work-around is that the file system with MTP only succeeds if I first mount the USB virtual device, which mounts the phone as an almost empty DVD drive.

An older phone with Android 8 works fine and shows up normally in Android Studio. This should mean that the Android Studio is installed correctly on my Ubuntu. Both phones use the same USB-C cable, so that rules out USB cable problems.

I could try to upgrade to Ubuntu 21.04 but that is not that trivial, and also would force me to first upgrade to 20.10, and also upgrade to 21.10 etc, before I would get back to the next LTS version. Also, because the Moto G20 is from april 2021, the Ubuntu 21.04 might not be any better than 20.04.

I tested the Motorola G20 on a laptop with Windows 10. There, file mounting works flawless, and the device does show on Android Studio. That could mean that the G20 is not that special and that there is nothing wrong with the G20 and the USB cable

I checked on Ubuntu the dmesg output. There are just the normal messages for connect, but no error messages. Then, lsusb shows the phone as: Google Inc.

After selecting MTP on the phone, in the nautilus file browser, the phone shows as: Unisoc Phone, but no files are shown, and lsusb does not show the phone. After the workaround as above, selecting USB virtual drive, nautilus shows CDROM, with just one file, and lsusb does not show the phone. After selecting MTP again, the files show on Ubuntu, but lsusb does not show the phone. On another Ubuntu 20.04 system, lsusb shows first Google, then, when file mounting works after the workaround, lsusb shows Unisoc. Pretty weird that lsusb does not just show a stable name for the phone.

  • 1
    Your phone is NOT a dumb external drive. It's a fully functional, active computer pretending to be a dumb external drive. We don't know anything about your phone or why it's not pretending to be what you expect. Your troubleshooting suggests that there is no fault on the Ubuntu side of the connection.
    – user535733
    Jul 5, 2021 at 1:43

1 Answer 1


Today, the Moto G20 shows up in Android Studio!

No clue why it did not work earlier. In the meantime, both the phone and Ubuntu had some updates, these might have fixed the problem.

Also, after selecting MTP on the phone, the files are visible in Ubuntu.

On Ubuntu, lsusb shows the phone as: Spreadtrum Communications Inc.

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