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I am attempting to connect my Samsung Note 5 to a computer running Ubuntu 16.04. When I connect my phone it will mount so I can see the files for several seconds, then I will get the error "Unable to open MTP device '[usb:001,003]'. It will go through this cycle repeatedly. The device will mount for a very short time, then I will get the error, then the phone will mount again.

I have installed mpt-tools and mtpfs. Neither seem to be fixing the problem. How do I get the phone to stay mounted?

  • If you like, you can try something like File Manager from Cheetah Mobile which has a built in FTP client. Then in your File Browser, if it supports it, just navigate to the ftp url given when you start the server on your phone. If not, you can easily get a good FTP browser from the Ubuntu app center. – ThisIsNotAnId Feb 13 '17 at 15:34
  • The above might not exactly be a solution for what you have in mind as it only works over WiFi. Which can be slow if you want to transfer large files (unless you're on the AC spec). – ThisIsNotAnId Feb 13 '17 at 15:36
  • And you might want to add the output of the command lsusb to your answer with the phone connected over USB. – ThisIsNotAnId Feb 13 '17 at 15:37
  • Well right now I am just trying to successfully mount the phone, but I will need the phone properly mounted so I can connect to it through Android Studio and the adb. The File Manager won't help me with that. – David Feb 13 '17 at 15:41
  • My phone is not shown in lsusb at all. It doesn't stay mounted long enough for me to run lsusb while it is connected. – David Feb 13 '17 at 15:48
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Tested with a Samsung Galaxy S4 with Ubuntu 16.04

sudo apt-get install go-mtpfs mtpfs mtp-tools

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  • I already had mtpfs and mtp-tools installed. Installing go-mtpfs didn't help. It looking like my issue is going to require more than just installing the right program. – David Feb 14 '17 at 20:02
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This seems to be a general issue. There could be various probable causes. Let's iterate through a few. First, your Ubuntu installation may simply be corrupted. See if mounting on a Live image of Ubuntu for the same release version works.

Secondly, and as I alluded to in the comments to the question, a recent update to your phone might have troubled the situation. So you want to make sure your phone's not the culprit. If possible try mounting other android devices (preferably the same android version and if at all possible also the same device model) via MTP.

Next up, you want to make sure the relevant packages you mentioned are installed and configured properly. If only these packages are corrupted try purging them (not just uninstalling, i.e. run sudo apt-get purge <package_name> for all the packages separately, reboot and reinstall).

Make sure you're getting the latest version for these packages by checking at packages.ubuntu.com and/or launchpad.net (only stable releases). And, of course, make sure you are trying different ports on your pc and using a cable whose integrity you are certain of. This a general troubleshooting first-aid that I would try if I faced this issue If none of this works, it might be a kernel/android issue.

And you might want to consider raising a bug for your kernel release or asking on an android forum. If you are certain these are not the causes of your issue, maybe raising a bug for one of the relevant packages on launchpad (or where ever they're hosted) will help as they will have an in-depth knowledge of what's happening.

I've ordered these steps in increasing order of complexity/time-involvement. So if you try them in that order, it might save you time.

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  • Thank you. I'll start here and see if I can figure out the issue. – David Feb 14 '17 at 20:04

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