Saturday, December 29, 2012

Mount an Android to Linux with a USB cable

I want to be able to mount the Android as a USB drive, then do synchronization.

At present I use AirDroid to transfer files over WiFi (it seems not to work when the USB connection is in place, and of course if I move and am on another WiFi network I have to reset my WiFI settings) but it does not mount the device, just transfers stuff, so I haven't figured out how to use any scripts to automate any sort of synchronization.

The problem arises because the Androids do not function as USB block devices.

The link
explains this and goes through the steps to connect.

But they don't work for me with a Samsung Galaxy Nexus on ICS under openSUSE 12.2. I can mount the phone and enumerate the directories, but the files do not appear.

So after much research, experimentation, and failure, I found a solution:

Just install jmtpfs from the cited source (below). It just works:

1. As root:

    a. Create a mount point (a directory) in the /mnt directory. (Do not use /media as a base directory. Linux always deletes any directories in /media once they have been unmounted.)

    b. Change the mount point owner to user:users and permissions to 0777, e.g.:
        chown andy:users /mnt/nexus
        chmod 0777 /mnt/nexus

    c. Download and install jmtpfs from

You do not need mtpfs or any of its contortions.

2. Plug in the Android, and let it settle out. dmesg says:

    [ 3760.517863] usb 1-1.1: new high-speed USB device number 5 using ehci_hcd
    [ 3760.605130] usb 1-1.1: New USB device found, idVendor=04e8, idProduct=685c
    [ 3760.605135] usb 1-1.1: New USB device strings: Mfr=2, Product=3, SerialNumber=4
    [ 3760.605139] usb 1-1.1: Product: Galaxy
    [ 3760.605141] usb 1-1.1: Manufacturer: samsung
    [ 3760.605144] usb 1-1.1: SerialNumber: 01498FE71000900F

or something similar.

3. As user (e.g., andy):

    a. Mount the device

        jmtpfs /mnt/nexus   

    b. View, copy, move, or delete files in either dolphin or konqueror.

    c. Enjoy.

Easy when you know how.

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