How to use Fedora to browse files on Android device
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  1. #1
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    How to use Fedora to browse files on Android device

    I have recently purchased my first real smart phone (Sony Xperia Miro) running under Android and I have severe difficulties accessing the file on the phone from Fedora. On an old Symbian phone, I could either plug in the phone via USB and use it as a mass storage device, or I could connect it via bluetooth and start nautilus via the bluetooth menu to browse the phone.

    Now with Fedora 18 (recently upgraded to prerelease F19), both methods fail. First, Google seems to have decided in its great wisdom that people don't need the USB mass storage capabilities and removed it from recent versions of Android. I have not been able to find an app to restore it, but if such existed, then the problem would be solved.

    Enter bluetooth. I can connect to the phone, but from the bluetooth manager in cinnamon (and also Gnome), the only option presented is "Send Files...". Installed blueman, which provides a fancier GUI for bluetooth, the "Browse" menu items are greyed out and cannot be selected.

    Googled a bit and found the "Bluetooth File Transfer" app on Google Play. Scary adware, asks for all sorts of permissions and when I connect my computer via bluetooth to the phone, I can suddenly browse my computer from the phone - very very scary as the phone does not seem to have any sort of security concept and as soon as you install any type of app it seems to be able to take anything and send it into the world. On the other hand, browsing the phone from the computer is still not possible. Uninstalled "Bluetooth File Transfer" as fast as I could.

    Is there any good answer to the seemingly simple question: Can I transparently browse files on the phone without giving permissions that the phone has access to my computer? There surely must be a way to do such a simple thing?

    P.S.: The forum seems to classify the name of the largest Finnish mobile phone maker as a dirty word and forbids posts containing this name. Took me quite some time bisecting my post, as that was not obvious to me (despite it virtually being taken over by Microsoft - let's see if this name passes the filter...)

  2. #2
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    Re: How to use Fedora to browse files on Android device

    There are some odd automatic censors that forums do. For example, the Japanese word for tomorrow used to get censored here--the word is a****a and it would censor the middle letters. (Not sure how it will come out here, if it gets starred, it's a-s-h-i-t-a. (Yup, I see it censored it. In the form of putting Japanese in English letters that is used by the Japanese government, it would be written asita but an si in that format is pronounced the way an English speaker pronounces sh.)

    At any rate, back to your question, the reason, IIRC, for changing to MTP instead of USB was to make more use of available storage space, so is actually fairly legitimate.

    Ah, here it is, there's a quote about halfway down about the reasons.

    http://www.androidcentral.com/ics-fe...and-how-set-it

    TLDR

    Install simple-mtpfs, available from the repos. Then

    simple-mtpfs /mnt

    will have your phone mounted on /mnt and you can browse it from the computer. It may require root privilege, unless you set up permissions.

    I'm writing this from CentOS, which is more limited in mtpfs abilities, but there may be some other mtpfs programs that make browsing even easier, using autofs and so on.

  3. #3
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    Re: How to use Fedora to browse files on Android device

    Quote Originally Posted by smr54
    There are some odd automatic censors that forums do. For example, the Japanese word for tomorrow used to get censored here--the word is a****a and it would censor the middle letters. (Not sure how it will come out here, if it gets starred, it's a-s-h-i-t-a. (Yup, I see it censored it. In the form of putting Japanese in English letters that is used by the Japanese government, it would be written asita but an si in that format is pronounced the way an English speaker pronounces sh.)
    I recall an out-take in which a presenter on a gardening programme mispronounced ' ****ake ' ( a mushroom variety ) Swansea Harbour Improvements Trust changed it's name to Swansea Harbour Trust when they realised what the initials spelled!

    I'll make some notes, as I've just acquired a smart-phone running Ice Cream Sandwich, while my tablet runs Honeycomb, so moving files about looks as if it could get interesting!

    Edit: the phantom censor strikes again, though I expect everyone will guess what the missing letters are.
    Last edited by John the train; 20th June 2013 at 05:46 PM. Reason: Censored-literally!
    To get the right answer, one must first ask the right question!
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    Re: How to use Fedora to browse files on Android device

    Let's try shi-ta-ke. That should get by. In normal speed, it would be pronounced almost as if it was shtake with the final e being
    barely audible.

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    Re: How to use Fedora to browse files on Android device

    There was a guide on using mtp on F17, should apply to later versions too - http://forums.fedoraforum.org/showthread.php?t=286547. It mentions a particular device but the basics work for most if not all Android devices.

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    Re: How to use Fedora to browse files on Android device

    I think this problem is sorting itself out, it must have been an update on the phone or on Fedora, but now it seems to work out of the box.

    On the phone I can set the USB transfer mode to MTP (I am pretty sure the option wasn't there when I tried all things forward and backward a couple of weeks ago), then, on plugging in the USB cable, the phone is detected and file manager pops up (both Nautilus and Nemo seem to work).

    For reference, I have the following MTP related packages installed:

    # rpm -qa | grep mtp
    gvfs-mtp-1.16.3-1.fc19.x86_64
    libmtp-1.1.6-0.fc19.x86_64
    kio_mtp-0.75-2.20130323gitcc6b195.fc19.x86_64

    There are still some bugs, though. Launching some applications (like image viewers) from the file manager does not work, it's probably a bug related to gvfs or fuse mounted file systems, moving files to the device can cause wierd gvfs crashes, etc. Looks like that the current implementation is still a bit immature, but it seems to be getting there.

  7. #7
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    Re: How to use Fedora to browse files on Android device

    Man... Old post but you saved me lots of time.. First result looking in google for mtp fedora 19
    Never new that there is a native mtp driver and a suit of tools

    Thank you very much for sharing in a public forum

    BR
    TK

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