Connecting to Android via KDE Connect

Many Linux users prefer KDE desktop environment, because it fully meets their needs. This and the ability to customize everything for themselves, and the beautiful desktop effects, and openness to new technologies. Besides, the KDE community is trying to keep up with the times, improving the appearance of the desktop, and experimenting with new ideas.

One of those ideas – KDE Connect, is the brainchild of albert Vasa, which is part of his project for Google Summer of Code 2013. The idea of KDE Connect is to connect any device to the computer with KDE. Now KDE Connect supports the connection of Android devices via Wi-Fi network to KDE and Gnome. The utility is already built into the Plasma by default, but Gnome is an extension Gsconnect that implements the same functionality. Still have the Windows port of KDE Connect, but I have not earned. In this article we will look at how you are configuring KDE Connect in Ubuntu for KDE and Gnome.

KDE Connect allows you to:

  • to look battery life;
  • to create a shared clipboard between your device and the computer;
  • remotely control music and video playback;
  • to view Android notifications on the desktop, and Vice versa;
  • stop the music during the call;
  • send ping messages between Android and the desktop;
  • to transfer files, links or text between your device and the computer;
  • to see notifications for calls and SMS to computer.
  • to configure a shared folder to the computer and the phone in the file system;
  • to use the phone as a touchpad for your computer;
  • to run on the computer previously configured commands

KDE Connect has two components: a program for computer and Android application. In order for the program to Android device and computer are in the same local network (Wi-Fi). The Android app uses the UDP Protocol to communicate with the computer part of a LAN. After the connection, the application uses a secure channel based on public key.

  • Configuring KDE Connect KDE
  • Setting GSConnect in Gnome
  • Insights

Configuring KDE Connect KDE

Ubuntu KDE Connect is included in the official repository since version 13.10, and in the environment KDE comes by default for quite some time. Therefore, if you are using a modern distro, install nothing. To make sure that a KDE module is up and running, you can open system settings and enter it in the search Connect. The utility will display the settings of KDE Connect:

The computer and phone must be connected to the same router and be on the same network. If KDE module is running, the computer is ready. Now you need to install the KDE Connect Android app from Play Market and run it:

Select the application in the menu Devices -> Plug new. Then select your computer in the devices list and click to Request a pairing:

Immediately after this the computer you will be prompted to accept the pairing. Click to Accept:

After that, the phone will open the control menu on the computer. In the upper part of the window are the available actions, and a bit below lists the permissions you want to grant the app to have access to the file system and other functions of the phone, it is advisable to do this before configure:

But on a computer, on the taskbar indicator appears in the KDE Connect, which you can use to access the phone, watch the battery status and the contents of the shared folder:

Before you can open a shared folder, you must configure it on the phone. To do this, click on the icon of a sandwich in the application and open the module configuration:

In this menu you can send a test signal to a computer or to decouple the phone and in the window that opens you can configure the features that will be available to the application. Open the file system View, then Add a shared folder:

You will see file Manager Android, in which you will select the desired folder. The app will remember it, and it will be available on the computer. In this case, the file Manager Dolphin:

What else I particularly like is the ability to control the mouse pointer of the computer using the phone as a touch panel, and also transfer files easily from phone to computer. And everything is quite stable.

Setting GSConnect in Gnome

Extension GSConnect allows you to use all the features of KDE Connect in the Gnome desktop. You can install it on the page Learn more about the installation of extensions I wrote in the article Install Gnome extensions, here I will not repeat, just put the switch to On:

If the extension throws an error Network error gsconnect, make sure that your computer is not installed kdeconnect himself. Both processes can’t run simultaneously because they use the same port. Remove the kdeconnect and restart the computer. Now you can move on to pairing the devices as described above. After pairing, the device will appear in the Gnome menu:

Here you can also access all the functions Gnome KDE Connect from the app. Very convenient and works as stably as in KDE, for example, I look at the files in the shared folder:


From this article you learned how you are configuring KDE Connect Ubuntu to KDE and configure GSConnect in Gnome. When I first wrote this article back in 2015, this technology has just appeared and has not even really worked. I thought this could be something cool, but not really believed it, as most such projects appear and disappear, not giving the result. Here, five years later, we see a great product that makes life easier for ordinary users. Now, not only Apple fans can see notifications from your phone on your computer, and it can not but rejoice.


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