Home Android Sync Android Phone With Linux Using KDE Connect

Sync Android Phone With Linux Using KDE Connect

By sk
4,484 Views

This guide explains what is KDE Connect and its features, how to install KDE connect in various Linux platforms and Android and finally how to sync Android phone with Linux desktop using KDE connect in order to access files and notifications from Android devices to Linux and vice versa.

What is KDE Connect

KDE Connect is a community project from KDE to communicate across all your devices. KDE Connect allows you to

  • transfer files between your smart phone and Linux desktops,
  • receive your phone notifications on your Linux desktop,
  • control music playing on your phone from your desktop,
  • use your phone as a remote control for your desktop.

Using KDE Connect, we can do many cool things, such as:

  • Clipboard sharing: Useful to transfer lengthy and complicated texts.
  • File sharing: Access and share files to/from your Android devices.
  • Notifications sharing: KDE Connect sends all your smartphone's notifications to your desktop computer.
  • Send URLs to your Linux desktop from your Smartphone.
  • Use your Phone as an input device (Like a mouse, touch pad, keyboard ) and/or a presenter.
  • View your phone's battery level from your Linux desktop.
  • Send and receive pings to/from devices.
  • Find your lost phone by making it to play an alarm sound.
  • Execute console commands remotely.
  • Use your Phone as remote control to control the media players.

All of these can be done completely wirelessly, utilizing TLS encryption.

Install KDE Connect

You need to install KDE Connect in both your Linux desktop and your Android device.

Install KDE Connect in your Linux desktop

KDE Connect is available in the default repositories of most Linux distributions. If you're using KDE Plasma desktop-based Linux distributions, it is installed by default.

If you use a desktop environment other than KDE's Plasma, you can install it as described below depending upon the distribution you use.

Install KDE connect in Arch Linux, EndeavourOS and Manjaro Linux

$ sudo pacman -S kdeconnect

Install KDE connect in Fedora, AlmaLinux, Rocky Linux:

$ sudo dnf install kdeconnect

Install KDE connect in SUSE/openSUSE:

$ sudo zypper install kdeconnect

Install KDE connect in Debian, Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Pop_OS!:

$ sudo apt install kdeconnect

Install KDE Connect Indicator on Linux

If you desktop environments other than KDE Plasma, you might also need to install indicator-kdeconnect, which provides a system tray icon as a GUI for other desktops.

On Arch Linux, EndeavourOS and Manjaro Linux:

KDE Connect Indicator is available in AUR. So, you can install it using any AUR helper, for example Paru or Yay.

$ paru -S indicator-kdeconnect

Or,

$ yay -S indicator-kdeconnect

On Fedora 25 and later, run the following commands as root user:

$ dnf config-manager --add-repo http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/home:Bajoja/Fedora_25/home:Bajoja.repo
$ dnf install indicator-kdeconnect

On openSUSE Tumbleweed run the following commands as root user:

# zypper addrepo http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/home:Bajoja/openSUSE_Tumbleweed/home:Bajoja.repo
# zypper refresh
# zypper install indicator-kdeconnect

On openSUSE Leap 42.2 run the following commands as root user:

# zypper addrepo http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/home:Bajoja/openSUSE_Leap_42.2/home:Bajoja.repo
# zypper refresh
# zypper install indicator-kdeconnect

On Ubuntu:

$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/indicator-kdeconnect
$ sudo apt update
$ sudo apt install kdeconnect indicator-kdeconnect

Install KDE Connect on Android

KDE Connect is available in both Google Play Store and F-Droid. Install it on your Android device.

kde connect on playstore
kde connect on play store

Allow KDE Connect ports via firewall or router

KDE Connect uses dynamic ports in the range 1714-1764 for UDP and TCP. So if you are behind a firewall or router, you need to open this port range for both TCP and UDP.

Open KDE connect via UFW:

$ sudo ufw allow 1714:1764/udp
$ sudo ufw allow 1714:1764/tcp
$ sudo ufw reload

Open KDE connect ports via firewalld:

$ sudo firewall-cmd --zone=public --permanent --add-port=1714-1764/tcp
$ sudo firewall-cmd --zone=public --permanent --add-port=1714-1764/udp
$ sudo systemctl restart firewalld.service

Open KDE connect ports via iptables:

$ sudo iptables -I INPUT -i -p udp --dport 1714:1764 -m state --state NEW,ESTABLISHED -j ACCEPT
$ sudo iptables -I INPUT -i -p tcp --dport 1714:1764 -m state --state NEW,ESTABLISHED -j ACCEPT
$ sudo iptables -A OUTPUT -o -p udp --sport 1714:1764 -m state --state NEW,ESTABLISHED -j ACCEPT
$ sudo iptables -A OUTPUT -o -p tcp --sport 1714:1764 -m state --state NEW,ESTABLISHED -j ACCEPT:

Configure KDE Connect

After installing KDE Connect app, open it up from your smartphone. The below image shows how KDE Connect interface looks like in my Android device.

Now, you need to pair the Android device with your Linux desktop. Please note that your Android device should be connected with your Linux desktop either via a USB cable or WiFi. Also, both devices should be under same network. Once you paired your device, you can remove the cable. KDE Connect will work wirelessly.

If the Linux system shows up in the KDE connect dashboard, click on it to pair it up with the desktop.

If it's not, tap on the three vertical dots on the top right corner and choose Add devices by IP option.

Add devices by IP
Add devices by IP on KDE Connect

Enter your Linux desktop's IP address or Hostname in the next screen and tap Add HOST/IP button.

Enter device IP address or Hostname
Enter device IP address or Hostname in KDE Connect

Then, go back to the main dashboard and you will there see your newly added device under Available devices. Tap on it to pair it with Linux desktop.

Available device in KDE Connect
View available device in KDE Connect

Then, tap "REQUEST PAIRING" option.

Request pairing
Request pairing in KDE Connect

You will see a notification in your Linux desktop. Click Accept to pair it with your Android device.

Pairing request in KDE Connect
Pairing request in KDE Connect

Congratulations! Your Android device has been paired with your Linux desktop. You will confirm it from the KDE Connect indicator icon on your Task bar.

KDE Connect indicator icon on taskbar
KDE Connect indicator icon

As you see in the above screenshot, I have paired my HP Tablet PC with my KDE Plasma desktop.

You will also see your Linux desktop in the dashboard of KDE Connect app in your Android device.

KDE Connect dashboard
KDE Connect dashboard

As you see in the above image, there is warning message that says "Plugins failed to load". To fix it, tap on the "Notification sync" and then tap "Open Settings".

Grant permission to access device notification
Grant permission to access device notification via KDE Connect

In the next window, check the box "KDE Connect" and tap on "Ok" to grant permission to access the notifications.

Enable KDE Connect to read all notifications
Enable KDE Connect to read all notifications

That's it. We have paired our Android device with Linux desktop and enabled the notifications. Similarly, you can add as many as devices you want to manage them all using KDE connect. From now on, you will see all your smartphone's notifications in your Linux desktop.

To pair a new device, open KDE Connect app from your Android device, and tap on the three horizontal bars in the dashboard and choose "Pair new device" option.

Pair new device
Pair new device in KDE Connect

Access files and notifications from Android devices using KDE Connect in Linux

Let me show you some practical use cases.

Send files from Android device to Linux

From the KDE Connect dashboard in your Android Device, tap on "Send files" and choose the files you wanted to send to your Linux desktop.

Send files via KDE Connect
Send files via KDE Connect

All files will be send to the default download location (i.e /home/user/Downloads directory) of your Linux desktop.

Send files from Linux desktop to Android device

Open KDE connect application on both your Linux desktop and Android device.

Click on the Android device in KDE connect dashboard in your Linux system.

Choose Android device
Choose Android device

Click "Share files" option on the right pane.

Click share files option
Click share files option

Select the file(s) you want to share with your Android phone. The selected files will be sent to the Android device.

Remote input

We can use your Android device as an input device like a mouse or touch pad or keyboard.

To do so, tap on "Remote input" option. Move a finger on your Android device's screen to move the mouse cursor. Tap for a click, and use long press to drag and drop.

Remote control devices via KDE Connect
Remote control devices via KDE Connect

To enable right or middle buttons, use two/three fingers. Or, click on the three vertical dots on the top right and choose a option to send right click or middle click.

Enable right or middle click buttons
Enable right or middle click buttons in KDE Connect

Another cool feature is we can use our Android device as a keyboard. To do so, tap on the Keyboard icon on the top and start typing from your Android device's keypad.

Use Android device as Keyboard
Use Android device as Keyboard via KDE Connect

Control media players from Android

We can use our smartphone as a remote control to the videos and audios played in the Linux desktop. Launch SMPlayer or VLC and use the Android device to play, pause, change to previous or next tracks.

Control Desktop media players from Android
Control PC media players from Android via KDE Connect

You can also enable or disable all these features either from your KDE connect app under Plugin settings:

KDE connect plugin settings
KDE connect plugin settings

Or from the "KDE Connect Settings" in your KDE desktop.

KDE Connect system settings
KDE Connect system settings

Integrate KDE connect with browsers

You can integrate KDE connect to your web browsers using the browser plugin. This allows you to share links directly from the context menu and lets you control media on websites.

Conclusion

I find KDE Connect very useful. You can share files between your Linux PC and Android phone instantly. Also, you don't need to constantly check the smart phone for notifications. KDE Connect will do that automatically whenever a message or any notification is received in your smartphone.

Resource:

You May Also Like

6 comments

Sama Vim August 11, 2017 - 10:18 pm

Just want to point out that KDE Connect is pre-installed in Slackware 14.2.
It’s accessible by going to System Settings in the Hardware section (or using the terminal command kdeconnect-cli ), so all that’s necessary is to have the KDE Connect app installed and running on your Android mobile device.
For older versions of Slackware just go to SlackBuilds:
https://slackbuilds.org/repository/14.1/desktop/kdeconnect/?search=kdeconnect

Reply
SK August 12, 2017 - 3:12 pm

Thanks.

Reply
Myrton Smith II September 5, 2021 - 11:24 am

Hello Senthil. Thank you very much for this neat application.
I’m Stuck.
sudo firewall-cmd –zone=public –permanent –add-port=1714-1764/tcp returns error sudo: firewalld-cmd: command not found
My system is Linux Mint, the very latest version.

Reply
sk September 5, 2021 - 1:45 pm

Firewalld is not installed in your system, so you can skip this step. I guess UFW is installed in Linux Mint. I am not sure though.

Reply
Rahul October 8, 2021 - 1:23 am

Hi, I was checking KDE Connect. Great software, but I can’t control VLC Media Player Multimedia Playback. It doesn’t appear on my phone but other Web Players, Spotify, Native Windows music player do appear. Using it on Windows 10 and OnePlus A11 device.

Reply
sk October 8, 2021 - 10:28 am

I tested KDE connect with Ubuntu, Fedora and Android tablet PC. It can able to control VLC playback without any issues. Never tested KDE connect in Windows devices.

Reply

Leave a Comment

* By using this form you agree with the storage and handling of your data by this website.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More