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Is it possible to move files from T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy S3 to Linux laptops via USB cable?

Discussion in 'Android Lounge' started by RockSockDoc, Apr 24, 2013.

  1. RockSockDoc

    RockSockDoc Member
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    I tried, and failed, to move pictures from my T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy S3 to my Linux laptop via a USB cable.

    Apparently, the ice cream sandwich OS doesn't allow the Samsung Galaxy SIII to be a USB device.

    I ended up using Kies Air to wirelessly transfer photos, but I really wanted to just connect the USB cable.

    Is any effort to connect by USB cable doomed? Or is there a known solution?
     

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  2. Doc

    Doc Android Expert
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  3. RockSockDoc

    RockSockDoc Member
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    I'll try over there - but I had checked that already and is both carrier specific (which this question isn't) and also rootkit specific (again, which this problem isn't about).

    But, I'll repeat the question over there as there must be a way to make the Samsung Galaxy SIII act like a USB drive.
     
  4. Doc

    Doc Android Expert
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    Thats really strange, I run Linux on one of my partions on my desktop and I have no problem with it picking up any usb device including my GSII, I would check linux drivers for the version of linux you are running to start...:D
     
  5. bigdrew

    bigdrew Well-Known Member
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    You have a couple of options. You should give QtADB a try. I don't find the transfer speed to be quite as high as I would expect, but it works. You can also use Airdroid over usb by connecting to your phone over usb tethering. It's a very fast connection and easy if you know how to do that. It can be tricky finding the webserver ip address though.

    I've used both methods with excellent success.
     
  6. RockSockDoc

    RockSockDoc Member
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    Thanks for that AirDroid tip!
    Kies Air worked on WiFi but it failed every time on transferring more than a single file.
    [​IMG]
    Googling for "Kies air won't download multiple files", I find a bazillion others have this problem - but most answers simply say to "install Java" on the host PC. Huh? Java is native, I think, on Centos 6 (icedtea?).

    For example:
    http://www.samsung.com/uk/support/usefulsoftware/KIESAIR/JSP
    Q: I cannot send multiple files at once
    A: Need to install Java – downloadable from the Java homepage (www.java.com ) in order to transfer multiple files at once, or to upload a file over 100MB.

    Giving up on Kies Air, I just installed AirDroid on the Samsung Galaxy S3, and tested it out wirelessly on WiFi.

    On single files, AirDroid seems to work exactly like Kies Air does, only with the AirDroid desktop being more intuitive than Kies Air's desktop:
    [​IMG]

    The good news is that transferring the entire set of files was as simple as checking a checkbox (as was Kies Air); but, the better news is that AirDroid actually worked with multiple files (as opposed to Kies Air failing every time on multiple files):
    [​IMG]
    Note: AirDroid, by default, creates a single zip file, apparently to get around the multiple-file restriction that fells Kies Air every time.

    The bad news is that transferring select files was an exercise in futility, simply because scrolling takes an interminably long time, coupled with the brain-dead fact that the standard shift key (to select blocks of photos) is apparently not implemented. The result is that scrolling from file 1 to file 300 would take the rest of your lifetime to get through the 300 pictures that I have snapped on the Samsung Galaxy S3, it's that slow:
    [​IMG]

    In summary:
    a. AirDroid works, for single or multiple pictures, & is simple to use!
    b. Use AirDroid for single pictures or small sets of contiguous pictures
    c. Don't even attempt to download select (dispersed) photos!
    d. Downloading the entire set of pictures is far easier, albeit slow. <=== for this alone, it's a win over Kies Air!

    Thanks for the AirDroid tip!
    What I'll try next is to do the same task, with the smartphone hooked to Centos via the USB cable!
     
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  7. RockSockDoc

    RockSockDoc Member
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    Drat. Failed.
    [​IMG]

    On the phone, when I hooked it up to USB on the Centos laptop, I got:
    [​IMG]

    And, then when I tried to run AirDroid, it kept wanting WiFi:
    [​IMG]
     
  8. RockSockDoc

    RockSockDoc Member
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    Someone mentioned that the on-the-go cables might work to transfer files to a full-sized (FAT-only) USB stick:
    [​IMG]

    It won't work for an NTFS USB stick, but at least it's a wired transfer of pictures from the Samsung Galaxy S3 to the Centos laptop (albeit in two steps) that might work.

    Do you think this method would work?
     
  9. chanchan05

    chanchan05 The Doctor
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    Not a Linux user, but maybe you can run Kies for Windows using Wine?
     
  10. RockSockDoc

    RockSockDoc Member
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    Thanks. What I really want to do is connect the Android phone to Centos by USB cable! :)

    Workarounds include:
    1. You can plug it into Windows or a Mac
    2. You can use Wine on Centos
    3. You can use an on-the-go cable & transfer to USB
    4. You can buy a microSD card and pop that into the Centos PC
    5. You can use a WiFi solution such as AirDroid <== this is the workaround that I'm using
    6. You can set up the phone as an FTP server
    7 You can even email the photos to yourself (although I wouldn't use the net to transfer photos)
    8. You can downgrade the Android OS on the smartphone to the prior version (which does work with Centos)
    9. With heroics, an expert might even be able to get MTP or PTP to work on Centos
    10. Or, you can put your personal information on the cloud (e.g., dropbox)

    This quote found on the net implies it just isn't possible to connect an Android 4.x phone by wire to Centos:
     
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  11. RockSockDoc

    RockSockDoc Member
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    Just to update the team, the main problem in hooking up the newer Android phones to Centos by USB cable is apparently that the libmtp isn't ported to Redhat, and, by extension, to Centos - so - I tried to update my libmtp using the procedure below:

    $ uname -a
    Linux machine 2.6.32-358.6.2.el6.x86_64 #1 SMP Thu May 16 20:59:36 UTC 2013 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux

    I'm not sure how to test the existing libmtp; this is the only way I know:
    $ sudo yum install libmtp
    ==> Package libmtp-1.0.1-2.el6.x86_64 already installed and latest version

    I don't know if this step is needed; but I did it anyway so as to have one less problem later:
    $ sudo yum remove libmtp
    ==> Removing:
    ==> libmtp x86_64 1.0.1-2.el6 @anaconda-CentOS-201112091719.x86_64/6.2 695 k
    ==> Removing for dependencies:
    ==> rhythmbox x86_64 0.12.8-1.el6 @anaconda-CentOS-201112091719.x86_64/6.2 12 M
    ==> vlc x86_64 1.1.13-1.el6.rf @rpmforge 60 M
    ==> Erasing : rhythmbox-0.12.8-1.el6.x86_64 1/3
    ==> Erasing : vlc-1.1.13-1.el6.rf.x86_64 2/3
    ==> Erasing : libmtp-1.0.1-2.el6.x86_64 3/3

    Now it's time to pick up your RPM:
    $ wget http://home.roadrunner.com/~computertaijutsu/libmtp-1.1.6-0.el6.x86_64.rpm
    ==> Saving to:
     
  12. RockSockDoc

    RockSockDoc Member
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    Success at last!

    This bug report was the key for understanding *how* to transfer photos by USB wire from the Samsung Galaxy S3 to Linux!
    https://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=671906

    Googling "How to put samsung galaxy s3 in ptp mode", I find:
    Can someone tell me how to put my phone in ptp mode?

    Which says:
    1. Connect the phone (in that case, to the Mac)
    2. Pull down the notification bar (in that case, on the Samsung phone)
    3. Tap on the connection (in that case, the same USB connection)
    4. Select PTP mode (to transfer photos)

    When I tried that on Linux (Centos 6 in my case):
    1. Connect the phone by USB cable (you have to ignore this, which pops up 1st):
    [​IMG]
    2. Pull down the notification bar (which says it's "Connected as a media device"):
    [​IMG]
    3. Tap on the "Ongoing" connection:
    [​IMG]
    4. Switch from "MTP mode" to "PTP mode":
    [​IMG]
    5. The Samsung Galaxy S3 is now in "Connected as a camera" mode:
    [​IMG]

    Hmmm... this, again, pops up, on the Desktop (just ignore this warning):
    [​IMG]

    But, wait! This then shows up on the Desktop a few seconds later:
    [​IMG]

    And, for the first time, the folders are no longer zero size:
    [​IMG]

    Pensively, I click on the DCIM folder, holding my breath:
    [​IMG]

    And, transfer my photos at will from the Android phone to the Linux laptop!

    Voila! Success at last!
    It's so simple, once you already know the answer!

    PS: I'm not sure if there is a graceful way to disconnect; and, I'm not sure if I should leave the phone in PTP mode; but, the good news is that single and multiple photo transfer by USB wire now works, in PTP mode, on the Samsung Galaxy S3!
     
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  13. LilBit

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    :beer: to success!!:D Shutting down is also important. Close all windows, unmount all devices, shut down usb transfer from phone, unplug and enjoy.:)
     
  14. RockSockDoc

    RockSockDoc Member
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    Thanks. Also writing up the idealized tutorial is important, because this solution took me months to figure out, and some of the steps were dead ends, so, you don't want others following exactly in my footsteps.

    So, to see if it was the updated libmtp that made the difference, I ran the following:

    $ sudo yum remove libmtp (this removed the updated libmtp)
    $ sudo yum install rhythmbox (this installed the old libmtp) (& replaced the missing rhythmbox)
    $ sudo yum --enablerepo rpmforge install vlc (this replaced VLC)

    Then, I plugged in the Samsung Galaxy S3 by USB cable (with the media mode still set to PTP camera mode).

    Drat!
    Nothing happened.

    Lesson learned: The solution requires more steps, which may be (at the very least)
    a) Update libmtp on Centos
    b) Switch the Android 4.0.4 phone from MTP to PTP (camera mode).
    c) ? unknown other steps ?

    Luckily, I documented all the steps performed in the past few weeks so I simply repeated the successful ones.

    Namely, I removed the old libmtp again (see previous posts in this thread for details) and re-installed the new libmtp, but, still ... nothing showed up when I plugged in the phone by USB cable.

    Hmmm... So I rebooted the Centos laptop to see if that made a difference.

    OK, after re-installing the updated libmtp and rebooting, USB transfer by wire worked again. Whew!

    So, this seems to be the sequence for the next person to follow in our footsteps on Centos 6 with an Android 4.0.4 phone:
    1. Remove the original libmtp
    NOTE: This will remove rhythmbox and vlc & any other program with dependencies on libmtp)
    2. Update libmtp with Scott's libmtp
    3. Reboot the Centos6 PC
    4. Switch the Android 4.x phone from MTP to PTP mode (if not already switched)
    5. Connect the Android phone by USB cable

    The one problem I'm having now is that I can't re-install rhythmbox & vlc because they refuse to install with the newer libtmp in place; but that question is not Android specific, so I leave it out of this discussion.
     
  15. RockSockDoc

    RockSockDoc Member
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    Q: What's the simplest way to transfer multiple pictures from a Samsung Galaxy S3 with Android 4.x by USB cable to a Centos 6 laptop?

    Here's a summary that I *think* is correct.

    0. The real solution is to have libmtp updated by the Redhat developer community so that MTP (media) mode works; until then, the PTP (camera) mode setup is an effective workaround - if you know the tricks described below.

    1. You apparently need to connect the phone at least once in order to even *see* the GUI for switching from MTP mode to PTP mode; so after you switch from MTP mode to PTP mode, make sure you reboot the Centos PC with the phone disconnected from it.

    2. You apparently do *not* need the updated libmtp RPM to use PTP mode; so your rhythmbox and vlc programs should be unaffected by this MTP->PTP workaround

    3. You apparently *must* unlock your phone before connecting it to the Centos PC; and if you connect without unlocking, you may have to start all over with a Centos PC reboot (why this is the case is beyond me but don't fight it; just reboot the PC and
    remember to unlock the phone before connecting it to the PC).

    4. Once the phone is permanently in PTP mode, and the Centos PC has been rebooted without the phone being connected, you can *unlock* the phone, and then connect it to the Centos PC; and the result should be your file system on the phone being accessible on the Centos PC.

    In my test just now, there was no error message whatsoever!
    The workaround sounds so easy, in retrospect! :)

    EDIT: Scott was able to get MTP working so here's his message:
    On Sat, 01 Jun 2013 15:22:03 -0400, Scott Robbins wrote:
    > http://marcofalchi.blogspot.com/2012/02/android-ics-usb-storage-on-fedora-16.html
    > I downloaded the tarball from the link on the page,
    > Then ran .configure && make && sudo make install.
    > As for libmtp, rpm -qi shows that I'm using the standard CentOS one.

    The good news is that it appears there are now two decent solutions:
    1. PTP (camera) mode, enabled on the smartphone to work with Centos 6
    2. MTP (media) mode, enabled by adding mtpfs to Centos to work with the phone
    .. neither of which appears to need the newer libmtp (which is a good thing).

    Double Edit: Ljubomir Ljubojevic, from Serbia, has new information:
    Response from Scott Robbins, on the Centos team:
     
  16. RockSockDoc

    RockSockDoc Member
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    To help others, I filed a bug report against RHEL6:
    https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=970242

    If you are interested, and knowledgeable, please append any corrections to that bug report, specifically about the Android side of things (as I'm on shaky ground as to what the real problem is).

    Thanks everyone - and here's hoping you'll append weight to that bug report so that future users don't go through the heroics that I had to just to get pictures and screenshots off the Android ICS device onto a RHEL-variant Linux system.
     

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