Easily share files between Ubuntu Linux and Android with Samba

Although both Ubuntu and Android are OSs using the Linux kernel, most of the software developed for managing Android devices from PCs, are either for Windows or for MacOS. There doesn’t exist any application for Ubuntu – that I know of – that can manage media, text messages, and other content in an Android device. Even the ways of sharing files between Ubuntu and Android isn’t easy.

Of course, there is gMTP, which allows you to access file system of Android devices that support MTP technology. But it is crap. Period. It doesn’t allow drag-and-drop. It doesn’t show thumbnails of images. It belongs to 90’s. But I appreciate it’s existence. Thanks!

Android App
Android App “Samba Filesharing” Logo.

Today I came across an extremely useful Android app named “Samba Filesharing“. Its name is self explanatory. It sets up a Samba server in your Android device. So when you connect your Android device to a local area network through WiFi, other devices in the same network will be able to see your Android device, and given the correct username and password, they’ll be able to access your Android device’s file system.

Here is the Google Play link to the said app: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.funkyfresh.samba

Use this QR code to instantly get it to your Android device:

QR Code to “Samba Filesharing” in Google Play.

This awesome app has the ability to,

  1. either allow automatically starting the Samba server when connected to any network.
  2. or automatically start the Samba server only when connected to trusted – “White Listed” – networks.

Other than that, you always have the ability to manually starting and stopping the Samba server when connected to any network.

Once connected to a network, this application shows the assigned IP address and the network name of your Android device in it’s main screen:

Main screen of
Main screen of “Samba Filesharing”, when connected to a network.

By pressing the Menu button, you get the options to disable, enable, and change settings:

Main Menu of
Main Menu of “Samba Sharing”.

Here are the “User & Filesharing” options:

“App Behaviour” options:

Once you change the settings as you’d like, go to Nautilus in Ubuntu and click “Browse Network” in the “Network” section.

Then go inside “Windows Network”.

Then go in to “WORKGROUP” (This would change based on the workgroup your PC and Android device is in.).

Once you go inside the workgroup, you’ll see the devices registered in that workgroup. Here, “Hal2130” is my PC and “HalD1000” is my Android device.

Try to go into your Android device, and Ubuntu will ask you to provide the username and password to your Android device. Type the ones you set in the “Samba Sharing” app.

If you provide the valid username and password, you’ll be able to see your SD Card as a directory.

Go into that, and you’ll be able to see the content of your SD Card.

You have now opened your Android device’s file system in your Ubuntu PC. You can use Nautilus’ full functionality over it. You can perform preview files, double click to open, drag-n-drop, and everything you’d do on a normal file location.

Although I said this is for Ubuntu, this method should work in any system that supports Samba.

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