How to transfer files from and to Nokia Phone in Linux with OBEX FTP

Lately, mobile phones have evolved extremely fast, and whether you need them to access the Internet, record videos, send/receive MMS and SMS messages or e-mails, listen to music or radio stations, cellular phones are the most indispensable devices these days.

But today's guide will teach you a very easy way to connect and transfer files to/from your mobile phone using an USB cable through the Pop-Port interface. Many Nokia phones come with this Pop-Port and I just happen to be the proud owner of such a mobile device (Nokia N70).

The problem with the phones that use the Pop-Port is that when you connect the USB cable to your Linux PC, nothing happens. I bet you are (like me) probably used to see an "Open with..." window a few seconds after you connect some multimedia device (camera, phone, hard drive, ipod) in the USB port, but this will not happen with these phones. Don't panic, I have the solution! You just have to follow the next steps:

Step 1 - Install required software

Fire up Synaptic Package Manager (System -> Administration -> Synaptic Package Manager) and search for obex.

Mark for installation the following packages:

- obexftp
- openobex-apps

Some other packages, that depend on these ones, will also be installed, so click "Mark" when you'll be asked if you want to install those too. Now click the "Apply" button to install all the required packages. When the installation is over, close Synaptic.

All the above software consists of console-based tools, so we need to install a nice GUI (graphical user interface) for the obexftp package. The ObexFTP Front-end software happens to be a very nice and easy to use obexftp GUI, which requires no installation. Download it here, use the "Binary mirror 1 (zip) (1.7 MB)" package and extract it in your home directory.

Step 2 - Advanced Configurations

It is time to connect your phone to the PC using the USB cable. Open a terminal (Applications -> Accessories -> Terminal) and type:


which should output some lines with USB devices connected to your PC. I've easily spotted my Nokia phone:

Bus 003 Device 003: ID 0421:043a Nokia Mobile Phones

This line shows the VendorID and ProductID of the phone, for my Nokia N70:

VendorID = 0421 ProductID = 043a
Now copy/paste the following line in the Terminal:

sudo gedit /etc/udev/rules.d/040-permissions.rules

and add the next line to the end of the text file:

BUS=="usb", SYSFS{idVendor}=="VendorID", SYSFS{idProduct}=="ProductID", GROUP="plugdev", USER="yourUserNname"
Replace VendorID and ProductID with the numbers from the lsusb result and yourUserNname with your username.


BUS=="usb", SYSFS{idVendor}=="0421", SYSFS{idProduct}=="043a", GROUP="plugdev", USER="marius"
Save the file and close it. This little trick will give you rights to access and use the USB port where the mobile device is connected.

Step 3 - Final adjustments

Right click on your desktop and select the 'Create Launcher...' option.

In the 'Create Launcher' window select a nice icon, fill up the Name field with the desired name for the launcher, and on the Command field type:

java -jar /home/YOURUSERNAME/obexftp-frontend-0.6.1-bin/OBEXFTPFrontend.jar

Replace YOURUSERNAME with your username.

All you have to do now is to double click the launcher you've just created and the ObexFTP Front-end will pop-up asking you to configure it. Follow the next steps:

  • Enter /usr/bin/obexftp in the ObexFTP path field.
  • Select USB on the Transport option and set the Value field to 1.
To close the configuration window, Click OK when you're done, and then click the first icon on the main window. The C: drive and the memory card of the phone will be listed and you can transfer files to and from your phone. Try now and enjoy!

Source: Marius Nestor


Patrick said...

I'm using Ubuntu and can't configure the launcher. I've got all the other steps right, but I'm stuck on the launcher, can you give me some more advise please?

Anonymous said...

It did'nt work with KDE 7.10

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