Connecting my Librem 13 laptop to the L 5 phone via USB

I was in contact with support for this and received the following.

Q) Connecting my Librem 13 laptop to the phone via USB is non functional…they dont see each other for file transfer or tethering. is there a different type of cable I must use?

A) For file transfers via USB you would need to use Jumpdrive.

What and where is Jumpdrive? Must it be installed on the phone, computer, or both?



You may not need to build uuu if you’re using a recent version of Ubuntu, or a distro built on a recent version of Ubuntu; the package may be available to install from its normal repo. And of course, you can make a bootable USB with the latest Ubuntu, to run purely for this operation, if you don’t want to built uuu yourself.

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Jumpdrive is mentioned here, although this was written two years ago (July 2021), so maybe some things are different nowadays:

I don’t think this is correct.

For exposing the one or two drives that are on the Librem 5 … as USB devices on the laptop, yes, use Jumpdrive. That is certainly one way to transfer files between a laptop (running Linux) and the Librem 5.

However it is neither the simplest nor easiest way of transferring files if you have a working Librem 5. (It is a great way if you have a non-working Librem 5.)

If you did decide to use Jumpdrive then the software has to be made available on the computer only.

As far as I know though, it is not available as an installable (Debian) package. You basically just download it onto your computer.

The simplest way of transferring files between a laptop and the Librem 5 is to get the Librem 5 on the local network (i.e. working WiFi) and install and configure an SSH server on the Librem 5.

No USB needed.

However it is also possible to enable networking over USB. So even without working WiFi, you would install and configure an SSH server on the Librem 5. As far as I know, at the Librem 5 end, networking over USB should be automatic (i.e. no action required). However at the laptop end, you may have to configure the interface.

The starting point for that problem is always lsusb i.e. does anything show up on the laptop when you plug the Librem 5 into the laptop?

I would use the charging USB-C cable supplied with the Librem 5. With USB-C you always need to try different cable orientations (4). My computer has no USB-C port so I personally always plug the USB-C cable into a USB-A port via a USB-A to USB-C adapter.

… is a whole extra challenge. I wouldn’t worry about this until you have more basic things working. However you don’t need to tether via USB anyway. You can make the Librem 5 into a hotspot and tether via WiFi.

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Thanks…I appreciate you with the detailed info.

Thanks for the info.

In looking at the instructions specifically the subheader “Building uuu” at the bottom of the paragraph it states to use “which c++” to see if installed and if not “sudo apt install g++” . Is this “g++” a typo? Please pardon my neophyte questions.

Take a step back … what operating system and version are you running on the laptop?

You may not need to build uuu at all.

Type which uuu to see whether the uuu command is already available.

To be clear, for getting uuu there are three options, ranked from easiest to hardest.

  1. The uuu command is already available.
  2. The uuu command is not already available but can be installed from the distro’s repo.
  3. Neither of the above. You would have to build uuu from source.

Take a further step back … you may not need either uuu or Jumpdrive anyway. (It’s good if you have a non-working phone and it’s good if you want to backup or restore an image of the main drive on your phone.)

I would suggest that if the laptop does not “see” the Librem 5 via USB at all then uuu won’t actually work anyway. So you need to investigate that (using lsusb).

Do you have a working Librem 5?

For clarity, I wrote those instructions. It was a while ago but from memory …

No, it’s not a typo - because c++ is a command that resolves to a specific compiler via the “alternatives” mechanism. On my computer:

$ which c++
$ ls -l /usr/bin/c++
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 21 May 18  2020 /usr/bin/c++ -> /etc/alternatives/c++
$ ls -l /etc/alternatives/c++
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 12 May 18  2020 /etc/alternatives/c++ -> /usr/bin/g++

Thanks for the reply.

Librem 5 is up and running well…

Still using PureOS Amber for my laptop.

When I use the usb connection with my android phones there is no problem…

Then you probably don’t need uuu and Jumpdrive to transfer files.

(if you decide that you do need uuu and Jumpdrive)

Then which uuu and if nothing then sudo apt install uuu

(Actually I’m not sure whether the package to install is called uuu or mfgtools but I guess one or the other will work so that after installing the package which uuu does give output.)

I think your problem may be that you are expecting that Linux on the Librem 5 will work the same as Android on an Android phone. It won’t. It could in the future but for now it won’t.

I don’t own an Android phone so take with grain of salt but I think when you plug in an Android phone as a USB client device, it will expose itself using MTP / PTP. So data is exposed at the level of “files” and you can transfer files in either direction. This approach has advantages and disadvantages.

Many thanks for your time and consideration. I will give your recommendations a go and post back.

Just finished successfully upgrading to Byzantium on my L13.

I tried the Bluetooth connection between the L5 and the L13 and was capable of transferring files between the two devices. For now thats a small win for me. Soon I would like to have the capability of connecting via usb.

With that said …Thank you for all of your assistance and time!

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