USB control and USB file transfer on librem 5

I am currently using android. Typically, if I want remote controlling the system, use ADB over usb or network. To transfer file, I can use mtp to transfer file. Are there similar interface on librem 5?

Librem 5 is a gnu/Linux system. So, the obvious answer is SSH and SFTP in OpenSSH. In a raspberry pi, the way to remote control is using the ethernet.

Ideally, Librem 5 could have a ssh over usb interface, or something similar to adb, then it would be more convenient. Otherwise, file transfer and remote control could only be possible within WiFi networks or required to use some adapter, which is less than ideal.

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I’m actually using a smartphone BQ E4.5 which runs the UBports version of UbuntuTouch.
This allows USB-tethering and over this SSH and SCP, as well over Wifi. I do expect the same for my Librem 5. I never used nor needed ADB or MTP.

That’s pretty cool. Then it is even better than an Android phone.

I don’t think ADB and MTP is really convenient, but it is there and kind of work. Especially MTP is a pain in the ass in Linux desktop. Not stable enough to use. Even in windows machine, the transfer time is slow and laggy. ADB do work but not straightforward to setup and use then SSH. I end up transfer most thing over wifi with SSH and KDE connect. Though the ability to have a quick transfer with USB-C on travel still useful.

Thanks for your experience.

Without deeper knowledge about MTB and ADB with a quick google search it seams that there are server / demon implementation available for linux. So it shouldn’t be that hard to just install those features on the librem if needed. Same for any other protocol, as long as the usb-c host hast full host capabilities which i am pretty sure of as needed for the convergence scenario which purism is aiming for.

I still remember zmodem days. Those were times…
Technology older then I, albeit not by much :).
Just need some tty over usb protocol, cutecom/minicom and lrzsz.
Then you can just log in, transfer files between desktop and phone and execute commands. All in terminal window/text console.

But I think usb theter + ssh/scp is way easier to setup nowadays, and perhaps even GUI frontends exist for this.

Things like adb and that other one I never heard of before? They smell like GNU debugger stub over serial over usb (perhaps over more layers of indirection) with hastily slapped on some file transfer protocol and shell access. No wonder they are unstable :wink:

To ramnasko: Good example for ICGTFY :slight_smile:

I do not want to use any MTB or ADB connection for transport files or run commands in the Linux of the phone. Already for the fact, that any FreeBSD or Linux system on laptop comes out of the box with SSH and even in Windoof you have PuTTY. No need for anything else.

I personally don’t see the point of ADB either because i think the people who would use this will be happy with ssh, but i think MTB or PTP could be useful for connectivity and convenience . Here in germany you can get photos printed in the stores by connecting your phone to a pc in the store. These rely on PTP i think. So it would be nice to have such thing so less techy people can use the librem like any other phone.

Do you really want me connect my phone to such a machine? I’d never do this. For the pictures in the stores you can use USB sticks.

I wouldn’t do it either but i think with a read only mode properly implemented this shouldn’t be such a problem.

Okay now there are popping up news about usb port destroying device in my head … so maybe you are right. But i still think its something many people are used to and for acceptance it would nice to have. But definitely low priority item.

You can be certain that the Librem 5 will come with a way to transfer files over USB :slight_smile: We haven’t decided yet, but there are 3 competitors I can think of right now: SSH/SSHFS, adb and WebDav. I’ve only ever used SSHFS on my various devices, but in my experience it doesn’t handle sudden disconnects well at all. We’ll look into adb too - let’s see if the reports are correct.
In the end, I can’t possibly imagine using a phone that doesn’t have a network interface over USB, so I’m reasonably sure SSH fallback will work.


You should take a look at uMTP-Responder, a ligthweight MTP responder daemon, running on FunctionFS/libcomposite Linux layer. It is a C implementation, with as few dependencies as possible.

Why should I if we have (we should have) SSH?

You may have SSH and a USB Ethernet tunnel driver on your machine, but not every computer will. You’re going to need some other way of doing things if you want to exchange files with a computer belonging to family or friends who doesn’t have such software installed.

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I know of people who connect their mobile in a drugstore to some machine to select with the software running on this machine the fotos to print. Being polite prohibits me to say in public what I do think about those people. And they do not need or deserve a Librem5. Said that, I do not use any computer in my private life without SSH, only Linux and FreeBSD. In addition I’d never connect my mobile to a “friends” computer, not even to an USB charger not belonging to me.

No need to argue with this kind of guy, it’s a lost of time.

Thank you, added to the issue.

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I have made an additional comment in this issue:

i would very much like to know if the librem 5 can be used as a portable freedom respecting 3G/4G modem/router for internet access on the go.
for example : would i be able to connect a laptop through usb to this device and tether my air internet connection through the librem 5 similar to what is possible between blackberry q10 and windows7?

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While we didn’t promise that, I’m preeeety sure it’s going to work. Perhaps it won’t be a one-click solution, but we would have to go out of our way to prevent it.


@dcz sorry was that regarding my question or the ops ?