Connecting Android to FreeBSD 11

I wanted to connect my Nexus 5 to my laptop running FreeBSD 11. My goal was to be able to move files from the phone to the laptop. I did not find clear instructions on how to make that work, so I will share what I did.


First, each time I connect my phone to a computer, it gives me a notification that it is only enabled for changing. In order to enable file transfers, I click the notification and select “File transfer (MTP).”

I tried a fuse driver named mtpfs but I was not able to make it work. So then I installed simple-mtpfs and got that working.

As root:

# pkg install fusefs-simple-mtpfs

Then I created a mount point for the Android file system:

# mkdir /mnt/android
# chown user:user /mnt/android

where “user” is the name of the non-root user account I use.

Then I added a line to /boot/loader.conf to allow the OS to use fuse file systems:


Then I added a line to /etc/sysctl.conf


At this point I restarted the system.

In order to browse the connected Android phone filesystem as “user”, I need to mount it as root. This is inconvenient: I want to be able to mount it as “user”. But I can’t figure out how to do that.

Be sure you phone is connected and you allowed file transfers. Then as root:

# simple-mtpfs /mnt/android -o allow_other

Now, as “user” I can use /mnt/android as any other file system.

KDE Connect

I also installed and played with KDE Connect. This is interesting, and most features seemed to work, but I could not get its remote file system browsing over Wi-Fi to function. I installed sshfs because it complained that it was missing, but that did not help. Since the thing I want most from this is the remote file browsing, I probably won’t ever use KDE Connect.

Written on November 13, 2016