GSConnect or KDEConnect? That is the question!

We can always use usb cable to connect our Android phones to our Ubuntu Desktop, File manager will work just fine, can browse, copy and paste between the two. But how about other features and functionallity? Shared files and links? OR Phone Notifications? OR Control your Music Player over your phone? OR Control presentation by your phone? Find your phone by "ring" it? OR Monitor your phone battery level? All that being done wirelessly via Wifi connection!

When you are using main Ubuntu 20.04 distribution, you can simply use GSConnect, because main distribution is based on Gnome Desktop. How about Ubuntu Budgie 20.04? Ubuntu Budgie doesn't use Gnome.

After hours testing GSConnect on Ubuntu Budgie 20.04, turns out you can't use GSConnect on Ubuntu Budgie 20.04, because GSConnect is actually Gnome Shell Extension, and there is no way to run it outside Gnome Desktop, it need you to log in to Gnome before using it.

So I tried KDEConnect, and it works just fine. Besides, GSConnect is actually KDEConnect rewrite for Gnome Desktop, even using the same Android application.

1. Install KDEConnect on your Android Phone

Go to Play Store and install KDEConnect


2. Install KDEConnect on your Ubuntu Budgie 20.04

~$ sudo apt install kdeconnect


 3. Create startup application

  • On Budgie Menu (Menu on top-left-corner) search for Startup Applications
  • On Startup Applications Preferences klik Add Button
  • Fill in the following information
    • Name: KDE Connect
    • Command: kdeconnect-indicator
    • Comment: KDE Connect Indicator
  • Click Add Button and close Startup Application Preferences window
  • Now, KDE Connect will start whenever system start


4. Pairing

  • Make sure both Android Phone and Ubuntu Budgie is on the same wifi network.
  • On Android Phone, open KDEConnect.
  • On Ubuntu Budgie Menu (Menu on top-left-corner) search for KDE Connect Settings and open it.
  • Android phone will found and list your Ubuntu Budgie, klik on it
  • There will be pairing notification on Ubuntu Budgie, just klik Accept
  • Congratulations! it's connected now!


5. Using KDEConnect

Restart your Ubuntu Budgie system OR search for KDE Connect Indicator on Budgie Menu, a notification icon (K) will appear on notification area on the right-top-corner of your screen.

Try to Ring your phone: Klik on (K) Notification icon -> Your phone name -> Ring Device

To Browse Files on your phone:

  • On your Android Phone, at the very bottom of the screen, klik on Filesystem Expose. You need to specify location on your phone that you wanted to share. I suggest share Downloads folder
  • Now on your Ubuntu Budgie klik on (K) Notification icon -> Your phone name -> Browse Device. File Explorer will open with shared Folders on your Android.

For other functionality, you need to give access to each of them either on Android phone or on Ubuntu Budgie.