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How To Install KDE Connect Indicator on Ubuntu

indicator kdeconnect

Battery info device is missing from my indicator

KDE Connect is an awesome way to get Android notifications on your Linux desktop, send files to and from your phone, and a whole lot more.

But you might not fancy switching to a Plasma desktop to use it.

Well, you don’t need to.

Indicator-kdeconnect is, as the name might have already told you, an indicator applet for KDE Connect. It makes the nifty device bridging tool available on, and integrate with, GTK-based Linux desktop.

KDE Connect ”…aims to communicate all your devices. For example, with KDE Connect you can receive your phone notifications on your computer, or just use your phone as a remote control for your desktop.

It’s a fantastic tool, one that some KDE users often cite as a reason to switch to the Plasma desktop. It has to be used in conjunction with an open-source Android app (also called KDE Connect) but it’s a killer combination, unlocking the following features:

  • See Android notifications on your Ubuntu desktop
  • See current battery charge level
  • Send and Receive Files to/from phone/desktop
  • Use phone as a mouse touchpad & keyboard
  • Ring your device to find it
  • Control your desktop media player using your phone
  • Sync clipboard between phone and desktop
  • View device information (e.g., battery)
  • Run commands & launch apps

What Is Indicator KDE Connect?

An android notification on Ubuntu

See Android notifications on the Ubuntu desktop

The latest releases of indicator-kdeconnect allow you to use a number of KDE Connect’s cool features on non-KDE Plasma desktops, including the Ubuntu Unity desktop, Xfce, MATE and Linux Mint with Cinnamon.

Indicator KDE Connect gives you quick-click access to paired devices. In theory it can show you the device name, status, and battery life. I say “in theory” because battery information did not work during my hands-on.

It also features a small program, kdeconnect-send which that (in theory) helps you send files to paired devices (this, alas, did not work for me).

Sending files from my phone to my Ubuntu desktop did, mercifully work. This file transfer happens silently, in the background. You may not be aware that a photo, file or archive has successfully completed until you open your ~/Downloads folder and find what you’re looking for already there!

You also get:

  • See Android notifications on Ubuntu, via native Notify-OSD bubbles
  • Shared clipboard between desktop and phone
  • Quickly send files from your phone to the desktop
  • Use your phone’s touchscreen as a touchpad
  • Use your phone’s keyboard in desktop apps
  • Control MPRIS-compatible music players
  • Launch apps and commands

Many of the features (such as the touchpad feature) can be configured or tweaked in the Android app, so don’t be afraid to poke around.

Naturally, you’ll need both KDE Connect and this indicator installed in order to use any of the features mentioned above. Thankfully you can install everything you need without using a PPA on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS or 16.10.

How To Install KDE Connect on Ubuntu

screen-shot-2017-01-03-at-16-43-40

Get ready for klutter!

First things first: you’ll need to install KDE Connect itself, which (hurrah) is available from the Ubuntu archives.

You can install the app through the Ubuntu Software store or via apt, though no matter which method you choose please be aware that installing it will also install a slate of other KDE dependencies — this cannot (currently) be avoided.

Install KDE Connect on Ubuntu

Next you’ll need to install the latest stable release of indicator-kdeconnect. You can download indicator-kdeconnect v.04 from the Github link below. It is available in both 32-bit and 64-bit builds (and as an RPM, if you happen to reading from a Fedora machine).

Download indicator-kdeconnect 0.4

Finally, if don’t have the KDE Connect Android app installed on your device, now’s the time to install it. It’s a free, open-source app and is available from the Google Play Store (link below) and is also available to download from F-Droid.

KDE Connect on Google Play Store

Now you’re all set to pair a device.

Set Up KDE Connect on Ubuntu

launch the indicator

Launch the indicator first

First: make sure both your Ubuntu desktop and your mobile device are on the same Wi-Fi network (this is how KDE Connect works).

Next, to pair a device:

  1. Launch ‘indicator kde connect’ from the Dash
  2. In indicator menu, select ‘Request pairing’
  3. On your phone, accept pairing request

That’s it; you’re set!

The KDE Connect app on your paired device will list all supported features. Follow the on-screen prompt to enable notification sync.

To set-up or configure other plugins, launch the main KDE Connect app on your desktop, select the paired device, and go from there.

kde-connect-plugins

Notes/Errata/Misc

You can (currently) only pair your device from the desktop to your phone, not the other way around. It won’t work. This is a known issue.

The indicator applet did not display battery or status information for my Nexus 5X running Android 7.1, and some additional options (such as ‘ring device’, ‘browser device’) were not present in the indicator menu.

Although the KDE Connect app listed by device as “trusted”, the indicator did not detect this.

Source

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