KDE Connect app icon on my Samsung Galaxy Note II
KDE Connect is a nice tool that links your Android phone or tablet seamlessly via WiFi to KDE on your PC (the latter can be connected via WiFi or cable to the network). It allows your KDE desktop to receive notifications, files and media player commands from your Android device. The available KDE Connect plug-ins are:
Periodically report battery status
Share the clipboard content
Multimedia remote controls
Control audio/video from your phone
(pause; first track; previous track; next track; last track; change volume)
Access your notification from other devices
Send and receive pings
Send notifications from SMS and calls
You will need to install the Android KDE Connect application on your Android device, and the Linux KDE Connect application on your PC.
Install the KDE Connect app on your Android device from the Google Play Store. You will then see the KDE Connect icon on the apps screen of your Android device.
For Gentoo users an ebuild for KDE Connect is available in the Gentoo KDE team’s testing overlay, so here are the instructions on how to install KDE Connect on your PC from there.
Firstly, mask the KDE overlay so that none of the packages in it interferes with the KDE software you installed from the main Portage tree:
# echo "*/*::kde" >> /etc/portage/package.mask
Then unmask the KDE Connect package in the KDE overlay:
# echo "kde-misc/kdeconnect" >> /etc/portage/package.unmask
/etc/portage/package.mask is a directory rather than a file (either is possible) in your installation, and if
/etc/portage/package.unmask is a directory rather than a file (either is possible) in your installation, use the following commands instead of the above two commands:
# echo "*/*::kde" > /etc/portage/package.mask/kde_overlay
# echo "kde-misc/kdeconnect" > /etc/portage/package.unmask/kdeconnect
Now add the KDE overlay and merge the package:
# layman -a kde
# emerge kdeconnect
If a firewall is running on your PC, you will need to configure it to allow tcp and udp traffic via a specific range of ports (1714 to 1764). I have UFW running on my main laptop, so in my case I used the following commands:
# ufw allow proto tcp to any port 1714:1764
# ufw allow proto udp to any port 1714:1764
The rules should look like this:
# ufw status verbose | grep 1714
1714:1764/tcp ALLOW IN Anywhere
1714:1764/udp ALLOW IN Anywhere
1714:1764/tcp ALLOW IN Anywhere (v6)
1714:1764/udp ALLOW IN Anywhere (v6)
If you have the KConfig Module
kcm_ufw installed on your PC then you can instead use System Settings > Firewall to add the UFW rules via the KDE GUI.
By the way, to check which KConfig modules are installed on your PC you can use the following command under your user account:
$ kcmshell4 --list
Using KDE Connect is not difficult, so I will leave you to play with it. Obviously make sure WiFi is enabled on your Android device, and that it and your PC are connected to the same network. Tap on the KDE Connect icon on your Android device to launch the app, and you should see your PC’s name listed under CONNECTED DEVICES. Tap on the PC name and you should see the following screen:
KDE Connect screen
If you tap on ‘Send ping’, the KDE Notification widget on the KDE System Tray should pop up a notification.
You can see what KDE Connect plug-ins are available, and select/deselect them:
KDE Connect plugins
KDE Connect also enables you to use your Android device as a remote control for media players running on your PC. When you launch a media player in KDE its name will appear in a list of selectable players in KDE Connect, and the name of the track currently playing will also be displayed:
KDE Connect - Remote control
When you select a file on your Android device and tap the Share icon, KDE Connect will be one of the options displayed on the ‘Share via’ menu. This is a handy way to send files from your Android device to your PC. The KDE Notification widget on your PC will notify you when the file has been transferred to
on your PC:
KDE on your PC notifies you a file has been sent via KDE Connect
You should also get notifications on your KDE desktop when someone phones or sends you an SMS.
Kudos and many thanks to the people responsible for KDE Connect. KDE is already a superb desktop environment, and with the addition of KDE Connect it is better still.