Integrating your Android phone into Gnome Shell pt. 2

In part one we looked at installing Gnome Shell connect, a KDEconnect implementation for Gnome to enable us to:

  • Receive your phone notifications on your desktop computer and reply to SMS messages
  • Control music playing on your desktop from your phone
  • Use your phone as a remote control for your desktop
  • Run predefined commands on your PC from connected devices
  • Check your phones battery level from the desktop
  • Ring your phone to help find it
  • Share files and links between devices
  • Browse your phone from the desktop
  • Control the desktop’s volume from the phone.

Integrating your Android phone into Gnome Shell pt. 1

In Part 2. we’ll look at:

Casting from Android to the Linux desktop,

Mirroring an android device to the desktop with ADB

Remote Control Kodi with Kore Remote


Casting from Android to the Linux desktop

Many companies think it’s not worth developing apps for the relatively smaller Linux market.

although we can share links transfer files and open Youtube videos to play in a browser video, Casting enables us to view media located on the Android device without sending the files to the desktop first and then opening. To Do this we will need to install the Allcast chrome extension on the desktop. This can be opened outside the browser and enables us to view the media sent. On the phone, the corresponding app will be needed to ‘stream’ the media to the desktop.

To install the chrome extension (in Chrome/Chromium) Click here and click install, You can now open it as a separate app from your desktop application launcher, without first having to open a browser.

Next, install the Android app from the Google play store here hit the install button and select your device to automatically install it. Make sure both the desktop app and the phone app are open and connected to the same wifi network.

On the Android app select the device to cast to (Chrome @ your desktop IP Address)

and use the interface to select which file to cast, Now you can share pictures of lunch, play audio and video from phone to your Linux desktop.

Mirroring an android device to the desktop with ADB

ADB, the Android Debugging bridge is a way to access the phone through command line level for phone testing and remote use. It can be used to gain root access, flash roms, push files to the device and interact with devices at an advanced level. For mirroring we will be streaming the device screen and sending input via the desktop mouse and keyboard. This will the phones usb cable, and it’s recommended to always connect with this although it can be done through Wifi on the same network.

Enable ADB on the phone by:

  1. Go to Phone Setting
  2. Enter About Phone
  3. Choose Software Information
  4. Tap 7x on Build Number
  5. Back to Settings
  6. Choose Developer Option
  7. Turn it ON

Install ADB, open a terminal and enter

sudo apt-get install adb

Next, connect the phone to the PC with the USB cable and type:

adb devices

The ADB server will start and list the devices like so,


To connect wirelessly run:

adb tcpip 55555

Disconnect the USB cable and enter:

adb connect <ip address of phone>:5555

Note: You will have to re-enter the last step whenever the device restarts or change networks.

Install Vysor

Vysor Is a standalone chrome extension (ad-supported for the free version) that will display the phone screen and enable input to the phone from the desktop. It can be installed from the chrome web store here. Once installed open it from your applications menu. If ADB is functioning correctly the device will be recognized and click the green view button. A new window will pop up with a mirror image of the phone screen, use the mouse to navigate and enjoy keyboard entry.

Remote Control Kodi with Kore Remote

Kodi Is a slick piece of software, low resources yet graphically stunning and extendable. For which it is constantly in the news for illegal purposes. Yet the actual software is perfectly legal when managing your own media and using the official add-ons. In a world where everything is remote controlled, why not Kodi?

To Start:

Kodi is installable  through the Software Centre, or with :

sudo apt-get install kodi

Open Kodi and click on the gear icon on the top of the menu.

Screenshot from 2018-09-14 13-14-09

The select Select Service settings

Screenshot from 2018-09-14 13-14-13

Now enable the following toggle switches on:

  • Allow remote control via HTTP
  • Allow remote control from applications on this system
  • Allow remote control from applications on other systems

Screenshot from 2018-09-14 13-14-31

With everything now set on on the Kodi side we need to download the Android Remote Control application called Kore, it’s available from Google Play here.

When the apps installed open it on your android device and it will guide you through the add media centre wizard. Click on your after it’s found and the wizard will automatically configure the settings needed to access Kodi.

More ways to Interact with your Android

In this guide we have covered ways to interact with an Android device over the Linux Desktop, Mainly through Wifi Connections, It’s even possible to use a 3/4G connection as a Mobile Wifi Hotspot. Communicating can also be done by Bluetooth to tether a phone, use the desktop as a Bluetooth speaker, and use a Linux machine with a microphone as a Hands-Free Profile for audio calls.

Enabling ADB features of an Android can greatly expose interaction with access to all features of Android giving the possibility of gaining root access to expose advanced phone features.

How do you interact with your phone from your PC, Do you have any favourite apps to use with your Phone/Desktop interaction? Let us know in the comments.

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