Media Transfer Protocol

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Revision as of 04:37, 25 November 2015 by Fylwind (talk | contribs) (jmtpfs: I guess this could be considered "working as intended", although the error message is kind of useless.)
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MTP, or the Media Transfer Protocol, is a USB device class which is used by many mobile phones (e.g. Samsung Galaxy S4) and media players (e.g. Creative Zen).



Linux MTP support is provided by installing the libmtp package. It can be installed on its own and used to access devices. However, a number of packages are available that use it as a dependency and add additional convenience (e.g. filemanager) functionalities and compatibility with particular device types - which includes improving transfer access speeds.

These packages to choose from all implement a Wikipedia:Filesystem in Userspace:

All of them aim at better functionality and performance over libmtp. Since there are a lot of different USB devices, you might want to research first which one looks most suitable for yours.

Tip: It is recommended to reboot your computer after installing MTP related packages.

Integration with file managers

To view the contents of your Android device's storage via MTP in your file manager, install the corresponding plugin:

After installing the required package, the device should show up in the file manager automatically and be accessible via an URL, for example mtp://[usb:002,013]/.


It might be required to create a mount-point directory first. The directory ~/mnt is used as an example below. Also do not forget to unlock your phone's screen before connecting it to the computer.


Detect your device:

# mtp-detect

If an error is returned, see troubleshooting libmtp.

Note: Your regular user must be in the uucp group.

Connect to your device:

# mtp-connect

If connection is successful, there are several switch options to use in conjunction with mtp-connect to access data on the device. You might want to use some stand alone commands:

 mtp-albumart        mtp-emptyfolders    mtp-getplaylist     mtp-reset           mtp-trexist
 mtp-albums          mtp-files           mtp-hotplug         mtp-sendfile
 mtp-connect         mtp-folders         mtp-newfolder       mtp-sendtr
 mtp-delfile         mtp-format          mtp-newplaylist     mtp-thumb
 mtp-detect          mtp-getfile         mtp-playlists       mtp-tracks
Warning: Some commands may be harmful to your MTP device!


Note: The following is likely to not work and you might have to resort to gphoto2 or a file manager with gvfs support like PCManFM.

First edit your /etc/fuse.conf and uncomment the following line:


Mount your device on ~/mnt:

$ mtpfs -o allow_other ~/mnt

Unmount device mounted on ~/mnt:

$ fusermount -u ~/mnt


Mount device on ~/mnt:

$ jmtpfs ~/mnt

Unmount device mounted on ~/mnt:

$ fusermount -u ~/mnt


Note: Mounting with go-mtpfs might fail if an external SD Card is present. If you try to access your device while having an SD card and go-mtpfs complains, try removing the SD card and mounting again.

Install android-udev, which will allow you to edit /etc/udev/rules.d/51-android.rules and apply to your idVendor and idProduct, which you can see after running mtp-detect. To the end of the line, add your user OWNER="<user>". First, create the fuse group if it doesn't exist:

# groupadd fuse

Add yourself to the fuse group:

# gpasswd -a <user> fuse

Reboot might be required.

Mount device on ~/mnt:

$ go-mtpfs ~/mnt

Unmount device mounted on ~/mnt:

$ fusermount -u ~/mnt


List MTP devices:

$ simple-mtpfs --list-devices

Mount your device on ~/mnt:

$ simple-mtpfs ~/mnt

Unmount device mounted on ~/mnt:

$ fusermount -u ~/mnt

Android File Transfer

FUSE interface
$ mkdir ~/my-device
$ ./aft-mtp-mount ~/my-device

If you want album art to be displayed, it must be named and placed first in the destination folder. Then copy other files. Also, note that fuse could be 7-8 times slower than ui/cli file transfer.

Qt user interface

Start the application, choose a destination folder and click any button on the toolbar. Available options are: Upload Album, Upload Directory and Upload Files. The latter two are self-explanatory. Upload album searches the source directory for album covers, and sets the best available cover.

Media players

You can also use your MTP device in music players such as Amarok. To achieve this, you might have to edit /etc/udev/rules.d/51-android.rules (the MTP device used in the following example is a Galaxy Nexus). Run:

$ lsusb

Search for your device. It should be something like that:

Bus 003 Device 011: ID 04e8:6860 Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd GT-I9100 Phone [Galaxy S II], GT-P7500 [Galaxy Tab 10.1]

And entry to /etc/udev/rules.d/51-android.rules will be this:

SUBSYSTEM=="usb", ATTR{idVendor}=="04e8", ATTR{idProduct}=="6860", MODE="0666", OWNER="[username]"

Also reload udev rules:

# udevadm control --reload



Unknown device

If you see a message like:

Device 0 (VID=XXXX and PID=XXXX) is UNKNOWN.
Please report this VID/PID and the device model to the libmtp development team

You should check whether your device is listed in the supported devices list. If it is not, you should report it to the developers team. If it is, your libmtp might be slightly outdated. To allow it to be properly used by libmtp, you can add your device to:


Unable to enumerate USB device

Merge-arrows-2.pngThis article or section is a candidate for merging with [[]].Merge-arrows-2.png

Notes: Unrelated to MTP, perhaps suited for USB storage devices (Discuss in Talk:Media Transfer Protocol#)

If you see a message like this in system log (journalctl)

 usb usb4-port2: unable to enumerate USB device

You can try following temporary workaround

 # modprobe -vr uhci_hcd
 # modprobe -va ohci_hcd
 # modprobe -va uhci_hcd

If it works you should create /etc/modprobe.d/usb_hci_order.conf with following content

 # create a dependency on ohci for uhci, which fixes problems
 # with external usb devices not showing up
 softdep uhci_hcd pre: ohci_hcd


Input/output error upon first access

Symptoms: jmtpfs successfully mounts, but as soon as one attempts to access files on the device (e.g. via ls), an error is reported:

 cannot access <mount-point>: Input/output error

This appears to be a security feature: MTP does not work when the phone is locked by the lockscreen. Unlock the phone and then remount the device.


Merge-arrows-2.pngThis article or section is a candidate for merging with udev.Merge-arrows-2.png

Notes: please use the second argument of the template to provide more detailed indications. (Discuss in Talk:Media Transfer Protocol#)

If you have installed the gvfs-mtp package, and your device doesn't show up in the file manager, you might need to reboot or write a udev rule in order to auto-mount the device.

Plug your device and get the vendor-id and product-id,respectively:

$ lsusb
Bus 001 Device 007: ID 0421:0661 Nokia Mobile Phones Lumia 920

The two numbers after ID are vendorId : productID

Then make a udev rule, e.g.

# nano /etc/udev/rules.d/51-android.rules

and type this rule:


Reload the udev rules.

# udevadm control --reload

And reboot the system. Now file managers (like Thunar) should be able to automount the MTP Device. [1]


If you are not able to use the action "Open with File Manager", you may work around this problem by editing the file /usr/share/apps/solid/actions/solid_mtp.desktop.

Change the line

Exec=kioclient exec mtp:udi=%i/


Exec=dolphin "mtp:/"