Samsung Captivate SGH-i896 Meets Linux
Yesterday, I picked up the newly launched (in Canada) Samsung Captivate. So far, I’m extremely impressed with the device. The super amoled display is gorgeous, the touch screen is responsive, and the UI is stunning to look at and use. Coming from a Blackberry Curve 8310, this phone is like a digital orgasm.
Once I finished gushing over how awesome this phone is, I decided to try and get it to interact with my Linux Mint 9 Isadora install. For now, I just want to be able to transfer images and music to and from the device, although later on, I’d like to get a development environment set up and try my hand at writing some apps.
My first try at getting the phone to play nicely with Linux was not successful. It took me a little bit of fooling around before I could figure it out, but here goes:
- On the phone, navigate to Settings > Applications > USB Settings and make sure that ‘Ask on Connection’ is selected
- Plug your phone into the a USB port, and when prompted, select ‘Mass Storage’ from the dialog that appears on the phone
- At this point, if you open up your Computer in Nautilus, you should see an icon that says something like SAMSUNG SGH-I896, but you won’t be able to interact with it in any way
- On the phone, grab the notification bar at the top of the home screen and drag it down
- In the notifications area, tap USB Connected, and when prompted, select Mount from the dialog
- Back in Nautilus, the icon under Computer should now say something like SAMSUNG SGH-I896: 14GB Filesystem, and you should be able to read and write to the card
With these steps complete, I was able to interact with the phone through the file system and from within Banshee and FSpot. I’m not sure why the phone won’t allow Linux to mount its storage devices by default when in Mass Storage mode, but this little work around seems to make it behave correctly.
Drop me a line in the comments if you have any Linux/Android compatibility questions, and I’ll do my best to help you out.
On my home media server, I am running Ubuntu 12.04
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