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[How to] Access and Add Files On Your ASUS Transformer in Ubuntu

Despite having had my ASUS Transformer – the company’s hugely successful Android tablet – for almost a week it’s only today that I got around to seeing how it fared when hooked up to Ubuntu.

For adding files to the Transformer ASUS provide some Windows only software. Call me lazy but I couldn’t be bothered to find out this worked through Wine. Instead I wanted a “native” solution.

Thankfully I wasn’t alone. Over on the XDA Developers forum two plucky members had already posted solutions…

gMTP

gMTP can be installed through the Ubuntu Software Centre (click) and provides a simple interface for browsing through files and folders on your Transformer. To add files from your PC to your tablet you simple drag and drop them into the folder you wish to store them in.

Drawbacks include an inability to ‘download’ files from my Transformer to my desktop and no extra ‘views’ for the file browser such as ‘thumbnails’ to make identifying photos easier.

MTPFS

MTPFS is “…a FUSE filesystem that supports reading and writing from any MTP device.” It’s not a standalone programme like gMTP above. Instead MTPFS gives you access to your Transformer files via Nautilus, allowing you to browse them just like any other folder on your desktop.

The main drawback is ‘mounting’ it. One needs to jump through a few hoops to get it set up. If you’re prepared to, and this is certainly my preferred method for now, instructions follow.

Open a terminal and run the following commands separately, entering your password where prompted. Ensure your Transformer is connected via USB to your computer.

  • sudo apt-get install mtpfs
  • sudo mkdir /media/transformer
  • sudo chmod 775 /media/transformer

To “mount” your transformer so you can access, add and download files run: -

  • sudo mtpfs -o allow_other /media/transformer

When done run:

  • sudo umount mtpfs
You will need to repeat the last two steps every time you wish to mount then unmount your device.
Admittedly this method is less than elegant but it does work. Using it I can browse my Transformer using Nautilus, including seeing thumbnails of photos, previews of music tracks by hovering over them, etc.