How to explore Android device files under FreeBSD ?

Polytropon freebsd at
Mon Jul 15 00:06:09 UTC 2019

On Mon, 15 Jul 2019 00:34:35 +0100, RW via freebsd-questions wrote:
> On Sun, 14 Jul 2019 19:44:16 +0200
> Polytropon wrote:
> > Why doesn't it seem to occur to people that this sounds entirely
> > wrong? It's not that it is impossible, or doesn't work - but
> > shouldn't it be much easier to copy _your_ photos from _your_ phone
> > without requiring a 3rd party app, registering for a crappy cloud
> > service, or mess with "developer settings"?
> You shouldn't need to do that. "developer settings" is probably a
> misunderstanding. 

The term "development settings" is my (sloppy) translation of
the menu item I had to check in order to be able to use the
adb program; the german language version calls it "Entwicklung",
which means development.

> > In my opinion, it should be as easy as attaching the USB cable and
> > then immediately having access to a direct access mass storage, as
> > per the standard.
> There's no good reason to support that when MTP does it better and is
> widely supported.

I didn't say anything against MTP. In fact, that's how I got
files from an iPad. There is absolutely nothing wrong with MTP,
as there are convenient tools, both for CLI and GUI use. I
just don't think it is good reasoning to assume that you have
to install some app or register to some cloud service just to
get your photos from your smarthone. Maybe those aren't that
smart after all? ;-)

> > Mount it, copy your files, unmount it, done. No
> > need for apps and cloud nonsense. Of course, using an MTP interface
> > is also easy, and with GUI tools like gtkam, access is super easy.
> > It should work that way by default, with cable.
> You can do that, but some people prefer to do it wirelessly.

Again, no problem if it works wirelessly in a similar easy
manner. However, using a cable is the idea that says "most
simple way", because that's how you did it with any previous
device that didn't have wireless functionality (for example,

> Most Android file managers support sftp (as well as ftp and ftps), but
> I've never got any of them to work with FreeBSD. I get 
>  sshd[77936]: error: PAM: Authentication error for <user> from
> It's strange because  FileZilla works from Windows, and I can get ssh
> terminal access from Android and Windows. Username and password are
> pure ASCII.

In that case, use Wireshark to examine the traffic. An alternative
is of course FTP, which you should only use on trusted networks,
because it doesn't have encryption of access credentials (which
you could easily see in Wireshark).

> > Why do manufacturers think it's okay to make things needlessly
> > complicated? 
> In my experience they haven't.

You must be glad to have purchased a smartphone that does everything
according to your expectations. Sadly, that doesn't seem to be the
default, especially when you exit the "supported ecosystem" and want
to do something with your everyday FreeBSD-based tools...

Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...

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