Best Practise: Access (android) smartphone from within antiX 23.1

Forum Forums General Tips and Tricks Best Practise: Access (android) smartphone from within antiX 23.1

  • This topic has 8 replies, 4 voices, and was last updated May 29-3:42 am by Robin.
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  • #143643
    Member
    Robin

      What is best practise to access an android smartphone from within antiX?

      – I know, you can plug the USB connection to a PC, but this will load the battery to 100% the same time (or even trickle charge), while I want to load the battery to 70% max. (At least my android doesn’t allow to set a maximum load limit to 70% or 80%, all the apps which could do this would require root access). So the direct connection via USB is no option.

      – What remains is accessing the smartphone via Wlan, since it has no Ethernet connector. Made sure it is hooked to the wlan-router properly (so it can even access internet and all local devices in LAN this way) first. Then I tried to mount it as an nfs drive from within antiX. NFS seems neither to be accepted nor available as a program. Searched for an installable Samba server program for android, so it could be accessed by antiX Shared Folders script. But guess what? You can’t do that on android, since you need to be root for this. Can’t root the device, since then it will refuse to work properly with the mandatory apps from government and other official institutions and public transport. (rant: what kind of nonsense is that? Seems smartphones are designed for children to play with merely)

      I guess other antiX users might run into the very same issues. So here is what has worked for me in the end:

      What I found as a workaround is the good old ftp. Why can that work? Well, you can assign any port, not only the default port 21 to your ftp server. And Linux derivates only need root access to open ports below 1024. So just install on the android an ftp server program which allows to set the port freely from the “play store” (Yes, they actually call it play store! So they at least admit that these phones are considered and designed as a toy merely. Nevertheless, I have successfully used this one. Is that program trustworthy? I’m not experienced at all on android). After starting the server on android, go to its settings and remove the hooklet from anonymous access and check the box ftps (use secured ftp over TLS/SSL) and set SSL mode to “explicit”. Check that the port number is set to something above 1024. Finally change username and password from the stupid default “android:android” to something more rational and secure. Leave the settings screen and start the ftp server on android. If you did all right, you’ll get the server address displayed along with the port number, username and password. Now you can mount that address from within antiX 23.1 directly, either using gFTP from antiX main menu, section Internet, or by zzzFM (on antiX 23 and 23.1 you need to add a package for this to work, since debian has messed it by not having the needed package available in stable/bookworm (while is is present in oldstable/bullseye and unstable/sid both from where you can pull it). In zzzFM click “open URL” from menu “file” and enter the server address along with the credentials following the pattern: ftp://username:password@ip-address:port. Hint: Make sure your antiX is connected to the same LAN (either bei WLAN or Wired) as the android, and your router allows connections among devices within the local network. The folders, subfolders and files on your android smartphone should be available immediately in zzzFM. Before stopping the server on android make sure you have unmounted it on antiX by right clicking its entry in zzzFM “devices” panel, select “unmount” from it. Then you can safely stop the server on android smartphone again.

      While this is working generally, I noticed a slight inconvenience with the above method: The android screen won’t go black while the server is running, so now the battery is unnecessarily drained by the light. Where is the light switch?

      Anybody around more familiar with android smartphones who knows a better alternative how to access it directly from within antiX via WLAN ? I explicitly don’t want to use external web services (like a google drive or a cloud) for this simple task. Or a method to suppress the constant charging while connecting the android to the PC directly via USB?

      Windows is like a submarine. Open a window and serious problems will start.

      #143645
      Member
      PPC

        Searched for an installable Samba server program for android, so it could be accessed by antiX Shared Folders script. But guess what? You can’t do that on android, since you need to be root for this

        No- I don’t have a rooted android device and I can access Samba networks with it. Several pieces of FOSS allow users to do that. I use a very nice File Manager, called “Material Files”, that does that.

        EDIT: hum… on very, very old android devices, the file system was locked – those devices had to be temporarily rooted, in order to unlock access to the file system (I did that, I think, to my old android 4.1 tablet)

        Also, there are 2 very nice pieces of FOSS that allows to manage android devices and share files with them – “PlainApp”, that’s basically similar to KDE connect, but does not require any special software on the computer side, it’s all done via a local web page, via the browser, and also, just to share files: “Local Send” (that is almost universal – it has clients for sharing files between android, 64bits linux, windows, ios and macos)

        P.

        • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 1 day ago by PPC.
        • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 1 day ago by PPC.
        • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 1 day ago by PPC.
        #143651
        Member
        Robin

          No- I don’t have a rooted android device and I can access Samba networks with it.

          I guess you have misread me: This is not about accessing antiX from within the android, but vice versa the android from within antiX. It’s about mounting the android in antiX like an USB stick, or a digital camera storage, or any other external remote file system present in your LAN. In contrast, what you have installed is obviously a Samba client, not a server… Same goes for the other tools you have mentioned, which require to use the web browser additionally.

          I have to admit, I don’t like to operate the file transfers from within the smartphone screen, the onscreen-keyboard is way to error prone while keying. This kind of stuff seems to be designed for children’s fingers merely, way to small for convenient and fast usage. Moreover you have to switch constantly between three levels of this virtual keyboard to key in special characters. Who has designed that? It’s an ergonomic desaster. And then, the characters on the screen are way to tiny for a real work with such a device (and if zooming in, the screen is way to small to get a good oversight). Hence I prefer seeing the android storage mounted in zzzFM, like a local folder. That renders working fast and easy.

          Windows is like a submarine. Open a window and serious problems will start.

          #143653
          Member
          anti-apXos

            So the direct connection via USB is no option.

            I’ve seen people modify USB cables so they’re data-only with no power line. Usually it’s done by slicing open the sleeve and cutting a wire, but actually on a USB-A plug you can just do it with a careful application of some fingernail polish.

            Personally, I could never use a phone that’s not rooted. How can you stand not being an administrator on your own computer?

            #143662
            Member
            Robin

              I’ve seen people modify USB cables so they’re data-only with no power line. Usually it’s done by slicing open the sleeve and cutting a wire, but actually on a USB-A plug you can just do it with a careful application of some fingernail polish.

              Many thanks for that hint. I wasn’t aware that would work, expecting that the devices sense the presence of +5V voltage as some kind of control parameter to initialise the data connection.

              How can you stand not being an administrator on your own computer?

              I can’t. 🙂 That’s why I don’t like these smartphones. I have the constant impression these are children’s toys merely. But when rooting it, as said, I have read that some of the most important “apps” won’t work any longer, e.g. the ones needed to give access to tickets to ride on trains, also apps to have access the local administrative tasks of the authorities, and banking stuff needed nowadays to get in contact with your bank, and so on. All this is said not to be functional when rooting your smartphone, and other for that I rarely need all it’s smartness. Maybe I’m not properly informed, and all this would still work after rooting?

              Windows is like a submarine. Open a window and serious problems will start.

              #143664
              Member
              PPC

                @Robin- yes, android may “feel good” for users of more modern versions of Windows, that has an UI that seems to be dumbed down in each sucessive iteration (hiding features to make it “easier to use”, for example), or with versions that simply don’t allow users to do certain things… We are not used to that in most Linux distros, specially in antiX.

                For what you want to achieve, I can see several ways:
                – connect antiX – android via a modified usb cable that just allows data (and not power)
                – keep using ftp, via Wi-fi
                – use Plainapp, via Wi-fi – yes, it runs inside the browser, on the computer side, but includes a file manager, that allows multiple actions, and (I think) complete access to your android file system. There similar apps (I mentioned KDE connect, but I’ve never really tested it).

                P.

                #143676
                Member
                anti-apXos

                  But when rooting it, as said, I have read that some of the most important “apps” won’t work any longer

                  I’ve heard about this, but I do think there’s also workarounds to hide that the phone is rooted. I don’t know how reliable they are, though.

                  To be honest, my phone uses a very old version of Android (6.0.1 Marshmallow) and also doesn’t have Google Play Services, so the majority of apps on Play Store don’t work for me anyway. In fact, neither does Play Store itself. I have a group of apps that work and do all the things I want, but my usage is almost the opposite of yours. The only one of the things you mentioned that I use is accessing my bank account, which I just do through the browser instead of using an app.

                  #143800
                  Member
                  Xunzi_23

                    Hi all, I have a non google Huawei Phone, getting applications is not that big a deal, F Droid and APK Pure
                    serve my needs.

                    With regards to rooting or other android questions xda developers Forum is best source I know of.
                    My huawei phone is not rootable and stuck on what I call trump decree vers 9. The first no google android I
                    had not modified myself.

                    XDA has changed a lot much is just clickbait, the forum still seems sane.

                    Best phones for rooting, moot question, probably Xiaomi and Poco although the bootloader unlocking proceedure is
                    a pain. There is a wait time involved to reduce scamming with a corrupted OS, something I have seen some years ago
                    on Lenovo Lemon.

                    Cutting the power lead in USB cables works fine, on a desktop computer cutting the cable within the computer may be
                    easier for those phones on which a do not have a do not charge to 100% setting is not available.

                    • This reply was modified 3 weeks ago by Xunzi_23.
                    #143824
                    Member
                    Robin

                      With regards to rooting or other android questions xda developers Forum is best source I know of.

                      Many thanks, @Xunzi_23 for that hint. Marcelo had pointed me already to this place, will have to read all the stuff over there, but I’m still not sure whether I actually should root the phone. As you can derive from this thread, I’m just starting to use the device you had sent me one or two years ago (many thanks again!), after I was now successful in replacing its swollen rechargeable lithium battery. I guess this inflation of the soft pack happened because of the missing 70% limit on android 8.1, or by that automatic trickle charge when battery is full while connected to the PC. So now with the new battery I’ll try to observe the charge state more closely by manually restricting it to a range between 30% to 70% (instead of automatically 12% to 100% including trickle charge if battery is full), in the hope that the battery will last a bit this time, even when it has merely 4750 mAh (18,29 Wh) instead of the original 5000 mAh (19,25 Wh), while the spare-part-number V30145-K1310-X464 was identically and it fits mechanically. Seems you can’t get any longer the original rated batteries with 19,25 Wh. I’d like to avoid bricking it when doing something wrong on a rooting attempt. Also I’m not sure how trustworthy these obviously homebrew replacement android-OS images are you need to download for this from that xda forum.

                      Another question I’d like to avail myself of the opportunity of posing it here is, how can you determine whether an “App” is trustworthy or not? From Forbes you can learn there is a web tool you can send the play-store link to and have it analysed, just like virustotal does for the PC world. Wanted to check the above mentioned ftp server program written by Medhaaps, and also the ssh server program written by Al-Sultan Mohamed Gamal Al-Quaiti, but it seems I can’t find a way to paste the addresses into the scan tool linked at forbes site. Also seems I can’t find any ratings about the tools, and the homepage of the second tool wouldn’t even show any useful pieces of information, just asks for a login instead. Also no programs for these tasks seem to be available as FOS, which means there is no way to have at least a glance through the source code for conspicuous features built in, so my default strategies to evaluate a program before installing and using it fail on that kind of “play” hardware completely. What do you think about these programs or their creators?

                      And a last one I couldn’t find any pieces of information in the web on: The “playstore” has informed me some days ago it has deacivated a malicious program named “Font manager”, which I never had installed myself, and which is not in the list of the installed programs, so this was obviously part of the android operating system already. What was this app good for, and what precisely did it malicious? As said, this is probably a perfect noob question, but please keep in mind I am not used to smartphones, and for me on these devices there are constantly missing fundamental and comprehensive functionality and complete information. Everything important seems to be excluded by design from the UI. Ridiculous. Well, not sure whether this is my own stupidity or these devices are simply designed stupidly, google itself has no answer to this font manager issue, other people have asked the very same question already with no result. What was this program supposed to do, and what part of the OS takes over the removed functionality now? I’m a bit lost in the face of that much lack of available information.

                      Windows is like a submarine. Open a window and serious problems will start.

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