How to Send and Receive SMS on Linux with KDE Connect

Send and Receive SMS KDE Connect Linux

KDE Connect is an amazing application that bridges the gap between your Linux desktop and your Android phone. It allows you to view the notifications from your Android phone on your desktop. It also lets you respond to text messages through your Linux PC.

KDE Connect also has other useful features. You can control your Linux computer from your Android device. It even lets you share web pages between devices.

Install KDE Connect on Ubuntu Linux

You don’t need to have KDE installed on Ubuntu to run KDE Connect. It will work well with Unity, GNOME, or whichever desktop environment you’re running.

Since it’s part of KDE, it is available in Ubuntu’s repositories, so you can install it directly with Apt.

sudo apt update 
sudo apt install kdeconnect

In order to get the most out of KDE Connect on non-KDE desktop environments, you can install a third-party program called Indicator KDE Connect. It provides integration for other desktop environments via their notification systems.

To download the indicator, head over to the author’s Github repository and download the latest release as a .deb.

In your terminal, first install the one additional dependency that you’ll need.

sudo apt install python3-requests-oauthlib

Then, change directory into your Downloads folder and install the indicator package with dpkg.

cd ~/Downloads 
sudo dpkg -i indicator-kdeconnect_0.8.1-amd64.deb

Indicator is a graphical program. You can open it by searching in Unity. There will be two entries. The “Settings” one is what you need to connect. The other is the taskbar applet.

Install KDE Connect on Android

KDE Connect for Android is also free and open source. It’s available in both the Google Play Store and on F-Droid. Either way, you can type in a search for it. The app will come right up. Install it like you would any other app on your Android device.

Sync Android and Linux

Syncing up your phone is very easy. Open the KDE Connect app on your phone. Then, open Indicator KDE Connect Settings on your Ubuntu PC.

KDE Connect Pair Android

In the “Settings” window when you see your phone listed in the box to the left, click on it. The window will change to display information about your phone. It will also include a “Pair” button. Click on that. You will receive a notification on your phone of the pair request which you should accept.

KDE Connect Indicator

With your phone connected, open the regular Indicator KDE Connect from Unity to run the applet.

Testing Out SMS

There are a couple of ways to test out KDE Connect. Start with sending and receiving text messages. That’s why you’re reading, right? You can either send yourself a message or have a friend do it. Assuming you’re sending it, grab your phone and send a message to your phone number. A dialog box will pop up in Ubuntu with the number that sent the text and the message itself.

Receive SMS with KDE Connect on Ubuntu

Unfortunately, there isn’t a way to reply directly, but you can send a message back. Click on the applet in the top-right of your screen on Ubuntu. You’ll see the options that are available with KDE Connect. One of them allows you to send a text message. Select that.

Send text messages from Ubuntu Linux

The window that opens is very simple. There are two boxes: One for the number of the recipient and one for the message. When you’re done, you can send it. Try sending one to yourself to make sure that it’s working properly. It’s important to remember that Ubuntu isn’t actually sending the message. It’s passing the message along to your phone, so sending a message won’t work without a connected Android phone.

Other Awesome Features

KDE Connect Menu Android

KDE Connect has some other great features that you should look into.

It enables you to send and receive files from your phone. You can search through the files on your phone from your computer and transfer them over. You can also share files from your phone to your computer. They will appear in your Downloads folder.

With KDE Connect you get two ways to control your Linux PC from your phone. There is a touchpad functionality that converts your Android screen into the equivalent of a laptop touchpad. There is also a media control that you can use to control music being played on Ubuntu from your phone.

KDE Connect Share Android

KDE Connect can open web pages from your phone on your Linux computer. You can send interesting pages that you come across on your mobile device to you desktop to view on a larger screen or read later.

No matter how you look at it, KDE Connect is an innovative and powerful tool to bring your Linux and Android devices together.

Nick Congleton
Nick Congleton

Nick is a freelance tech. journalist, Linux enthusiast, and a long time PC gamer.

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