KDE Connect is a super convenient way to link your Android phone and your Linux PC. With it, you can view your notifications and respond to text messages on your desktop or laptop. You can also share files and links between the two and control your PC from your phone.
Even though KDE Connect is super popular and streamlined, it still doesn’t integrate all that well with GTK desktops like MATE. Thankfully, there’s a GTK alternative in indicator-kdeconnect.
Install KDE Connect
Start by installing KDE Connect. It seems counterproductive, but you’re still going to need KDE Connect for this to work. Sure, it does have a ton of dependencies, but most of them are actually just Qt libraries. You’re not going to get a ton of KDE or Plasma apps or even the desktop environment itself.
It’s available in both the Debian and Ubuntu repositories, so install it with Apt.
sudo apt install kdeconnect
There are a few different ways to install indicator-kdeconnect, but Flatpak is by far the easiest. If you don’t already have it on your system, install it.
sudo apt install flatpak
Now, enable the Flathub repository on your system. This is a major repository, and it contains tons of what Flatpak has to offer, so you won’t regret installing it if you plan to use Flatpak again in the future.
sudo flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists flathub https://flathub.org/repo/flathub.flatpakrepo
Once you’ve added the repository to your system, you can install indicator-kdeconnect.
sudo flatpak install flathub com.github.bajoja.indicator-kdeconnect
During the install, you’ll be asked to install several GNOME dependencies through Flatpak. They’re necessary, and they won’t interfere with your system. Confirm and continue the install.
Download the App
Open the Play Store and search for KDE Connect, then install it. It should be the first result that comes up.
Open the app. You probably won’t see much there yet, but your computer will show up there when you start KDE Connect on there as well.
Connect Your Phone
Back on your computer, log out of your user account and log back in. This isn’t always necessary, but you may need to do it in order to see the indicator from Flatpak in your launcher.
Open your Applications menu, and look under the Internet tab. There you’ll see two KDE Connect options. Launch KDE Connect Indicator.
The icon will appear in the system tray. Right click on it, and select Configure.
A new window will open, and with any luck, you’ll see your your device listed there. Click on it to see its settings in the right side of the window. Then, in the upper right, click the “Request Pair” button.
You’ll receive a notification on your phone requesting to pair. Accept. The screen will shift on both your phone and the computer showing that they’re paired. Now you have full access to KDE Connect’s features.
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