How to access Samsung Galaxy S II usb drive in Ubuntu

I recently had a chance of playing with a Samsung Galaxy S II. It is indeed quite a stunning phone. Thin, lightweight with an awesome camera and a brilliant display screen, it just blows your mind away. And it is fast too! It houses a dual core chipset under the hood! Using it is as easy as any andriod phone. I wont go into the specs and usage details as you can find them on any top notch android website.

The real issue came into light when I tried to transfer some photos from the Galaxy S II to my laptop running Ubuntu using a usb cable. Samsung has its own software called Kies which gets activated as soon as you connect a usb cable to the phone. Samsung Kies and Ubuntu are not compatible with each other and hence Ubuntu just detects a phone card but is unable to read from inside the folders.
To get past this issue, enabling USB storage will do the trick.Once this is enabled, Kies will be disabled and the stock USB handler will come into effect. Then you can easily mount the USB drive.
Here’s how to do it.
1. On Galaxy S II , go to
Menu -> Settings -> Wireless and network -> USB utilities 
2. Click on Connect Storage to PC
3. Connect the USB cable to your pc.
4. Click on Connect USB storage
5. Use your file manager to install/copy/paste.
6. Once finished, click on Disconnect storage from PC to disconnect and unmount drive from Ubuntu.
Hope this helps!

Sayantan Das

Sayantan is a Sr. IT Consultant by the day and works mainly with Middleware and Linux . He is a RedHat certified Sales Engineer . He loves to tinker with Linux systems and writes for and

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13 thoughts on “How to access Samsung Galaxy S II usb drive in Ubuntu

  1. Hi Sayantan
    Thanks very much for this info. If only companies would stop muddying the waters by inserting their own crapware ….

  2. I'm using a galaxy note II (GT-N7105) running 4.1.1. I have exactly the described problem but there is no 'USB Utilities' option under the "Wireless and networks" settings (or any option I can find in the settings anywhere).

    Checking the USB debugging option under the Developer options (debugging) before connecting the phone to Ubuntu does not work either.

    This is very frustrating and is a major problem for an otherwise excellent phone/mobile computer.

  3. Yup this sucks big stile … I am fed up with these barstuards that try and exploit its customers by locking them into proprietary protocols that they try to control. Google … go f*** yourself … I am upgrading to ubuntu because I am sick of this shit. My f*** phone …. my f*** data ….F*** OFF!

  4. Samsung has removed the ability to connect your phone as a mass storage device. If you have the latest updates from Samsung the methods described here no longer work. You are forced to connect with MTP. Has anyone resolved this? When will MTP work correctly in Ubuntu? Are there any distros that have this working?

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