Bluetooth / Wifi Direct alternative wireless mobile transfer under GNU/Linux

Wireless Transfer

I recently had a lot of photos and videos that I wanted to transfer from my mobile phone. Sadly, my usb cable was clinically dead. I thought, hey! that thing can communicate wirelessly so why not use it?

Bluetooth? How fast is it?

First thing that came to mind was bluetooth. I knew that thing was kinda slow, but you know, it had to be  upgraded to revision 4.0 or 4.1 since my last phone. So, I went to check and on my phone it was version 4.2. Even Better ! and I thought even faster!

Setting up bluetooth under GNU/Linux

Blueman is a very nice utility that allows you to manage all your bluetooth devices.

sudo apt-get install blueman

Some configurations needed though:

nano /etc/bluetooth/main.conf

AutoEnable=true #uncomment this line for autodetection

Launch using:


bluetooth wifi direct linux

Don’t make it easy.right ?

Once you open blueman, just setup by pairing your mobile to your computer. Its easy as a few clicks.

Bluetooth Speed – 7.9 Kb/s

Ok my peak speed was 7.9 Kb/s, surely I was doing something wrong. Probably hadn’t ‘unlocked’ my bluetooth’s potential. Looked again in config files. Noo !! That was kinda normal speed.

Speeding Bluetooth! 120 Kb/s

Did I find some magical wand? Secret config files? Kernel tweak? No No No.

Bluetooth is affected by distance. I just placed my phone very close to my laptop’s bluetooth. And the speed peaked to 120kb/s.

Yeah simple as that!

Still slow when you need to transfer 20GB worth of files. But I had reached somewhat of a bottleneck. If someone knows another way, please let me know. I have given up on bluetooth for files more than a few GB.

Wifi Direct

My mobile had some feature called Wifi Direct. That was the way to go. So how to set it up under Ubuntu ? I read the documentation, I had to move fast. As far as I remember, I had to tweak a lot of things on the phone, right into the kernel. This was too slow for me.

Wifi Direct complexity level – 7 out of ten ! No thank you !

Wifi File Transfer Free – 2.5Mb/s

What is this ? A nifty mobile app available on Google Play.

How does it work? This app simply creates a virtual server on your mobile. Then you access it using an url.

bluetooth wifi direct linux

Fire it up as above on your mobile. Type the URL on your PC.

Beware: It’s available for all users on your Wifi network.

See and download your files in real time !


Bluetooth -Pictures. For few files around 1mb-4mb, bluetooth can be considered to be fast enough.

Wifi – Videos and tons of pictures ! Transfered around 20GB worth of videos in less than 10 minutes

You are welcome ! 🙂

codarren at hackers dot mu

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