CoffeeBreak Tutorial #4: Windows Phones on Ubuntu 12.04LTS


I have a Nokia Lumia 520 device that fails to enumerate as a USB Storage on my Ubuntu 12.04 LTS desktop. Things are not as plug and play it seems. I have been using the skydrive( *cough* OneDrive ) route to access media for a few weeks until today i sat down to fight the issue Running..



nokia1This means the Linux knows that we have a nokia mobile phone! But it doesnt provide a file access to it.

A little dig shows that ‘modern’ ‘smartphones’ use MTP (Media Transfer Protocol) to transfer data ! Its a modified Picture Transfer Protocol.. Ubuntu 12.04 has no ‘native’ support but Ubuntu 13.04 does have it.

So, 2 options :

  1. Install 13.04 (rather upgrade)
  2. Find a work around

Well it turns out there is a PPA called GVFS (Genome Virtual File system)-MTP( Media Transfer Protocol) that can be installed to help nautilus get the device! This surfaced when some android devs were getting issues working with MTP on Android 4.0+ .(Does anyone care about WP8 anyway? )

The commands/steps are:

  1. sudo add-apt-repository ppa:langdalepl/gvfs-mtp
  2. sudo apt-get update
  3. Run the update manager and install update
  4. Restart
  5. Plug the Lumia
  6. It must show!

So, i followed the above link and after a bit of restarting the device finally showed up!


But i was not quite able to access it as it failed to mount the device repeatedly. I replugged it a couple of times and went to Terminal and typed natilus and then it got mounted! I was able to access the SD Card and phone memory without issues.


The read(copy from device) and write( paste to device) both operations worked!

nokia3But there was no thumbnail preview ! If you want to view an image just copy paste it somewhere outside the device to view it.

Hope this helps the small niche of people who have a WP8 based phone and have an Ubuntu System !