How to mount the LG Nexus 4 as a USB drive in Linux

So far, I like my Nexus 4 quite a bit, but there is one design decision that has already begun to bother me. Starting with the Galaxy Nexus, Google switched to using MTP only for file transfers, instead of the MSC protocol used for USB drives and the like. While this doesn’t present much of a problem for Windows users, Linux often has a bit of trouble accessing the files on MTP devices.

I remember setting up my main desktop computer to mount the Galaxy Nexus as a USB drive, but I had since installed a newer version of Kubuntu that wasn’t compatible with the Nexus 4. As such, I was happy to find a guide on XDA with simple steps for setting up the Nexus 4 as a USB device under Linux.

(Note: The following section is an image, so you will have to type the commands yourself. The text for the 51-android.rules file can be found through the XDA link.)

I’m still a bit annoyed that Google removed MSC connectivity from the last two Nexus devices, as I don’t see a really good reason for it. Yes, the Nexus 4 is supposed to be a wireless device, but for a gadget that is supposed to be at least geared toward geeks a little bit, making things unnecessarily difficult for Linux users without a good reason doesn’t make much sense. Fortunately, with about five minutes and these commands the problem can quickly be rectified, and Linux users like me can get back to enjoying the Nexus 4.

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Aaron Orquia

Aaron Orquia is an associate editor at Pocketables. He has been using Android and Linux since he bought his first computer years ago, and his interest in technology, software, and tweaking both to work just right has only grown stronger since then. His current gadgets include a OnePlus One, a Pebble smartwatch, and an Acer C720 Chromebook.

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