I have a RedMi note 7 phone model M1901F7G, running Android 9PKQ1.180904.001; I don't want to root my new phone (it is a gift from my wife, and I don't want risking bricking it).

I am an expert Linux user (since 1993) and developer (e.g. of bismon), preferring command line things.

The album on the phone contains a captchas subdirectory.

The phone is USB plugged to my Debian/Sid AMD2970WX desktop (I have sudo access to it). Kernel 5.3. X399 chipset. MSI X399 GAMING PRO CARBON motherboard.

What is the detailed and quickest procedure to transfer the more than hundred JPEG files from the captchas/ subdirectory on the phone to the $HOME/Pictures/ subdirectory on the Debian desktop? I will do that occasionally (once a week perhaps), from home, using USB3 cable. But I want to avoid 500 clicks on phone or desktop.

I am able to transfer each individual photos (in about 5 clicks). I want to transfer a hundred of them.

I don't exactly understand the "USB debug mode". Please name free (as in beer) Android applications related that, or finger actions to enable it. I believe it is in the settings menu.

Of course I do like starting gmtp on Debian. I don't want an alternative to MTP. I just need to learn how to use it (and likewise for adb).

Bear in mind that I am not familiar with Android in practice, and that my sight is not very good (since I am 60 years old - had cataract surgery), and that I am not a native English speaker. But Unix commands, I could teach them even with moderate fever (since my first Unix was SunOS3.2 on Sun3/160 workstation at work around 1987, and I was given root and physical access to it). First Linux was Slackware, 0.99.12 kernel, around 1993 (on dozens of floppy disks, i486 motherboard). Getting X11 running at that time required kernel recompilation for the graphics card.

Take into account that (perhaps by mistake) I configured my phone in French. I cannot identify an Settings -> USB debug or Settings -> Developper Debug thing. Maybe I should by some app, but which one?

  • 1
    Have you tried adb pull /sdcard/captchas/ from $HOME/Pictures/ in terminal? Nov 22, 2019 at 10:39
  • No. That should work? Will try from home, am still at work Nov 22, 2019 at 10:39
  • 1
    Possible methods I can remember I have tried: MTP, UMS, ADB, HTTP/WebDAV, FTP, SCP/SFTP/SSHFS, NFS, CIFS, rsync, rclone. Over USB cable, WiFi, rndis / hotspot, Mobile Data. Some methods require root access. Nov 22, 2019 at 11:18
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    Android Debug Bridge (ADB) mode is a toggle switch in Developer Options in Settings app. When you turn that ON, adbd daemon (somewhat like sshd) starts on Android which lets you have a remote shell access over USB or WiFi. So adb pull|push is somewhat like scp. Nov 22, 2019 at 12:27
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    @BasileStarynkevitch well actually it's hard to tell what's missing. You may know better what you actually want to achieve and with what option you feel comfortable. But as I mentioned in previous comment, there are a dozen options you can go with through CLI as well as GUI. Some have constraints, some have scalability issues, some require unnecessary hassle etc. It depends on the exact use case if you want a permanent setup or just one time use. And if you need that on the go or only at home. Authentication, encryption, speed and so on. Nov 22, 2019 at 13:23

3 Answers 3


To pull a folder from the sd card, you can use adb tools using following commands in terminal:

cd $HOME/Pictures/
adb pull /sdcard/captchas/

It will pull all the files from /sdcard/captchas/ to your Pictures directory.

  • But what exact magic should be done on the phone itself? I think I have to enable some USB thing. I sometimes am able to do that. But I don't understand why and how? For a phone which runs a Linux kernel, this is shameful Nov 22, 2019 at 10:49
  • Ok, but better improve your answer. And I am not entirely sure to understand "debugging mode" (in my brain, it is gdb) Nov 22, 2019 at 12:17
  • Does not work at home. Nov 22, 2019 at 18:52
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    Check this to enable usb debugging mode: thecustomdroid.com/… Nov 25, 2019 at 4:01

I don't know your model of phone but for the new phone of my wife ( Samsung A70 ), the connexion was not possible any more through USB 2 and i find a new link with USB type C


I just mount/open the DCMI folder to find all the pictures.....

Hope this help ;O>)


On my new Pixel 5a phone, the USB connection didn't work. So I looked for an FTP client (since my Linux box has an FTP server).

I made sure to forcibly assign an IP address to my phone so I could open the FTP port just for that one device.

I settle on using PowerFTP, but I don't have any recommendation (I did not test anything else, this one works, it's a bit like FileZilla, so easy enough).

The USB method was better (which worked on my old phone), but on my new phone, it's asking for some things that are not going to happen, so instead I use the FTP client.

I think Google prioritize their Google Drive. Maybe in an attempt to get you to go over your limit on start paying a monthly fee. On my end, I don't leave much on my Google Drive at all. Plus, the whole interface is killing me. The FTP is much more straight forward and I don't need the extra step of uploading to the Internet to download back to a local computer (what kind of madness is that?!) especially for large video files...

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