I'd like to be able to push PDF files onto a phone/tablet with a Bash script. Is it possible to transfer data using scp (or even rsync) from a Linux computer to an Android phone over wireless?

Could I even run Unison on the phone?

And is it possible to run Bash (or only POSIX Shell) scripts on the phone remotely?


Many things are possible. Installing an SSH Server app (e.g. SSHelper or DigiSSHD / SSH Server) would give you the possibility to login via ssh, or remote-copy via scp.

Terminal IDE (available only for Android 4.4 and earlier, according to the app description) gives you a quite complete package, even including the famous Midnight Commander, and a lot more useful tools:

javac, java, dx, proguard, aapt, apkbuilder, signer, ssh, sshd, telnetd, bash 4.2, busybox 1.19.2, vim 7.3, nano 2.2.6, midnight commander 4.8, htop 1.0, TMUX 1.5, rsync 3.0.8, git 1.7.8, BitchX 1.1 and a nice terminal emulator are all available.

(emphasis are introduced by me to pick the items your question was for)

So except for Unison, the latter package should cover your needs :)

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  • Vim, htop and git are also very nice. Thanks! – Martin Ueding Jan 20 '13 at 9:19
  • Yepp, exactly! Side-effect is: you get a complete development environment on your Android :) But it will make up a couple of MB, naturally... – Izzy Jan 20 '13 at 11:03
  • @MateuszKonieczny thanks! Couldn't know that back then :) – Izzy May 25 '17 at 11:29

For your first question. I use the OASVN Android client to pull PDF files to my droid from my private Windows based SVN server. Works Great!! I used rsync before and would favored the SVN solution over rsync. NetApp's FX File Manager Plus handles the SFTP protocol over wireless and will cost you $2 for a license.

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  • I took the freedom to add a link to OASVN. Not sure for FX -- do you mean File Explorer (Plus Add-On)? – Izzy Apr 8 '13 at 23:10
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    It would be nice to have a concrete example using rsync here (as it is available via Terminal IDE) – Marius Hofert Nov 11 '13 at 21:19

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