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Mobile Phone Management Made Easy

by Frazer Kline

Mobile phone users should not regard their computer only as the means of recharging their phone, or transferring files to and from the phone's storage. There's a lot more than you can do with your Linux box. This article illustrates some good open source tools that let you manage your mobile phone.

Whilst there is a scarcity of open source mobile phone management software, there are still some excellent tools available for Linux.

Many mobile phone management tools depend on libGammu, an abstraction layer to work with different cell phones from different vendors.

This roundup selects 4 of my favourite mobile phone management tools; all of them are released under an open source license.


Wammu in action

Wammu is a powerful open source application to manage data in your mobile phone such as contacts, calendar or messages. The software is built on top of the Gammu library, which provides an abstraction layer to work with different cell phones from different vendors (including Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Motorola, Samsung, Siemens, Huawei and others).

Features include

  • Complete support (can read/edit/delete/copy) for contacts, todo, calendar
  • Read/create/save/send/backup SMSs
  • Send files to phone (OBEX and Sony Ericsson phones only)
  • SMS composer for multi part smses (currently only text and predefined bitmap/sound can be edited)
  • Display message including pictures and ringtones playback
  • Support for backup and import in various formats (vCard, vCalendar, vTodo, iCalendar, gammu own backup,…)
  • Export messages to mail (IMAP4, maildir and mailbox storages are supported)
  • Searching for phone
  • Translated into many languages including Catalan, German, Greek, Spanish, French, Italian, Dutch, Polish, Russian, Swedish and more
  • Website:
  • Developer: Michal Cihar
  • License: GNU GPL v2
  • Version Number: 0.38

KDE Connect

KDE Connect in action

KDE Connect is open source software that connects Android smartphones to your KDE Plasma Workspace.

The application adds a set of plasmoid, plugins and services to the KDE Plasma Workspace. KDE Connect implements a secure communication protocol over the network, and allows any developer to create plugins on top of it. Currently there are KDE Connect clients on KDE, Android and Blackberry, and soon iPhone.

Features include:

  • Share files and URLs to KDE from any app, without wires
  • Use your phone screen as a touchpad for your computer. Useyour phone as a wireless input device
  • Notifications sync (4.3+): Read your Android notifications from the desktop
  • Shared clipboard: copy and paste between your phone and your computer
  • Multimedia remote control: Use your phone as a remote for Linux media players
  • WiFi connection: no usb wire or bluetooth needed
  • RSA Encryption: your information is safe
  • Plugin support to add functionality


BitPim in action

BitPim is an open source tool that allows users to view and manipulate data on many mobile phones. Depending on your model of phone, you can access the phone book, the calendar, wallpapers, ringtones, and the embedded filesystem.

BitPim is implemented using the Python programming language with various pieces in C to access hardware. In addition to running well on many different platforms, Python also has that most important feature of being easy to read.

Features include:

  • Phone Book
  • Calendar
  • Wallpapers
  • Ringtones
  • Filesystem
  • Media
  • Memo
  • Todo
  • Call history
  • SMS
  • T9 editor
  • Crossplatform support - BitPim runs on Linux, Mac, and Windows operating systems
  • Website:
  • Developer: BitPim Developers
  • License: GNU GPL v2
  • Version Number: 1.0.7

Phone Manager

Phone Manager connects to your mobile phone over a serial port, either via a cable, infra-red or Bluetooth connection. It listens for text messages, and when they arrive, displays them on the desktop. A visual indicator is displayed in the notification area, if one is presently added to the panel.

Phone Manager supports any mobile phone that can connect to your computer as a serial port: via Bluetooth, IrDA or a serial cable.

Phone Manager's dependencies are gnome-bluetooth, Evolution-data-server, GtkSpell, libcanberra, dbus-glib and gnokii.

Features include:

  • Runs in the background; indicates status on the panel notification area
  • Display on-screen alert when text message (SMS) arrives
  • Text message (SMS) sending facility
  • Evolution Addressbook integration when sending messages
  • Internationalization support

Last Updated Sunday, April 19 2015 @ 06:06 AM EDT

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