Android notifications on Ubuntu

ubuntu_logo_81x81android_compLike many of you, I am an Ubuntu user with an Android smartphone. I don’t have the latter handy all the time while I am working on my laptop. Sometimes it’s on vibration or silent modes.There are several solutions to get an alert on Ubuntu when any notification is received on the phone. This article explores some of those.


No official Ubuntu client at the time of writing but Pushbullet is the best way to keep Ubuntu in sync with your smartphone (wrt. notifications). The unofficial Pushbullet Indicator app makes it possible. It’s an webapp with native Notify OSD notifications and supports bidirectional copy paste, SMS, replying to WhatsApp and SMS, send text, link, files, images (with device selection) etc. It sits in the system tray as an icon and has an option to add itself at system start-up.

To install Pushbullet Indicator on Ubuntu, run:

$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:atareao/atareao
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install pushbullet-indicator

There are optional Nautilus and Nemo extensions to send files using Pushbullet directly. To install those, run:

$ sudo apt-get install nautilus-pushbullet
$ sudo apt-get install nemo-pushbullet

After installing Pushbullet Indicator, run the application and login to your account. Your smartphone should be connected to the internet and Pushbullet app should be running on it.


LinConnect also uses Notify OSD to show Android notifications on Ubuntu. The server runs on your computer and the client runs on the Android device. LinConnect has no additional functionality other than showing notifications. However, there are 2 distinct advantages of LinConnect:

  • You do not need root privileges on Ubuntu to use it
  • No third-party registration involved

To setup, first install the LinConnect for Linux Android app on your smartphone.

To install LinConnect server on Ubuntu, run:

$ wget --quiet
$ chmod +x
$ ./

Answer yes to everything other than the autostart option (your choice). The last question is to start the server automatically. In case you want to start the server manually, run:

$ python ~/.linconnect/LinConnectServer/main/

To remove LinConnect:

$ rm -rf ~/.linconnect

Android Notifier

Sends notifications on certain events like phone ringing, an SMS being received, or the battery running low. The notifications can be sent over Wifi, Bluetooth, or (in the future) USB. The server runs on the Android device and the Ubuntu client uses Gnome dbus. Advantages:

  • Android Notifier supports encryption
  • No third-party registration involved

To use Android Notifier on Ubuntu, install the Remote Notifier for Android app on your smartphone.

The package for Ubuntu can be downloaded from the project page (linked above). Needs JAVA 6 (SUN or OpenJDK). To install, run:

$ sudo apt-get install sun-java6-jre
$ sudo apt-get install openjdk-6-jre
$ sudo dpkg -i android-notifier-desktop_version_amd64.deb

Note: Notifications are live for a short duration on Ubuntu. If you don’t want to miss any while you are not in front of your computer, try Recent Notifications.

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