KDE Connect provides an absolutely amazing convenience to Linux users who own an Android phone. It allows you to share files between the devices and view your notifications from your phone on your desktop. It even lets you send and reply to your text messages.
There’s one drawback, though. What if you don’t like KDE? Fear not GNOME fans, there’s a great way to integrate KDE Connect seamlessly into your GNOME desktop.
Related: How to Send and Receive SMS on Linux with KDE Connect
Install KDE Connect on Linux
An obvious first step in setting up KDE Connect with GNOME is to install KDE Connect. If your distribution offers KDE as a desktop environment, KDE connect is available.
sudo apt install kde-connect
dnf -yinstall kde-connect
Install KDE Connect on Android
Next, you’re going to need to get KDE Connect on your Android phone. It’s available from both the Play store and the free software repository, F-Droid.
In either one you can search for KDE Connect, and it will come right up. Install it like you would any other app on your phone.
The real integration comes from a great GNOME add-on called MConnect. MConnect integrates KDE Connect directly into your GNOME menu bar, styling it to match GNOME.
Before you can install MConnect (easily), you need to set up Firefox to manage GNOME add-ons.
There’s a simple Firefox plugin that lets you manage GNOME add-ons, but in order for it to work, you need to install a package.
sudo apt install chrome-gnome-shell
dnf -yinstall chrome-gnome-shell
Now, go to the MConnect add-on page. At the top of the page there’s a link to install the browser extension. Click it and follow the prompts.
After you install the extension, refresh the page, if it hasn’t already done so. On the top-right of the page you should now see a switch to turn the add-on on for your computer. Click on it to enable MConnect.
Take a look at your GNOME menu bar now. You’ll see a new mobile icon for KDE Connect.
Connect Your Phone
Open the KDE Connect app on your phone. You should immediately see your computer listed as an “Available Device.” Tap on that, and tap “Request Pairing.”
On your computer you’ll receive a GNOME notification that your phone requested to pair. Accept the request. You’ll immediately see a new icon in your menu for your phone.
By clicking on your new phone icon you can see the available options to interact with your phone. With those you can send a text message, locate your phone, and send files to and from your phone.
If you want more control over how KDE Connect and MConnect behave, you can click on the original MConnect icon. Under the menu there you can find additional settings to configure your connection and your phone.
Fine tune things to your desire. Now you have all the benefits of KDE Connect integrated tightly into GNOME!