The Moto G, Micro SD and Linux

I realize that I’m writing this for maybe two or three other forum members who, like myself, use Linux as their primary desktop OS. But this freedom beard would be remiss if he didn’t relate an odd experience with the new Rogers LTE Moto G.

This latest version of the G has only 8GB of onboard storage, but compensates for that with a micro SD card slot. For Linux users this should be great news; this Linux user has had challenges with file transfers between phone and computer ever since Ice Cream Sandwich and the introduction of MTP. It’s not a huge deal by any means, and MTP (Media Transfer Protocol) has steadily improved in updates to Ubuntu and its derivatives. Most times my Nexus 5 will mount on my Linux Mint desktop just fine; for larger file transfers, like TWRP backups and such, I use FTP on my local network.

With the Moto G and a micro SD card it’s a bit of a different story.

Moto G LTE New SD Card Moto G LTE Move to SD Card

Using the Moto G with removable storage is easy enough; pop in a micro SD card and you’ll be able to (1) immediately transfer media to it and (2) choose which media to transfer.

But here’s my problem: with or without removable storage the Moto G doesn’t mount at all on my Linux Mint desktop via USB; same story for Ubuntu. It’ll show up via a PTP (Picture Transfer Protocol) connection, but that’s only good for photos; if I want to transfer anything else I have to put it in the device’s camera folder first.

Moto G LTE Connected via FTP

Here’s an FTP connection to the Moto G on my home network. I don’t see an SD card; do you see an SD card?

MTP Packages on Linux Mint

Just to verify, I do indeed have MTP libraries installed on my LInux Mint computer…

MTP Packages on Ubuntu

… And ditto for Ubuntu on my laptop.

Moto G LTE Connected via AirDroid

Fortunately all is not lost; Linux users can still access the SD card via their web browser and AirDroid. And obviously, if you have an SD reader for your computer you can always remove the removable memory, put it in a micro SD adapter and access your files that way as well.

All I wanted to do here is point out that removable media isn’t necessarily the game-changer for the Moto G’s limited onboard storage. I understand that for the vast majority of forum members this absolutely won’t be an issue—but Linux users, I got your back!