I often need to copy/paste text between my Android and my Linux (latest Ubuntu out-of-the-box).


  • Work even with no USB cable connected
  • Works without sending my data to any cloud service. Pasteasy does this, sending data directly device to device without cloud/cable. Unfortunately it does not work on Linux.
  • Free, ideally open source
  • Fast copy/paste, no need to wait
  • Lightweight: does not take much memory on Android, so that apps do not get kicked out.

Having a to execute something on Linux everytime I want to send to Android would also be OK: I would associate a keyboard shortcut for it, and press that shortcut everytime I want to send something across.

  • How to you want to make the connection? "No cloud" basically rules out most network-related solutions. Would you prefer local radio like bluetooth?
    – Marcel
    Feb 23 at 10:14

4 Answers 4


Without personal experience yet, taken from my list of Multi-device Clipboards for Android:

You don't write which desktop environment you use. But if it's KDE, take a look at KDE Connect, which offers

  • Shared clipboard: copy and paste between your devices.
  • Share files and URLs to your computer from any app, without wires.
  • Virtual touchpad: Use your phone screen as your computer's touchpad*.
  • Notifications sync (4.3+): Read your Android notifications from the desktop.
  • 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.

It uses a Linux counterpart to communicate with, so no cloud services involved. KDE Connect is open source, and also available at F-Droid. A rating of 4.7 with over 3k votes (Google Play) speaks in favor of this app.

Edit: According to a comment on a blog-postKDE Connect is pretty much desktop-agnostic and reportedly works with e.g. LXDE, Cinnamon, Unity, and others. However, I've checked the package dependencies and found them non-trivial: they seem to draw-in half of KDE, requiring a.o. kde-runtime, libkdecore5, libkdeui5, libkio5 … which again have recursive dependencies (e.g. kdebase*, plasma*, and more). So as agnostic it might be, dependencies are non-trivial here.

If you do not use KDE, this app might not be for you (I wish it were available for other DEs as well, so I could use it). Some alternatives can be found at my previously mentioned list. But the only alternatives not involving a "3rd party service" (aka "cloud") have not been updated since 2012/2013, which is why I chose to not directly include them with my answer here.

Pasteasy might be an alternative if you're not running KDE (and don't plan to). Again, I have not tried it, but from the Playstore descriptions (and a quick analysis of requested permissions) it seems to work via either Bluetooth or your local WiFi (no access to any account-related permissions, which usually indicates no involved cloud services here). You can Use it to copy text snippets and links, or share photos, screenshots and files (coming soon). Explicit from the description again:

Encrypted over local WiFi for speed. No more waiting. It even works without WiFi, over portable hotspot.

It only seems not available for exchange with Linux: Copy across iOS, Mac & Windows […] free for Windows and Mac. As a comment explicitly states "Very promising app. Buy I want it supports Linux.", it won't match the "Linux" part at all (currently; though that might very well change if enough users demand it).²

Mobile Copy Paste is another potential candidate: the PC component uses Java, and explicitly mentions Linux support. Not sure if it's a fit for you: much text on the page, but not much to see ;) The "free" version is a bit limited, though (full version is USD 3).

¹ Thanks to Firelord for this find
² As of 2017-09-01, Nicolas got a response towards that stating: "Sorry, not under development yet!"

  • KDE Connect works great! Aug 15, 2020 at 19:49
  • 1
    I believe KDE connect isnt just exclusive to KDE users either, it just may not be as well integrated into the OS May 29, 2021 at 21:48

Option 1 - Missing Link will do this, it's free but not option source. It needs to be installed on Linux as well as Android. Features include:

Clipboard Sharing You can copy text on any of your devices and send them across to the other device, where you can paste it. More formats (such as images) coming soon!

Runs on many operating systems Missing Link is built on cross platform technology so more operating systems will be supported very soon. Currently Windows, Linux and Android are supported

It also functions as a remote desktop manager and allows copy/paste of files as well as clipboard contents. Size is 4.5MB on Android. Cloud synch is a pro option but clipboard sharing is not.

Option 2 - AirDroid which is also free, but not open source will also do clipboard sharing with linux.

This app also has a host of other features and is far more commonly downloaded and reviwed than Missing Link. It allows full control of Andoid from Linux (or windows) including SMS etc. Rather worryingly it had a security flaw allowing hackers on the same wifi connection in without authenticayion until recently.

deleted previous answer since Total Commander needs text to be saved as a text file first - sorry for misreading question


You can use a web based text editor like Google Docs or Nextcloud Notes.

I know you said you don't wand to send your data to any cloud service.

But if you run your own service (like Nextcloud), then I guess it is a matching answer.

  • 1
    Google Docs does not fit the requirements, but Nextcloud Notes potentially could work, thanks!
    – Nicolas Raoul
    May 31, 2021 at 8:45

Try this hack using Whatsapp:

-Make a whatsapp testbox on your phone:

  1. Create a temporary group
  2. Kick everyone out but yourself
  3. Message something, so the group appears under 'chats'.
  4. Pin the chat and rename it to something like 'test box' or 'clipboard'

-Connect to whatsapp web on your PC

-THATS IT!! example

Whatever you throw in the test box from PC/Phone will be updated in realtime - without the meddling of the cloud.

  • 2
    Does it really satisfy the condition "without sending my data to any cloud service"? If yes would you mind detailing how? Thanks!
    – Nicolas Raoul
    Jun 1, 2021 at 8:50
  • 1
    Well, whatsapp claims to not storing chats on its servers. I can't assure you any more than that. Besides, whatsapp is always end to end encrypted - that's an added advantage.
    – Joel Eldo
    Jun 1, 2021 at 11:50

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