rsync over ssh to Android

rsync over ssh to Android

ubuntu 18.04 android rsync ssh

I have tried many ways to sync my music collection to my Android phone, and here is the most comfortable way I could find : the good old rsync.


  • Install Paul Lutus’s SSHelper, from the android play store, or directly from the homepage.
  • Run it
    • Follow the instructions to enable write access to the Android device.
    • Set a password
    • Optional:
      • Disable all unneeded options (log display server, clipboard server, ..)
    • Note that the default port is 2222.
  • Copy your ssh key from your host, let’s suppose phone is the DNS name or the IP of your phone, this time it will ask for a password.

    There is no need to set the ssh username, SSHelper will ignore it.

    ssh-copy-id phone -p 2222
  • Test that password-less login are ok:
     ssh phone -p 2222
  • Disable password logins in SSHelper.

Optional : data access for removable SD card.

  • Stop SSHelper
  • Eject the SD card (Settings > Storage > Eject).
  • Get the card on your computer and create the directory /Android/data/com.arachnoid.sshelper/
  • Put the card back into the Android device.
  • Start SSHelper
  • Find the external SD card mount point:
    ssh phone -p 2222
    asdf@phone:~$ ls /media
    SoMeRaNdOM_NaMe # <- this is the mount point
    asdf@phone:~$ exit

Copying/updating files

  • Start SSHelper
  • Run :
     rsync -av "${OPTIONS[@]}" -e "ssh -p 2222" /somewhere/mp3-from-flac "$RPATH"
     rsync -av "${OPTIONS[@]}" -e "ssh -p 2222" /somewhere/mp3 "$RPATH"


Did you notice the mp3-from-flac directory? Since I don’t need losless quality on my phone (and in my car), I generate mp3 from flac files, using this script : (conversion in parallel and only when needed).


Question, remark, bug? Don't hesitate to contact me or report a bug.