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Scrcpy – Mirror & Control Your Android Phone from Ubuntu Desktop

Mirror & Control Android Phone from Ubuntu
Written by Martins D. Okoi
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I’ve covered software that enables users to control their Windows and Linux desktop from their Android smartphone or tablet, so today’s article focuses on showing you how to accomplish the reverse. After ransacking data archives, perusing listicles, and testing promising recommendations from colleagues, I’ve decided on the app that takes the cake and it goes by the name of Scrcpy.

Scrcpy is a command-line-based plug-and-play utility software designed to enable computer users to control their Android devices wirelessly using android adb or via a USB cable. It is 100% free and open-source and packs features that allow users to operate their phone with the typical keyboard and mouse – no root access required!

Control Android Phone from Linux Desktop

Control Android Phone from Linux Desktop

Its latest version ships with cool features such as rotation lock, variable video quality, keep phone awake while the screen is off, and clipboard synchronization – all functionalities that you can control using a list of key bindings in your terminal.

Features in Scrcpy

  • Free and open-source.
  • Root not required.
  • Available on GNU/Linux, Mac, and Windows.
  • Virtual keyboard.
  • Seamless clipboard sharing.
  • High-resolution mirror.
  • No app required to be installed on the phone.

How to Install Scrcpy on Debian, Ubuntu and Linux Mint

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The fastest way to install and run Scrcpy is from default repositories or using the Snapcraft as shown.

$ sudo apt install scrcpy
OR
$ sudo snap install scrcpy

$ scrcpy

You need to be running Android 5.0 and higher to use Scrcpy. You also need to have Android debugging (developer options > USB debugging) and developer options enabled.

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Enable developer options in Android by going to Settings > System > About Phone and continually tapping the build/version number until a notification appears.

You can use the following shortcuts to interact with your phone:

  • ctrl +  to rotate display 90° counterclockwise.
  • ctrl +  to rotate display 90° clockwise.

If you wish, pass the --lock-video-orientation flag at runtime to lock the orientation in one of four ways:

$ scrcpy --lock-video-orientation 0  # natural orientation
$ scrcpy --lock-video-orientation 1  # 90° counterclockwise
$ scrcpy --lock-video-orientation 2  # 180°
$ scrcpy --lock-video-orientation 3  # 90° clockwise<

There are also more options (e.g. display filtering) that you can set in Scrcpy and you can learn more from its official GitHub page linked above. The release sections have extensive usage information.

Scrcpy is a command-line based application so you wouldn’t see any navigation buttons togglable context menus. You can, however, choose to use guiscrcpy, an open-source GUI integration for working with Scrcpy.

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About the author

Martins D. Okoi

Martins Divine Okoi is a graduate of Computer Science with a passion for Linux and the Open Source community. He works as a Graphic Designer, Web Developer, and programmer.