Tethering an Android phone to Ubuntu Without Jailbreaking or Installing Applications


There are many guides out there on the web for tethering an Android phone to your Ubuntu laptop, so that you can use the phone’s mobile data network connection when you’re out of range of wi-fi. They’re all complicated, and they all involve installing some random bit of software.

Here is how to do it without jailbreaking your Android phone. It works without installing any software from the Android Market. It Just Works, though it appears to depend on the model of phone you are using. I’m using Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic), and a T-Mobile G2 Touch with the HTC Sense UI (which comes with it in the UK). Yor milage may vary, but give this method a try first:

  1. Plug your phone into your laptop with USB.
  2. On the phone, drag down the notifications bar at the top of the screen. Choose “USB connected Select to copy files to/from your computer”. In the “USB connected” dialog, say “Don’t mount”.
  3. On the phone, from the home screen, tick Menu > Settings > Wireless controls > Mobile network sharing.
  4. Network Manager will now connect.

If you don’t have a “Mobile network sharing” option, then your phone doesn’t support this easy way of doing it. Sorry. Try one of the these linked approaches (I liked the Proxoid approach, myself): download the Android SDK and install Proxoid; install OpenVPN and AziLink; use adb forward to forward a port for a proxy server; or put shell scripts on your phone .

That’s it. That’s all you need. Never have an offline laptop again. Who needs “mobile broadband”, eh?

Thanks very much to @phowardcom and Stoffe for their help.

This article is adapted from the original at Stuart’s as days pass by blog.