Copying files to Nexus 4 (and possibly other Android phones)

Johnny Rosenberg gurus.knugum at
Fri Dec 13 20:46:21 UTC 2013

In Ubuntu 12.04 with the MTP backport installed, when copying files to the
phone, the speed is usually 1–2 MB/s, except when copying image files, such
as jpeg and png. When copying image files the speed is usually somewhere
around 10 kB/s=very, very very very, very very slow. Or even slower.

Why is that?

I tried to copy 1461 different image files and it took forever, so I
interrupted it, erased all the files that had been copied so far, then in
Ubuntu I zipped all of them. When copying the zip file, the speed was 1–2
MB/s again, and finally I extracted the images from the zip. All together a
couple of hundred times faster than copying all the files unzipped, and the
zip wasn't much smaller than the total size of the individual image files.

So that's my workaround for now, anyway.

But again, why does it take so long to copy image files?

I copied from the gnome terminal in all cases, using gcp (like cp but with
a progress bar and not as many options as cp – I think it's in the

Johnny Rosenberg
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