Android and Linux

Thursday, March 10, 2011


RemoteDroid is a great little app that turns your Android phone into a mouse/keyboard to use with your computer. I mainly use it as a remote control for mplayer because mplayer uses keyboard shortcuts (which can be customized by editing ~/.mplayer/input.conf). I use the command line version, the GUI version is probably the same, but I've never used it so I can't say for sure.

The two work perfectly together. I can lay in bed and watch a movie on the computer at my desk and control it with my phone by tapping the keyboard in RemoteDroid. The only downside is that the server needed on the computer automatically opens a small screen. If you want to start the RemoteDroid server at boot, you have to live with that screen always being open. But there is a solution with KDE.

I'm sure something similar can be done with Gnome, but I've been using KDE for 10 years so I'm pretty much stuck with it and will probably still be using it when I'm an old ornery, cantankerous man (as opposed to the young ornery, cantankerous man I am today).

With KDE, When the RemoteDroid window comes up, right click on it and click "Configure Window Bahavior". This will bring up the KDE configuration utility.

Click Window Specific, then click "new" and click "Detect Window Properties". Your cursor will change to a crosshair. Click on the RemoteDroid window and it should automatically fill out the information for the RemoteDroid window.

Now go to the Geometry tab and click "minimized" then select the Preferences tab and select "Skip taskbar". Now when the window opens, it will be effectively invisible. It will be minimized so you won't see it on the screen, and it will not appear in the taskbar so there's no way for it to become unminimized.

Now, to run RemoteDroid when KDE starts, open a terminal and go to your kde autostart folder:

cd ~/.kde/Autostart

make a new script named (or whatever you want to call it):


put this in the script, changing /PATH/TO to the path where RemoteDroid is on your system:

#! /bin/sh
java -jar /PATH/TO/RemoteDroidServer/RemoteDroidServer.jar &

make it executable:

chmod 755

and you're done. RemoteDroid will automatically start when KDE starts, and it will be invisible.