Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?

Controlling Linux Using an Android Phone As Mouse, Keyboard, and Gamepad 93

beefsack writes "Miniand have demonstrated how to control Linux using a Samsung Galaxy S2. Using an MK802 with the ARM build of Droidmote server bundled into an MK802 Lubuntu image with uinput enabled, Miniand demonstrates (video) using an Android phone as a keyboard, mouse, and gamepad over Wi-Fi to the device." Update: 07/10 00:07 GMT by U L : reader ancienthart pointed toward Premotedroid, an (possibly, I could find no license in the code but the code is there) open source alternative.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Controlling Linux Using an Android Phone As Mouse, Keyboard, and Gamepad

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward
    802.11? Rube-goldberg much? Why not over bluetooth as a HID?
    • I'm guessing because not all desktops have bluetooth capability.
      • All desktops have wifi? Those that bother to have wifi on the motherboard will probably have Bluetooth too.

        A bluetooth dongle for usb will cost you a few dollars on ebay.

      • by gl4ss ( 559668 )

        I'm guessing because not all desktops have bluetooth capability.

        no no no. it's just MUCH MUCH MUCH easier to code an app to do it over the wifi than to build an app for android(and accompanying app for desktop) that would make it act as a proper bluetooth mouse, bluetooth gamepad and as a bluetooth keyboard.

      • by mcgrew ( 92797 ) *

        You can buy a bluetooth dongle about the size of a dime at WalMart for $20 and it will work with any OS. With kubuntu you don't even have to install any software for it to work. Not all desktops have wifi, and a router is a little more expensive.

    • Bluetooth is short range, so you'll be within reach of the real keyboard and mouse 99% of the time.
      • by Locutus ( 9039 )
        if it had them. Did you see the video and notice the solution shown did not remote the display and therefore required the user be close enough to see the computer display?

        It could be handy for managing things like kiosks, picture frames, etc where you have a little GNU/Linux box driving a display without touch, kbd or mouse.

        Getting it to work over Bluetooth shouldn't be too difficult for those wanting to do that instead of wifi or ethernet.

      • by gl4ss ( 559668 )

        Bluetooth is short range, so you'll be within reach of the real keyboard and mouse 99% of the time.

        same room is usually enough.

        it's just a lot more straightforward to do it over wifi(easier to find resources on how to do it).

    • by paulatz ( 744216 )

      There is one Android app [] which makes your phone work as a HID over bluetooth, both as mouse and keyboard. However it needs the phone to be rooted in order to work, and I found it to be quite unstable, and severly unpolished.

      But it works.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    This is the kind of backward progress that is touted as the all-new cool thing... Sorry iOS/Android you both suck! Dumb feature phones from 2006 had bluetooth tethering, bluetooth file exchange, bluetooth mouse input, audio streaming... ALL WITHOUT carrier intervention, some special rom, jail-breaking or the need to install any special app.

    Thanks for destroying bluetooth.

    CAPTCHA: grapes... sour!

    • by TuringCheck ( 1989202 ) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @05:55AM (#40581025)
      All my recent phones and tables (Nokia, Apple, Samsung) have Bluetooth, WiFi, mobile data. Only one of my computers (a laptop whose LCD died some years ago) had Blutooth on-board.

      There's also the very complex way of understanding and negotiating Bluetooth profiles. Each and every feature that is defined over Bluetooth has multiple variations and quirks and can (and do) fail in mysterious ways and are pretty hard to debug. Not to mention that some of them need specific support in the hardware.

      OTOH WiFi and IP networks in general just move packets. And they're pretty standard and interoperable.
  • But then we have to take away geek cred for using a Linux box at run level 5.

    However if you answer the question "emacs or vim?" correctly, you can earn those points pack. Please note, though, that a response of "xemacs" will result in further penalties.

    • by GNious ( 953874 )


    • by repvik ( 96666 )

      The correct answer is "vi".

      • no, vim. Sure in the old days vi was guaranteed and vim wasn't, especially on the more obscure 'nixes. And yes, maybe using vi instead of vim was more important when 'nix boxes had 8MB of RAM or less and when every speck of HD space mattered. But for modern Linux, you can almost guarantee vim, unless the user actually went to the trouble of uninstalling it.

        In fact, on Fedora, vi is provided by the vim-minimal package.

      • Are you sure? I thought the correct answer was "ed."
  • Amazing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Osgeld ( 1900440 ) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @03:15AM (#40580685)

    using the latest in technology to emulate a handful of switches and a simple microcontroller, or a pair of rotary encoders and a simple micro, or some switches and a shift register

    Today, we have overcome all limits!

    sorry whats the point other than gee whiz factor? Its 20(fuckin)12, with a trip to radio shack a child could whip up a fart chair to signal keyboard input to any OS they choose for under 40 bucks.

    • sorry whats the point other than gee whiz factor?

      I would have thought that was obvious: it's the possibility of having a Beowulf cluster of keyboards.

      • by fatphil ( 181876 )
        Here's a first step - a Beowolf cluster of keys:
    • Re:Amazing (Score:4, Informative)

      by gman003 ( 1693318 ) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @08:25AM (#40581421)

      with a trip to radio shack a child could whip up a fart chair to signal keyboard input to any OS they choose for under 40 bucks.

      I take it you haven't been to Radio Shack lately. The big shelf of resistors, capacitors, diodes, transistors and such? Gone, along with any employees that even remember it existed.

      I don't think they even have radios anymore. Just overpriced cables and cell phones.

      • by Osgeld ( 1900440 )

        the ones near me still have a selection of basic passives, along with propeller boards and 2 arduinos + shields, and I was just there last week.

        • by nurb432 ( 527695 )

          Yours is quite rare, i could barely get a m-m 1/8 phono cable the other day there. Idiots tried to sell me a cell phone charger cable. "oh, audio...did you mean bluetooth.. " . *sigh* After i drew it out 'oh, we have a bin back there of old stuff'.

          R/S was always overpriced but at least they were a last minute option if you needed sometime NOW and the real store was closed.

          And don't get me started about them dropping the old radios and such, which were damned good.

      • The radio shacks (all 3 within 5 minutes of driving) all carry a full set of general use components as well as Arduino and PIC microcontrollers and a shitload of basic sensors now. []

        Between the 3 stores in my area I can find basically EVERYTHING they sell online with the exception of a damn strobe transformer that they don't seem to carry anymore ... ironic considering they sell the strobe tube in the component racks.

    • sorry whats the point other than gee whiz factor? Its 20(fuckin)12, with a trip to radio shack a child could whip up a fart chair to signal keyboard input to any OS they choose for under 40 bucks.

      Why spend $40, when you can just use the general purpose computer with multiple input devices already sitting in your pocket?

      • The problem with your statement is this retarded notion that your phone is a general purpose computer.

        You may be able to use it as if it is one, but it isn't. You'll do yourself a world of good if you stop trying to act like it is.

        • The problem with your statement is this retarded notion that your phone is a general purpose computer.

          I can attach a keyboard, full monitor & mouse to my android phone & use it to do pretty much whatever the fuck I like. I can run a full-blown-browser, ssh server, apache, transcode videos, anything in the entire debian software stack (via chroot).

          So, explain to me, exactly why the fuck my phone is not a general purpose computer? Frankly, I think you'll find the only thing that is retarded around her

    • by pjt33 ( 739471 )

      I've thought for a while that it might make sense to use an Android phone as a HID for a Raspberry Pi for presentations through a projector. My phone doesn't output to a projector and the bulk of a keyboard is a portability problem for the RPi, but phone and RPi together take up less than half the space of a netbook.

    • by Locutus ( 9039 )
      it has implications for using small devices like the one demo'ed without a kbd and mouse. Things like a dynamic picture frame, your own media center console or even a form of kiosk and not need to put a touch interface on it.

      Just because it looks like a PC you know and love, it does not mean it can only be that way.

  • by ancienthart ( 924862 ) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @03:18AM (#40580699)
    Premotedroid does this for (android) mouse and keyboard already. It's open source, works using bluetooth or wifi, and on any computer with java.
    • I had looked for something exactly like this sometime ago and I had considered writing my own. It needs more documentation, but it works nicely. Thank you for pointing out this app.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    If you want a Pi media/mame server on your tv without the kbd/mouse hanging off it. Tempting

  • by khipu ( 2511498 ) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @04:11AM (#40580795)

    Any Android VNC client will do for remotely controlling Linux, OSX, or Windows from an Android phone; you don't need anything more complicated than that.

  • Okay, its not new for Android, its just that this is another one of timothy's 'I live in a box and have no fucking clue what any of the topics on this site are about ... and I'm dumber than dirt' approvals.

    Why did my preference to not see timothy and kdawson go away?

    Seriously, you guys are freaking worthless

  • Using wifi instead of bluetooth?
    The HID part of the BT stack is already in place in your Linux/Windows/OSX/Whatever system. So, no need for extra software. Maybe a USD 10.- USB dongle.
    Then you would use the touch screen of your phone as a trackpad. Or, if possible, the rear camera to understand how the phone is being moved on the desk.
    I would call this a nice Android application, not the pesky one shown in the above article!

  • by Anonymous Coward

    N900 has been able to do this for years. I didn't even realise this was something other phones *couldn't* do!

    • And doesn't the N900 have an actual X server so you can use proper X11 forwarding over SSH as the goddess intended?

  • progress (Score:4, Funny)

    by hackstraw ( 262471 ) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @07:32AM (#40581259)

    Taking the best thing from a normal computer and using the worst things about android and what do you get???? hopefully they are not using swipe and having it crash all the time.

  • Actually this stuff is turning an android device into a keyboard/touchpad FOR ANOTHER ANDROID device... Also, for Linux and Windows. This is the client/server stuff we've seen since ever, it doesn't involve using native support for USB or Bluetooth peripherals, which would be the real achievement. It''s still cool because it works over the internet, but that's about it.
  • I've been using using BluputDroid [] for a while. It acts as a bluetooth HID device. It's only requirements are that the phone be rooted, and the desktop have a bluetooth adapter and the correct stack installed. It doesn't require a questionable third-party server to be installed and running on your desktop. I've used it on my two HTPCs without issue. Considering you can get a small bluetooth dongle off of eBay for $5, it's well worth the price of admission.
  • BluePutDroid [] will do the same thing. It works by turning your android device into a bluetooth Human Inteface Device (HID). So, it will work with pretty much any device that has bluetooth. Don't have bluetooth? I'm sure you can find a cheap bluetooth USB dongle.

    I use it for my PS3. It also has mouse control and has a screen for the PS buttons. I can't handle the 'typing' using PS3 gamepads...

    I guess I could use it as a keyboard for my laptop which has bluetooth, but i dunno why, they already built one in!

  • I'd rather use a full size keyboard/mouse to control my blackberry or iPhone.

Never buy from a rich salesman. -- Goldenstern