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I have an old Kobo Touch that has gone unused for a year or two. Now I want to copy new books to it. This used to be easy: Connect via USB to my PC (running Linux), click "connect" in the dialog box that pops up on the reader, copy files to the mounted file system, done.

This still works like this with a friend's Mac (so the reader isn't broken), but not with my Linux anymore. The "your reader is connected to a computer" dialog never appears when connected to the Linux PC, so I cannot mount the reader. Has anyone else had this problem under Linux? Is there a solution?

Some remarks:

  • as I said, sideloading like this still works from a Mac, so the Kobo is fine
  • I'm running Linux Mint at home, Ubuntu at work, neither works
  • my USB ports and cables are fine, other devices work as expected
  • when I connect my Kobo, it starts charging, so at least on some level it realizes that a cable is connected
  • Calibre doesn't recognize that a reader is connected
  • when I connect the Kobo, there are no new events in the output of dmesg or in /var/log/syslog, the output of lsusb doesn't change, and there are no new devices under /dev/
  • I'm running an old version of the Kobo system because I don't want to open an account with them; still, it used to work with this version and Linux
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    Same problem here ... and changing the cable fixed the problem. I used the original cable i got with the kobo.
    – Spemmeel
    Commented Dec 26, 2016 at 22:08

2 Answers 2

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Exactly the same problem. Fedora 24, Kobo mini connected via micro USB cable

Kobo starts charging but no sign of it on computer, no "connect" option on kobo.

Tried a different cable and hey presto - instant success...

Sadly, I've seen this behaviour before, hence trying a different cable was my first thing to try (after checking internet and finding no real answers but coming across your question... )

Motto is - not all cables are equal in all situations...

Hope this helps

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    For me on Ubuntu 16.04, just unplugging and plugging back in worked.
    – Garrett
    Commented Nov 7, 2016 at 10:09
  • Thanks. After the original answer here I tried all the USB cables I could find, but no luck. Now, after another person reported success by changing a cable, I tried again, and finally had one lying around that worked. Commented Dec 26, 2016 at 22:47
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    I've noticed that in general, my Kobo reader is very picky about micro USB cables. I've not yet figured out why some work and some don't.
    – user151
    Commented Dec 27, 2016 at 20:07
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    I experienced the same problem some usb cables don't work
    – v217
    Commented Nov 21, 2017 at 12:10
  • I compared the non-working cable I was using with the one shipped with my Kobo Clara HD, which worked instantly instead. The Kobo cable has a shorter connector, and the connector on the other standard cable cannot completely disappear in the Kobo's port. Kobo's port is just listed as micro USB in technical specs, but maybe there is a variant at play in there. Doubly strange because the standard cable would charge, but not allow sideloading of files. Commented Sep 4, 2022 at 18:13
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Just tried this on my laptop (running Mint 18.2) and my Kobo Aura One was not detected. I tried Steve's solution of trying a different cable but it did not work for me, which I found strange since I've used these same cables to transfer data from my cell phone with no problem.

However I realized I was plugging my Kobo into a powered USB port, so I tried plugging the USB cable into a non-powered port and it was recognized instantly.

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  • Similarily, mine worked with the SuperSpeed USB port but not with the other port.
    – Keplerto
    Commented Sep 25, 2023 at 16:15

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