adb is the tool that can transfer files (it does many other things) from android phones to your computer. Here is the summary of how it can work from Linux. I tested on Kubuntu 13.10 and my Nexus 4 running android 4.2.
- Make sure latest version of adb is installed: sudo apt-get install android-tools-adb
- See this link about how to provide USB permission for specific device. In short, create a file /etc/udev/rules.d/51-android.rules and add a line specific to your phone and your username. (By the way, make sure that if you have a folder $HOME/.android , then it is owned by this user.)
- Make sure “USB debugging” is enabled on your device.
- Connect your phone and check the connectivity using “adb devices” command.
- Copy files using “adb push” or “adb pull” command.