GSConnect (KDE Connect), WireGuard, and Debian 12 Bookworm

I’ve been trying to get GSConnect - the GNOME implementation of KDE Connect, which is software to control some of your phone’s functionality from your computer - working with my laptop for ages.

I run a couple of WireGuard servers so that, when I’m not connected to a trusted network physically, I can do so logically, via WireGuard, encrypting my traffic over any intermediate networks, from my phone (a Pixel 6 running GrapheneOS) and my laptop. (I say this because I’m not using WireGuard between my phone and laptop, peer to peer, but rather phone-to-server and laptop-to-server.)

GSConnect works fine when neither device is connected to WireGuard, but because I can’t work out how to get it to connect to WireGuard on-demand reliably, my phone is constantly connected to WireGuard.

Up until Debian 12 Bookworm, my laptop was not constantly connected to WireGuard, but it connected automatically when I was tethered to my phone or using my Mi-Fi hotspot. When not connected to WireGuard, I couldn’t get my phone and laptop talking to each other via GSConnect. I’m not sure why, as I’m sure I had the firewall configured correctly, but oh well. I put the project to side.

With Debian 12 Bookworm, I changed my setup, so that it automatically connects to WireGuard. Yes, there’s a drop off in speed, but it is still plenty good enough for my needs. I realised that, since I had changed my WireGuard set up, I had not tried GSConnect again. So I did.

And, with both devices connected to the same WireGuard server, GSConnect worked!

Devices did not see each other / there was no auto-discovery, but that is fine, as I was not expecting it to work. Instead, I put the IP address of the laptop’s WireGuard tunnel into the KDE Connect app on my phone, and it immediately showed me on the laptop that my phone was available for pairing. I paired it, and it worked.

So, happy days. It works. I’m not sure how often I’ll use it, but I’m pleased it is finally working for me.