2009.0 Synchronization

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Mandriva Linux 2009 includes support for synchronizing many types of mobile device with the GNOME and KDE 3 desktops simply and easily. The four types of device specifically tested to work with this release are Windows Mobile 2003 and earlier devices, Windows Mobile 5 / 6 devices, Blackberries, and most Nokia phones.

Here is a video demonstrating how to synchronize with a Windows Mobile 5 / 6 device and the GNOME desktop:

Please note: Unfortunately, the opensync framework on which Mandriva synchronization is based has no support for KDE 4 yet. It is therefore not possible to synchronize data with KDE 4 applications (Kontact, Kalendar, Kmail etc) in Mandriva Linux 2009. You can only synchronize with GNOME (Evolution) or with KDE 3 (which is still available in the /contrib repository by installing the task-kde3 package). We apologize for this unfortunate circumstance.

Please note: this page is exclusively about data synchronization. It does not cover the use of a mobile device as a modem to provide a data connection for your system (commonly known as tethering). The Mandriva drakconnect utility has some support for setting up mobile devices as modems via Bluetooth, but in many cases - especially if you wish to tether over USB rather than Bluetooth - some manual configuration will be necessary. This page does not contain any information on tethering with Windows Mobile or any other mobile devices.

Contents

Windows Mobile 5 / 6 devices using a USB cable

Before starting

Firewall preparation

If you use the Mandriva firewall on your system, synchronization will not work until you open the necessary ports. To do this, you can use drakfirewall, the Mandriva firewall configuration tool: you can run it directly, or find it on the Security tab in the Mandriva Control Center. Important: you must first connect the device before you configure the firewall. If your mobile device is not connected, the firewall will not be correctly configured. So plug in the device, and then run the firewall configuration tool. On the first screen, check the box marked "Windows Mobile device synchronization", and then click OK. Follow the rest of the wizard through with whatever settings you want. After configuring the firewall, you may need to unplug and replug the mobile device, depending on how long the configuration took - if the following steps do not seem to be working, try unplugging and replugging the device.

Security level

You may have trouble synchronizing your device if the Mandriva security level is set to Higher or Paranoid. We recommend using the High or Standard security level.

Password protection incompatibility

Currently, Mandriva is not capable of synchronizing with your device if password protection is enabled. You will need to disable password protection on your device before you will be able to synchronize with Mandriva.

Set Windows Mobile 6 and later devices to RNDIS mode

Your device must be in RNDIS mode for synchronization to work. Windows Mobile 5 devices are set to RNDIS mode by default, but if you encounter problems which are not explained elsewhere in this guide, check for the existence of a program regarding USB settings on your device (some vendors supply a third-party tool with the device for this). For Windows Mobile 6 and later devices, go to Start -> Settings -> Connections -> USB and make sure the checkbox Enable enhanced network functionality is checked.

Installing the software

To get started, simply install either task-wm5sync-kde or task-wm5sync-gnome, depending on which desktop you use. If you use GNOME you may also want to install kdepim-kitchensync, even though it's a KDE application, as it's the best and easiest to use graphical synchronization tool available. If you do not see the packages in the Mandriva software installation tool, first make sure you have enabled the official repositories: see here for instructions. Then check if the search filter drop-down box at the top left hand corner of the software installation program is set to Packages with GUI. If so, change it to All.

Getting ready

After installing the package(s), restart your system, or start the tray icon application. If you installed task-wm5sync-kde, this will be synce-kpm: it should be in the Tools section of the menus with the name SynCE panel monitor. If you installed task-wm5sync-gnome, this will be synce-trayicon: it should be in the Tools section of the menus with the name Synce-trayicon. You should notice a new applet running in the system tray. This is synce-kpm or synce-trayicon.

Plug in your device, and it should notify you that you have connected it. If it does not seem to detect your device, try unplugging and replugging the device. If that doesn't help, quit and re-start synce-kpm or synce-trayicon with the device still plugged in. Never run synce-kpm or synce-trayicon as root; always run it with your regular user account.

Creating a partnership

Once synce-kpm or synce-trayicon recognizes your device, we need to create a 'partnership' between the phone and the computer (specifically, synce). You should only need to do this once for any device.

synce-kpm

Right click on the tray icon and select Show mainscreen. Click the Partnership manager tab, and click Add. Enter a name for the new partnership, and check all the items you wish to synchronize (the default selections are quite sensible). Then click Create. Your new partnership should now show up in the list. Please note that there is a hard limit of two partnerships on any Windows Mobile device: this limit is hardcoded into Windows Mobile itself and cannot be avoided. If you already have two partnerships, you must delete one (from the phone) before you can create a partnership with your Linux machine.

synce-trayicon

Right click on the tray icon, select your device, and click on View device status. The main window should open on the Partners tab. Click on Create. Enter a name for the new partnership, and check all the items you wish to synchronize: we recommend selecting Calendar, Contacts and Tasks. Then click OK. Your new partnership should now show up in the list. Please note that there is a hard limit of two partnerships on any Windows Mobile device: this limit is hardcoded into Windows Mobile itself and cannot be avoided. If you already have two partnerships, you must delete one (from the phone) before you can create a partnership with your Linux machine.

Synchronizing data

Now a partnership exists, you can use an OpenSync-based application to actually synchronize data. If you installed the task-wm5sync-kde package earlier, you will have the KitchenSync application available. If you installed task-wm5sync-gnome, you will have the MultiSync application available, but as mentioned, you may want to use KitchenSync instead, as it is better, easier to use, and more reliable. With task-wm5sync-kde, you can synchronize your device with the KDE PIM suite - KMail, KAddressBook and so on. With task-wm5sync-gnome, you can synchronize your device with Evolution. If you wish to synchronize your device to something else - say, to files on disk (for backup purposes), or to another application, an online service like Google Calendar, or another device - many other OpenSync plugins are available in packages named libopensync-plugin-(name).

KitchenSync

To create a synchronization group using KitchenSync, start up KitchenSync. Click on Add Group. Enter a name for the group (this is for your reference, so make it something that you will remember easily). You can select exactly what you would like to synchronize by checking the appropriate boxes. Then, click Add Member.... Select Windows Mobile 5 and later Devices and click OK. You can name the device, if you like, but you don't need to. Click Add Member... again. Now select whatever you would like to synchronize your device with. To synchronize it with KDE, click KDE Desktop then OK. To synchronize it with Evolution, click Evolution 2.x then OK. Now click OK and you will return to the main screen. IMPORTANT: if you are synchronizing with KDE, you must now close all the related applications (KAddressbook, KCalendar etc) before synchronizing. Click Synchronize Now and the synchronization will take place. In the future you can synchronize simply by running KitchenSync and clicking Synchronize Now.

MultiSync

To create a synchronization group using MultiSync, start it up (it's named MultiSync-gui in the menus). Click on Add. Enter a name for the group (this is for your reference, so make it something that you will remember easily). Click the Edit button under the newly-created group. You can select exactly what you would like to synchronize by checking the boxes. If you check no boxes, all supported data types will be synchronized. If you check any boxes, only those data types will be synchronized. Then, click Add Member. Select Windows Mobile 5 and later Devices and click Apply. Click Add Member again. Now select whatever you would like to synchronize your device with. To synchronize it with KDE, click KDE Desktop then Apply. To synchronize it with Evolution, click Evolution 2.x then Apply. Now click Close and you will return to the main screen. IMPORTANT: if you are synchronizing with KDE, you must now close all the related applications (KAddressbook, KCalendar etc) before synchronizing. Click Refresh and the synchronization will take place. In future you can synchronize simply by running MultiSync and clicking Refresh.

Installing and removing software on the device

You can use synce-kpm or synce-trayicon to install and remove software on your device. For synce-kpm, open the main window and click on the Software Manager tab. To install software, click Install CAB and follow the instructions. To remove software, select it and click Uninstall. For synce-trayicon, open the main window and click on the Applications tab. To install software, click Add and follow the instructions. To remove software, select it and click Remove.

Transferring files to and from the device

It is possible to list files on the device and transfer files to and from it using the console pls and pcp utilities. However, most users find it simpler to use the freeware wm5torage application. You install this application onto your device. You can then run the application and activate it to temporarily make your device act as a USB mass storage device. When it is in this mode, you can plug it into your Mandriva computer and it will be recognized as if it were simply a USB storage device. When you are finished transferring files, disconnect the device from your computer, de-activate wm5torage, and your device will go back to its normal behaviour if you subsequently plug it back into your computer.

Windows Mobile 2003 and earlier devices using a USB cable

Before starting

Firewall preparation

If you use the Mandriva firewall on your system, synchronization will not work until you open the necessary ports. To do this, you can use drakfirewall, the Mandriva firewall configuration tool: you can run it directly, or find it on the Security tab in the Mandriva Control Center. Important: you must first connect the device before you configure the firewall. If your mobile device is not connected, the firewall will not be correctly configured. So plug in the device, and then run the firewall configuration tool. On the first screen, check the box marked "Windows Mobile device synchronization", and then click OK. Follow the rest of the wizard through with whatever settings you want. After configuring the firewall, you may need to unplug and replug the mobile device, depending on how long the configuration took - if the following steps do not seem to be working, try unplugging and replugging the device.

Security level

You may have trouble synchronizing your device if the Mandriva security level is set to Higher or Paranoid. We recommend using the High or Standard security level.

Password protection incompatibility

Currently, Mandriva is not capable of synchronizing with your device if password protection is enabled. You will need to disable password protection on your device before you will be able to synchronize with Mandriva.

Installing the software

To get started, simply install either task-wm2003sync-kde or task-wm2003sync-gnome, depending on which desktop you use. If you use GNOME you may also want to install kdepim-kitchensync, even though it's a KDE application, as it's the best and easiest to use graphical synchronization tool available. If you do not see the packages in the Mandriva software installation tool, first make sure you have enabled the official repositories: see here for instructions. Then check if the search filter drop-down box at the top left hand corner of the software installation program is set to Packages with GUI. If so, change it to All.

Getting ready

After installing the package(s), restart your system, or start synce-trayicon: it should be in the Tools section of the menus with the name Synce-trayicon. You should notice a new applet running in the system tray. This is synce-trayicon. Plug in your device, and it should notify you that you have connected it. If you right-click, go to the menu named after your device, and click View device status, it will bring up a window showing partnerships on the device. Under the System Information tab you should see some general information about your device. If it does not seem to detect your device, try unplugging and replugging the device. If that doesn't help, quit and re-start synce-trayicon with the device still plugged in. Never run synce-trayicon as root; always run it with your regular user account.

Creating a partnership

Once synce-trayicon recognizes your device, we need to create a 'partnership' between the phone and the computer (specifically, synce). You should only need to do this once for any device. Click the Partners tab, and click Create. Then click Refresh. Your new partnership should now show up in the list. Please note that there is a hard limit of two partnerships on any Windows Mobile device: this limit is hardcoded into Windows Mobile itself and cannot be avoided. If you already have two partnerships, you must delete one (from the phone) before you can create a partnership with your Linux machine.

Synchronizing data

Now a partnership exists, you can use an OpenSync-based application to actually synchronize data. If you installed the task-wm2003sync-kde package earlier, you will have the KitchenSync application available. If you installed task-wm2003sync-gnome, you will have the MultiSync application available, but as mentioned, you may want to use KitchenSync instead, as it is better, easier to use, and more reliable. With task-wm2003sync-kde, you can synchronize your device with the KDE 3 PIM suite - KMail, KAddressBook and so on. With task-wm2003sync-gnome, you can synchronize your device with Evolution. If you wish to synchronize your device to something else - say, to files on disk (for backup purposes), or to another application, an online service like Google Calendar, or another device - many other OpenSync plugins are available in packages named libopensync-plugin-(name).

KitchenSync

To create a synchronization group using KitchenSync, start up KitchenSync. Click on Add Group. Enter a name for the group (this is for your reference, so make it something that you will remember easily). You can select exactly what you would like to synchronize by checking the appropriate boxes. Then, click Add Member.... Select Plugin to synchronize Windows Mobile 2003 and earlier devices and click OK. You can name the device, if you like, but you don't need to. Click Add Member... again. Now select whatever you would like to synchronize your device with. To synchronize it with KDE, click KDE Desktop then OK. To synchronize it with Evolution, click Evolution 2.x then OK. Now click OK and you will return to the main screen. IMPORTANT: if you are synchronizing with KDE, you must now close all the related applications (KAddressbook, KCalendar etc) before synchronizing. Click Synchronize Now and the synchronization will take place. In the future you can synchronize simply by running KitchenSync and clicking Synchronize Now.

MultiSync

To create a synchronization group using MultiSync, start it up (it's named MultiSync-gui in the menus). Click on Add. Enter a name for the group (this is for your reference, so make it something that you will remember easily). Click the Edit button under the newly-created group. You can select exactly what you would like to synchronize by checking the boxes. If you check no boxes, all supported data types will be synchronized. If you check any boxes, only those data types will be synchronized. Then, click Add Member. Select Plugin to synchronize Windows Mobile 2003 and earlier devices and click Apply. Click Add Member again. Now select whatever you would like to synchronize your device with. To synchronize it with KDE, click KDE Desktop then Apply. To synchronize it with Evolution, click Evolution 2.x then Apply. Now click Close and you will return to the main screen. IMPORTANT: if you are synchronizing with KDE, you must now close all the related applications (KAddressbook, KCalendar etc) before synchronizing. Click Refresh and the synchronization will take place. In future you can synchronize simply by running MultiSync and clicking Refresh.

Installing and removing software on the device

You can use synce-trayicon to install and remove software on your device. Open the synce-trayicon View device status screen and click on the Applications tab. To install software, click Add and follow the instructions. To remove software, select it and click Remove.

Nokia phones

Installing the software

To get started, simply install either task-nokiasync-kde or task-nokiasync-gnome, depending on which desktop you use. If you use GNOME you may also want to install kdepim-kitchensync, even though it's a KDE application, as it's the best and easiest to use graphical synchronization tool available.

Synchronizing data

If you installed the task-nokiasync-kde package earlier, you will have the KitchenSync application available. If you installed task-nokiasync-gnome, you will have the MultiSync application available, but as mentioned, you may want to use KitchenSync instead, as it is better, easier to use, and more reliable. With task-nokiasync-kde, you can synchronize your device with the KDE 3 (not KDE 4) PIM suite - KMail, KAddressBook and so on. With task-nokiasync-gnome, you can synchronize your device with Evolution. If you wish to synchronize your device to something else - say, to files on disk (for backup purposes), or to another application, an online service like Google Calendar, or another device - many other OpenSync plugins are available in packages named libopensync-plugin-(name).

You can choose to synchronize using one of two systems: SyncML or Gnokii. Gnokii is simpler and more reliable across a wider range of devices, but can only synchronize contacts, not any other form of data. SyncML can synchronize other types of data, but is harder to configure and unreliable or unusable with some devices.

KitchenSync with Gnokii

To create a synchronization group using KitchenSync, start up KitchenSync. Click on Add Group. Enter a name for the group (this is for your reference, so make it something that you will remember easily). Uncheck the Notes, Events and To-dos boxes: this is very important to prevent failed or broken synchronizations. Then, click Add Member.... Select Nokia (gnokii) Mobile Device and click OK. You can name the device, if you like, but you don't need to. Enter the model number of your phone in the Model box. For a USB cable connection, select USB (libusb) from the Connection: pull-down menu. For a Bluetooth connection, select Bluetooth from the Connection: pull-down menu, and enter the Bluetooth address of the phone in the Bluetooth address: box (you can find this out by running the console command hcitool scan, as long as the phone is set to be visible to other Bluetooth devices). Click Add Member... again. Now select whatever you would like to synchronize your device with. To synchronize it with KDE, click KDE Desktop then OK. To synchronize it with Evolution, click Evolution 2.x then OK. Now click OK and you will return to the main screen. IMPORTANT: if you are synchronizing with KDE, you must now close all the related applications (KAddressbook, KCalendar etc) before synchronizing. If you are using a USB cable connection, ensure the phone is connected and set to Nokia mode. If you are using a Bluetooth connection, ensure the phone is within range, and Bluetooth is enabled. Click Synchronize Now and the synchronization will take place. In the future you can synchronize simply by running KitchenSync and clicking Synchronize Now.

MultiSync with Gnokii

To create a synchronization group using MultiSync, start it up (it's named MultiSync-gui in the menus). Click on Add. Enter a name for the group (this is for your reference, so make it something that you will remember easily). Click the Edit button under the newly-created group. Check the contact box and make sure the data, event, note and todo boxes are unchecked: this is very important to prevent failed or broken synchronizations. Then, click Add Member. Select Nokia (gnokii) Mobile Device and click Apply. Click on gnokii-sync. For a USB cable connection, between <connection> and </connection>, type dku2libusb. For a Bluetooth connection, between <connection> and </connection>, type bluetooth, and between <port> and </port>, type the Bluetooth address of the phone (you can find this out by running the console command hcitool scan, as long as the phone is set to be visible to other Bluetooth devices). Click Add Member again. Now select whatever you would like to synchronize your device with. To synchronize it with KDE, click KDE Desktop then Apply. To synchronize it with Evolution, click Evolution 2.x then Apply. Now click Close and you will return to the main screen. IMPORTANT: if you are synchronizing with KDE, you must now close all the related applications (KAddressbook, KCalendar etc) before synchronizing. If you are using a USB cable connection, ensure the phone is connected and set to Nokia mode. If you are using a Bluetooth connection, ensure the phone is within range, and Bluetooth is enabled. Click Refresh and the synchronization will take place. In future you can synchronize simply by running MultiSync and clicking Refresh.

Blackberry devices using a USB cable

Installing the software

To get started, simply install either task-blackberry-kde or task-blackberry-gnome, depending on which desktop you use. If you use GNOME you may also want to install kdepim-kitchensync, even though it's a KDE application, as it's the best and easiest to use graphical synchronization tool available. Note that this will also install the necessary software to allow your system to charge your Blackberry; special software is needed as Blackberries require a stronger current than a USB connection normally provides.

Synchronizing data

If you installed the task-blackberry-kde package earlier, you will have the KitchenSync application available. If you installed task-blackberry-gnome, you will have the MultiSync application available, but as mentioned, you may want to use KitchenSync instead, as it is better, easier to use, and more reliable. With task-blackberry-kde, you can synchronize your device with the KDE PIM suite - KMail, KAddressBook and so on. With task-blackberry-gnome, you can synchronize your device with Evolution. If you wish to synchronize your device to something else - say, to files on disk (for backup purposes), or to another application, an online service like Google Calendar, or another device - many other OpenSync plugins are available in packages named libopensync-plugin-(name).

KitchenSync

To create a synchronization group using KitchenSync, start up KitchenSync. Click on Add Group. Enter a name for the group (this is for your reference, so make it something that you will remember easily). You can select exactly what you would like to synchronize by checking the appropriate boxes, but only contact and calendar data can currently be synchronized with Blackberry devices. Then, click Add Member.... Select Barry OpenSync plugin v0.11 for the Blackberry handheld and click OK. You can name the device, if you like, but you don't need to. Enter your Blackberry's PIN into the box labelled PIN:. If you don't know your Blackberry's PIN, you can find it out in several ways. The command line bidentify command will show the PIN for all Blackberry devices connected to the system. The graphical barrybackup application, which you can use to back up your Blackberry, will also show the PIN for any connected Blackberry. There are also various ways to find it on the Blackberry itself (Options->Status, for example). Click Add Member... again. Now select whatever you would like to synchronize your device with. To synchronize it with KDE, click KDE Desktop then OK. To synchronize it with Evolution, click Evolution 2.x then OK. Now click OK and you will return to the main screen. IMPORTANT: if you are synchronizing with KDE, you must now close all the related applications (KAddressbook, KCalendar etc) before synchronizing. Ensure the Blackberry is connected with the USB cable. Click Synchronize Now and the synchronization will take place. In the future you can synchronize simply by running KitchenSync and clicking Synchronize Now.

MultiSync

To create a synchronization group using MultiSync, start it up (it's named MultiSync-gui in the menus). Click on Add. Enter a name for the group (this is for your reference, so make it something that you will remember easily). Click the Edit button under the newly-created group. You can select exactly what you would like to synchronize by checking the boxes. If you check no boxes, all supported data types will be synchronized. If you check any boxes, only those data types will be synchronized. Then, click Add Member. Select Barry OpenSync plugin v0.11 for the Blackberry handheld and click Apply. Click on barry-sync and you will see in the right-hand pane an example configuration, ending with this line:

Device 3009efe3 1 1

Change 3009efe3 to the PIN of your Blackberry. If you don't know your Blackberry's PIN, you can find it out in several ways. The command line bidentify command will show the PIN for all Blackberry devices connected to the system. The graphical barrybackup application, which you can use to back up your Blackberry, will also show the PIN for any connected Blackberry. There are also various ways to find it on the Blackberry itself. Now click Add Member again. Now select whatever you would like to synchronize your device with. To synchronize it with KDE, click KDE Desktop then Apply. To synchronize it with Evolution, click Evolution 2.x then Apply. Now click Close and you will return to the main screen. IMPORTANT: if you are synchronizing with KDE, you must now close all the related applications (KAddressbook, KCalendar etc) before synchronizing. Ensure the Blackberry is connected with the USB cable. Click Refresh and the synchronization will take place. In future you can synchronize simply by running MultiSync and clicking Refresh.

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