Michal Čihař - Phone synchronisation, finally

Phone synchronisation, finally

One of long standing things on my todo list was to make synchronisation work from my cell phone (Sony-Ericsson K750i) to some PIM application on Linux side (as a GNOME user Evolution is the natural choice). I tried it several times but it never actually worked. Today I gave it yet another try and I finally succeeded on first attempt :-).

As a first step I just wanted to make a backup of all things. Gammu can do it quite well and it's the tool I trust for this purpose:

gammu backup /tmp/phonebook.vcf
gammu backup /tmp/calendar.vcs

Now it's time to play with OpenSync. We will use setup guide and SyncML guide as a starting point. As I had in past problems with both sides - both phone and Evolution failed with some random errors, I wanted to go step by step. So I started with setting up phone to files synchronisation:

msynctool --addgroup file2phone
msynctool --addmember file2phone file-sync
msynctool --addmember file2phone syncml-obex-client

Now we need to configure file storage, just tell it where it should store the data:

msynctool --configure file2phone 1

And change path in your editor to something like:

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<config>
  <!-- directory path for file-sync -->
  <path>/home/foo/phone-backup/</path>

  <!-- should care of subdirectories (TRUE or FALSE) -->
  <recursive>FALSE</recursive>
</config>

Now the more tricky part comes, we need to set up phone end:

msynctool --configure file2phone 2

Fortunately we can use example from the SyncML guide and just fill in Bluetooth address (you can get it using hcitool scan) and channel (sdptool browse 00:b0:0b:fa:ce:00):

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<config>
  <bluetooth_address>00:b0:0b:fa:ce:00</bluetooth_address>
  <bluetooth_channel>7</bluetooth_channel>
  <identifier>Sony Ericss</identifier>
  <version>1</version>
  <wbxml>1</wbxml>
  <username></username>
  <password></password>
  <type>2</type>
  <usestringtable>0</usestringtable>
  <onlyreplace>0</onlyreplace>
  <onlyLocaltime>0</onlyLocaltime>
  <recvLimit>0</recvLimit>
  <maxObjSize>0</maxObjSize>
  <contact_db>Contacts</contact_db>
  <calendar_db>Agenda</calendar_db>
  <note_db>Notes</note_db>
</config>

And now we should be able to synchronise whole phonebook from phone to selected directory:

msynctool --sync file2phone

Okay, this works, let's try more complicated thing - include Evolution in the chain. The steps are the same, config file for phone is the same, Evolution plugin has sane defaults you usually don't have to touch:

msynctool --addgroup phone2evo
msynctool --addmember phone2evo evo2-sync
msynctool --addmember phone2evo syncml-obex-client
msynctool --configure phone2evo 1
msynctool --configure phone2evo 2

But now comes the tricky thing - Sony-Ericsson phones usually have something broken around notes (or it is broken in OpenSync, I don't care, simply synchronisation fails without this step) and we have to avoid synchronisation of them. This can be done by changing filter file in group we've created above (usually in file ~/.opensync-0.22/group2/filter.conf):

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<filter>
  <note/>
</filter>

And finally we can start the synchronisation and it should work:

msynctool --sync phone2evo

You can also GUI multisync0.90 to do the configuration and start synchronisation, but it is not much different, you also still have to edit XML files.

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