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HOWTO: Palm Lifedrive with Linux
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Randseed
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2005 1:39 am    Post subject: HOWTO: Palm Lifedrive with Linux Reply with quote

I bought a Palm Lifedrive and, all things considered, am very happy with it. Like with most things, however, there was a dark side. It was a pain to set up with Linux. Once I figured out a workaround, however, it was easy.

1. Install the usbserial and visor modules into your kernel.
2. Install sm_mod.ko into the kernel.
3. Plug the USB cable for the Palm in and turn it on. (Duh.)

To mount the Palm in "drive mode" as an SCSI drive, switch it over to drive mode on the Palm, and an SCSI device will appear under /dev/scsi. (For example, if you don't have any other SCSI drives, it will be /dev/scsi/host0/bus0/target0/part1 or something.) Mount it. You'll have to play with the umask flag to mount, however, if you want anyone other than root to be able to play. 'umask 022' works, but is also a security hole in that it makes it world writable and readable.

To sync, forget about gpilot. Gpilot does not work. I tried hacking the USB device IDs into gpilot's .xml file, to no avail. However, I do have some good news.

I just saved a bunch of money on my software by switching to Linux. Oh, back on topic: Jpilot works fine. Tell jpilot to look for the Palm under /dev/usb/tts/0. (Not 1 as for other devices. And no, I don't know why it has two.) It will appear when you hit the hotsync button on the Palm, and there will be some syslog messages telling you where it put the new devices.

One caveat: If you hot sync repeatidly, what will happen is that your Palm will disappear and then reappear before the USB devices time out. So instead of it going back to /dev/usb/tts/0, now you're looking at /dev/usb/tts/2. Then eventually the original will time out, so it'll go back to 0. It's a pain, but not that bad. I think the Lifedrive is doing something broken with dropping the USB interface.

To install software, use pilot-xfer. 'pilot-xfer --install whatever.prc whatever.prb' etc. Pilot-xfer wants /dev/pilot to point to the device, which since it moves around is bound to be a tad annoying. Luckily, the only time you'll use this anyway is when you are installing software.

Keep in mind this doesn't in any way solve the common Palm software problem of having Windows-only desktop-side components of software. But at least jpilot and pilot-xfer can be used to install software and sync some of the scheduling utilities, and to back the Palm up. (I don't know how well it backs it up.)

If anyone knows how to get the Lifedrive to store software on its drive rather than in the 38MB of FLASH that it has, I'd love to hear it.
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palmer
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2005 6:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

By drive, do you mean HDD?

If so, does it appear as a normal memory card?
If it does, use something called PowerRUN...

-palmem
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Randseed
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2005 7:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

palmem wrote:
By drive, do you mean HDD?

If so, does it appear as a normal memory card?
If it does, use something called PowerRUN...

-palmem


Sort of. It literally appears as an SCSI drive in the system, the same as if you were to plug one in via USB (if that's even possible). The only major problem with the traditional way to mount it is the umask problem, and that could be handled in either mount's '-o umask' directives or a script.
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blubbi
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 02, 2005 9:36 am    Post subject: Hotsync with kpilot Reply with quote

Hi all,

just wanted to give my 5 cent to this thread:

Kernel requirements: usbserial, visor, (and all the stuff you need to mount a USB-Drive)

I managed to geht the LifeDrive (2.0) to sync with kpilot.

mknod /dev/ttyUSB0 c 188 0 && chmod 0666 /dev/ttyUSB0
mknod /dev/ttyUSB1 c 188 1 && chmod 0666 /dev/ttyUSB1

ln -s /dev/ttyUSB0 /dev/pilot

Fire up kpilot and add "Blazer Cookies" to the "No backup" list.
(maybe you have to add the following: "Blazer,Blazer Cookies,Blazer_enUS,Blazer Field Autofill,Blazer Find Autofill,Blazer URL Autofill")

I had to do this, otherwise kpilot tells me "Unable to read system information from Pilot".
Maybe this behavior changes when you have some cookies on the LiveDrive.

Now if that does not work, try the following:

- Close KPilot
- Attach the LifeDrive to your PC
- Hit the HotSync button (wayt untill the screens shows "Connecting with the desktop using ...."
- Start KPilot

in this order the sync works for me... don't ask why!

Mounting this device with kernel 2.6.12-gentoo-r10 and udev 068-r1 was no problem at all.
Just plug your LifeDrive into the USB-Port and switch it to "Drive Mode". If you use hald, ivman and dbus, the divice is being mounted at once.

Have fun with this device :-)

regards
blubbi


Last edited by blubbi on Mon Jan 09, 2006 2:51 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Gotterdammerung
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2006 11:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does anyone have tried this with Zire 72 S?
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cheater512
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2006 11:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just got my LifeDrive today. Disk mode works like a treat. :lol:

The problem is with normal mode. Nothing I do can get it to work.

I've got the visor and usb_serial modules installed and I am using linux-2.6.12-gentoo-r9 as my kernel.

I plug in the Palm and dmesg outputs this:
Quote:
usb 1-1: new high speed USB device using ehci_hcd and address 39
usbcore: registered new driver usbserial
drivers/usb/serial/usb-serial.c: USB Serial support registered for Generic
usbcore: registered new driver usbserial_generic
drivers/usb/serial/usb-serial.c: USB Serial Driver core v2.0
drivers/usb/serial/usb-serial.c: USB Serial support registered for Handspring Visor / Palm OS
drivers/usb/serial/usb-serial.c: USB Serial support registered for Sony Clie 3.5
drivers/usb/serial/usb-serial.c: USB Serial support registered for Sony Clie 5.0
usb 1-1: palm_os_4_probe - error -110 getting connection info
visor 1-1:1.0: Handspring Visor / Palm OS converter detected
usb 1-1: Handspring Visor / Palm OS converter now attached to ttyUSB0
usb 1-1: Handspring Visor / Palm OS converter now attached to ttyUSB1
usbcore: registered new driver visor
drivers/usb/serial/visor.c: USB HandSpring Visor / Palm OS driver v2.1

I see /dev/ttyUSB0 and /dev/ttyUSB1 (/dev/usb/ doesnt exist :? )

pilot-xfer when run (with any options) says this:
Quote:
localhost ~ # pilot-xfer -p /dev/ttyUSB1 -l


Listening to port: /dev/ttyUSB1

Please press the HotSync button now... Connected


Error read system info on /dev/ttyUSB1

Nothing new in dmesg either.

Nothing I do will make it work.
Could it be because I dont have sm_mod.ko? A locate cant find 'sm_mod' on my computer and Google doesnt help.
Any ideas?
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Disorgoth
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2006 5:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi all,

I have a question. I recently ordered the LifeDrive and have a few questions:

- how *good* does Linux work with this PDA?
- Does Wlan/IR work?
- Is there a secured way to re-install PalmOS when everything fails?
- Nearly most important: Is it worth installing Linux on a Palm?


Thanks in advance
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hamletmun
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2006 9:32 am    Post subject: Disorgoth, wrong forum Reply with quote

Hi, Disorgoth.
I think you made a mistake.
This is for connecting PalmOS and your Linux Computer.

If you want to install Gentoo in your PalmOS LifeDrive
See https://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic-t-451474.html
Also http://hackndev.com/palm/ld
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Kate Monster
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 27, 2006 4:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, since G-Pilot doesnt work (i tried it anyways - the panel applet freezes when i try to sync the palm :? ) is there any other way for me to sync directly with Evolution?
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arathalion
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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2007 10:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

If anyone knows how to get the Lifedrive to store software on its drive rather than in the 38MB of FLASH that it has, I'd love to hear it.

mount -t auto /dev/sda1 /mnt/usb

whilst in drive mode?

though after i tried to get it to sync, i now have to use /dev/pilot


worked for me the first couple of times i tried.

ok, i cant actually get my lifedrive to connect

i run
Code:
~ # pilot-xfer -p /dev/tts/0 -l


   Listening to port: /dev/tts/0

   Please press the HotSync button now...

and it stays like that.
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mpiter
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2007 4:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

/dev/pilot can automatically be created with the right group and protection using udev. Add these lines to /etc/udev/rules.d/10-local-udev.rules:
Code:
# Palm handheld
SUBSYSTEMS=="usb", ATTRS{product}=="Palm Handheld", KERNEL=="ttyUSB?", NAME="%k", SYMLINK+="pilot", MODE=="0666"

With this, /dev/pilot is created every time the synchronization button of the Palm handheld is pressed. if ATTRS{product}=="Palm Handheld" is not the right identification ID of your product, reply to this post and I will explain how to find it out. Best regards,

pit
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blubbi
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2007 4:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the idea!

Code:
udevinfo -a -p $(udevinfo -q path -n /dev/ttyUSB0) | grep ATTRS{product}


I have put this into a small script in my path /usr/local/bin/myudevinfo

Code:
#!/bin/bash
#
udevinfo -a -p $(udevinfo -q path -n $1)


and then I can grab the infos with
Code:
myudevinfo /dev/ttyUSB0

Easy, isn't it?

And remember you can not use IDs accross different sections!
for example
Code:
SUBSYSTEMS=="usb-serial", ATTRS{product}=="Palm Handheld" ....
would not work!
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