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Linux-to-Palm Integration? 53

Randseed asks: "I'm a physician and am looking to buy a PDA to make my life a lot easier. My entire computer network is based around Linux. The hospitals' are Windows, but I don't need to explicitly deal with them. This is where my fellow geeks at Slashdot come in. What kind of integration exists for PalmOS PDAs and Linux at this point? What do you guys use? What is the best way to deal with installing software on the Palm from a Linux machine?"
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Linux-to-Palm Integration?

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  • by WebHostingGuy ( 825421 ) * on Monday June 20, 2005 @07:58PM (#12867996) Homepage Journal
    http://pilot-link.org/ [pilot-link.org]

    pilot-link is a suite of tools used to connect your Palm or PalmOS® compatible handheld with Unix, Linux, and any other POSIX-compatible machine. pilot-link works with all PalmOS® handhelds, including those made by Handspring, Sony, and Palm, as well as others. pilot-link includes userspace "conduits" that allow you to syncronize information to and from your Palm device, as well as libraries of Palm-compatible functions that allow other applications to take advantage of the code included in pilot-link. There are also several language "bindings" that allow you to use your favorite development language with pilot-link, such as Java, Tcl, Perl, and Python.
  • Definitely check out the LARA project [creighton.edu] at Creighton. They have a list of devices that work with their PalmOS system that delivers patient data to physicians wirelessly.
  • For a GUI that lets you install to the Palm I've used kpilot and jpilot. There are also plenty of command-line tools that allow you to do backups of the Palm (in fact lots of the GUIs are built on top of the same command-line tools).

    My biggest gripe is that none of the tools I've tried is really good at printing. Jpilot is OK but has a few bugs and kpilot doesn't print at all.

    Also, some add-on software has corresponding desktop software that is Windoze only but you can generally use it on the Palm only.

    • Forgot to mention - kpilot doesn't seem oriented to printing because it (optionally) acts as an interface to KOrganizer, KAddressbook, etc. so it assumes you will use those as your desktop organizing apps and will print from there.
    • Yeah, I have used Epocrates. It's a fantastic piece of software for managing the mess of drug information out there right now.

      Most of the Palm software that I've seen works pretty well with only the Palm. I don't care too much about booting into 'Doze every few weeks to update the databases, really. I just don't want to have to pull a laptop out, boot the thing into 'Doze, deal with the braindeath that I never got used to in Windows (Yes, Linux has it too, but I'm used to that. :), etc.

      I submitted this

    • I've been quite happy with kpilot, but I'm not exactly a serious user. I bought mine as a toy when I happened to have a few bucks, and I basically just use it for jotting notes, playing a few games, and reading public domain ebooks. No integration with anything on my computer or anything like that.

      I'm not disagreeing with (or even responding to) the parent, this just seemed as good a place as any to put in my $0.02, since he mentioned kpilot.

  • Just my opinion, I have been looking for something that does both well.
  • if your interest is productivity between your desktop and your PDA, windows is going to be a better platform. there exists many high-quality productity apps that make your palm and windows work together.

    if your interest is to tinker, well, then ignore this.

    • i love it. someone says something pro, factual about windows, and it's flamebait. what a great system this is.
      • Thats probably because the original question was "what can i use to sync with linux". He even went as far as saying his office network is based around linux and the hospitals is windows but he wasn't concerned with the hospitals.

        This is the same as someone asking for driving directions to the hospital and getting a reply "take the 49th street bus to oliver and then walk two blocks and jump on the redline" or call 911 and take the emergency squad. Do you see the problem there? I'll point it out. He already
        • from TFP: I'm a physician and am looking to buy a PDA to make my life a lot easier.

          the problem is the whole attitude of this site. so i suggested a more productive alternative, that happens to include windows and that's a troll? maybe off topic. but not a troll. if you think mentioning windows is a troll or flamebait, that's really something you should go talk to your therapist about. good luck with that.

          • Mentioning windows in itself isn't a troll. Mentioning windows in responce to What kind of integration exists for PalmOS PDAs and Linux at this point? What do you guys use? What is the best way to deal with installing software on the Palm from a Linux machine? could be. It appears that someone modded it different so discusing it now is little more then fundemental.

            The question clearly is What is the best way to deal with installing software on the Palm from a Linux machine? The I'm a physician and am look
            • okay, so by that logic, any feedback to an article here on /. that is explicitly about windows yet mentions linux should also be a troll right? the only point here is that i might be off topic. trying to apply anything else to this is sheer hypocrisy. any post about windows gathers feedback, 90% of which start with "... if you used Linux, then ...".
              • Yes, ANY FEED BACK FROM A QUESTION ABOUT HOW TO USE LINUX THAT SAYS TO USE WINDOWS INSTEAD IS A TROLL. The same is the other way around to. If i asked how to set up a windows 2003 serever for a particular task and you said to use linux and opensource instead, it would be a troll.

                Now the troll part is only because of the underlying competition n the operating systems. If the question was on making penutbutter sandwiches and your sugested to put it on crackers instead of bread the same wouldn't exist. I'm no

                  as far as how it works on /., you are simply wrong and to say anything else so so ridiculous i won't even both disputing it. any post related to windows warrants hundreds of "windoze sux! use linux!" posts, and yes, these get mod'd up no matter how inane they are.

                  this might come as a shock, but outside of your little /. world, people care about getting the job done not

                  • Ok, i'll let you live in your fantisy world. I still see you don't get it and probably never will. Everythign to you must be black and white so i will put it to you one more time in black and white.

                    Getting the job done using the tools stated by the question didn't involve windows at all. The mentioning of it while knowing about the rivaly and the questions wanting to specificaly use linux and not windows takes it to a different level. If the question was i use linux and windows and whats the best way to
                    • friend, you are rambling. don't fall into the trap of thinking that if you type a lot of crap you are going to win an argument. i read 1/2 way through your post and came to the conclusion that you were either talking to someone else, responding to another topic, or were drunk. this isn't nearly as complicated as you are making it.

                      my only point is that you are wrong when you said the opposite situation would also be a troll. posts about windows warrant hundreds on "use linux" responses. those responses are

  • by PianoComp81 ( 589011 ) on Monday June 20, 2005 @08:22PM (#12868132)
    Others have mentioned pilot-link, jpilot, and kpilot. There's also gnome-pilot, which is basically like hotsync for Windows. It's based on pilot-link, but is a good front-end. You can also sync with Evolution, an Outlook clone. The conduits for Evolution need a little help (a few people, including me, are working on that), but the mostly work. Evolution also doesn't have a memos component to it (though check out the evolution-memos project [sourceforge.net] for a working Memos component that I've been working on - even has a working gnome-pilot conduit)

    I'd say support for the Palm is good, but not mature yet. gnome-pilot makes it easy to sync with AvantGo and the other major conduits. JPilot is good at that, too, and is basically a clone of Palm Desktop. pilot-link is the basis for most Palm support, and is usually kept up-to-date with the latest releases from PalmSource and Palm vendors.
  • Tux magazine issue one has a good article on how to sync a palm with korganizer useing KPilot. it is avalable from HERE [ssc.com] it provides a useful guide on how to set everything up to sync your data.
  • by hacker ( 14635 ) <hacker@gnu-designs.com> on Monday June 20, 2005 @09:15PM (#12868446)
    pilot-link [pilot-link.org] is probably the most-current out there so far... works on OSX, Linux, BSD natively, and soon... Windows as well. There are other projects (ColdSync, jSyncManager) but they don't support current handhelds and they work questionably on the platforms we support in our base tree.

    pilot-link has languages bindings for Perl, Python, Java, and TCL. We've got support for the latest Palm handhelds, including the Tungsten T5, LifeDrive and Tungsten E2.

    pilot-link supports writing to external storage (SD cards, CompactFlash, MemoryStick), and we support libusb as well for a nice 600% speedup over the standard usb->serial layers present in Linux. Darwinusb uses native usb by default (no serial layers involved).

    If you're interested in seeing the code, we've got a public CVS [pilot-link.org], Doxygenized code output [pilot-link.org], CVS statistics [pilot-link.org], and many other things.

    Don't forget our mailing lists [pilot-link.org] as well, if you're interested in following the discussions. I've written some detailed HOWTO documents [pilot-link.org] as well to help users with their Palm devices.

    I just released 0.12.0-pre4 [pilot-link.org] a few days ago. Try it out... we need feedback and testers. (Bugs go here [pilot-link.org]).

    If you want to talk to us real-time, we're out on irc.pilot-link.org in #pilot-link. We'd love to hear from you...

  • What is the best way to deal with installing software on the Palm from a Linux machine?

    Run Windows? Oh, wait a minute. Run Winelib. ;)
  • Um, was this really worth an "Ask /."? I'm I just a pompus Linux head, or couldn't this have been answered with a few minutes of googling on the part of the poster? It isn't like this is this the 20th century any more.
    • A google search won't give you real discusion and feedback on the usability of the programs. I often do google searches and then goto some irc channels to see what people think before i trouble myself with some programs.

      Asking on slashdot has a two fold effect. One, you get live feedback from a reletivly recent timelime and don't have to depend on usability reports from 3 years ago by some windows convert that thinks mandrake linux was hard to instal. Two, If any developers of the various software happens
      • A google search won't give you real discusion and feedback on the usability of the programs. I often do google searches and then goto some irc channels to see what people think before i trouble myself with some programs.

        What bugged me about this post was that the questioner hadn't done any homework on their own at all. A simple google search [google.com] would have provided the basis of a question.

        The Slashdot community is a valuable resource. For the editors of /. to hassle us with a question from someone who c

        • Ok, i agree with your statment if it is what is happening. I even understand your frustration of being bothered in situations like this.

          However i don't see from his question were it implies he didn't do any research. After reading the first couple of replies, it looks like it could have been answered by a google search. Then again it goes back to my practice of asking the same type of questions in different places after i do a little research on a program or proccess so i might be a little prejudice on the
  • A couple of days ago I undertook a project to get a Palm Tungsten T running with my Linux (Gentoo) IBM Thinkpad T42. Overall, I'm fairly impressed. I started with Bluetooth syncing and that worked quite well, but I've decided to stick with USB syncing since the Palm charges in the cradle so it needs to be there for a while every day anyways. I still use Bluetooth for occasional application installs and file transfers though.

    KOrganizer is a nice calendar & to-do list app. (And it brings my MS Exchan
  • As you're a doctor, take a look at OpenTAPAS and the jSyncManager:

    OpenTAPAS is the Open Source Technology Assisted Practice Application Suite, which is designed specifically for physicians in clinical settings, and includes calendaring, messaging, and document storage, using both a web interface and PalmOS 5-based handheld systems. The messaging system in completely encrypted. OpenTAPAS is developed by the EGADSS Team at the University of British Columbia, and is headed

  • by josepha48 ( 13953 ) on Monday June 20, 2005 @11:57PM (#12869349) Journal
    pilot-xfer is the base of all Linux / palm life AFAIK. Then other GUIs are build on top of that.

    Both KDE and GNOME have sync GUI's if you need that kind of thing.

    I've got a clie, and have had a palm V. Most of the Palms are supported I think. Check it out -> http://www.pilot-link.org/ [pilot-link.org]

  • I recommend having access to Windows to help install at least some medical software packages and reference databases. If packages are available in the Palm's native package format, then they are easy to download to your Linux system and then install using Pilot-Link. However some commercial products are distributed as a Windows .exe file which you then need to unpack to a set of files including native Palm packages. I've had success opening Windows based installation packages using Wine or Cedega, but I've
  • I've been using my Treo 600 for almost a year with J-Pilot as my synching software. It couldn't be easier - download an app, in J-Pilot say install and sync. I also have a SD card reader which I use to install stuff, simply pop the SD card in to the reader, mount it and cp the apps across.

    The 650's out now as well which is an improvement - I'll be upgrading around September.

  • Pocket PC (Score:2, Interesting)

    by halothane ( 200070 )
    Is there anything for Pocket PCs?
  • I almost always "install" things to my palm by copying them to the SD card. The only times I actually need the Palm Desktop or an alternative is when the software vendor absolutely forces me into that.
  • As a previous poster pointed out, pilot-link is how things get done as far as Palm/Linux integration go. Of the GUI front-ends to pilot-link, I have always found JPilot the best. (http://www.jpilot.org/ [jpilot.org]) It even uses GTK2 now.

    When they worked at all, I found that both KPilotd and Gnome-pilot/evolution would make duplicate entries and cause some stuff just to disappear. Then there's the fact that, IIRC, Evolution still has no notes function. JPilot is small, fast, simple and just works. You can even

Someone is unenthusiastic about your work.