The BlackBerry in a World without Windows
Listing 2. The barry-sync Configuration File
# This is the default configuration file # for the barry-sync opensync plugin. # Comments are preceded by a '#' mark at the # beginning of a line. # The config format is a set of lines of . # # Keywords available: # # DebugMode - If present, verbose USB debug # output will be enabled # # Device - If present, it is followed by the following values: # PIN number - PIN number of the device to sync with (in hex) # sync calendar - 1 to sync calendar, 0 to skip # sync contacts - 1 to sync contacts, 0 to skip # # Password secret - If present, specifies the device's # password in plain text # #DebugMode Device 3009efe3 1 1 #Password secret
Unless you have assigned a password for your Curve, the only change needed here is to replace 3009efe3 with the correct PIN, which you can find using btool -l. If you have trouble with sync, you can uncomment DebugMode. Before syncing, Evolution and its back-end servers should be shut down:
Then, syncing is as easy as:
msynctool --sync evo-barry
Note: on my Debian system, msynctool could not connect to the BlackBerry unless it was able to run with elevated privileges:
sudo chmod +s /usr/bin/msynctool
You also could change the permissions on the USB device to correct this problem.
Sync still is very much in alpha, and it can destroy your data! Be sure you have backups of both the Curve and Evolution databases before you sync.
My BlackBerry does not connect to a BES (BlackBerry Enterprise Server), so I have not tested any interactions between Barry and enterprise systems.
There is another free software project with the goal of making BlackBerry functionality available to Linux users. XmBlackBerry is a single GUI program, as opposed to Barry's suite of several mostly command-line tools. I went with Barry for myself and for this article, because XmBlackBerry hasn't had a release in more than a year, and I am comfortable on the command line. If you have a BlackBerry, keep an eye on XmBlackBerry, which is being actively developed and looks very promising.
Both Barry and XmBlackBerry support using the phone as a tethered modem to connect your computer to a cellular data network. However, at this time, neither works correctly with the 8320. I have reported this to the Barry developers, and by the time you read this article, the problem may have been fixed. I hope so, because using the Curve as a modem is almost the only reason I ever boot my laptop into Windows.
When I started using Linux in the early 1990s, there was a real feeling of adventure. Every time you installed a program, you were likely to have to solve some sort of problem or invent a workaround. I don't regret the fact that Linux and free software are so polished and generally easy to use. Still, it's exciting to be working with software on the cutting edge again. BlackBerry support in Linux still is a work in progress, but it's just the sort of fun challenge that got a lot of us into this in the first place. I'm looking forward to seeing how things progress.
Syncing Your Blackberry: www.linux.com/feature/123251
A Better CD Encoder (abcde): code.google.com/p/abcde
Fast Audio Playlist Generator (fapg): royale.zerezo.com/fapg
Carl Fink has, in his career, been a museum guide, schoolteacher, system administrator, programmer and corporate trainer. These days, he makes his living as a writer and spends much of his spare time helping to put on I-CON, an annual science-fiction convention on Long Island. He blogs at nitpicking.com.
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