Ubuntu - How to browse your Windows Mobile phone



Smartphone and Pocket PC under Windows Mobile are becoming more and more popular. Since WM5, these phone are using a new RDNIS protocol to synchronise with computers. This is good news for Linux users, as this protocol is much more simple and robust than the previous one. As a result, the synchronisation between a Linux PC and one of these phones is more simple to setup.

This article will explain how to install and configure SynCE to setup a synchronisation between a WM Phone and a Ubuntu workstation to be able to browse the mobile phone filesystem. You will then be able to get some infos about your phone and, more interesting, to browse your phone filesystem thru Nautilus

It won't explain how to synchronise your contacts or calendar with Evolution or Thunderbird. This can be acheived with some additionnal steps, but as I'm not needing it, I haven't tried.

This setup has been done on a Ubuntu Jaunty 9.04 workstation, but it should work on any later version.

Install the packages

Before proceeding to any installation, you first need to add the synce repository to retreive the latest packages. This can be done thru synaptics by adding the following repository

deb jaunty main

Once done, you need to import the repository key :

# sudo apt-key adv --recv-keys --keyserver 7D2C7A23BF810CD5
Executing: gpg --ignore-time-conflict --no-options --no-default-keyring --secret-keyring /etc/apt/secring.gpg --trustdb-name /etc/apt/trustdb.gpg --keyring /etc/apt/trusted.gpg --recv-keys --keyserver 7D2C7A23BF810CD5
gpg: requête de la clé BF810CD5 du serveur hkp
gpg: clé BF810CD5: clé publique « Launchpad PPA for Awn Testing Team » importée
gpg: aucune clé de confiance ultime n'a été trouvée
gpg: Quantité totale traitée: 1
gpg:               importée: 1  (RSA: 1)

You can now install all the SynCE packages needed to handle the PDA connexion, the tray icon & the Nautilus browsing :

# sudo aptitude update
# sudo aptitude install synce-hal librra-tools librapi2-tools synce-gvfs synce-trayicon

Once done, you need to reboot your Ubuntu box to avoid any first connexion problem

# sudo reboot

1. Smartphone connexion

You can now connect your Windows Mobile phone thru the USB interface.

After few seconds :

  • the phone should be detected,
  • the phone name should be displayed in the background popup
  • a tray icon should appear on the task bar
SynCE Tray Icon when phone is detected

By left clicking on the tray icon, a menu will allow you :

  • to get some technical informations about your phone
  • to launch Nautilus to browse your phone filesystem

You can now browse your device filesystem. This will allow you to copy files to & from your device, to edit some files directly on the phone, to drop some CAB files to be installed from the phone, ...

If you can't see your phone after connecting it, you need to check your phone settings in the parameters / connexion / USB to PC menu :

  1. Invert the state of the Use advanced network parameters checkbox,
  2. diconnect your phone
  3. connect it again.

It should now be detected and appear on the icon tray.

Signature Technoblog

This article is published "as is", without any warranty that it will work for your specific need.
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