6.3 Pilot/Handspring Tool

Red Hat Enterprise Linux includes gnome-pilot, a tool that lets you synchronize your Palm or Handspring PDA (personal digital assistant) with your Linux system using your system's serial or USB port and your PDA's hot sync cradle. By default, Red Hat Linux is configured to enable you to back up your PDA to your Linux system or restore a backup from your Linux system to your PDA. You can also synchronize Evolution's calendar, task list, and contact list with your PDA.

To set up your system to communicate with your PDA, choose Tools Pilot Settings from the Evolution menu. The Welcome panel appears, as shown in Figure 6-9.

Figure 6-9. The gnome-pilot Welcome panel

Plug your PDA into its cradle and plug the cradle into your system's serial or USB port, according to the type of cradle you're using. Click Forward to continue. The Cradle Settings panel (Figure 6-10) appears. Specify the port to which the cradle is attached.

Figure 6-10. The Cradle Settings panel

If you've synched your PDA using a Microsoft Windows host, you can use the information in Table 6-1 to determine the serial port. If you're using a USB port, specify a port having the form /dev/ttyUSBn, where n is the number of the USB port.

Table 6-1. Linux and Windows serial port designations

Windows designation

Linux designation









Click Forward to continue. The Pilot Identification panel appears, as shown in Figure 6-11. If you've not yet perfomed a hot sync of your PDA using Gnome Pilot, enable the No radiobutton and specify the User name and ID you want to use. Otherwise, enable the Yes radiobutton.

Figure 6-11. The Pilot Identification panel

Click Forward to continue. The Initial Sync panel appears. As directed, press the PDA's HotSync button. If the hot sync setup succeeded, the Initial Sync panel displays the user name and ID. Also, check the PDA's screen to determine if the hot sync setup succeeded. If it failed, use the Back button to return to a previous screen and correct the problem. Also, check the cable connecting the HotSync cradle to the PC.

Click Foward. The Pilot Attributes panel appears. If you like, you can change the Pilot Name and Local basedir values.

Click Foward to perform the hot sync operation and a Success panel should appear.

By default, a hot sync operation merely backs up the data in your PDA. However, you can specify that various Evolution components?such as the Contacts database?should be synchronized with your PDA whenever you perform a hot sync. To do so, select Tools Pilot Settings Conduits from the Evolution menu. The Pilot Conduits dialog box appears, as shown in Figure 6-12. Its purpose is to show the available conduits, small programs that let you move information between your system and PDA. Note that five conduits now appear. By default, the conduits are disabled. You can enable a conduit by selecting it and clicking Enable. When enabled, some conduits present a small configuration dialog box (Figure 6-13). Generally, the dialog box lets you configure the direction of information transfer: either from the PDA to the system or from the system to the PDA. Configure each conduit as you prefer and then click OK to close the Pilot Conduits dialog box.

Figure 6-12. The Pilot Conduits dialog box
Figure 6-13. A conduit configuration dialog box

The conduits have the following functions:


Backs up your PDA contents to a file on your system or restores the PDA contents from a file on your system.


Sends Evolution's contact list to your PDA or your PDA's contact list to Evolution.


Sends Evolution's calendar to your PDA or your PDA's calendar to Evolution.


Sends Evolution's task list to your PDA or your PDA's task list to Evolution.


Transfers files from your system to your PDA or from your PDA to your system. You shouldn't enable this conduit unless you have a specific purpose in mind, in which case you should be careful to properly configure it.

Be sure to properly configure the direction of transfer?the Action?for each conduit. Otherwise, you may destroy important information by performing a transfer in an inappropriate direction. For instance, you could inadvertently transfer old data from your PC onto your PDA, destroying more recent data in the PDA.

To perform a hot sync operation, connect your PDA's cradle to your system's serial port, place the PDA in its cradle, and press the HotSync button on the cradle. The enabled conduits run and transfer information between your PDA and system according to the conduit configurations.