Jpilot and Treo: backup broke my PDA

Tommy Trussell tommy.trussell at
Tue Feb 12 16:37:26 UTC 2008

On 2/11/08, SYNass IT Ubuntu / Linux <i-ubux at> wrote:

> Yes, there is a fatal danger with JPilot and Treo !!
> Not only between these two:
> It's between Evolution, JPilot and Treo !!!
> I really do not accept nor understand why there are NO warnings of
> this fatal conflict !!

Here is the situation as I understand it. Jpilot is not normally
installed in Ubuntu -- you have to install it yourself. So the
"typical" Ubuntu user will be unaware of it.

I use Jpilot because it's a good replacement for the "old fashioned"
palm desktop software. It continues to work with newer Palm models,
even though it does not have all the features people may expect, such
as a sync daemon.

The Gnome developers included gnome-pilot in their distribution, which
as you noticed, does not co-exist with jpilot because it DOES include
a sync daemon -- in other words, as soon as you set it up, any time
you are logged into your Gnome desktop it will be looking for whether
you have pressed the sync button on your cable or cradle. Because of
this, you must disable the sync daemon in order for jpilot to access
the device.

Based on my experiments, the only way to permanently disable the
gnome-pilot sync daemon after you have set it up is to open the hidden
directory .gnome2 and delete the gnome-pilot.d directory. (full path:
~/.gnome2/gnome-pilot.d/ )

ALSO based on my experiments, you should not LOSE any data if you are
careful to never activate any of the gnome conduits (Except Backup,
which should be safe because it should always copy FROM your pilot --
just don't ever RESTORE your pilot without checking the files
carefully). However if the Gnome daemon is running you will have a
hard time getting jpilot to work right. So delete the gnome-pilot.d
directory if you want to use Jpilot.

> My suggestion would be:
> The Evolution and JPilot developer teams shall join and
> explain us Ubuntu users (experts and newbies) about this danger
> and how to setup accordingly !

I am not certain, but I suspect there is NO "JPilot Team" -- I believe
there is only one person, and if he is still volunteering to work on
Jpilot I am sure he might appreciate any KIND assistance you could
offer. I see he also has a place for monetary donations.

Alternatively, it looks to me like a programmer might be able to alter
Jpilot to work correctly with the gnome-pilot daemon, so that might be
an alternative for people who use Gnome but do not want to synchronize
with Evolution. If gnome-pilot was aware of the existence of Jpilot
maybe it could avoid the conflict you mentioned by only activating
EITHER the Evolution or Jpilot conduit for each database.

The (official) Palm software has lots of warnings saying to never run
more than one conduit on the same data. And when something goes wrong,
the best you can do is restore from a backup BEFORE the error. At
worst you can do a hard-reset of the Palm and start entering  your
data from scratch.

(I've already had to restore a backup to my new Treo because I
accidentally copied a .pdb from an old Palm which conflicted with the
new data. Fortunately it's easy to restore from a backup when you are
very careful.)

BY THE WAY, unlike the Gnome software, Jpilot does not support
restoring data from a backup -- I believe you must use the pilot-link
utilities from the command line. That's what I have done anytime my
Palm fails or when I am switching from one Palm unit to another. They
are not "user friendly" like the Gnome software, but I have found the
utilities to be very reliable. I do not know how well the Gnome
restore function works.

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