Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Synchronizing WinMob PIM Data with Ubuntu - Post 2

Server Side – Installing & Configuring FinchSync on Ubuntu

Originally posted at Mobility Site in the X50 / X51 Forums/Tips and Tricks forum under the pseudonym, Jogga. It is the second of four posts: if you can't wait for the next two in the series, head on over to Mobility Site.

Installing FinchSync on Ubuntu is easy:
  • Create a file on your hard drive called finchsync (my path looks like this: /home/jogga/finchsync).
  • Download the PC Server application from the FinchSync Downloads Page (you'll have to accept the Terms and Conditions – the file is called FinchSync.jar (738 KB)) and save (or copy) the download to the finchsync folder you created in step 1. You don't need to open the file or do anything clever: simply copy the download to the finchsync directory!
Now we get to configure the FinchSync server (the PC application that you've just downloaded). Open a terminal and change directory to the finchsync folder.

cd /home/[usr]/finchsync

When the terminal has changed directory, we'll open the FinchSync Gui using:

java -jar finchsync.jar

All being well, you should see the FinchSync GUI.

When the GUI appears, you may receive the error message, 'Address already in use: JVM_Bind': this can be safely ignored for the time being. Next, from the toolbar, select File and Server Configuration and you should see the Server Configuration dialog box.

The http port should be set to a value between 8080 & 8087 (although theoretically it can have any value between 0 and 65535): if the value selected has already been allocated, you'll be prompted to change the setting. Be warned, if you change the setting you must close and restart the server before the changes take effect. Keep cycling through the numbers until you find a vacant port number. If you are using a firewall, you'll have to open this port in order to allow the pda to connect: I use Firestarter and opening the 8080 port is straightforward, so I can help with instructions if needed (anything else and you're on your own!).

If you select the Enable Status Page option, you can kill the server via a web browser using http://[ip]:[port]status. Please note that the IP address is not the one shown on the GUI status bar (at the bottom of the GUI): it is most likely the eth0 IP address followed by the port number you selected. For example, I would type into my Firefox browser and the status page appears: to find the appropriate IP address for your set up, open a terminal and type:


When you've completed the user and password fields, click OK (and remember what you've typed!).

Now we can tell FinchSync what we want to synchronize: these are called Sync Sources. Click the Sync Sources tab in the FinchSync GUI.

Obviously, your table will be empty! Click the Add button to start the setup wizard.
  • Enter a unique name and click Next (as an example, for my contacts source, I used the name X50Contacts which (I hope) is pretty self-explanatory).
  • From the Source drop-down menu, select either the Address Book or Calendar option.
  • Browse to where your file is stored on your hard drive. You can use the Scan Disk option, but this can take time in Ubuntu and I didn't find it helpful (and it never found the relevant files!). If you are setting up you contacts, you are looking for a file called abook.mab which is in the /home/[usr]/.thunderbird directory in the Default user file. Your calendar is in the directory that you created when you started so it should be easy to find!
  • Click Next.
  • The next screen gives some additional configuration options. Read Only prevents the client (i.e. your mobile device) from changing source data (not useful if you make changes to your calendar or contacts on the move!).Config opens another dialog box allowing you to block application preventing Thunderbird from opening if a sync is in progress (very useful as you will later see!).
  • Click Finish to set up your Sync Source and repeat for additional Calendars or Address Books.
Now we can set up the client. Click the Clients tab.

Now click the Add button to set up your client.

Enter a name for your device and a password. These are your log-in details when we set up the client side software, so make a note of the details! You can add a description of the device and then select which sources you want to sync by clicking the Add button. A dialog box gives you the options set up in your Sync Sources, just select the ones that you want to sync.

Phew, that's the PC set up: now for the pda!

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