Problems with USB Palm sync

Jonathan Arnold jdarnold at
Thu Oct 19 13:26:24 UTC 2006

Damian Wiest wrote:
> Here's what works for me on my FreeBSD 6.1 (x86) laptop and 
> OpenBSD 3.9 (x86) workstation:
> To use pilot-xfer to sync your Palm device
> 1. Connect cradle to system via USB port
> 2. Press the sync button 
> 3. Execute "sudo pilot-xfer -p /dev/ttyU0 -s <PalmDir>" where PalmDir
>       is the location of your Palm data.
> 4. Files are transferred from the Palm device
> To use jpilot to sync your Palm device:
> 1. Execute "sudo jpilot"
> 2. Select the File->Preferences menu
> 3. Select the Settings tab
> 4. Change the serial port setting to /dev/ttyU0
> 5. Press the hotsync button on your cradle (or use the HotSync app.)
> 6. Press the sync button in J-Pilot
> 7. Palm device is synced
> I find that I have better luck pressing sync on my device before running 
> pilot-xfer or using J-Pilot's sync feature.  If you do it the other way
> around and aren't quick enough, the /dev/ttyU0 device won't be available
> and the application won't retry opening it.

Thanks for all your help here!  When I first read this, I said to myself that
it wouldn't help, that I've tried all these various permutations.  Imagine my
surprise when it *did* work! I will post a complete followup on my blog, but
I did have to load the 'uvisor' driver to get this process to work:

# kldload uvisor

Which I'm sure I played with before, but now it works.  Now I am just struggling
to get my Palm, which was recently hard-reset, back to where it was a few months
ago. I have the data on my hard drive, but I can't seem to figure out the magical
incantation to move it over to the Palm. It is in JPilot, but I haven't quite
gotten that to work smoothly.

> I know I shouldn't be running the apps as root, but I haven't bothered
> to configure /etc/devd.conf and /etc/devfs.rules on my laptop.

I've played with this a bit and it is a little weird.  Again, I hope to have a full
report on my blog some day real soon.

And thanks for your (and Anish's) help.  Learned a lot about run-time devices!

Jonathan Arnold     (mailto:jdarnold at
Daemon Dancing in the Dark, a FreeBSD weblog:

UNIX is user-friendly. It's just a bit picky about who its friends are.

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