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J-Pilot is a desktop organizer application for PalmOS devices. In M 8.5 it seems to be the only application that will sync with a Palm, since Kpilot is non-functional.




  • Make sure your device port is correct, including spelling and capitalization
  • Make sure your handheld data are backed up.
  • If you are using a Palm device that has been used on another PC, you may have to restore the factory defaults (hard reset) by following these directions.
  • Make sure that the modules you need are loaded: visor, usbserial and uhci_hcd or ehci_hcd.
  • Install

using the usual methods.

MEPIS 7 and above

The stable version is in the repos. For M8 and 8.5 users, there is a more recent version available from Debian Testing (Squeeze) that installs without problem.


The following technique using J-Pilot works on MEPIS 6.5 for many PDAs running Palm OS:
1. Using any installation method, install these four packages:

jpilot jpilot-plugins libpisock8 libpisock9

You should already have installed all the necessary backend packages such as pilot-link.
2. Once J-Pilot installs, it shows up in Kmenu --> Office --> J-Pilot; you may need to reboot first.
3. Plug in your Palm device to a USB port
4. Start J-Pilot
5. Press the hotsync button on the Palm.
6. Click the hotsync icon on the lower left in J-Pilot. It should start syncing.
Note: With some Treos you may need to count to 5 between pressing the hotsync button on the Palm and the hotsync icon in JPilot.


Click File --> Preferences --> Settings, and select the appropriate Serial Port from the pull-down menu. When using a cradle On M 8.5, the choice of usb: will usually work, while on M8 you usually will have luck with /dev/ttyUSB1.


How to Restore the Palm after a Hard Reset using JPilot

1. Connect the cable and open JPilot.
2. Press Hotsync on the Palm; count to 5 or so, and then File --> Install User on the Palm.
3. Then to Restore, again press Hotsync on the Palm, and then this time File --> Restore Handheld.

Hard reset caution

It may not work well if you try to restore a hard re-set Palm using jpilot

Trying to use a regular sync with jpilot on a device that has been hard reset can cause the device to overwrite jpilot with blank data. Part of the pilot-link tools is pilot-xfer. You can export the files you want to use by making a folder in home called "backup". Open /home/.jpilot and holding down the ctrl key, click on each of the .pdb files you want to be on your Palm device. When you have them all highlighted, right click & select "copy". Then open your newly created "backup" folder and paste those files into it.

Once that is done, connect your Palm device with the sync cable. Open a terminal and enter the command

pilot-xfer -p usb: -l    

If it connects with your Palm device, the -l will cause it to list all the files on your Palm. You know you've got a good connection then. The default with pilot-xfer is /dev/pilot, so you might try that if the usb: choice doesn't work. The -p is just telling it which port. If the list command works, then give the command

  pilot-xfer -p usb: -r /home/UserName/backup 

All your .pdb files should then transfer over to your Palm device.

Multiple devices

Jpilot can sync with more than one device.

Create a folder in home, titled something like home/palmTX. Then open your /home/.jpilot directory. Open a konsole terminal and type in to it

  export JPILOT_HOME=/home/your_home_name/jpilotTX

Then save it, perhaps as in the home/.jpilot directory. Right click on the newly created and click on properties, check "is executable" on the permissions tab. Now when you click on the another copy of jpilot will open. You can even select a different color theme for it so it is easy to tell which particular jpilot goes with which Palm device. You can then export your files such as agenda, contacts, tasks from your original version of jpilot, into the new /home/jpilotTX and there they will be, ready to go onto your second Palm device. Export the files you want to be on your hand held device by clicking on each section (such as agenda, contacts, to dos) and then click file > export into jpilotTX. Then export your sections save them in the .csv format. .csv seems to work best. Do that for each section. Then open your second version of JPilot and click file import, browse to the folder, such as PalmTX, and click on the different sections such as agenda or tasks and click file > import and your information will be there.


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