HowTO: Install Dropbox in KDE

August 1, 2010

*****YES, YOU CAN USE DROPBOX IN KDE WITHOUT A KDE CLIENT!!!*****

The filemanager integration (the nautilus-only part) is for putting the little status icons on dropbox files and allowing you to copy the public link, etc. The Dropbox daemon dropboxd is what interfaces with Dropbox the website, and keeps the folders synced; and it is not dependent on nautilus, Gnome, KDE, Dolphin, Konqueror, or anything of the sort. It will work regardless of your DE or FM.

So what do you need to do? Well, it’s quite simple. :) Download the daemon from http://www.getdropbox.com/download?plat=lnx.x86 (x86_64 for 64-bit), and extract it to your home directory. It made a hidden folder called .dropbox-dist. Now run ~/.dropbox-dist/dropboxd and that will help you setup your Dropbox account and provide a tray applet (works in KDE, don’t worry) that kindly tells you when it has synced your dropbox folder. That’s it!

Sorry if this is already in an FAQ, KB, or forum post elsewhere. I couldn’t find it, and I wanted to make life easy for my fellow KDE-ers searching for a Dropbox client.


HowTo: Using Drop Box in Xubuntu

November 24, 2009

[IN PROGRESS…I haven’t been able to get this to work yet]

Started working with a new Dell Vostro 1220 laptop, so I decided to install Xubuntu. Keeping my work files in sync is a high priority. Dropbox is designed to work along with Nautilus which is the default file manager in GNOME…and the default window manager in Ubuntu. But not Xubuntu which uses Thunar as it’s file manager.

By following the instructions below you can get Dropbox to work side-by-side with Xfce and Thunar. We will basically just be starting a no-frills instance of Nautilus which causes Dropbox to start. The explanation will mostly be relevant to Ubuntu/Xubuntu users, but can simply be modified to other distros.

Requirements:
Nautilus file manager
Dropbox for Linux
Xfce (4.4+ works best)

Install dropbox from source, or using the packages provided on the Dropbox site.
Type the following into the terminal:

nautilus --no-desktop --browser

This will start Dropbox, and the icon should appear in your system tray.
Log in, or sign up with a new account.
Now, in order to have Dropbox running every time you use Xfce, you need it to autostart. Just go to:
Menu -> Settings -> Settings Manager -> Autostarted apps -> Add
and add the following

/home/your_username/.dropbox-dist/dropboxd

And that’s it! Dropbox should work normally now, synching your files perfectly.


Convert Outlook .pst file to Evolution

June 24, 2009

I can confirm it works…http://outport.sourceforge.net/doc.php

Run Outport in Vista, convert your outlook.pst file to Evolution format, copy the resulting .db files into your linux .evolution folders to replace what’s there, reboot and there you go.  Direction also at the above link.  We’re making progress !


Blackberry Users: Write to RIM Support re: Ubuntu/Linux

August 7, 2008

Here is some verbage that elicited a positive response from RIM Blackberry Support.  I suggest you do the same if we want Linux support from RIM.  Send to help@rim.com :

To whom it may concern,

I was disappointed upon searching the Blackberry website that no support for Blackberry desktop software is available for Linux-based operating systems. There are third party projects , however RIM supported development could quickly improve support on Linux desktops and please many of your customers. As an excellent alternative to the Windows Mobile platform, the Linux community would love to embrace Blackberry devices if even limited support could be offered for Linux.
Thanks,

John Outlan, recent Blackberry owner
Kubuntu Linux 8.04


Sync your Blackberry with Evolution OTA (Over the Air)

June 30, 2008

Add this repository on the following site to your /etc/apt/sources.list.  Then install syncevolution via Synaptic Package manager.  The plugin won’t show up in evolution though. There is a guide to getting it set up at http://www.estamos.de/projects/SyncML/Installation.html follow that and it will set it up so you can sync via the command line.

Once you’ve edited all the files as it says on that website, you should be able to sync from the command line. If you’re using scheduleworld the command will probably be “syncevolution scheduleworld” to sync all types both ways.

To make it easier for myself I created an application launcher (right click on the panel, click on add to panel, then select custom application launcher. This will open a new box and you should change the ‘type’ to ‘application in terminal’. I put in the command syncevolution scheduleworld. You just need to click on this icon on your panel to do a full normal sync.

I have found this is the most reliable way to keep your Blackberry in Sync with Evolution.  If you have trouble, please post here and I’ll see if I can help.

I click the icon on the panel (with two arrows) to sync. If you have a nicer icon, post it on up!:

Attached Thumbnails

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Synchronizing a BlackBerry in Kubuntu

June 2, 2008

EDIT:  New Barry utils at sourceforge, ver .13….greatly improved.  I’m sync’ing my Blackberry now and have had no glitches.

Unfortunately, RIM (the manufacturer of the BlackBerry) has been less-than-friendly to Linux users, and has not provided proper drivers to allow Linux to support the BlackBerry. Fortunately, however, the Linux community has come through to provide options. As a result, my BlackBerry now communicates with my laptop and synchronizes with KDE-PIM (a better-than-Outlook PIM replacement for Outlook). Oh, and as a bonus, I can transfer music to the BlackBerry’s microSD card using Amarok.

Here’s how:

Part 1: BlackBerry microSD Card Mounting

My first step was to install a microSD card (I used a 2.0GB card). As this Linux App Finder tutorial explains, the following two settings must be configured under Settings -> Options -> Media Card on the BlackBerry:

  • Media Card Support: On
  • Mass Storage Mode Support: On
  • Auto Enable Mass Storage Mode When Connected: Yes

Upon connecting the BlackBerry to the laptop via USB, Kubuntu Hardy natively recognized the microSD card as removable media, and mounted it. The BlackBerry itself, however, indicated the following warning:

USB charging current is not sufficient. Verify that your handheld is connected to a powered USB charging source and that the proper USB driver is installed.

(Interestingly, the BlackBerry still seemed to charge via the USB connection.) Not to worry; we will address this issue a bit later.

Part 2: Managing microSD Card Media With Amarok

Since I was following along with the tutorial, I went on to part 2, which explained how to use Amarok to manage music on the microSD card. I skipped the first section regarding using Amarok to transcode from FLAC to MP3 on-the-fly, as I rip my CDs as MP3 anyway. Moving on to the next section, regarding how to configure Amarok:

  1. Go to Settings -> Configure Amarok -> Media Devices.
  2. The BlackBerry SD card should already be listed, but if it isn’t, click “Autodetect Devices.” Mine shows up as Name: sdb1.
  3. Amarok won’t pre-select a device type. Use “Generic Audio Player.”
  4. Click the Configure button (three interlocked, blue gears) to configure the connection.
  5. Set the song location to:
    /BlackBerry/music/%artist/%album/%title.%filetype
  6. Set the podcast location to:
    /BlackBerry/music/podcasts/
  7. Click OK to finish, and then exit the Configure Amarok dialogue.
  8. From the main Amarok window, click the Devices tab.
  9. At the top of the sidebar, you should see the newly configured media device. Click “Connect” and you should see the directory structure of the BlackBerry’s microSD card. Open the “Blackberry” folder, and you should see directories for Music, Pictures, Ringtones, System, and Videos.
  10. Create a playlist in the right-hand pane (you may need to return to the Collection tab to do so), and then highlight and drag the songs from the playlist into the Music folder in the device pane. Doing so will create a transfer queue in the device pane.
  11. Once you have created a transfer queue, click the “Transfer” button (next to the “Connect” and “Disconnect” buttons at the top of the device pane) to transfer the music to the BlackBerry’s microSD card.

That’s it! Your music is ready for listening on the BlackBerry, using the installed media player.

Part 3: BlackBerry – KDE-PIM Synchronization: Package Installation

Now, onto the more important task of configuring the BlackBerry itself for communication and synchronization with Linux. The Linux.com article Syncing Your BlackBerry on Linux provided a great start.

While RIM does not officially support synchronization between the BlackBerry and Linux, the Barry Project comes to the rescue. Begin by installing the necessary packages.

(Note that the installation instructions in both the Linux.com article and on the Barry project web site may not be up-to-date. For Ubuntu users, no compilation is required. Barry developers now provide .DEB packages that are current through Ubuntu 7.10. The packages should handle the necessary dependencies, making installation much more simple that before.)

My installation method may not be the best or most efficient, but it worked for me. Here’s what I did:

First, install OpenSync and related plugins. Using the package manager of your choice (which, from within Kubuntu, would be Adept Manager), install the following packages:

  • libopensync0
    (OpenSync framework)
  • opensync-plugin-kdepim
    (OpenSync KDE-PIM plugin)
  • opensyncutils
    (OpenSync command-line utilities)
  • kitchensync
    (KDE OpenSync GUI)

You may find other OpenSync plugins useful; for example, I also installed the following:

  • opensync-plugin-file
    (OpenSync plugin for file sync)
  • opensync-plugin-google-calendar
    (OpenSync plugin for Google Calendar)
  • opensync-plugin-syncml
    (OpenSync plugin for SyncML)

Once you have OpenSync and related plugins installed, ensure you have the libusb packages installed. The current package available in the Ubuntu repositories is:

  • libusb-0.1-4

Finally, install the appropriate packages for Barry, from the Barry project Sourceforge site. Download files for the current version (Barry-0.12) are here. Download and install the following packages, ensuring that :

  • libbarry_0.12-1_ubuntu710_i386.deb
    (The main Barry library): must be installed first
  • barry-util_0.12-1_ubuntu710_i386.deb
    (Command-line Barry utilities)
  • barrybackup-gui_0.12-1_ubuntu710_i386.deb
    (GUI for BarryBackup utility)
  • libopensync-plugin-barry_0.12-1_ubuntu710_i386.deb
    (OpenSync plugin for Barry)

You now have all the needed packages installed.

Part 4: BlackBerry – KDE-PIM Synchronization: Communication and Backup

You are now ready to verify communication between Kubuntu and the BlackBerry. Connect the BlackBerry via USB. At this point, you will still see the message on your BlackBerry regarding insufficient power for USB charging. We are about to resolve that issue. Open a terminal, and type the following:

btool -t

If the command returns a list of databases found on the BlackBerry, congratulations! Kubuntu sees and can communicate with the BlackBerry. You should also notice that the warning about insufficient power for USB charging has disappeared from your BlackBerry.

If that step was successful, the next step is to backup the data on your BlackBerry. To do so, we will use the Barry Backup utility that we recently installed. In the terminal, type the following:

barrybackup

You should now see the GUI for the Barry Backup utility. Since the BlackBerry is connected, and Kubuntu recognizes it, the PIN field should be pre-populated with your BlackBerry’s PIN. (Note: you should copy this PIN, as you will need it in later steps.)

Click the “Backup” button, and the utility will backup all of the database data on your BlackBerry. The progress bar will display the progress of the backup process. Once complete, this backup will be available (via the “Restore” button), should you need to restore your data for any reason.

Part 5a: BlackBerry – KDE-PIM Synchronization: Synchronizing Calendar and Contacts via OpenSync and msynctool (command line)

And finally, the moment we’ve been waiting for: synchronizing KDE-PIM calendar and contacts with the BlackBerry.

Synchronization of calendar and contacts will take place via OpenSync. OpenSync requires the definition of a sync group, which consists of sync members. Think of the group as the synchronization profile, and the members as the two sources to be synchronized. In our case, our profile will consist of KDE-PIM and our BlackBerry.

The next steps can be carried out either via the command line using msynctool, or through a GUI using the KitchenSync application. I will first give the command-line instructions, and then take a look at KitchenSync.

We will use msynctool, (sudo apt-get install msynctools), to set up the synchronization via the command line. I found the msynctool manpage documentation to be incredibly helpful. To set up the synchronization via msynctool, at the command line type the following:

msynctool –addgroup Blackberry

msynctool –addmember Blackberry barry-sync

msynctool –addmember Blackberry kdepim-sync

You have just created a group called “Blackberry” that contains two members: a BlackBerry and KDE-PIM. The KDE-PIM member requires no configuration; however, the BlackBerry member does require configuration – namely, the device PIN, and flags for synchronization of Calendar, Contacts, or both. To see the group configuration, at the command line type the following:

msynctool –showgroup Blackberry

The command will return information that member 1 (barry-sync) is not configured, and that member 2 (kdepim-sync) does not require configuration. To configure barry-sync, type the following at the command line:

msynctool –configure Blackberry 1

The “1″ at the end of the command indicates “member 1″, which is barry-sync (if you followed the above instructions). This command brings up the configuration file for the barry-sync member of the “Blackberry” group. I’m not terribly comfortable with file editing via the command shell. If you’re the same, then note that you can save and exit the file editor in the shell, and then edit the file (using Kate or your editor of choice), by opening the file directly.

Currently, the OpenSync configuration files are located in:
~/.opensync-0.22/.
If you have only configured one synchronization group, then that group’s configuration files should be found in:
~/.opensync-0.22/group1/
If you defined barry-sync as member 1, then the barry-sync configuration files should be found in:
~/.opensync-0.22/group1/1/.

In this directory, open and edit the barry-sync.conf file. You will only need to edit one line, as indicated by the instructions in the file. The line to edit begins with “Device” and should look something like: Device 123A4567 1 1. The parameters are as follows:

  • Device: begin device configuration
  • 123A4567: your BlackBerry’s PIN
  • 1: Sync Calendar (Yes: 1, No: 0)
  • 1: Sync Contacts (Yes: 1, No: 0)

Edit, save, and close the configuration file, and your synchronization group should be ready to go. To verify using msynctool, type the following at the command line:

msynctool –showgroup Blackberry

This time, the command should return the configuration information you just entered.

Note: I actually created two separate synchronization groups: BlackberryCalendar and BlackberryContacts. I wanted to separate the two sync groups, mainly for troubleshooting purposes. (Synchronizing my calendar was more critical for me. I have over 2,000 contacts in KDE-PIM, and haven’t wanted to tackle that synchronization yet.)

Now comes the moment of truth: performing the synchronization. First, make sure that KDE-PIM is not running (otherwise the process will generate errors). Again using msynctool, at the command line type the following:

msynctool –sync Blackberry

That’s it. You should see the synchronization process in the command shell, and once the process completes, you should see your KDE-PIM (Kalendar/Kontact) calendar events (if you synchronized calendars) and contacts (if you synchronized contacts) on your BlackBerry, and vice versa.

Part 5b: BlackBerry – KDE-PIM Synchronization: Synchronizing Calendar and Contacts via OpenSync and KitchenSync (GUI application)

The process of defining and configuring synchronization groups and group members, and performing the synchronization can take place using a GUI application. To do so, go to KMenu -> Utilities -> KitchenSync, which will launch the KitchenSync application.

The process of creating groups and group members is pretty straight-forward. (Note: if you have already created a sync group in the previous step, you will see this group displayed within KitchenSync.) To configure:

  1. Click the “Add Group” button.
  2. Assign a name to the group in the dialogue that appears, and click “OK”. The Configure Synchronization Group dialogue will appear.
  3. Select the object types to be synchronized. (Note: with the current version of Barry, only Calendar (Events) and Contacts object types are supported.)
  4. At the bottom of the dialogue, click “Add Member”. The Select Member Type dialogue appears.
  5. To be consistent we will make the BlackBerry the first member. Select “Barry OpenSync plugin v0.12 for the BlackBerry Handheld” and click “OK”. The configuration file will appear. Enter the configuration as before.
  6. Again click “Add Member”. The Select Member Type dialogue appears.
  7. The second member is KDE-PIM. Select “KDE Desktop” and click “OK”.
  8. Click “OK” again, and you will be returned to the main screen.

You should now see the group you just configured, along with two links: “Syncronize Now” and “Configure.”

Click “Synchronize Now” (or, click the “Synchronize” button on the toolbar), and the synchronization should commence, with indications of its progress. Once again, at this point, you should see the synchronization process in the command shell, and once the process completes, you should see your KDE-PIM (Kalendar/Kontact) calendar events (if you synchronized calendars) and contacts (if you synchronized contacts) on your BlackBerry, and vice versa.

Summary

And that’s it! To summarize, at this point you should be able to do all of the following within Kubuntu:

  • Charge your BlackBerry via USB
  • View and transfer files to/from your BlackBerry via USB Mass Storage mode
  • Manage music on your BlackBerry using Amarok
  • Synchronize KDE-PIM Contacts and Calendar events with your BlackBerry

If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions, please let me know in the comments.

FOLLOW UP:

As a follow-up to my previous post, I was asked a question regarding how to synchronize KDE-PIM with Google Calendar using OpenSync. This post will explain how to use the Google Calendar plugin for OpenSync. In my next post, I will explain what I believe to be a better way to synchronize KDE-PIM with Google Calendar, using GCalDaemon.

This guide will assume that the synchronization will take place between Google Calendar and KDE-PIM.

Installing the OpenSync Google Calendar Plugin

(Caveat: this guide is purely theoretical, in that I have not actually followed the steps in practice, to perform a real-life synchronization. I prefer using GCalDaemon, which I will explain later in this post.)

Assuming OpenSync, MultiSync, and KitchenSync are installed and working, in order to synchronize Google Calendar, install the following plugin:

  • opensync-plugin-google-calendar
  • (OpenSync plugin for Google Calendar)

The rest of the instructions are pretty similar to the original guide.

Configuring the OpenSync Google Calendar Plugin Using msynctool (Command Line)

We will use msynctool, which we previously installed, to set up the synchronization via the command line. I found the msynctool manpage documentation to be incredibly helpful. To set up the synchronization via msynctool, at the command line type the following:

msynctool –addgroup GCal

msynctool –addmember GCal google-calendar

msynctool –addmember GCal kdepim-sync

You have just created a group called “GCal” that contains two members: a Google Calendar and KDE-PIM. The KDE-PIM member requires no configuration; however, the Google Calendar member does require configuration – namely, the gmail credentials and private feed URL of the calendar to by synchronized. To see the group configuration, at the command line type the following:

msynctool –showgroup GCal

The command will return information that member 1 (google-calendar) is not configured, and that member 2 (kdepim-sync) does not require configuration. To configure google-calendar, type the following at the command line:

msynctool –configure Gcal 1

The “1″ at the end of the command indicates “member 1″, which is google-calendar (if you followed the above instructions). This command brings up the configuration file for the google-calendar member of the “GCal” group. Optionally, you can edit the file (using Kate or your editor of choice), by opening the file directly.

Currently, the OpenSync configuration files are located in:
~/.opensync-0.22/.
If you followed the previous guide, and already have another sync group configured, then this group’s configuration files should be found in:
~/.opensync-0.22/group2/
If you defined google-calendar as member 1, then the google-calendar configuration files should be found in:
~/.opensync-0.22/group2/1/.

In this directory, open and edit the barry-sync.conf file. You will only need to edit one line, as indicated by the instructions in the file. The line to edit begins with “Device” and should look something like:

<url>

http://www.google.com/calendar/feeds/USER@gmail.com/private/full

</url>
<username>USER@gmail.com</username>
<password>PASSWORD</password>

Edit to add your gmail credentials, as follows:

  • USER@gmail.com: Replace with your gmail address
    (Be sure to replace both instances: in <url> and in <password>.)
  • PASSWORD: Replace with your gmail password

Edit, save, and close the configuration file, and your synchronization group should be ready to go. To verify using msynctool, type the following at the command line:

msynctool –showgroup GCal

This time, the command should return the configuration information you just entered.

Now comes the moment of truth: performing the synchronization. First, make sure that KDE-PIM is not running (otherwise the process will generate errors). Again using msynctool, at the command line type the following:

msynctool –sync GCal

That’s it. You should see the synchronization process in the command shell, and once the process completes, you should see your KDE-PIM (Kalendar) calendar events on your Google Calendar, and vice versa.

Configuring the OpenSync Google Calendar Plugin Using KitchenSync (GUI)

To begin, go to KMenu -> Utilities -> KitchenSync, which will launch the KitchenSync application.

The process of creating groups and group members is pretty straight-forward. (Note: if you have already created a sync group in the previous step, you will see this group displayed within KitchenSync.) To configure:

  1. Click the “Add Group” button.
  2. Assign a name to the group in the dialogue that appears, and click “OK”. The Configure Synchronization Group dialogue will appear.
  3. Select the object types to be synchronized. Since our focus is Google Calendar, we will select only “events” and de-select “Contacts”, “Notes”, and “To-Dos”.
  4. At the bottom of the dialogue, click “Add Member”. The Select Member Type dialogue appears.
  5. Select “Google Calendar” and click “OK”. The configuration dialogue will appear. Enter the information as follows:
    • Name: leave as-is, or customize to your needs
    • Username: your gmail username (full gmail email address)
    • Password: your gmail password
    • Calendar URL: the event feed URL for the Google Calendar you wish to synchronize<. Replace “USER” in “USER@gmail.com” with your gmail username.
  6. Again click “Add Member”. The Select Member Type dialogue appears.
  7. The second member is KDE-PIM. Select “KDE Desktop” and click “OK”.
  8. Click “OK” again, and you will be returned to the main screen.

You should now see the group you just configured, along with two links: “Synchronize Now” and “Configure.”

Click “Synchronize Now” (or, click the “Synchronize” button on the toolbar), and the synchronization should commence, with indications of its progress. At this point, you should see the synchronization progress indication, and once the process completes, you should see your KDE-PIM (Kalendar) calendar events in your Google Calendar, and vice versa.

Again, I can’t confirm that this method works; but if anyone would like to try, and report, please let me know.


Quick BlackBerry sync with Thunderbird in Kubuntu

May 28, 2008

A quick OTA way (over-the-air) is to ignore the damned usb cable, install
funambol on your blackberry to sync to Schedule World, then Install the
SW extension from SW on Thunderbird and sync IT to SW. Works until they
get Barry et al sorted.


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