How to Use Your Palm Pilot With Ubuntu

By Linda McDermott

Palm Pilots can work with Ubuntu. Learn which program you will need and how to use this to install software to your device.

If you are using Ubuntu, there are times where you can’t use older hardware since it was never ever made for Linux. One older popular piece of hardware is the Palm Pilot. While you might not expect something like this to work, it will with your Ubuntu installation.

There is a program that comes with the distribution called Gpilot. If you don’t have this, it can be installed from the repositories depending on if you have a Debian based distribution. Otherwise you will have to manually install the software to get it to work.

Gpilot is an open source program that was written so that devices like the Palm Pilot and Ubuntu could interact.

Under System and Preferences you can find a program called PalmOS Devices. This is what you need to do in order to set up your Palm Pilot to be recognized with your system. You will need to select the port that your hardware is plugged into. Once you have successfully done this, you can use Gpilot in order to install software to your machine.

Unfortunately there is not a graphical user interface for this program so you have to use the terminal. Open the terminal and type in “gpilot-install-file” followed by the file that you want to install and press enter. You will then have to hot sync your data with your Palm Pilot which will install the software to your device.

A second way of installing software if you do not like doing it this way, is to get an old Palm SD card assuming your computer can read this type of data. You can drag and drop the files you need to install from your computer onto the SD card. For most things, you Palm Pilot will recognize this data. It can be read off the card or copied over the hard drive on the device which generally helps the application run a bit faster.

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