Conduits Used by KPilot

The conduits used by KPilot can be enabled and configured after selecting Settings -> Configure Conduits… . The following conduits are available:

KDE Addressbook Conduit

This conduit handles the data exchange with the handheld's address book. The KDE counterpart is KAddressBook. Start it from the main menu or with the command kaddressbook.

KPilot KNotes Conduit

This conduit allows you to transfer notes created with KNotes to the handheld's memo application. Start the KDE application from the main menu or with the command knotes.

KPilot Expenses Conduit

This conduits allows you to transfer data from the handheld's expenses program to the desktop computer. Data can be imported as a comma separated list (CSV format) or directly into a PostgreSQL or MySQL database table.

KOrganizer Todo Conduit, KOrganizer Calendar Conduit

These two conduits are responsible for syncing with the to-do and calendar applications of the handheld. The desktop equivalent for these applications is KOrganizer. For more information, refer to Section Chapter 9, Scheduling with KOrganizer.

Time Synchronization Conduit

Enabling this conduit adjusts the handheld's clock to that of the desktop computerduring each sync operation.This is only a good idea if the clock of the desktop computer itself is corrected by a time server at fairly frequent intervals.

Figure 8.1. Configuration Dialog with the Available Conduits

Configuration Dialog with the Available Conduits

Configuring the Handheld Connection

Apart from setting up the physical link, there is also some manual configuration necessary on the software side. The configuration depends on the type of cradle (docking unit) used with the handheld. There are basically two types of these: USB cradles and serial cradles. The connection can be configured either on a system-wide basis by the administrator (the root user) or by a regular user for his personal environment.

Configuring the Connection from within KPilot

To set up the connection with the handheld cradle, select Settings -> Configure KPilot…. First, specify the correct device file under Pilot device:. If you have a USB cradle, enter /dev/ttyUSB0. If you have a serial cradle connected to the first or second serial port, enter /dev/ttyS0 or /dev/ttyS1, respectively. The connection speed should normally be set to 57600. Also provide the user name set on the handheld in the corresponding field. The program checks that the name actually matches the user name on the handheld when you first sync with it. The configuration dialog is shown in Figure 8.2: “Configuring the Connection in KPilot”.

Figure 8.2. Configuring the Connection in KPilot

Configuring the Connection in KPilot

Creating a /dev/pilot Link

There should be no need to create a /dev/pilot link if you have configured the cradle connection as a regular user. As a handheld cradle is normally connected to one specific computer, possibly withseveral users on it, it may still be useful to configure the connection with administrator permissions.


The following configuration steps require administrator permissions and cannot be performed from a regular user account. After completing the steps as described below, add users to the uucp group to allow them to use KPilot.

USB Cradle

To connect over a USB cradle, create a symbolic link from /dev/ttyUSB? to /dev/pilot. To to so, first check to which USB bus the cradle is connected. If you do not have any other USB devices on the same first USB bus, it can be safely assumed that this is /dev/ttyUSB0. In this case, the command to create the symbolic link would be as follows:

ln -s /dev/ttyUSB0 /dev/pilot

Serial Cradle

First, determine to which port the cradle is connected. The device files for serial ports are named /dev/ttyS? and, just as USB ports, the counting starts from zero for the first port. To create the link for a cradle connected to the first serial port, enter the command:

ln -s /dev/ttyS0 /dev/pilot

Configuring the KAddressBook Conduit

Initially, it should be sufficient to enable the KAddressBook conduit without changing any of the defaults. After the data has been synchronized for the first time, configure the details: what to do in case of conflicts, the way in which backup databases are saved and how certain fields as stored on the handheld should be assigned to the fields expected by KAddressBook.

Managing To-Do Items and Events

On the KDE desktop, to-dos (tasks) and events (appointments) are managed with KOrganizer. Start the application from the main menu or with the command korganizer. After enabling the calendar and the to-do conduit of KPilot, set some configuration options before using them.

Figure 8.3. KPilot Configuration

KPilot Configuration

KOrganizer stores its files in the directory ~/.kde/share/apps/korganizer. However, given that the directory .kde/ begins with a dot, it may not be shown by the file selection dialog. In this case enter the complete path manually or explicitly toggle the display of hidden files (dot files) in the file selection dialog. The default shortcut for this is F8.

Figure 8.4. The File Selection Dialog of KPilot

The File Selection Dialog of KPilot

Having opened the directory ~/.kde/share/apps/korganizer, select a file that can be used as a calendar file by KOrganizer. In our example, this is the file palm.ics. In the case of a user called tux, the complete path and file name would be /home/tux/.kde/share/apps/korganizer/palm.ics, as shown in Figure 8.5: “Dialog Showing the Path to a KOrganizer Calendar File”.

Figure 8.5. Dialog Showing the Path to a KOrganizer Calendar File

Dialog Showing the Path to a KOrganizer Calendar File

KOrganizer should not be running when data is being exchanged with the handheld. Otherwise KPilot will fail to carry out the sync operation.