Windows Mobile 5/6 Synchronization on Linux

Posted: May 10th, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: IT Related | Tags: , , , , , , | 12 Comments »

“ActiveSync is a synchronisation program developed by Microsoft. It allows a mobile device to be synchronized with either a desktop PC, or a server running Microsoft Exchange Server, PostPath Email and Collaboration Server, Kerio MailServer, Zimbra or Z-Push.” (Wikipedia, 2008)

But how to synchronize your Windows Mobile device in Linux? The solution for ActiveSync alternative on Linux is SynCE. The purpose of the SynCE project is to provide a means of communication with a Windows Mobile device from a computer running Linux, *BSD or other unixes using USB or Bluetooth. One can then use one’s computer to browse files, install applications and synchronize contacts, calendar and tasks with their PIM application of choice.

Lets setup it on our machine. This tutorial is working on Ubuntu 8.04 (Hardy).

First add SynCE repository to your sources.list

echo "deb hardy main" | sudo tee -a /etc/apt/sources.list
echo "deb-src hardy main" | sudo tee -a /etc/apt/sources.list

Now update your packages list

sudo apt-get update

As i mention before, Ubuntu 8.04 is a mistake. Ubuntu generic kernel might have some problems with USB driver. So here is the solution. First unload the old module

sudo rmmod rndis_host cdc_ether usbnet

Now, remove it

sudo rm /lib/modules/`uname -r`/kernel/drivers/net/usb/{rndis_host,cdc_ether,usbnet}.ko

Compile the new USB driver: usb-rndis-source and cdbs

sudo apt-get install usb-rndis-source cdbs
sudo module-assistant auto-install usb-rndis

Fixed! Now back to SynCE story… We need to install several libraries which are odccm, librra0-tools and librapi2-tools

sudo apt-get install odccm librra0-tools librapi2-tools

Now connect your device and run the following command


IF you can see the lisft of files on your device, your device is successfully connected to your Linux machine.

BUT if it returns you the following error message, you need to install SynCE-GNOME or SynCE-KPM to provide a password prompt on device connect.

. WARNING **: synce_info_from_odccm: Failed to get a connection for <device_name>: Not authenticated, you need to call !ProvidePassword with the correct password. pls: Could not find configuration at path '(Default)'

To start sync your device, you need OpenSync.

sudo apt-get install multisync-tools opensync-plugin-evolution opensync-plugin-synce

Wee..! Your device is ready to sync. Please refer to OpenSync page for tutorial on how to use OpenSync

For the official guide, please visit

12 Comments on “Windows Mobile 5/6 Synchronization on Linux”

  1. 1 paul said at 3:05 AM on May 18th, 2008:

    thanks!!! it works great in ubuntu hardy 8.04!
    i set my asus 639 A (Windows Mobile 5) in ActiveSync(high speed) usb mode (which not always work even in windows) and after i plug it in and out some times, synce-pls returned the files!

  2. 2 xanda said at 4:20 AM on May 18th, 2008:

    It work on ubuntu 7.04 as well 😀

  3. 3 Guido Diepen said at 10:42 PM on May 23rd, 2008:

    Could you please include a line before the actual tutorial in the form of “This guide is non-authoritive, for the official guide, please visit“.

    The reason I ask this is that in case we make an update to the instructions on our wiki and you don’t update this page, users might use your guide which is not up-to-date at that point. This could result in people blaiming the SynCE software which would not be correct due to an outdated tutorial they followed. (We have seen similar issues with people following wm2003 guides for wm5/wm6 phones.)

    Kind regards,

    Guido Diepen

  4. 4 xanda said at 1:09 PM on May 24th, 2008:


  5. 5 Jerry said at 9:42 AM on May 26th, 2008:

    I followed these instructions on my laptop with Ubuntu(edubuntu)8.04. I am getting an error message when I type synce-pls.
    ** (process:7906): WARNING **: No devices connected to odccm
    synce-pls: Could not find configuration at path ‘(Default)’
    Can someone tell me what might be wrong? The device does sync to my work laptop with XP and Office2007 using ActiveSync.

  6. 6 xanda said at 10:58 AM on May 26th, 2008:

    maybe it is because of the authorization. you need to install SynCE-GNOME or SynCE-KPM to provide a password prompt on device connect.

  7. 7 tboo said at 10:35 PM on June 5th, 2008:

    I am having the same problem as the previous poster. I have installed Synce-Gnome. I am using Windows Mobile Professional 6 on an HPIPAQ 614c.

    Any ideas I am desperate for this to work?

  8. 8 xanda said at 1:20 AM on June 6th, 2008:

    have you try SynCE-KPM?

  9. 9 mrp said at 7:03 AM on August 9th, 2008:

    I have tried synce-gnome and synce-kpm. The latter gives a deadlock error. Any ideas?

  10. 10 xanda said at 12:35 AM on August 10th, 2008:

    hurm… no idea for now…

  11. 11 Manu said at 6:29 PM on September 1st, 2009:

    if you do
    STEP 1 : sudo apt-get install odccm librra0-tools librapi2-tools
    STEP 2 : synce-pls
    (Great, you can see the PDA)

    STEP 3: sudo apt-get install multisync-tools opensync-plugin-evolution opensync-plugin-synce
    (Then, these packages UNINSTALL odccm and synce-pls won’t work any more)
    So Step 1 and Step 3 are incoherent. Any option?

  12. 12 xanda said at 10:34 PM on September 2nd, 2009:

    sorry.. i’m no longer using it.. maybe you can find help in their official website

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