Synchronize your Nokia N95 in Ubuntu using USB

Synchronizing a Nokia phone with Windows is easy: download PC Suite and that’s all. However, PC Suite does not run on Linux at all (In my case that’s Ubuntu 8.10: Intrepid Ibex) and thus you do not have a tool to synchronize your contacts or calendar with your computer. Or is there?

If you connect your N95 to Ubuntu, the phone is recognized as a mass storage device if connected in USB mode. Setting your phone to the PC Suite mode, Ubuntu will ask you to use the modem to connect to the internet. And yes, it is also possible to synchronize your contacts and calendar with Evolution. The Nokia N95 supports the SyncML protocol, as does the progam OpenSync

First, we have to add support for OpenSync and SyncML to Ubuntu. We’ll do this by entering the command:

sudo apt-get install multisync0.90 multisync-tools libsyncml-utils opensync-plugin-syncml opensync-plugin-evolution

OpenSync is able to synchronize using bluetooth and USB. The bluetooth connection is preferred for communicating; For USB, you have to execute all commands as super user. You can find a bluetooth guide here.

The USB connection is only available for the super user. I’m going to sync my phone with Evolution, and thus I can only sync the super user’s contacts and calendar.
First, we start Evolution with the command ‘sudo evolution’. Create a new address book and a new calendar. Give them a name like ‘N95’.

Quit Evolution and start the multisync GUI with the command ‘sudo multisync0.90’. Click ‘add’, give the profile a name (I use ‘n95-evo’) and disable syncing of note, data and todo by tapping them. Click on ‘add member’ and add ‘Evolution 2.x’. Select the correct address book and calendar.

We have to add our Nokia N95 client. Thus, click ‘add member ‘ and select ‘SyncML over OBEX Client’. The settings for this member are a little bit more difficult. We have to adjust some settings: ‘identifier’ should be something like ‘linux’ (remember this one!). And, most important: change the value of ‘type’ to 5, so we can make a connection using USB instead of bluetooth. My config file looks like this:


On your phone, go to Menu > Tools > Sync. Navigate to PC Suite, but do not select it yet! Click Options > New sync profile and copy the values of PC Suite. Change the name to something logical (let’s say ‘laptop’) and go to laptop > edit sync profile> connection settings > host address. Here, enter the name of the ‘identifier’ setting of multisync.

Now, we are ready to sync! Quit Evolution and multisync and type ‘sudo msynctool –sync n95-evo’. Let’s hope your phone starts syncing now :-)!

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5 Responses to “Synchronize your Nokia N95 in Ubuntu using USB”

  1. Jesus de Baldoma says:

    I follow step-by-step your procedure for my recently adquired Nokia N81 and the results are the same. It works!

  2. Mehul says:

    Is there a way to sync current user’s profile?

  3. mealstrom says:

    work for normal users as well for Nokia E65
    (ubuntu 9.04 amdx64).
    During sync evolution shoud be closed and there shouldn be duplicates
    for the firs procedure.

  4. mealstrom says:

    hm… there is no option for auto accept duplicates.. so it will be painfull

  5. andE says:

    I just wanted to say a HUGE HUGE HUGE thankyou!!! You cannot believe how much googling I did until I reached this page and finally worked out how to do this.
    I just did this with a newish Sony Ericsson C905 and it works beautifully (syncing to my little eeepc where I have Linux Mint Fluxbox V8 (based on Ubuntu Karmic) and evolution 2.28). I had to do nothing on the Sony Ericsson but followed all of the steps on my linux box.

    And I think one thing not mentioned is: be patient: at least with my experience the reading of contacts out of my mobile goes fast and then it seems to sleep a bit and the input then into evolution takes some time.
    Have not played around with duplicates and stuff but just to even get the sync working at all makes me happy. “Sync 2 mobile phone” seems to be the last weak link with linux but maybe this is all I need…
    I also have the feeling (not yet proved) that you need to actually kill ALL evolution processes (e.g. also evolution-alarm-notify, …).
    I did not need to run as root – maybe not needed in newer Linux versions.
    I am writing some scripts around this whole thing … will post them a bit later.

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