Using Pilot Link on Ubuntu 20.04

After discovering a guide for building Palm OS apps on a modern OS, the next thing I needed to do was figure out how to get them on my Palms. There is no official Palm Desktop Software for Linux, but there are a few tools that exist to get the job done. This guide will walk you through how to use the pilot-link software with a USB Hotsync cradle.

1. Add Bionic Beaver repository to apt sources list

The pilot-linksuite was removed from apt’s repositories before the release of Ubuntu 20.04, so we’ll need to install it from the 18.04 repository.

To add the old repo, add a line to your /etc/apt/sources.list file containing deb bionic main then run apt update to detect the changes.

2. Enable visor module in the kernel

You will need the visor kernel module in order to bind the USB port to /dev/ttyUSB0 and /dev/ttyUSB1. To check if you already have the module installed, run the command lsmod | grep visor. You can add the visor module on the fly by running sudo modprobe visor or by adding a line containing visor to etc/modules. If you add it to the modules file, you will also have to remove the line blacklist visor from /etc/modprobe.d/libpisock9.conf.

3. Add your user to the dialout group

To check if you are already a member of the group, you can run the groups command and check if dialout is in the list of groups. Run the command usermod -a -G dialout yourUserName to add yourself to the dialout group. This will allow you to access the USB ports used by the Palm. Once you have done this, restart your computer.

4. Sync your Palm

When you sync your Palm, make sure to press the Hotsync button first, and then run your command.