Important Notice: SynCE now works without problems with WM6, and it is actually easy to make it work on Ubuntu. Follow this guide! I recommend the SynCE sollution, since it does not disclose private data to a third party (Mail2Web)
For those who have a PDA or a Smartphone with WM5, sync with Linux can be a complex operation. The SynCE project is trying, but make it work can be hard. Who already is using WM6, well… then it becomes harder. SynCE don’t even started to work on WM6 support. For me, I was using a virtual machine (VirtualBox) with Windows XP and ActiveSync 4.5 to at least have a backup of my PIM data and to edit the data with a real keyboard, but common… that is not an acceptable sollution.
Today I’ve found out, after a lot of research, a sollution that I’ll explain in this article. It is based on this article, from James, and some Evolution hacking.
The main idea, “stollen” from James article, is to use a free Exchange server from mail2web.com. WM5/6, obviously, can sync with an Exchange server. And the good news is that Evolution also can do it! That way, without ActiveSync, only with a PC and a PDA/Smartphone connected to Internet, you can sync your PIM data between them.
Of course, as it should be, it is not that easy because there is a small hack that needs to be done. Evolution will have some trouble with authenticating with Exchange server. But, good for you, the hard part of finding what you need to change I’ve already done.
What you need is:
- A LIVE! account on maul2web. Its free! Sign-in. WARNING: Read the Terms of Service. Remeber you will be sharing private data with Mail2Web.
- A PDA/Smartphone with Windows Mobile 5 or Windows Mobile 6.
- Linux with Evolution and plugin Exchange Connector (it should be already installed on most distributions. Maybe you’ll need to activate it)
Configuring your PDA/Smartphone:
In Programs/ActiveSync, click on Menu and then in Configure Server. Put the host mobile.exchange.mail2web.com
Put your login (don’t forget @mail2web!!!) and your password. Select the options you want to sync and finish the PDA configuration.
That was easy, wasn’t it? With the PDA connected to the internet, you should be able to sync your data with mail2web webpage. If you have any problem, check your config.
Now is the hardest step. Evolution’s plugin Exchange Connector, in theory, works very fine to sync data between a Exchange server and Evolution, using Exchange’s OWA (Outlook Web Access) interface. You need only to create a mail account and select the type Exchange, and put in your login data.
Unfortnantly, mail2web has a small detail: In login you need to put not only your username, but you must inform your username followed by @mail2web.com. As you can show by trying on your PC, Evolution’s plugin ignores the @ and all after it, and can’t connect to mail2web.com.
There is an workaround. It costed me some hours to find it out, but it works, and works very fine. The main idea is to edit, using gconf-editor, the login data used by Evolution, and force it to use the @mail2wweb.com on login. It would be realy simple, if it was not another detail: The plugin does not allow you to finish the account creation with invalid data, without a succesfull authentication with the exchange server.
What we will do is the following: Create an IMAP account, using all default data, your real name and the USERNAME@mail2web.com info. Just put info needed to finish the wizard.
After that, close Evolution, and open gconf-editor. Find the folder apps/evolution/mail and edit accounts key. The info about accounts data is stored in XML format. Edit the last XML data item, related to the account you just created.
Now you just need to replace what is between <url> e </url> by the following data (and, of course, replace XXXXX with your username!):
Now you can start Evolution again, put in your password, and if all worked fine, you now should be able to sync data between your PDA/Smarthphone and Evolution!