This how to guide outlines the steps needed to synchronize a Windows Mobile device with a Linux desktop or laptop installation.
With more and more corporate networks employing Linux solutions from their servers down to their workstations and desktops, it makes sense to be able to synchronise data stored on your Windows Mobile device with a Linux desktop.
Whichever version of Linux you’re running, it is worth remembering that it is a very different operating system to Windows and as such installing ActiveSync isn’t the way to effectively achieve timely and robust synchronisation.
Instead, specific software designed and built for the Linux platform is required that enables your Windows Mobile handset to sync correctly with your personal information manager - for instance Evolution.
In order to synchronise your Windows Mobile device with any desktop operating system, you need to have a suitable piece of software installed on your desktop or laptop. For Linux (in particular Ubuntu) there are two applications that allow the synchronisation of your contacts and address books, calendar appointments, tasks, file browsing and even the installation of software to your Windows Mobile device – pretty much filling in for the absence of ActiveSync on the Linux platform.
Both items of software can be easily downloaded and installed free of charge. The first is MultiSync (download here) which manages the synchronisation and provides an interface for you to decide what to sync and what not to sync.
The second piece of software is SynCE. This provides the actual means of communication between the Windows Mobile device and the Linux powered PC or laptop. In tandem, the two pieces of software allow you to manage and sync data with the Linux software Evolution – this is the Linux platforms answer to Microsoft Outlook.
You can sync your Windows Mobile device either by USB or by Bluetooth using MultiSync and SynCE, and the synchronising experience is almost identical to that on Windows. Simply open MultiSync, configure the folders to be synchronised under the Options menu and click on the Sync button.
It is important to ensure however that your folder names are consistent across devices – for instance if you have an email folder on your Windows Mobile device called “Brighthub" a folder with the same name must exist in Evolution.
Other than that, using MultiSync is pretty much the same as using ActiveSync; some might say that it’s actually better as MultiSync does provide a smoother, more appropriate user interface.
There should certainly be nothing holding you back from setting up a sync partnership between your Windows Mobile handset and your Linux computer.