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  • Linux Support?

    Are there any plans to support also Linux for the Garmin Communicator Plugin or any other Linux support by Garmin in general?

    Since I'm a completely Windows-free Linux users I had to ask someone else to install the plugin and the web updater in order to get fixes for the GPS receiver etc. Are there also any plans to provide web updater for Linux or to provide the required fixes for immediate download? (Similar to the unit beta firmware downloads?)

    I have no problems manually moving files to their proper places after attaching a USB-capable Garmin GPS and using it in mass-storage mode.

  • #2
    I've visited the Garmin website to test whether it will offer me a linux firefox plugin at home. Of course I'm not pleased with the result and I looking for another manufacturer that supports all features including firmware updates in linux. I don't want to be stuck at any point just because I don't own and use windows.

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    • #3
      http://developer.garmin.com/2007/05/27/welcome/

      Garmin obviously know what percentage of traffic to its site comes from linux users, interesting to see if anything has changed since 2007 with Linux hitting mainstream in the guise of the netbook market.

      I suspect it is still only slim though.

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      • #4
        I hit this page accidently - why should other linuxers ever join these forums as long as Garmin has nothing to offer?

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        • #5
          I think the point is, no matter how much you may dislike it, garmin must consider linux users as representing a very small proportion of all its users (or even potential market), therefore unviable to support the user base.

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          • #6
            Actually, Linux and other *nix can be supported using HAL/D-Bus...

            Actually, with the newer GPS receivers supporting USB mass storage mode the plugin should become deadly easy to do on Linux. However, it may become too obvious how easy some things could be done. Sigh.

            The thing(s) mostly different from Windows would be handling of discovering USB Garmin devices. However, when using D-Bus for HAL communication when the thing becomes much easier compared to the brain-dead windows USB API. And in fact, using HAL via D-BUS provides the required abstraction of storage devices from underlying bus/interface details. Then, it does not matter whether it is USB or not.

            Unmounted Garmins in USB mass storage device mode are easily detectable, as HAL provides the required vendor id information through its storage object. Even better, it is easy to see whether it is the GPS device (internal volume) or the SD card, as both are separate storage objects, the latter containing SD in its name.

            Even mounting and dismounting on-demand would be easily possible, as the HAL storage objects provide the necessary methods which can be invoked by a plugin through D-BUS.

            Maybe a better way could be to replace the plugin by a firefox extension and then using GreaseMonkey to rewrite the broken plugin detection part of the existing Garmin JavaScript library...

            Any other suggestions?
            Last edited by HARALD.ALBRECHT; 09-03-2009, 08:57 AM. Reason: added note on mount/dismount

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            • #7
              Originally posted by LEE.COX View Post
              I think the point is, no matter how much you may dislike it, garmin must consider linux users as representing a very small proportion of all its users (or even potential market), therefore unviable to support the user base.
              How will they know how many Linux users they have if Linux users don't ask about it?

              I'd certainly like it. My GPS is one of the few things I keep Windows around for.

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              • #8
                Linux support?

                To be honest I am not clear on the question here.
                For the examples given here, there was support at the moment the usb mass storage mode was implemented. One can copy the the firmware to the gps and one can copy gpx files from and to the device. The only lack in support from garmin in this case is the missing documentation.

                However, if you are asking for a mapsource application for linux... well that would be a different question all together. I on purpose do not refer to the roadtrip application eventhough I do think the ui has a lot of improvments over mapsource the actual product is hardly useable.

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                • #9
                  GPS support on Linux is a little dodgy, but mapping software is even harder to come by. Since Garmin now offers some level of Mac support (which is unix-based), offering Linux support shouldn't be too much of a stretch from there. And yes, the only reason I have Windows anymore is for GPS/GIS work. Linux is inadequate. With better mapping software and GPS support, I'd switch permanently. But I was a map geek before I found Linux...so here I am on Windows.

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                  • #10
                    I doubt garmin will ever "support" linux, whatever that means. It would be sufficient for them to just release documentation as to the communications protocols and data formats, but their last update along those lines was in 2006:
                    http://developer.garmin.com/web-device/device-sdk/

                    So far you can use the usb devices (210 etc) and some ANT devices (50,405) with linux to an extent.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by MAFKETEL View Post
                      T
                      For the examples given here, there was support at the moment the usb mass storage mode was implemented. One can copy the the firmware to the gps and one can copy gpx files from and to the device. The only lack in support from garmin in this case is the missing documentation.
                      All I want to do, being Linux-only and technically able, is to update the firmware on my Edge 705 to the latest version. I am happy to copy firmware files by hand to the USB device.

                      Now. Where can I download the latest firmware? Anybody have a link or other guidance as to where to acquire a firmware image and the location to install it?

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by GDEVX View Post
                        So far you can use the usb devices (210 etc) and some ANT devices (50,405) with linux to an extent.
                        How can you copy anything from/to the 310XT? Is there an ANT driver that I'm unaware of? I don't understand how a Linux connection is established to be able to access the device.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by GRIB@BILLGRIBBLE.COM View Post
                          All I want to do, being Linux-only and technically able, is to update the firmware on my Edge 705 to the latest version. I am happy to copy firmware files by hand to the USB device.

                          Now. Where can I download the latest firmware? Anybody have a link or other guidance as to where to acquire a firmware image and the location to install it?
                          First you have to agree to the Software License Agreement :
                          http://www8.garmin.com/support/agree.jsp?id=3329

                          OK, Download Manager doesn't help for Linux, but you can use this link for downloading the actual firmware 2.90:
                          http://www8.garmin.com/software/Edge605_705_290.gcd

                          This file has to be saved as gupdate.gcd in the Garmin directory of the device. At next switch-on the firmware gets updated. You should backup all your personal data in the device beforehand, because depending of the previous firmware a data reset is done. The data field setting are not saved in a file, though.

                          All on your own risk of course!

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by RVDOWNING View Post
                            How can you copy anything from/to the 310XT? Is there an ANT driver that I'm unaware of? I don't understand how a Linux connection is established to be able to access the device.
                            I wrote a linux program to download from the FR50 and one to download from the FR405 (also another one to listen to HRM broadcasts over ANT). Someone else wrote a program to decode the FR50 downloaded data, and someone else helped me decode the FR405 data to XML so it could be uploaded to GTC or sporttracks or whatever. I imagine that the 405 program might work with the 310XT.

                            FR50 http://www.sbrk.co.uk/ant0_2.tar.gz http://www.darkskiez.co.uk/index.php...Runner_Decoder
                            FR405 http://www.sbrk.co.uk/ant0_t3.tar.gz http://cgit.gromotion.com/cgit.cgi/gant/
                            HRM http://www.sbrk.co.uk/hrm0_5.tar.gz

                            The code is a bit of a mess as it was done without any documentation.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by GRIB@BILLGRIBBLE.COM View Post
                              All I want to do, being Linux-only and technically able, is to update the firmware on my Edge 705 to the latest version. I am happy to copy firmware files by hand to the USB device.

                              Now. Where can I download the latest firmware? Anybody have a link or other guidance as to where to acquire a firmware image and the location to install it?
                              http://www.sbrk.co.uk/getgmn - this will get the latest firmware for the 305/edge/705/405/310XT. It needs xmlstarlet (yum install xmlstarlet on fedora)

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