File: README.libusb

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$Id: README.libusb,v 1.4 2007/02/16 18:26:41 desrod Exp $
======================================================================
README.libusb
Author: David A. Desrosiers
Updated: Sun Feb  4 15:49:15 EST 2007
======================================================================
This README will describe in detail, the process and programs necessary
to get pilot-link 0.12.0 and later working with libusb on Linux and Mac
OS X machines.

Why do I want to use libusb?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
	libusb is an alternative way of communicating with USB devices
	on Linux, Unix, Mac OS X and Windows machines.

	In the Linux world, Palm devices using USB would require the
	Linux kernel's "visor" module, written and maintained by Greg
	Kroah-Hartman. 

	A lot of work and testing has been put into the visor module
	over the years and it is very solid, but making sure that it
	remains current with released Palm devices can be problematic,
	because the devices coming out are always different and some
	can require special handling.

	The current version of the visor module allows you to insert it
	into the kernel namespace with the proper Palm product and
	vendor values at runtime (described in README.usb), so
	modifying the module's source code and rebuilding it is no
	longer necessary as it was with earlier versions of the visor
	module.

	Using libusb, you no longer have to use the visor module, and
	you can talk "directly" to the device. In short, libusb
	requires less maintenance overhead, and is MUCH faster to use
	with current Palm devices (roughly 200% to 600% faster,
	depending on your Palm's processor speed and the type of
	records you are synchronizing across. YMMV, of course.).


Why is visor so slow? Why is libusb so much faster?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
	In testing, synchronizing a Palm device with libusb has been
	shown to be anywhere from 200% to 600% faster vs. using the
	kernel visor module. 

	The kernel visor module itself is not "slow", there are just
	more kernel interfaces to pass through, which slows down the
	communication between kernel and Palm.

	It has never been optimized for speed, and certainly could be,
	if someone was interested in doing so. The primary maintainer
	is not.


Does it work with every device?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
	It works with every device I've personally tested it with,
	which isn't saying much. This includes an m505, T2, T3, Treo650
	and Treo680 device. They all work over libusb without too much
	trouble at all.

	Some devices behave very differently with respect to the
	"timing" between the point where you hit HotSync and the time
	libusb recognizes it on the bus, but everything I've used with
	it seems to work once I get a feel for the right timing.

	Does that mean it will work with every device?  No. We need
	testers to make sure it works reliably. 

	If you have a device that doesn't work with libusb, we want to
	know about it.


How do I use libusb, assuming I have all the pieces?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
	Simply pass the port of 'usb:' (without the quotes) as the port
	designation when using any pilot-link or GUI conduits or tools.
	Some examples of that are:

	   pilot-xfer -p usb: -b $HOME/Palm/backups

	   pilot-dlpsh -p usb:

	   pilot-nredir -e -p usb:

	The same syntax applies when running pilot-link on Mac OS X
	machines.

	When you configure J-Pilot, gnome-pilot or KPilot, the port
	designation of 'usb:' is still the same.


What are these "pieces" I need?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
	Now things get really interesting. 

	Below are the necessary programs and versions you'll need.

	These are the MINIMUM versions you can use. Anything earlier
	than these versions WILL NOT work, and will likely cause other
	problems.

	- pilot-link....: 0.12.0
	- libusb........: 0.1
	- libusb-dev....: 0.1 headers
	- udev..........: 0.70
	- Linux kernel..: 2.4.21 or 2.6.10

	You'll also need the 60-libpisock.rules file included in the
	latest pilot-link release. A copy of the current file can be
	found at the following URL, and will always be updated to
	reflect the latest changes or additions:

		http://cvs.pilot-link.org/index.cgi/doc/60-libpisock.rules

	Let's go through each item above and see what we need here:

	pilot-link
	---------------------------------------------------
		First, you'll need to grab a copy of the latest release
		of pilot-link 0.12.0 or later. libusb does NOT work
		with pilot-link v0.11.8 or previous versions. There is
		no code in pilot-link 0.11.8 to use libusb, so you
		can't use that version or anything earlier than that.

		You MUST use 0.12.0 or later to use libusb. Stick with
		the latest public release (and not CVS versions) and
		you'll be fine. 

		CVS versions tend to include some unstable code being
		put there for other developers to test, and may
		sometimes break, so its best to stick with a public,
		released version.

	libusb
	---------------------------------------------------
		libusb should be a part of your current Linux or
		FreeBSD distribution. If it isn't, you can install it
		with the standard Linux package management tools for
		your distribution (apt-get, yast2, yum, etc.) 

		On Debian, this is as simple as: 

		   apt-get update && apt-get install libusb libusb-dev

		This should get you the pieces you'll need.

		On Fedora/Red Hat, you can use yum or urpmi or similar
		tools, as in:

		   yum update
		   yum install libusb libusb libusb-devel

		Other distributions may vary, but the package names
		should be similar. 

		Remember, you'll want version 0.1 or later, and make
		sure you use the one supplied with your distribution.
		Don't try to build and install your own version from
		source, unless your distribution uses that method
		(FreeBSD, Gentoo, LFS)

	udev
	---------------------------------------------------
		Your distribution should have this already, there is no
		need to install it, but you may need to update it to
		the latest, current version if you are behind in
		updates.

		The important thing is that you have a version of AT
		LEAST 0.70 or later. Anything earlier will cause
		problems, and we cannot support it.

		BIG FAT WARNING: Do not... I repeat, do NOT try to
		build and install udev from source. The documentation
		that comes with it warns against it, and it WILL break
		things. Don't do it. Use your distributions package for
		it and you'll be fine.


How do I configure these pieces on Linux?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
	Easy!

	Assuming you have all of the prerequisites above, and have
	compiled (but NOT installed!) pilot-link 0.12.0 against libusb
	(described below, don't worry), and that it reported a
	successful libusb implementation at configure time, you can
	proceed.

	setting up the rules file for udev
	---------------------------------------------------
		We need to configure and restart udev first, and since
		its the easiest of the pieces, we'll start there.

		Put the 60-libpisock.rules file that came with your
		pilot-link release in '/etc/udev/rules.d/' and restart
		udev.

		Check that the file was read and parsed by udev by
		looking at the udev logs in /var/log (if you log, if
		not, enable logging in /etc/udev/udev.conf and restart
		udev to verify), or use the following to enable logging
		at runtime:

			udevcontrol log_priority="debug"

		Check that it saw the new file and has correctly parsed
		it.

	mount the kernel's usbfs
	---------------------------------------------------
		Make sure you have usbfs mounted, which can be found in
		fstab, by adding the following line:

		   # <file system> <mount point>   <type>  <options>
		   none            /proc/bus/usb   usbfs   defaults

		Then 'mount -a' to make sure its mounted. You should
		now have a /proc/bus/usb directory heirarchy. The "new"
		udev and libusb will be using /dev/bus/usb, but many
		applications still use /proc/bus/usb, so we'll mount it
		until that gets deprecated.

	blacklist the kernel visor module
	---------------------------------
		In order to use libusb, you'll want to make sure the
		kernel "visor" module does not automatically load when
		it sees a Palm device connecting to the USB root hub on
		your system.

		udev method (for newer udev versions, no hotplug)
		-------------------------------------------------
		If your udev is new enough and you no longer use
		hotplug, you can use the following process to blacklist
		the visor module:

		Simply add the two words 'blacklist visor' (without
		quotes) to a new file called:

			/etc/modprobe.d/blacklist-palm

		If that file doesn't exist, create it and put the
		one-line entry into it.

		older method (for systems still using hotplug)
		-------------------------------------------------
		You can blacklist list by adding 'visor' to the
		/etc/hotplug/blacklist file to stop hotplug from
		loading it at connect time. 

		Don't forget to restart hotplug to re-read the
		blacklist file.

	pilot-link
	---------------------------------------------------
		You'll need to compile pilot-link by passing the
		--enable-libusb option at configure time. When you
		configure it with libusb support, you should see the
		following output in the summary page:

		  Direct USB support...... : yes, libusb

		If you do not see that, you are missing some critical
		build dependency (such as the libusb development
		package, which includes the necessary header files to
		provide this support). 

		Check config.log, search for libusb and see what went
		wrong. Remember, you'll need the libusb headers to
		build the support into pilot-link for it, not the
		runtime. This will be a libusb-dev or libusb-devel
		package on most distributions.


How do I configure these pieces on OS X?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
	OSX is even easier, you don't have to do anything. Just
	configure pilot-link *WITHOUT* passing the --enable-libusb
	option, and use the same port designation ('usb:' without
	quotes), and it will "Just Work(tm)". Many thanks go to Florent
	Pillet for debugging this and making it work as quickly as it
	does.

	Florent's SyncBuddy product is based on libpisock, the core
	library behind pilot-link. If you want a VERY fast
	synchronization application for OSX which can read Photos,
	external storage, backup, and do many other things, check it
	out and support his efforts and contributions:

		http://www.florentpillet.com/syncbuddy.html


Ok, I have all the pieces, I've configured them, now what?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
	If you're sure you've done everything above, and all services
	and pieces are configured and restarted properly, you're almost
	done.

	The last step is to try it. To do that, just launch any of the
	pilot-link conduits using the following syntax:

		pilot-link -p usb: -l

		pilot-dlpsh -p usb: 

	You should see something like this: 

		$ pilot-xfer -p usb: -l

		   Listening for incoming connection on usb:... 

	The port designation for libusb is simply 'usb:' (minus the
	quotes). You can launch it at the desktop side first, and it
	will wait for an incoming connection for as long as it takes to
	receive one.

	That's it. If you get any sort of error or other problem, make
	sure the visor module is truly unloaded (rmmod visor, as root),
	make sure udev and hotplug are restarted, make sure your
	pilot-link is the right version (built with libusb support),
	and make sure your .rules file is in the right place for your
	Palm device.


None of this is working! Where do I go for help now? 
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
	There are mailing lists and an irc channel that can help. You
	can find those at the following places:

	General discussion, problems, configuration issues
	------------------------------------------------------
	http://www.pilot-link.org/mailman/listinfo/pilot-link-general

	Development-related issues and discussion, i.e. "code"
	------------------------------------------------------
	http://www.pilot-link.org/mailman/listinfo/pilot-link-devel

	pilot-link irc channel
	------------------------------------------------------
	We can also be found on irc, at irc.pilot-link.org in the
	channel #pilot-link

	If your irc client supports SSL, you can point to port 994 on
	irc.pilot-link.org and have a secured session (no cleartext). 

	If you cannot use SSL, use port 6667 for "normal" irc.

	Lastly, I can be reached directly at desrod@gnu-designs.com if
	nothing else works for you. Try the mailing lists and irc first
	though, as I might be hard to reach at times.


Donating to pilot-link
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
	Do you like our work? Do you rely on the code we release for
	your daily work or for your own commercial or OSS project?

	Please consider donating to keep the project going. We're 100%
	self-funded, and we see a LOT of traffic from users and
	downloads. Every contribution helps, whether to pay for
	bandwidth or to buy devices for testing.

	You can help support us by visiting the pilot-link.org site and
	clicking on the "Donate" button on the left side of the page.

	We thank you for your contributions, whatever you can offer.


Thanks go to...
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
	Justin Paulsen, "Petaris" on irc, for his tireless testing
	efforts, mirroring pilot-link releases, helping out users on
	irc, and keeping things lively in general.

	Florent Pillet, "fpillet" on irc, for helping fix up libpisock
	to work on OSX and doing testing on newer devices to work out
	the various Heisenbergs found in there. His work has been
	invaluable over the last year or two with usb, devices and OS X
	support.

	Zephania Hull, "Mercury" on irc for spending the time and
	effort to get libusb worked out on the Linux side. Without his
	effort, libusb wouldn't be where it is today.

	Other thanks go to Knghtbird, Nicholas Piper, Adriaan de Groot,
	John Marshall, Kenneth Albanowski and many others through the
	years for helping bring this to where it is today. If I've
	forgotten to mention you, just let me know.