How to sync Nokia N95 with Dell notebook running Ubuntu

Our trial period with the borrowed N95s is over, so we’ve had to get all of our contacts and media off the phones. I decided to try and do this using the new Dell notebooks running Ubuntu 8.04 (Hardy Heron). It worked without much hassle. Here’s what I did:

1. I tried using bluetooth first. I was able to see the phone and set it up as a phones as paired, trusted device, by doing the following:

a) on the phone, go to menu / tools / bluetooth. Turn bluetooth on, set visibility ‘shown to all,’ set phone name, and remote SIM mode ‘on’ (not sure what the last does).

b) on the notebook, click on the bluetooth icon in the upper right corner, select ‘connect new device.’ Then there’s a strange user interface moment, because it makes you select what type of device but only allows you to choose mouse, keyboard, or headset. Luckily this won’t matter, so just click ‘forward.’ On the next page, in the Device Type pull down menu at the bottom, select ‘phone.’ Your phone name should now appear on the list. Select it and click forward. You should get a message ‘pairing with new device.’ Next: I unselected ‘make this the default audio device’ and clicked ‘close.’

c) Now they should be paired. Click the bluetooth icon again and select ‘browse phone devices.’ Select your phone and click connect. The phone will beep and say “accept connection request from mycomputer?” Select yes. It may then ask you for a connection code. Enter anything you like (I entered a single number). On the notebook, a dialogue popped up asking me for the code, and I entered the same number. A pop up displayed the following error: “Couldn’t display “obex://[00:18:42:ED:56:9F]/”.”

However, the error wasn’t fatal, and I was in! A finder window opened showing me “/ on myphone – File Browser.” Viola, the phone file structure and various folders with images, videos, applications, etc were all visible. I copied what I needed and deleted them from the phone.

2. I also successfully connected the n95 to the ubuntu notebook using a USB cable. This requires navigating on the phone to menu / tools / settings / connection / USB and setting USB mode to “data transfer.” Then just connect the USB cable and you should see the phone pop up in the file browser. I know, much simpler… but the wireless way is so much fun 🙂


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