pilot-link is a collection of command-line programs that together constitute the most commonly used method for connecting a *nix (BSD, Solaris, Digital UNIX/Tru64, Linux, AIX, any POSIX-compatible, etc.) workstation to a Palm OS PDA. The program you’ll use most often is pilot-xfer, which does file transfer to/from a Palm PDA. This connects directly to the Linux USB subsystem without the user having to configure USB character-mode devices. User configuration of these devices for Palm PDAs is not easy—and, from reports I’ve seen and my own observations, doesn’t work well. So the method I teach here makes it unnecessary to insert device modules, create udev rules, or modify modprobe.conf. You also get file transfer speeds several times faster than what you’d get from doing it the usual way.
The only downside of my strategy is that, due to the way in which permissions work in associated directories, pilot-link must be run from root only. But I don’t consider this a serious problem on a single-user workstation; on a day-to-day basis, it’ll just mean that you have to fill in the root password when opening the program from the J-Pilot icon. If you use pilot-link directly at the prompt, you’ll have to log in as root.