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Thread: Garmin MobilePC being tested- so far, so good.

  1. #1
    Constant Bitrate
    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Garmin MobilePC being tested- so far, so good.

    After having spent quite some time working, hacking and generally messing around with my system, I have still been unsatisfied with some things.
    GPS navigation being the biggest single flaw, as it is for many of us.

    Using a linux-native application would be best, but nothing is yet available that does the job.

    I have been experimenting a LOT with alternatives: the stuff I use on my laptop does NOT work well on a small screen (DeLorme Street Atlas in a VM.)
    Some of the other, popular apps either don't work for various windows driver reasons or are too expensive for me to mess with.

    So I decided to try Garmin, since I am fairly impressed with the state of their standalone units.

    It is working.
    The installation is NOT without problems, and a few hacks must be done and I have NOT thoroughly tested it yet (running on a desktop machine right now) but it looks pretty good so far. (Destinator LOOKED hopeful too- but the software locks up every 15 or 20 minutes while moving.)

    I have begun a "HowTo" and will be testing it on another machine before trying it in the car, but I hope to actually have all of that done today.

    The biggest issue with Garmin Mobile PC that I have so far is that it does not have its own virtual keyboard, but there are ways to work around that, if everything else holds up.

    More later.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    I have PC Navigator 8 up and running in WINE on my Sony UX. It's fantastic. The vendor used to do a native Linux version, but now they don't. They do however support the software under WINE... so you get a lot of support. It looks fantastic on a small screen and comes with all the features you'd expect from a high end sat nav (I am used to TomTom and this compares very well). I did stick a video on here a while ago.

  3. #3
    Constant Bitrate
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Well, it took me a while but I finally think I am done-

    I have installed and tested on two machines, with the car pc to come soon.

    One of the machines is a netbook with lesser specs than the dual core in my car (single core Atom and 8gb hard drive. Mobile PC is installed on an SDHC card right now.)

    For clarity, the HowTo is in my next post.

    Any problems, questions or corrections, feel free to let me know.

  4. #4
    Constant Bitrate
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    HowTo: Install Garmin Mobile PC in linux using wine.

    Due to the lack of fully functional, accurate and stable GPS navigation software in linux, many linux users look for Windows software they can run using wine. I have done so myself, and found nothing that truly works well in wine. Virtual machines can also be used, which is fine on a sufficiently powerful laptop with a good sized display, but with the plethora of relatively underpowered MIDs (mobile internet devices- netbooks) and the typical car computer touchscreen sizes of 7 to 8 inch, a virtual machine is usually unacceptable: too slow, fonts too small and more.

    Which brought me to the point of doing a lot of research to find an application suitable for navigation by street address that WOULD run using wine on a linux computer. I tried many titles and eventually settled on Garmin's Mobile PC as the best bet. (note that Mobile PC does NOT have it own on-screen keyboard. A real keyboard or virtual one must be used. I use xvkbd.)

    At this point, I have installed a test copy (trial) on a desktop (2.2Ghz AMD) to work out the problems, and on an HP Mini 1010nr netbook (Intel Atom 1.6Ghz) and both work fine, although the single core Atom system is pretty slow. Hopefully the dual core Atom in my car will perform better.

    On to the How To!

    Linux based operating system with recent kernel (I used Mepis 8)
    Globalsat-BU-353 GPS sensor (others may work- this is what I have)
    Garmin Mobile PC
    Working internet connection

    The steps are outlined below, with further notes afterwards.

    1) Install wine, preferably 1.1.15 or later (
    2) Get winetricks- - and install the following:
    3) install and configure gpsd (
    4) Create wine dosdevice symlink to gps device
    5) Add serial ports to .wine/system.reg
    6) Install Mobile PC
    7) Update Mobile PC (
    8) Navigate!

    I recommend using packages tailored for your distribution where possible- it just makes things easier.
    *Step 1: wine
    Install wine and I suggest running winecfg before moving to step 2- this will create the required wine environment and provide the structure necessary for the rest of the process. Using winecfg, I clear the "Graphics"->"Allow the window manager to decorate the windows" so the app uses less screen real estate.
    *Step 2: winetricks
    The are some windows dependencies to be met and the easiest way is with Winetricks. Download the script and run it, install dotnet11, dotnet20, fakeie6 and wininet. .Net is required, my experience is that fakeie6 works best for things that SAY IE is needed, and wininet is required for the interent connection. An error about "dotnetfx.exe" will pop up but can be ignored. More can be added, but those four at least.
    *Step 3: gpsd
    GPSD is required for communication between the GPS sensor and nav software.
    Automated package systems may not completely configure gpsd-
    Verify the device created for the GPS sensor by looking in /dev for the device created when you plug in the sensor. It is likely to be /dev/ttyUSB0.
    For a Debian-based distro, complete the configuration by opening a terminal/console session as root and type "dpkg-reconfigure gpsd". Set the device as /dev/ttyUSB0 (or whatever yours is) and set gpsd to start at boot. (You can test gpsd be typing "cat /dev/ttyUSB0" in a terminal- you should get lines of scrolling data.)
    *Step 4: Create wine com port
    You should now have wine installed and gpsd configured, but wine can not read directly from gpsd- you need to create a wine "dosdevice" serial port. To do this, open a new temrinal session and type "ln -s /dev/ttyUSB0 ~/.wine/dosdevices/com3" . This creates a symlink to the sensor that windows applications will see as com3. (You can test this with "cat" like above, except using ~/.wine/dosdevices/com3 as the device to check: "cat ~/.wine/dosdevices/com3".
    *Step 5: Edit the wine registry
    Some wine applications just need a dosdevice, some need more. For Mobile PC you must at least check to see if there are serial ports listed and if not, add them.
    Open ~/.wine/system.reg and look for "COM".
    If you have a com3 port listed, you should be set.
    If not, add the following:

    [Hardware\\Devicemap\\Serialcomm] 1231984861 @=""

    *Step 6: Install Mobile PC
    Now we finally get down to actually installing the application!
    I have only tested this with an actual cdrom drive, but it may be possible to use a network share or removable drive.

    In a terminal session, navigate to where the installer files are (if using a cd, possibly /media/cdrom) and make sure "Setup.exe" is there, then type "wine Setup.exe".
    From here on in, the installation should be the same as Windows.
    After the installation is done, it may be wise to check to make sure it works: to run the program, navigate to the installation folder by typing "cd ~/.wine/drive_c/"Program Files"/Garmin/GarminMobilePC" in a terminal, then type "wine Que.exe"
    MobilePC should start and ask if you bought it with a Garmin GPS sensor or not. I suggest selecting "Begin Trial" to make sure networking is correct, but ff you did get a Garmin sensor you should be done. If you have a third party gps sensor you will need to enter your Product Key to activate the software and this REQUIRES that the windows networking functions work.
    Once the product is activated (trial or by using key) you can mess with it but a third party sensor will probably NOT work, though it should be found.
    *Step 7: Update Mobile PC
    Mobile PC will probably need to be updated with at least version for thrid party gps sensors- get the update, open a terminal seesion and go to the location of the update file, then type "wine filename" (substitue the real name of the file for "filename" of course).
    This will update Mobile PC and should get the sensor working, finally!
    *Step 8:
    Navigate to your hearts content,

    This HowTo was tested on a homebuilt desktop system with an AMD A64 X2 cpu, internal cdrom, 2GB of ram and using the previously mentioned Globalsat BU-353 gps sensor.
    It also works on an HP Mini 1010nr using an external cdrom, even with the .wine directory on an SDHC card due to lack of storage, though Mobile PC runs quite slowly.
    The linux distribution used was Mepis 8, which is based on Debian Lenny. All software except for Mobile PC was installed using Synaptic from the repositories for Mepis and Debian.

    If this distribution you use will not successfully install Mobile PC when you follow this HowTo, I suggest installing the latest versions of wine and gpsd from source.

    Good luck, and safe navigating!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    why do you use gpsd ? , that blocks the dev port

    I have it working without it, though it was not easy

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2009

    Talking Many thanks!

    Thank you for your guide!

    I have Garmin mobile pc running on my eeepc 900 with ubuntu 9.04 (jaunty jackalope) using your howto.

    As ibedonc suggested, you do not need gpsd. Wine doesn't use it, neither do the windows applications. In fact it probably won't work with gpsd, because it tries to set you gps device (permanently) to binary mode, but the windows applications want it in NMEA mode. I had to use "gpsctl -n" command to set it back to NMEA.

    I used wine 1.1.25, and winetricks for dotnet22 and wininet (only these two). It did not install on ubuntu 9.04, but it did on 8.04 (on another computer with wine 1.0.0). I applied the update, then I just copied the files over to my eeepc with ubuntu 9.04.

  7. #7
    Low Bitrate eurocarpc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Madrid, Spain

    Did any of you manage to run gpsd *and* the wine+gps-app simultaneously?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Quote Originally Posted by eurocarpc View Post

    Did any of you manage to run gpsd *and* the wine+gps-app simultaneously?
    nope. usually only one application can access the gps device.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Sorry to bring up an old thread, but I'm in need of some help! I followed this howto (minus the gpsd part) but I can't get the unit to find a satellite. I have linked /dev/ttyUSB0 to com3 and configured system.reg, etc.

    Strange thing is when I cat /dev/ttyUSB0, I get a lot of gps data returned from the receiver, but then when I start the garmin mobile pc, then shut it down, nothing is returned when I cat /dev/ttyUSB0 until I unload pl2303/usbserial and re-modprobe them. It's as if the application, or wine is causing the module to fail.

    Is someone able to verify this? Can someone start garmin mobile pc, stop it, then cat /dev/ttyUSB0 and is data returned? I think I might have to try a different pl2303 module, that's all I can think of.

    One other thing I thought might have been a problem was the speed of the serial was set to 9600, but the usb device I'm using (bu-353) is only 4800. However in windows it's set to 9600 and it works in there so I don't think that's the problem.

    I have tried it on ubuntu 9.04 and 9.10.

    Any suggestions highly appreciated. Thanks!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    I am using 10.4 kubuntu and it works for me , I am using a bu-353 gps mouse

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