Funambol on Mac OS X, part 1

Update Jan 12th 2010: the best way to sync Funambol on Mac OS X is to use the official Mac OS Sync app. Check How to sync Mac OS with Funambol (part 3).

While the world goes crazy with the iPhone, I decided to spend some time testing the two options for syncing on Mac OS X using myFUNAMBOL. There are two options available, both are community contributions. Today’s post is about SyncEvolution, contributed by Patrick Ohly.

Patrick Ohly’s SyncEvolution provides the missing link between Mac OSX and SyncML. The application is’  *nix style, command line based, originally for GNOME Evolution GNU/Linux and later ported to iPhone, OS X, Maemo.’  Old school *nix users will find it very easy to setup and run on Apple’s system.

Download the package from the Mac directory (I used the latest version, SyncEvolution 0.7). Expand the tarball and copy the binaryes in ~/bin (modify the .bashrc PATH variable to include your $HOME/bin, as follows).


Then create the directory ~/.sync4j/evolution/myfunambol and copy in it the files share/doc/syncevolution/funambol from the original tarball. Since I couldn’t find a way to make Finder show the hidden directories, I used the unix cp and mkdir commands (I’m at home with those, but YMMV).’  Now it’s time to edit the configurations. I use smultron as text editor,

$ smultron /~.sync4j/evolution/myfunambol/spds/syncml/config.txt

Change deviceId to something unique (especially if you’re syncing from many computers or more than one account on the same computer) and add your myFUNAMBOL username and password.’  Then it’s time to edit the addressbook configuration:

$ smultron myfunambol/spds/sources/addressbook/config.txt

change the type to the Mac type and make sure that the sync is configured as follows (unless you need different setup)::

type = addressbook
sync = two-way

That’s it. Now go on with the sync:

$ syncevolution myfunambol

and that’s it.’  SyncEvolution doesn’t support tasks nor calendar yet, but at least the AddressBook support is pretty good and stable. If you are a Mac programmer or you want to try becoming one, help Patrick to add a GUI to SyncEvolution and extend its functions.





  1. I just released 0.8 beta 1 and also compiled the Mac OS X binary:

    When using 0.8, a single command is sufficient to setup SyncEvolution: “syncevolution –configure funambol”. Afterwards sync with “syncevolution funambol”. For more information about further command line options, see the README. This blog post explains the background:

    This version also sets the device ID, something which had to be done manually with the previous release when using multiple instances of SyncEvolution.

  2. “Since I couldn’t find a way to make Finder show the hidden directories”

    Use ‘command-shift-g’ to force the Finder to display any directory to which you have permission to view. If you pause while typing in the “go to folder” dialog box, it will attempt to auto-complete the directory name. So, “/A” should auto-complete to /Applications.

    If you wish to show all file system invisibles, enter in the Terminal:

    defaults write ShowAllFiles TRUE

    Restart the Finder whichever way you prefer to see the change.

    Thanks for the Funambol info.


  3. Thank you for the hints Lyle. Some simple things of OS X are well hidden, I have to say. Now, if I only managed to convince the Finder that I want Command-Tab to cycle through open ‘documents’ not ‘applications’ I’d stop considering the system poorly designed 🙂

  4. Ooh, tough one. You could use F10 in Exposé (runs in Tiger and Leopard Finder by default). Once you hit F10, all the windows for the current application fan out. Then you can use either the mouse, or the arrow keys (followed by return to select) to pick which window you wish to bring to the foreground.
    There’s also a $15 app… LiteSwitch X, which significantly enhances command-tab.
    Hope that helps you think a little more highly of Finder!


  5. I’m using Exposè, but it is so much less convenient than alt-tab: try this on a laptop and follow carefully how much your hands have to move away from the keyboard.

    I try to avoid installing third-party apps that modify the default behaviour of key elements as the Finder because they add instability (and this machine already crashed too many times). Let alone pay $15 for something that should be there for free. No, thanks: I’ve already paid extra bucks to get a Mac (not me, the company). 🙂

  6. Please don’t mistake me for a Mac fanboy. I agree on all counts. I’m also not a big fan of removing my fingers from the keyboard. The day I realized I could use Ctrl-F2 to activate the menus brought me great joy (once activated, you can nav the menus with direct-jump-by-alpha, or by arrow keys).

    What’s really vexing is the crashing problem you mention. I’m sure you’re well aware of the causes of kernel panics. I’ve found the handful of MacBooks I deployed to be fairly KP free.

    One exception turned out to be some bad RAM. If you have the time to run memtest overnight to rule that out, it would be a good start. Run it in single user mode to make sure you have access to as much RAM as possible.

    I’ve also noticed an increase in KPs overall in departments that have been shifted to Leopard. I traced most of these issues to an outdated kextcache. This isn’t necessarily Leopard’s fault, more our upgrade process. Trashing the contents of /System/Library/Cache/ and /Library/Cache/ could help (followed by a reboot, of course).

    My guess would be that you’ve already tried these steps, but it doesn’t hurt to check. It’s a good thing this is your own site; I’m way off topic!


  7. The kernel crashes happened regularly only with 10.5.1, when I inserted my Samsung mp3 player. The player works perfectly with 10.4 and on all other systems. I reported the bug to Apple, they said it’s a ‘know issue’. Later upgrades fixed the crash when the reader was inserted, but the reader is still not usable with 10.5. I had only a few kernel crashes after that. Mail keeps crashing often, though.

  8. I guess Apple support also said the fix for your Samsung was to buy an iPod!
    “rebuild mailbox” fixes most of our crashes. That’s assuming Mail is only crashing and not triggering a KP (which I’ve never seen).

    All the best,