Zaurus SuSE 9.2 Cradle Synchronization Configuration

Andrew De Ponte

September 19, 2006


This document outlines the means used to configure a SuSE 9.2 system to handle synchronization of a Zaurus using the cradle and the synchronization software provided by

Copyright ©2004, 2005, 2006 Andrew De Ponte.
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with the Invariant Sections being Front-Cover Texts, with the Front-Cover Texts being abstract. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".


Disable Firewall

The first thing which needs to be done to configure ones SuSE 9.2 system for Zaurus synchronization over the USB Cradle is disable the standard firewall via YAST. This can be done by running YAST, going to the Security and Users section, and clicking on Firewall. At this point one will be presented with one of two possible screens. The first allows for selection of external and internal interfaces. If you have gotten this screen then your firewall is already disabled. The second contains a radio button selection which allows the user to edit their current firewall configuration or disable their current configuration. If you have gotten this screen select the Stop Firewall and Remove from Boot Process radio button, click the Next button, and click the Next button again. At this point a window should pop up notifying you that the firewall has been turned off. Simply click the OK button and close YAST.

Firewalls are a very nice security tool and the fact that they can be configured to allow for this setup to work. It is much too broad of a subject to be covered in this document. Hence, my suggestion would be to read up on IP-tables and learn how to manually configure a firewall in Linux. Disabling the firewall in this case eliminates a large number of variables that could create problems in getting this setup working.

Required Driver

The stock SuSE 9.2 kernel has built-in driver support for the Zaurus hence you need not do anything. The driver (kernel module) which is used for the Zaurus is the usbnet driver.

Network Configuration

The Zaurus driver (usbnet) is actually a driver which allows a USB device to act as a network device. The power of this is that it allows applications written for standard network protocols to work over the USB connection between the Zaurus and the computer. Since this driver basically creates a network device, one has to setup a configuration file so that the network device is automatically brought up and configured by the hotplug system, one of it's other specialties. This driver (usbnet) creates a USB Ethernet device, normally named (usb0). This device needs to have the address of, a class C network address, due to the fact that the address of the Zaurus is, a class C network address.


A common method for configuring network devices is to use device named files in /etc/sysconfig/network/ with specific options set for that specific device. The good thing about this method is that a program called ifup (interface up) supports it. One might say, well who cares if ifup supports it? Well, the hotplug system as it is setup supports the ifup program. One would want the network device created by the Zaurus driver to be configured automatically! To achieve this one should create a file named ifcfg-usb0 in /etc/sysconfig/network/. The file should contain the following:


Zaurus PC Link

On the Zaurus end of things, the Zaurus must have its IP address set as well. This is done on Sharp ROMs by using their PC Link application. Go to the PC Link application on your Zaurus. It can be found on your Zaurus under the Settings tab. Once in the PC Link application, you want to make sure the Zaurus hostname is set to ``zaurus'' (without the quotes) and that the USB IP address of the Zaurus is set to ``'' (without the quotes). You also want to make sure that the proper connection type is selected. The USB - TCP/IP (advanced) option, should be the connection option that is selected in the drop down list for the connection type. If it is NOT then select it. After, the above have been performed tap the OK button to apply your changes.

Zaurus and Desktop Meet

It is now time for the Zaurus and the SuSE 9.2 Desktop to meet.

Watching the Log File

Now, one will want to know that everything is working properly. Hence, they would want to see the log output of what ever they are doing. In this case one wants to see the log output of the kernel, kernel modules, and hotplug system. To do so one would run the following command in a terminal as super user:

# tail -f /var/log/messages

Keep this terminal open and visible throughout the following process for it will display changes made to log file as things are performed.

Plugging in the Cradle

At this stage one should plug in their empty Zaurus cradle into a working USB port on their SuSE 9.2 box. Note: You will not see anything happen in the /var/log/messages tail yet because the cradle isn't the device, the cradle is basically just a spiffy wire that holds the Zaurus rather than just connecting the Zaurus.

Plugging in the Zaurus

At this stage one should take their Zaurus, in powered off state, and place it fully into the cradle. Note: You still won't see anything in the /var/log/messages tail yet because the Zaurus is off.

Turning on the Zaurus

Turn on your Zaurus, leaving it in the cradle. You should see in the /var/log/messages tail something similar to the following:

Jan 24 09:42:57 waddler kernel: usb 2-1: new full speed USB device using address 2
Jan 24 09:42:57 waddler kernel: usb 2-1: Product: SL-5600
Jan 24 09:42:57 waddler kernel: usb 2-1: Manufacturer: Sharp
Jan 24 09:43:04 waddler kernel: usb0: register usbnet at usb-0000:00:11.3-1, Sharp Zaurus, PXA-2xx based
Jan 24 09:43:04 waddler kernel: usbcore: registered new driver usbnet
Jan 24 09:43:25 waddler kernel: usb0: no IPv6 routers present

The first line is the usb kernel portion recognizing the Zaurus as full speed USB device and identifying what address it is using. The second and third lines are the usb kernel portion outputting its Product and Manufacturer information. The fourth line and fifth line are very important. They are showing that the usb0 device is being registered to the usbnet kernel module. This is basically showing that the hotplug system detected your Zaurus and then loaded the usbnet driver for it. The fifth line is showing that the usbcore kernel module recognized and registered the usbnet driver. The sixth line is just some output complaining because IPv6 is not setup for the usb0 device.

SuSE 9.2 along with SuSE 9.1 are known to display a pop up window notifying the user of new hardware. It seems that SuSE detects the Zaurus device as a modem and prompts the user to configure the device as a modem. Simply accept configuration, which will take you into YAST. Once, in YAST the window shows a list of detected modems and configured modems. All you have to do is click the Finish button leaving the Zaurus as a detected, however not configured modem. This should stop SuSE from prompting you for configuration anymore.

Checking Configuration

At this point you should now run the following as super user to check if the driver was loaded properly and the device configured properly:

# /sbin/ifconfig usb0

You should see the following:

usb0      Link encap:Ethernet  HWaddr 5E:E0:14:AE:96:16
          inet addr:  Bcast:  Mask:
          inet6 addr: fe80::5ce0:14ff:feae:9616/64 Scope:Link
          RX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
          TX packets:6 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
          collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000
          RX bytes:0 (0.0 b)  TX bytes:484 (484.0 b)

This shows that the hotplug system use the /etc/sysconfig/network/ifcfg-usb0 file to configure the device for you automatically when the device was found.

Checking Routing

Now, you should exit super user mode and run the following:

$ netstat -rn

You should see a line in the output that looks as follows:

Kernel IP routing table
Destination     Gateway         Genmask         Flags   MSS Window  irtt Iface   U         0 0          0 usb0

This shows that the hotplug system used the /etc/sysconfig/network/ifcfg-usb0 file to configure your routing tables so that the IP packets are routed to the proper devices for the proper address. In this case it shows that the 192.168.129 class C address family is routed out the usb0 device, which is correct.

Testing Connectivity

Now, that everything has happened as expected, it is time to test connectivity between the Zaurus and the SuSE 9.2 box. You can do this by running the following command:

$ ping

You should see output similar to the following:

PING ( 56(84) bytes of data.
64 bytes from icmp_seq=1 ttl=255 time=3.26 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=2 ttl=255 time=1.15 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=3 ttl=255 time=1.33 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=4 ttl=255 time=1.56 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=5 ttl=255 time=1.75 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=6 ttl=255 time=0.940 ms

As you can see 6 pings were sent and 6 echos were received. You should see similar output in the results of your ping. To stop the ping press Ctrl-C in the terminal window you are running the ping in. The time just shows the unit of time which it took to get an echo back from each ping packet.

If you got output that looked similar to the above then you are good and you are ready to use this connection to do what ever you want.


After the previous has been performed all should be good. All one should have to do is leave the sync cradle plugged into the box at all times and put the Zaurus in and power it on and off as needed for synchronization.

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Zaurus SuSE 9.2 Cradle Synchronization Configuration

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