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 Run a Garmin GPS fitness device under Linux
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49 Posts

Posted - 04 avr. 2009 :  22:15:03  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
This tutorial shows you how to run a Garmin GPS Sport device (forerunner 305 tested) under Ubuntu Linux(Hardy 8.04 tested).

1- Install the last version of GPSBabel (version 1.3.6),

2- To access to GPS device as “usb:”, open up a terminal:

sudo gedit /etc/udev/rules.d/51-garmin.rules

and add this content:

SYSFS{idVendor}=="091e", SYSFS{idProduct}=="0003", MODE="666"

save and restart.

Important note: Keep the Garmin_gps module blacklisted. This module has been blacklisted since Ubuntu Hardy.

3-UPDATED 16 Apr Install Gebabbel, an easy to use graphical user interface of gpsbabel. It supports almost all currently known gpsbabel features. You can edit & add any command line to Gebabbel to talk to GPS or to convert GPS file formats.
I just install the Jaunty binary, with "libqtgui4" & "libqtcore4" which works fine in Ubuntu Hardy:

You can also create your own script. Open a text editor and add:


gpsbabel -t -i garmin -f usb: -o gtrnctr -F ~/file.tcx

Save as -> right click -> properties -> permissions -> Allow executing file as program and close. Double click on the "" and run. GPSBabel will automatically execute the command line in the script & saves your workout data as “file.tcx” in Home folder. You can use any other command line in the script. Here are Some useful command lines:

gpsbabel -t -i garmin -f usb: -o gtrnctr -F ~/file.gtrnctr

gpsbabel -t -i garmin -f usb: -o gpx -F ~/file.gpx

gpsbabel -t -i garmin -f usb: -o kml -F ~/file.kml

gpsbabel -t -i garmin -f usb: -o garmin301 -F ~/file.garmin301

the latter one is in CSV format.

UPDATED: garmin sync, another free tool, can also communicate & save data from Garmin gps in Tcx.You can download it here then run "garmin-sync" file.

4- Install BikeXperience to analyze your workout data on your computer. BikeXperience supports many formats including tcx, gtrnctr, gpx, kml. You can review and categorize your workout data, including pace/speed, distance, time, heart rate, cadence, detailed elevation, etc and view detailed graph of your workout data . You can also view your workout directly on Google map, and edit tracks and waypoints. The user can also define his own activities.
The program bikeXperience are written in Java. Prerequisite is the Java Runtime Environment Version 1.4. If you don't have Java, you can install "OpenJDK Java Runtime" here:

Download & unzip the last version of bikexperience for Ubuntu Linux (bXp-3.6.1)

To install, double clik on “bXp-3.6.1-linux-gtk-install.jar”, follow instructions and enjoy.

5- If you don't use your Sport GPS device for fitness, Viking is for you:

Edited by - fep1343 on 29 août 2009 17:24:25



49 Posts

Posted - 12 avr. 2009 :  01:53:17  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Turtle Sport is another free software, written in Java, developed to communicate with Garmin fitness products (forerunner and edge). It can download directly your workup data from your GPS Garmin via "usb:". It makes diagram and statistic reports. You can order your training sessions by category and training mode. You can also view your tracks in Google Earth.
Ensure OpenJDK Java Runtime & libusb (normally comes with Ubuntu) are correctly installed. Download the program, run "turtlesport.jar" & enjoy:

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1 Posts

Posted - 12 avr. 2009 :  20:30:40  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Another option is MyTourbook.
In my opinion, MyTourbook is better than BikeXperience and Turtle Sport.

Edited by - DT020 on 12 avr. 2009 20:37:24
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49 Posts

Posted - 12 avr. 2009 :  22:10:44  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi DT020
I could install "mytourbook" in Ubuntu Linux with no problem, screenshots look fine, but A communication error ocurred when I tried to load data from my forerunner 305 via usb:.
'COM ports are not available'
It seems that "mytourbook" talks to GPS via a serial port & doesn't support usb:, import from a file in tcx works fine.

Edited by - fep1343 on 12 avr. 2009 22:11:42
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49 Posts

Posted - 25 avr. 2009 :  13:13:50  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
After testing I found Mytourbook is great under Ubuntu Linux. This is the winner of the Best Open Source Eclipse RCP Application award in 2008. Mytourbook can transfer or import tours from GPS via a serial port. I use "usb:" to talk to my GPS devices. I don't use a serial port. To create a serial port as "dev/ttyUSB0", I load manually an old garmin_gps driver by the following executable script. This driver is blacklisted since Ubuntu 8.04.
sudo /sbin/modprobe garmin_gps

To unload manually the garmin_gps driver I execute this script:
sudo /sbin/rmmod garmin_gps

Mytourbook downloads all of gps data including heart rate, altitude, speed, gradients etc. I hope this help Mytourbook users in Ubuntu Linux.

Edited by - fep1343 on 09 mai 2009 14:38:16
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49 Posts

Posted - 09 mai 2009 :  14:27:01  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
GpsBabel supports tcx format, but it creats a tcx file with limited data to heart rate and altitude. If you need other gps data like speed, you have to save also your tours in gpx format.
TCX converter is a free application that creates a tcx file with all of your gps data. It uses Gpsbabel but in contrast to the gpsbabel software, TCX converter downloads also gps data like maximal speed, gradient, lap summary, calorie consumption, etc.
TCX Converter can:
- import data in TCX, GPX, FITLOG, KML, TRK format
- multiple GPX files in one big track
- add or remove Waypoint with a simple mouse click
- set the track in a desired point
- update altitude data (internet connection needed)
- change average speed of the track
- edit waypoints with smart repositioning function of TCXConverter
- show your tours in google map & more....

you can download it here:

unzip & make "TCXConverter" executable & enjoy.
I keep the Garmin_gps module blacklisted & use usb:.
To talk to your gps: Menu: GpsBabel Comm-> from Garmin Gps

Edited by - fep1343 on 09 mai 2009 14:40:29
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49 Posts

Posted - 29 août 2009 :  15:09:30  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Here is how to install SportTracks under Ubuntu Linux jaunty thanks to "mono program", it worked for me.

- Install Mono 2.0 dev or later from synaptic
- Install "kommander" from synaptic, I dont know if this package is necessary.
- Download SportTracks

- in a terminal run
$ cd ~/sporttracks directory

$ mono SportTracks.exe

To imoprt Gps data directly to SportTracks, I added "SportTracks import plugin" & it works for me:
- Install "garmin-forerunner-tools" via synaptic.
- Download "linuxgarminimport" here:
- Unzip then rename it to Plugins,put it into the Sporttracks folder(sporttracks/Plugins)
- Run sportTracks, go to import, click the '+' to add the new device.

It is also possible to use "garmin sync" to save workouts in Tcx & then import them to Sportracks.You can download it here then run "garmin-sync" file.

Edited by - fep1343 on 22 nov. 2009 02:15:44
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49 Posts

Posted - 29 août 2009 :  15:41:12  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Just for information concerning garmin_gps module,
The garmin_gps module stopped working & is buggy since updating to kernel 2.6.26 or later (ubuntu jaunty). It freezes gpsbabel, mytourbook, the terminal & even the computer. Here is a PATCH may fix the bug (I've not tested):
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49 Posts

Posted - 02 nov. 2009 :  21:34:09  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Here is how to install Google earth under ubuntu Linux.
Open up a terminal & paste this:
wget && sh GoogleEarthLinux.bin && rm GoogleEarthLinux.bin

and follow instructions.

Edited by - fep1343 on 02 nov. 2009 21:35:59
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7 Posts

Posted - 04 nov. 2009 :  18:32:49  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
many thnaks for your posts that were usefull for me.
I've a question about uploading files (routes) to my forerunner 305.
I used "gpsbabel -i gpx -f <infile>.gpx -o garmin -F usb:0". The command competed without any error and the exit code is 0 but I can not find any (uploaded) data in my 350. I have only Linux system therefore no way to use windows.

Have anybody got any idea?

Gregards, Facia
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4 Posts

Posted - 04 nov. 2009 :  20:41:26  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks for your post!
I used ubuntu 9.1O
I have a pb with tcx:
- "unzip & make "TCXConverter" executable &" but disapointed!!!
nothing... i don't understand.

And after, i tried "mytourbook" with succes, but I had a little
problem when I see my track on map, like this:

There is "white square" under the legend and the track!
Many thanks
Sorry my English is not good

Edited by - FrC on 04 nov. 2009 20:43:49
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7 Posts

Posted - 04 nov. 2009 :  22:45:13  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi FrC,
White square means mytourbook does not download that sheets of map.
Maybe required elements are missing try to add other map provider in preferences.

Or try to reload failed map images by clicking down arrow in the upper right corner of map window
www.kepfeltoltes.hu_.jpg" target="_blank">
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49 Posts

Posted - 05 nov. 2009 :  00:16:10  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi facianegra & FrC
The commande line for sending .Tcx files to a forerunner 305 as route:
gpsbabel -i gtrnctr -f somefile.tcx -x simplify,count=50 -x transform,rte=trk -r -o garmin -F usb:

you will find your route in the navigation menu of your forerunner.

After upgrading to ubuntu 9.10 Tcxconverter doesn't work for me.

Edited by - fep1343 on 05 nov. 2009 00:20:20
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4 Posts

Posted - 05 nov. 2009 :  13:02:22  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks for your response!
But, I also tried to reload the failed map... and it's don't work!
When i hide trak and color legend, i could see all the map.
I'm not sure, is it possible that, it's "opacity probleme" under trace and legend?

Many thanks for your help
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7 Posts

Posted - 05 nov. 2009 :  21:02:56  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
fep1343: Thank you! U R genius!
FrC: can you upload any track that affected?
If you share then I'll check in my system...

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4 Posts

Posted - 05 nov. 2009 :  22:34:30  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hello Facianegra.
Thanks for your help!
Please find a gpx files here:

I have "white squares" under "legend scale map" on the right of screen.
Many thanks
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