Successful sync of Nokia E51 with Lightning/Sunbird via Opensync

Yes, it works! The last half a year I didn’t try it because I didn’t need it, but today I felt like it could work again 😉


  • Debian testing with multisync-tool, opensync-plugin-iceowl (0.22-3), opensync-plugin-syncml (0.22-2) and standard bluetooth setup
  • Mozilla Thunderbird with Sunbird extension (actually: icedove and iceowl – the Debian way 😉 ) – Lightning should also do it
  • Nokia E51 with firmware version 300.34.56


Nokia phone

  • Create a new synchronization profile in System -> Synchronization
  • Set Name and Server address to „Opensync“ (can also be named differently, but has to be used consistently)
  • Set server version to 1.1


Create the according calendars in Sunbird/Lightning: Choose „Remote Calendar“, URL is „file:///home/fabi/.mozilla-thunderbird/mycal.ics“, type „ics“. Be sure to create at least one entry in the calendar so that the file is created.

Get to know the Bluetooth MAC Address of your phone (phone must be set „visible“, not „hidden“):

hcitool scan

Now the opensync stuff comes:

msynctool --addgroup e51
msynctool --addmember e51 sunbird-sync
msynctool --addmember e51 syncml-obex-client
msynctool --configure e51 1     # see sunbird-sync.conf
msynctool --configure e51 2     # see syncml-obex-client.conf
msynctool --sync e51

For me, the problem at the last command was that my E51 said something like „Sending calendar change: 259 of 259“ and nothing more happened. Here I had todo a little hack to make synchronization work. Just run the syncml-obex-client command and after that the sync should work!

syncml-obex-client --sync text/x-vcard Contacts \
    -b [Bluetooth-MAC] 10 --identifier Opensync --wbxml

You have done it 🙂  For questions, don’t hesitate to ask.

Known issues

  • All-day entries are always converted to 00:00-23:59 entries on the receiver upon synchronization
  • If you create tasks on the mobile phone, synchronization fails

Edit: I confused Sunbird with its sibling Lightning – Sunbird is the Thunderbird extension whereas Lightning is the standalone version.

8 Gedanken zu „Successful sync of Nokia E51 with Lightning/Sunbird via Opensync“

  1. The sunbird plugin synchronizes only calendar events, so it is useless to synchcronize other stuff
    The correct command should be:
    msynctool –sync E51 –filter-objtype contact –filter-objtype note –filter-objtype todo

    However, thank you so much, I was using a wrong configuration for the syncml plugin and I had some problems occasionally…

  2. Does the calendar sync work for you? I must be doing something wrong, because I am able to sync the Contacts database (either via msynctool or via raw syncml-obex-client), but I am getting error while trying to sync the Calendar database (and some error message is displayed on the phone itself.

  3. @Yenya: For me it works. One thing where synchronization fails is when you created one or more „tasks“ on the phone.
    This is because the tasks are not synced as objtype „todo“, but as objtype „calendar“, probably it is fixed in the development branch of opensync.

  4. Hmm, I have no „tasks“, as far as I know. I will try a devel version of opensync though. Also, there can be a problem that this phone has not been ever synced with the original Nokia software (which apparently according to some discussion forum posts may help).

  5. I am very interested in getting this done for my E51. However, the file sunbird-sync.conf fails to load from the link on the article. Please let me know where can I get a sample to build mine’s. Thanbks.

  6. Sorry for the late answer! The file somehow did not show any content in Firefox, because the xml header was missing. I fixed it and uploaded a new file. Press Ctrl-R if the file is still not displayed.

  7. Hi,

    thanks for putting this together. I got it running (somewhat of running) with ubuntu 9.04. One tip I would like to add.
    While creating the synchronization profile in your phone you must set the ‚External Database‘ for the Calendar Application to ‚Calendar‘ I suspect that this must have the same name as specified in the syncml-obex-client.conf file.
    One problem is left for me. From time to time the sync fails with an ‚ Error‘ on the phone side. It looks like it does not like some of my calendar entries.
    Any hint is appreciated.

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