How to import GMail contacts to Blackberry on Ubuntu (Linux)

I have sold out my Google Android Dev Phone (ADP1) and bought a refurbished Blackberry 7130c model from ebay. This is my first Blackberry phone, which seems to be more towards professional use than bells and whistles.  Here I am going to explain how I imported the address book from Android phone to Blackberry.

Google Android phone syncs its address book with GMail contacts. So after selling this phone, all my contacts are still available as GMail contacts. The first task after buying Blackberry was importing this contact to Blackberry on my linux system. Though Blackberry’s proprietary Desktop software can do this in Windows, I wanted to do this on my Ubuntu Linux 10.04 laptop.  This How-To will be useful to anyone who does not have data connection on Blackberry. Those who have data service enabled can look for more complete synchronization tools available here.

Enough of introduction and behind the wood story. Here is the step by step How-To. Though I am using Ubuntu for this task, tasks to be done are common for any linux system. It varies where you install the packages.

Making Blackberry to communicate with Linux:

Here is my previous post on How to backup Blackberry on Ubuntu (linux). Follow this post to get Blackberry communicate with your linux properly. You need not to run “barrybackup” tool, which is meant for backup and restore of your phone.

GMail contacts import:

1. Login to your GMail -> Contacts -> Export ->

2. Select Everyone (All Contacts) for Who do you want to export? option.

3. Select Outlook CSV format (for importing into Outlook or another application) for Which export format? option.

4. Select Export. It should download contacts.csv file. Let it be.

Installing the Evolution mail client:

1. Ensure that you have installed evolution mail client in your Ubuntu machine. Ubuntu by default comes with evolution. Even if you don’t use evolution, install it. Once our task is done, you can remove evolution.

swamytk@swamytk-laptop:~$ sudo apt-get install evolution

2. Run the evolution. If it is first time, create a account settings. If you are already having an account configured in evolution, just proceed.

3. Evolution -> File -> Import -> Select the downloaded contacts.csv file. Once it is done, you will find all GMail address book entries in evolution contacts. Exit the evolution.

Installing the synchronization tools:

Install the OpenSync packages as shown below.

swamytk@swamytk-laptop:~$ sudo apt-get install multisync-tools opensync-plugin-evolution opensyncutils

Configuring Synchronizaton groups

1. Here is my terminal session on how to configure synchronization groups. Here we create group called Blackberry with two members, barry-sync (blackberry phone) and evo2-sync (Evolution client).

swamytk@swamytk-laptop:~$ msynctool –addgroup Blackberry

swamytk@swamytk-laptop:~$ msynctool –addmember Blackberry barry-sync

swamytk@swamytk-laptop:~$ msynctool –addmember Blackberry evo2-sync

swamytk@swamytk-laptop:~$ msynctool –showgroup Blackberry

2. The next step is to identifying the PIN number of your Blackberry. This can be done through the following menu sequence in the phone. The following sequence is for my model 7130c, it may vary slightly for your phone.

Settings -> Options -> Status -> PIN

Note down this PIN number.

3. Now we have to configure Blackberry phone PIN number for synchronization. This can be done in two ways as shown below.

swamytk@swamytk-laptop:~$ msynctool –configure Blackberry 1
Editing ~/.opensync/group1/1/barry-sync.conf

In both the cases we have to replace the dummy PIN number in the configuration file with your phone’s PIN.

Importing to Blackberry

Now it is time to import the contacts from evolution to blackberry. The following commands will do it.

swamytk@swamytk-laptop:/etc/apt$ evolution –force-shutdown
swamytk@swamytk-laptop:/etc/apt$ msynctool –sync Blackberry

The second command will take a few minutes. Please find my partial terminal logs for your reference.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
getype ADDED
Sent an entry pas-id-4BD9394100000045 of size 121 to member 1 (barry-sync). Changetype ADDED
Sent an entry pas-id-4BD939430000008C of size 130 to member 1 (barry-sync). Changetype ADDED
Member 1 of type barry-sync committed all changes.
Member 2 of type evo2-sync committed all changes.
All clients have written
Member 2 of type evo2-sync just disconnected
Member 1 of type barry-sync just disconnected
All clients have disconnected
The sync failed: Unable to write one or more objects
Error while synchronizing: Unable to write one or more objects

Though the last two lines shows some errors, it perfectly imported all my contacts to Blackberry.

Many thanks to following resources online which helped me to get it done:
Share this post


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *