#1 2017-02-11 08:27:11

Digger
Member
Registered: 2017-02-11
Posts: 5

Problems pairing

Hi,
I successfully had the pairing and syncing working on another Linux distro but since I've switched to another distro I can't seem to get anything connected. I have tried so many things that trying to recite them all may be fruitless, but to give a basic account I've uninstalled the extension off of Thunderbird, and even wiped my phone clean.

Any ideas?

I'm so happy that this project is off the ground!

#2 2017-02-11 15:14:20

ds
Founder / Developer
From: Freiburg, Germany
Registered: 2016-06-15
Posts: 283

Re: Problems pairing

Thank you for participating in the GeneralSync beta!

Digger wrote:

since I've switched to another distro I can't seem to get anything connected.

What distribution are you using now?

If pairing fails, there is usually a problem with your firewall / netfilter configuration, blocking GeneralSync from accessing your network. I have, however, only observed this on computers where I actively modified the filter rules before in order to harden the system. Distribution-specific defaults are usually designed to not interfere with any applications, including GeneralSync.

Try temporarily disabling any firewall you're using, or (if you are comfortable with low-level networking stuff) make sure that the following connections can go through in both directions:

  • UDP broadcasts (to UDP port 7962)

  • UDP unicast as reply to a broadcast (from UDP port 7962 to a local ephemeral port)

  • TCP between the devices (to TCP port 7962)

Also try entering the pair code on both devices. If it works in one direction, but not in another, it is quite certain that there is a firewall blocking traffic in one direction only.

If these generic hints did not help already: are there longer messages in the troubleshooting section's log (Gear icon in the dashboard, then expand the troubleshooting section and click on the button at the bottom), for example containing keywords like "IOException" or similar things?

#3 2017-02-11 17:50:20

Digger
Member
Registered: 2017-02-11
Posts: 5

Re: Problems pairing

Thanks so much for your help and also thank you for welcoming me to your long sought after product! I have tried many methods of non-cloud syncing, (well, as many methods as my somewhat limited tech abilities will take me), and this is by far the easiest one so far ..even in beta!

That solved the problem! I went into Yast2 and disabled the firewall and now it's good to go. I am just starting to use openSUSE (another fine German product!) and I had some challenges about the new command line and package manager so when I installed Java I thought that maybe I had done something wrong.

I'm not sure if it's possible, or maybe if I missed it but is there a way to get the log files in plain text?

Thanks again! Any word on a pricing scheme as of yet?

#4 2017-02-11 18:24:30

Digger
Member
Registered: 2017-02-11
Posts: 5

Re: Problems pairing

Oh, I think I spoke too soon. I was able to create and sync the calendars between the phone and the PC (and not uni-directionally but bi-directionally), but on the phone I am unable to link the PC as a device. I've tried inputting the code on either device to see if that would work. Nothing so far.

#5 2017-02-11 20:45:40

Digger
Member
Registered: 2017-02-11
Posts: 5

Re: Problems pairing

I figured it out... the firewall got reset at reboot! It's all fine now. smile

#6 2017-02-12 02:59:35

ds
Founder / Developer
From: Freiburg, Germany
Registered: 2016-06-15
Posts: 283

Re: Problems pairing

Digger wrote:

That solved the problem! I went into Yast2 and disabled the firewall and now it's good to go.

Good for testing, but I'd recommend you whitelist GeneralSync and re-enable the firewall for everything else. The firewall, after all, is there for a reason.

I'll post the required steps soon. Right now, however, I don't have an openSUSE image around for testing.

Digger wrote:

I'm not sure if it's possible, or maybe if I missed it but is there a way to get the log files in plain text?

You can copy-paste messages in the console. For internal debug builds there's also an option to pipe them to stdout, so adding a command line option to enable that would be possible on everything except Windows (GeneralSync's Windows launcher currently does not provide stdout). Is that something you'd need?

On Android, things are a lot more tricky: in internal debug builds messages are visible in logcat and thus stored as plain text, but spamming logcat is not good practice in production builds, and there's no equivalent to command line flags in the Android world. Maybe I'd consider an option in the Android troubleshooting screen, which is already quite hidden and thus should not affect most users (type the pair code "troubleshoot" or deal the number *#*#GENERALSYNC#*#*). You'd still need to enable debugging and use the Android SDK's debug bridge to access the logs. Is that something you'd need?

Digger wrote:

Any word on a pricing scheme as of yet?

As described in the FAQ, not much has been completely decided.

Obviously, one-time payments cannot sustain the development of a product that needs to get updated for each update of client applications such as Thunderbird and Android, unless I charge for each update (which I really don't want to), so monthly and yearly licenses will be available. The other decided thing are separate private-use licenses, that will be considerably more affordable than commercial ones. The pricing and exact structure, however, is not yet determined. I'll update the FAQ once I'm ready to release more details.

Oh, and using the Android app from Google Play noncommercially is permanently free, refer to the corresponding licensing terms for details. Additional services like automatic updates without Google Play and commercial usage requires a license code to be entered on Android as well.

I also cannot yet determine when GeneralSync will leave the beta phase, but it will last for a few more months for sure. Besides technical things, there is also a lot of legal work to be done before the free beta will switch to a paid model.

#7 2017-02-12 06:17:59

ds
Founder / Developer
From: Freiburg, Germany
Registered: 2016-06-15
Posts: 283

Re: Problems pairing

So, I finally installed openSUSE. It turns out, the openSUSE devs provide you with two different options on how to make GeneralSync work with the built-in firewall:

You can either mark your local network as "internal zone", which will reduce the security constraints for your network while still retaining full protection in other networks (for example if you PC is portable and connects to another network). GeneralSync should then work without any additional rules.

Or you can determine that you want the firewall to treat other devices in your local network as potential attackers, then you should choose "external zone" and add explicit rules permitting GeneralSync to still talk to them.


Obviously, the "internal zone" solution is the easiest:

  1. Open the Application Menu, type "Firewall" and confirm the operation with your root password. YaST2 will start. I'll call the categories on the left side ("Start-Up", "Interfaces", ...) tabs.

  2. Switch to the "Interfaces" tab and change the zone of your current network to "Internal Zone".

  3. Make sure that "Enable Firewall Automatic Starting" is checked in the "Start-Up" tab and restart the firewall by clicking on "Save Settings and Restart Firewall Now"


The "external zone" solution is more tricky:

  1. Open the Application Menu, type "Firewall" and confirm the operation with your root password. YaST2 will start. I'll call the categories on the left side ("Start-Up", "Interfaces", ...) tabs.

  2. Switch to the "Interfaces" tab and change the zone of your current network to "External Zone".

  3. In the tab "Allowed Services", open the advanced editor using the "Custom..." button in the bottom-right corner.

  4. Enter "7962" in the fields "TCP Ports" and "UDP Ports" and close the dialog with "OK".

  5. In the tab "Broadcast", enter "7962" in the text field below "External Zone" (top section of the dialog).

  6. In the tab "Custom Rules", click "Add" to open a custom rule dialog.

  7. Enter "0/0" in "Source Network", select "UDP" in "Protocol", enter "32768:60999" in "Destination Port (Optional)", enter "7962" in "Source Port (Optional)" and confirm the dialog by clicking "Add".

  8. Make sure that "Enable Firewall Automatic Starting" is checked in the "Start-Up" tab and restart the firewall by clicking on "Save Settings and Restart Firewall Now".

Note that there are, in theory, even more closed-down rule sets than the one I describe here; this is, however, the one I consider most robust.

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