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GPS stands for Global Positioning System. GPS-devices (also refered to as GPS-receiver) provide the user with his/her geographic coordinates. I'm using a Garmin Etrex Legend HCx, my expriences in this howto refer to this device, but it should also work at least for any Garmin-GPS-receiver.


I'm mostly using gpsbabel, this commandlinetool can retrieve and send data from/to a GPS-device. There's also qlandkartegt which can deal with the data provided by the GPS-receiver. Both are available via slackbuilds.org

Connecting the Device

When the GPS-device is connected to the computer, it becomes recognized as an USB-device by udev and the module garmin_gps is loaded. In most cases the module will not work for us. Fortunately gpsbabel comes with it's own drivers, the module garmin_gps is not needed. On my Computer I've blacklisted it in /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf


If you want to access the device as a non-root user, the following udev-rule allows users who are member of the plugdev-group to access the GPS-device.

# /etc/udev/rules.d/51-garmin.rules
ATTR{idVendor}=="091e", ATTR{idProduct}=="0003", MODE="666", GROUP="plugdev"

Sending Data to the Device

As an example here the code which transfers a gpx waypoint-file to a Garmin-GPS-device.

gpsbabel -i gpx -f $file -o garmin -F usb:

Further Reading

The website for gpsbabel
The website for qlandkartegt
The openstreetmap project


* Originally written by User Markus Hutmacher

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