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2.1. Software

The commands provided by the irda-utils package are the basic set of tools to get a working IrDA connection. The other tools (e-Squirt, IrNET, ..) are optional. Since version 0.9.15 manual pages are included. Most current manual pages are at TuxMobil.

2.1.1. IrDA-Utils

2.1.1.1. Compilation

  • Use the latest source of irda-utils available at Linux/IrDA Project. Also recommended is the latest glibc library. You may find out the current version with ldd --version. The use of the older libc5 library may lead to compile errors.

  • Untar the package with tar xvzf irda-utils<VERSION> . I recommend to do this in /usr/src.

  • Do a make clean (not necessary if you compile the package for the first time).

  • Do a make all to build the binaries.

  • Do a make install, this brings all commands into the right place and installs some config files in /etc/irda.

  • Sometimes, when you compile the IrDA stack or some various IrDA package, you may have the compiler complaining the things such as IRLMP_HINT_MASK_SET or IRDAPROTO_ULTRA are not defined. This is because of a mess related to kernel headers and the way most distributions deal with it. If you have the 2.4.X kernel source lying around, the fix is simple. Just copy the header irda.h from the kernel to your include directory cp /usr/src/linux/include/linux/irda.h /usr/include/linux

2.1.1.2. Precompiled Packages

Debian/GNU Linux provides an irda-utils package since Potato. Also Mandrake since 6.1, Redhat since 6.1 and SuSE since 6.1 contain RPM packages of the irda-utils. Some caveat with precompiled packages might be some incompatibilities between kernel version and appropriate package version.

2.1.1.3. Contents of Linux/IrDA-Utils

2.1.1.3.1. irattach

irattach uses the module set as parameter; it can be a specific FIR driver: irattach toshoboe or ircomm (and then it loads the module aliased as "irda0" in /etc/modules.conf)

If you are one of the lucky people which have a FIR chipset that is supported, then you don't need to use irattach anymore. Now you just have to modprobe the driver.

2.1.1.3.2. irdadump

A program that displays all the frames sent, and received on the infrared link.

One advantage of implementing IrDA device drivers as network device drivers is that you should be able to attach sniffers to the device (or actually the packet type). That way, it is possible to use a really handy utility called irdadump (instead of tcpdump). This will make debugging MUCH easier. Linux-2.2 implements the BPF (Berkeley Packet Filter), so its possible to filter out exactly the frames you want to see.

Note: You probably have to be root for using irdadump . CONFIG_PACKET has to be enabled in the kernel. If compiled as a module you might load the module manually. irdadump has been converted into a library, so it can be used from GUI applications as well.

Here is a sample output of a small session between Linux and a Palm III. This log shows that the local irobex layer is not responding, so the Palm III sends a disc frame.


dagbnb /home/dagb/linux/irda-utils/irdadump/ # ./irdadump

20:18:15.305711 xid:cmd:saddr=0x05c589 > daddr=0xffffffff,S=6,s=0
20:18:15.385597 xid:cmd:saddr=0x05c589 > daddr=0xffffffff,S=6,s=1
20:18:15.465568 xid:cmd:saddr=0x05c589 > daddr=0xffffffff,S=6,s=2
20:18:15.545953 xid:cmd:saddr=0x05c589 > daddr=0xffffffff,S=6,s=3
20:18:15.625574 xid:cmd:saddr=0x05c589 > daddr=0xffffffff,S=6,s=4
20:18:15.705575 xid:cmd:saddr=0x05c589 > daddr=0xffffffff,S=6,s=5
20:18:15.785601 xid:cmd:saddr=0x05c589 > daddr=0xffffffff,S=6,s=255,info=Linux
20:18:18.075526 xid:cmd:saddr=0xb50c14b > daddr=0xffffffff,S=6,s=0
20:18:18.225498 xid:cmd:saddr=0xb50c14b > daddr=0xffffffff,S=6,s=1
20:18:18.375495 xid:cmd:saddr=0xb50c14b > daddr=0xffffffff,S=6,s=2
20:18:18.526355 xid:cmd:saddr=0xb50c14b > daddr=0xffffffff,S=6,s=3
20:18:18.675614 xid:cmd:saddr=0xb50c14b > daddr=0xffffffff,S=6,s=4
20:18:18.676364 xid:rsp:saddr=0x05c589 > daddr=0xb50c14b,S=6,s=4
20:18:18.765506 xid:cmd:saddr=0xb50c14b > daddr=0xffffffff,S=6,s=5
20:18:18.927221 xid:cmd:saddr=0xb50c14b > daddr=0xffffffff,S=6,s=255,info=Palm III
20:18:18.975796 snrm:cmd,ca=0xfe,pf=1
20:18:18.976534 ua:rsp,ca=0x58,pf=1
20:18:18.977145 ua:rsp,ca=0x58,pf=1
20:18:19.585627 rr:rsp,ca=0x58,nr=0,pf=1
20:18:19.585810 rr:rsp,ca=0x58,nr=0,pf=1
20:18:19.606413 i:cmd,ca=0x58,nr=0,ns=0,pf=1
20:18:19.606582 rr:rsp,ca=0x58,nr=1,pf=1
20:18:19.627708 rr:cmd,ca=0x58,nr=0,pf=1
20:18:19.627871 i:rsp,ca=0x58,nr=1,ns=0,pf=1
20:18:19.650571 disc:cmd,ca=0x58,pf=1
20:18:19.650736 ua:rsp,ca=0x58,pf=1
20:18:21.165524 xid:cmd:saddr=0xb50c14b > daddr=0xffffffff,S=6,s=0
20:18:21.315608 xid:cmd:saddr=0xb50c14b > daddr=0xffffffff,S=6,s=1
20:18:21.315793 xid:rsp:saddr=0x05c589 > daddr=0xb50c14b,S=6,s=1
20:18:21.395499 xid:cmd:saddr=0xb50c14b > daddr=0xffffffff,S=6,s=2
20:18:21.545516 xid:cmd:saddr=0xb50c14b > daddr=0xffffffff,S=6,s=3
20:18:21.695500 xid:cmd:saddr=0xb50c14b > daddr=0xffffffff,S=6,s=4
20:18:21.845840 xid:cmd:saddr=0xb50c14b > daddr=0xffffffff,S=6,s=5
20:18:22.007222 xid:cmd:saddr=0xb50c14b > daddr=0xffffffff,S=6,s=255,info=Palm
III
20:18:22.056143 snrm:cmd,ca=0xfe,pf=1
20:18:22.056310 ua:rsp,ca=0xc8,pf=1
20:18:22.056381 ua:rsp,ca=0xc8,pf=1

37 pacckets received by filter

2.1.1.3.3. irdaping

Makes it possible to try and ping a remote device using IrDA test frames. Not all devices implement support for test frames. This is a program similar to ping(8). It sends IrDA test frames, enriched by some userdata which contain the frame number and the time the frame was sent. You can also change the size of the frame by using the -s option. You must supply an IrDA device address, and not an IP address. You have to be able to get that device address by using irdadump.

Here is one output sample (pinging an ACTiSYS IR-100M):


dagbnb /home/dagb/linux/irda-utils/irdaping/ # ./irdaping 0xf7be8388
IrDA ping (0xf7be8388): 32 bytes
32 bytes from 0xf7be8388: irda_seq=0 time=102.466003 ms.
32 bytes from 0xf7be8388: irda_seq=1 time=102.202003 ms.
32 bytes from 0xf7be8388: irda_seq=2 time=102.170998 ms.
32 bytes from 0xf7be8388: irda_seq=3 time=101.633003 ms.

4 packets received by filter

Christian Gennerat "I use an alias which does not use any parameter (in $HOME/.bashrc): alias irping="irdaping \`grep daddr /proc/net/irda/discovery|sed s/.*daddr://\`" It works fine when there is only one discovered client."

2.1.1.3.4. irkbd

Implements support for the mouse and keyboard protocol as used by the Tekram IR-660 infrared docking station. For details on how to use external keyboards with Linux PDAs see below.

2.1.1.3.5. findchip

Tries to find out which FIR IrDA chipset your machine is using. Try out findchip -v to check it out. For other methods to detect the chipset see below.

2.1.1.3.6. irsockets

A collection of programs which uses IrDA sockets.

2.1.1.3.7. irpsion5

File transfer program for exchanging files with your Psion PDA.

2.1.1.3.8. /etc/irda

This directory contains the configuration file irda.conf. You may for example configure the serial port for the SIR driver. For first testing you should try the SIR driver.

2.1.2. openobex

The overall goal of the OpenOBEX project is to make an open source implementation of the Object Exchange (OBEX) protocol. OBEX is a session protocol and can best be described as a binary HTTP protocol. OBEX is builtin in devices like PDA's like the Palm Pilot, and mobile phones like the Ericsson R320, Siemens S25, Siemens S45, Siemens ME45, Nokia NM207 and Nokia 9110 Communicator. OBEX is optimised for ad-hoc wireless links and can be used to exchange all kind of objects like files, pictures, calendar entries (vCal) and business cards (vCard). A typical application is the "beam" function of PalmOS.

2.1.3. e-squirt

e-Squirt is a simple protocol for sending URLs over the IrDA medium. This allows for interaction with CoolTown enabled devices.

2.1.4. IrNET for Linux-IrDA

IrNET is a protocol allowing to carry TCP/IP traffic between two IrDA peers in an efficient fashion. It is a thin layer, passing PPP packets in a IrTTP socket. It uses PPP in synchronous mode for efficiency, and offers lots of flexibility and various features. The main part of IrNET in included in kernel 2.4.x, and a user-space daemon (to automate connections) is available on the web page.

2.1.5. Java - IrDA Interface

This Java Infrared Socket API provides a way of communicating through infrared medium on a linux machine using Java. Thus, Java application developers can develop applications involving infrared access much easily. The API is very similar to java.net.Socket API and has been implemented using the Linux infrared stack. Both connection oriented streams (IrSocket and IrServerSocket) and connectionless Ultra (UltraSocket, UltraPacket) interfaces are available.