Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Introducing gps-share

So yesterday, I rolled out the first release of gps-share.

gps-share is a utility to share your GPS device on local network. It has two goals:

  • Share your GPS device on the local network so that all machines in your home or office can make use of it.
  • Enable support for standalone (i-e not part of a cellular modem) GPS devices in Geoclue. Since Geoclue has been able to make use of network NMEA sources since 2015, gps-share works out of the box with Geoclue.

The latter means that it is a replacement for GPSD and Gypsy. While "why not GPSD?" has already been documented, Gypsy has been unmaintained for many years now. I did not feel like reviving a dead project and I really wanted to code in Rust language so I decided to create gps-share.


While cargo manages the Rust crates gps-share depend on, you'll also
need the following on your host:

  • libdbus
  • libudev
  • libcap
  • xz-libs

Supported devices

gps-share currently only supports GPS devices that present themselves as serial port (RS232). Many USB are expected to work out of the box but bluetooth devices need manual intervention to be mounted as serial port devices through rfcomm command. The following command worked on my Fedora 25 machine for a TomTom Wireless GPS MkII.

sudo rfcomm connect 0 00:0D:B5:70:54:75

gps-share can autodetect the device to use if it's already mounted as a serial port but it assumes a baudrate of 38400. You can manually set the device node to use by passing the device node path as argument and set the baudrate using the '-b' commandline option. Pass '--help' for a full list of supported options.


Unknown said...

I recently found my TomTom MkII battery was dead (won't hold charge). A good choice. Working on this, I made a systemd unit for connecting the tomtom

Description=Serial to TomTom GPS

ExecStart=/usr/bin/rfcomm watch 00:0D:B5:70:61:54 1


zeenix said...

"I recently found my TomTom MkII battery was dead (won't hold charge)."

Same here actually and took me a while to figure out why the device won't send me any data on the port.

Thanks for the systemd unit file. I'll likely advertise that on gps-share homepage but I'm also looking into making bluetooth devices work out of the box. Unfortunately it will require gps-share to take over the management of all serialport devices but I hear that they are not so common and I guess not many folks would have booth GPS and bluetooth serial port devices at the same time.

BTW, would it not be possible for your unit file to watch for serialport class instead of a specific device?