BBS Tools: update GPS from Linux

gps tom tom

If you come from Microsoft Windows or just want an alternative to Navcore and BBS Tools native to your GNU / Linux distro, the truth is that there is nothing similar. But this is not too big a problem, since in this tutorial we are going to teach you to run it using Wine to be able to work with this type of tools with which to work with your GPS device to keep it up to date and without having to visit forums and numerous sites to compile information about this problem suffered by many users ...

In this tutorial we are also going to expose some of the problems you can find with some GPS models when you are running BBS Tools under Wine, since although the Wine compatibility layer improves more and more, it is not a native Windows system by any means, and you may have some recurring problems. Most of these problems have a solution and are basically connected, since certain models of devices are not detected.

What is BBS Tools?

BBS Tools interface

If you do not know BBS Tools software, to say that it is a set of tools implemented for the Microsoft Windows operating system and that allow you to do numerous operations with your Tom Tom GPS. For example, among the available functionalities you will be able to carry out TomTom updates, backup copies, restoration and management of POIs (Points of Interest) that you have activated on the maps to warn you of something, patch maps, etc.

In short, BBS Tools is one of the best tools to work with GPS devices from TomTom, but unfortunately the developers of the brand have not released a native version for other operating systems. It is true that there is pyTomTom, an app written in quite decent Python that can help us do many of the things that can be done with BBS Tools, but not all and this is where the problem comes and the need to install it on your Linux distro .

How to make BBS Tools work under Linux?


As I said, the way to have BBS Tools on your Linux distribution (and also on other Unix systems) is through the compatibility layer Wine. Therefore, the first step is to install Wine on your distro. You can do this from the official repositories of your distro in a simple way and using the package management tools that you normally use, another option is to download the packages available from the official website of Wine and follow the steps.

If you wish, you can also install some add-ons for Wine that we have talked about in this blog, such as PlayOnLinux, which will provide us with some installations and optimizations of the Wine settings. Once we have Wine installed, the following is get the installer or .exe of BBS Tools for Windows. Once the compressed file has been downloaded and unzipped, you can use PlayOnLinux with its graphical interface or do it from the terminal running from the directory where the installer is located:

wine bbstools.exe

In any case, the result will be the procedure menu that you must follow to have BBS Tools ready in your system. So far everything is very simple, in fact, if everything has gone correctly you will have your software ready from which you can perform all these tasks by connecting your TomTom GPS through the USB cable to your PC or laptop, that should result in the automatic detection of the device and you should be able to start getting the job done by now, but ...

Possible problems you can find with BBS Tools and solutions

TomTom connected to PC

… Not always everything is so simple. Keep in mind that although the Wine project has taken giant steps, it is still a compatibility layer and it may not be 100% like Windows natively and come problems. For this reason, the USB drivers, and the ones that BBS Tools manages to detect the different supported devices, may not work properly when having to deal with this compatibility layer running in between.

I recommend you to so that everything works properly:

  • Install the latest version of Wine available.
  • Also use the latest version of BBS Tools That you find.
  • La Wine settings It should be the right one, if you don't use PlayOnLinux which automates some things, I recommend that you spend some time optimizing the parameters that you can find in the Wine configuration. For example, one of the most interesting things is that you select the appropriate OS in Version to Imitate, since if you select an inappropriate version of MS Windows it may not work well. If you want to open it, run the command:

  • If you have followed all the steps and still cannot detect your device, try connecting it to another USB port or to restart your GPS device.
  • If still not detected, try to create a unit or new virtual storage medium in Wine. For example, an E unit: from Wine settings, Units tab, Add another unit. Some models may require this additional step to be detected.
  • If none of the above works for you, my other solution is to try a virtual machine with a Microsoft Windows XP installed. You can do it with VirtualBox or with VMWare installed on your Linux distro. In the virtualized system you can install BBS Tools and try to connect the device. I have used it like this a couple of years ago and I have not had any problems ...

Do not forget to leave your comments with suggestions, doubts, etc. I hope this tutorial has helped you ...

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