Notes on Ubuntu (Linux) computing

Brief notes on installation, setup and other tasks in the Ubuntu world

Archive for October 2013

Garmin forerunner and Ubuntu 12.04 — updated

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This post is an update to a previous post on getting information from my Garmin forerunner 305 using tools in Ubuntu 12.04. A comment on the previous post pointed out that svn repository I used was no longer working. This is not my repository, so I can’t do anything about that. However, I can make a github repository (the code seems to allow for free distribution) with the code I obtained in 2012. In the interest of being thorough I will provide complete instructions here, with updates as needed.

1 To download running information from my Garmin forerunner 305, I will use garmin-forerunner-tools:

sudo apt-get install garmin-forerunner-tools

2 To check the xml schema, we need xmllint. To make this utility available install libxml2-utils:

sudo apt-get install libxml2-utils

3 To do the file conversion between *.gmn and *.tcx we need utilities developed by others. I have made a github repository for them and you can obtain them using:

git clone

If you don’t have git installed, use:

sudo apt-get install git

4 Finally, we have to make use of the utilities we have installed. One way to do this is to make a directory to save data, for example:

mkdir ~/GarminData
cd ~/GarminData

To extract data, connect the watch via USB and run:


At this point you should see that there are *.gmn files in the GarminData directory that use the directory structure: Year/Month/filename.gmn .

Finally, we need to create *.tcx file that can be uploaded to Garmin Connect. To do this, we need to go to the directory where we placed the git repository (you should be able to execute ls in the directory and see the script gmn2tcx). The basic format of a command is:

./gmn2tcx ~/GarminData/Year/Month/filename.gmn > runfilname.tcx

A couple of important things to note, using the command as above, are:

  • the full path name must be provided for the input file
  • the output file runfilename.tcx will be placed in the same directory as gmn2tcx

Written by Chris S

October 21, 2013 at 6:17 pm

Install mincemeatpy from github repo

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mincemeatpy implements the MapReduce algorithm in Python. Installation from the repository on github goes as usual.

Clone the repository in a convenient location:

git clone git://

Change to source directory and install:

cd mincemeatpy/
sudo python install

Hopefully everything installs smoothly. This means you should be able start python from the command line and import mincemeat without error.

For ideas on how to use this code, consider the following examples elsewhere:

Also of related interest is the mincepie package that allows for use of mincemeatpy on slurm clusters (I have not tried this out yet):

Written by Chris S

October 18, 2013 at 7:46 pm

Posted in computing, Python

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