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Linux TomTom GPS Watch Utilities

Provides programs for communicating with TomTom GPS watches and processing the data they collect.

  1. ttwatch - USB communications program for performing various operations with the watch, including downloading activity data, updating GPS data, and updating firmware.
  2. ttbincnv - Post-processor allowing conversion of the ttbin file formats to either (currently) csv, gpx, kml or tcx files, using broadly similar formats to the official TomTom file formats.
  3. ttbinmod - Post-processor allowing modifications to be made to the ttbin file. Currently, adding/modifying lap markers and truncating the file at the end of the workout (last lap, goal completion etc) are supported.
  4. - script that enabled uploading to a MapMyFitness account that is linked to a MySports account. Automatically converts the ttbin file to a TCX file before uploading.

System Requirements

This program requires the following libraries to be compiled and installed before attempting to build it.

  1. openssl (tested against version 1.0.1f, other versions may work). Available from, or with your linux distribution
  2. curl (tested against version 7.38.0, other versions may work). Available from
  3. libusb 1.0.16 or later (tested against version 1.0.19). Available from

Build Instructions

$ ./configure
$ make
$ sudo make install

Setup for unprivileged access

In order to have permission to access the USB devices when running as anyone other than root, a udev rule must be set up to allow access for unprivileged users. The rule I have set up is:

$ cat /etc/udev/rules.d/99-tomtom.rules
SUBSYSTEMS=="usb", ATTRS{idVendor}=="1390", ATTRS{idProduct}=="7474", SYMLINK+="tomtom", GROUP="usb", MODE="660"

This basically gives access to USB devices to members of the "usb" group. Create the "usb" group and add yourself to it using:

$ sudo addgroup usb
$ sudo usermod -a -Gusb <your_username>

Note: If you leave out the -a option on usermod, you will remove your user from every group except "usb", rather than just adding "usb" to the list of groups the user belongs to, so be careful... Note: You will have to log out and then log back in to see the change in group membership.

Daemon Mode

The ttwatch program supports running as a daemon, which will wait for a watch to be connected, then automatically perform whichever operations are specified on the command line. The following four operations are supported, and at least one of them must be specified to start the daemon:

  1. --get-activities: Download the activity files and store them, including converting them to other file formats as specified in the watch preferences downloaded from the watch.
  2. --update-gps: Updates the GPSQuickFix information in the watch from the internet.
  3. --update-fw: Checks for firmware updates, and updates the firmware in the watch if newer firmware is found.
  4. --set-time: Sets the time on the watch to match the local system time.

All four options can be specified with the -a (or --auto) option

The daemon must be started as root (run by init or sudo), but the --runas parameter can be specified to provide an alternative user (and optionally a group - such as the usb group mentioned above) to run as.

Multiple Watches

The ttwatch program has support for multiple watches. When running from the command line a list of available watches can be displayed using the --devices option. A particular watch can be selected using the -d option with two different parameters possible:

  1. a string that matches the watch serial number
  2. a string that matches the watch name

Both pieces of information are displayed when listing available watches with the --devices option.

When running as a daemon and the watch serial number or name are specified, the daemon will only process that particular watch. This can be used to store the activities from multiple watches in different users' home areas by starting multiple instances of the daemon running as different users, specifying different watches.

Unsafe Functions

There are various options that can be given to the ttwatch program that read and write raw data to/from the watch. Used incorrectly, these could destroy the contents of the watch. For this reason, they are disabled by default. To enable these options, run configure with the --with-unsafe option. Note that I don't guarantee what will happen if you use these options without really knowing what you are doing.

Config Files

The ttwatch program supports loading some settings from config files. Three config files can be used: global, per-user, and per-watch. They are located in the following locations:

  1. /etc/ttwatch.conf
  2. ~/.ttwatch
  3. [activity-store-location]/[watch-name]/ttwatch.conf

This means that some settings can be overridden by specific users or by which watch is being used. Note that the per-watch settings are used either by the daemon (when a watch is connected), or when downloading activities from the command-line, not for any other operations. The per-user config file is not used when being run as root.

The config files are very simple, and are just lines in a "option = value" format. '#' is used to denote a comment; anything after a '#' is ignored. Applicable options (not case sensitive) and their values are as follows:

  1. ActivityStore: specifies an absolute path to the place where activities are stored. Relative paths (and paths such as ~) cannot be used. This is a string value.
  2. PostProcessor: specifies a script or executable that is executed for every activity that is downloaded from the watch, with the filename of the ttbin file as the only argument. The executable is run from the directory that the ttbin file is stored in. Note that for security reasons, this executable is not called if the program is running as root. This is a string value.
  3. RunAsUser: this can only be specified in the global /etc/ttwatch.conf file, and indicates which user (and optionally which group) the daemon runs as, similarly to the command-line argument. An error is shown if this option is specified in a non-global config file. This is a string value.
  4. SkipElevation: tells the program to skip downloaded elevation data from the internet for each downloaded activity. This is a boolean value.
  5. Device: specifies which device to use, as per the -d (--device) command-line parameter. Note that only one device can be specified at the moment (if anyone wants to modify the code to work with multiple device names here, feel free to send me a patch). This is a string value.
  6. Formats: specifies a list of file formats that should be created when an activity file is downloaded. The supported file formats are listed by the help command (-h or --help command line options). This list can be either space- or comma-separated, or a combination of the two. This is a string value.

The following options only take effect when running as a daemon:

  1. UpdateFirmware: tells the daemon to check and update the firmware of any watch that is connected. This is a boolean value.
  2. UpdateGPS: tells the daemon to update the QuickGPSFix data of any watch that is connected. This is a boolean value.
  3. SetTime: tells the daemon to update the time of any watch that is connected. This is a boolean value.
  4. GetActivities: tells the daemon to download any activities from any watch that is connected. This is a boolean value.

Boolean values can have a value of ('y', 'yes', 'true', 'n', 'no' or 'false'). These values are not case-sensitive.


It may be possible to reset a watch with damaged firmware or file structure using the Recovery Mode, which requires TomTom's official MySports Connect software (Windows or Mac only): [information from TomTom support] (


Linux TomTom GPS Watch Utilities




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