HOWTO : ipod touch 3G/iphone sync over USB without jailbreaking under Karmic

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All credits should go to :

Paul McEnery, stonecut & marcan and ubuntuforum

    Here we go :
  1. Add on sources.list the bellow line
    deb karmic main

    sudo gedit /etc/apt/sources.list

  2. Install the following necessary packages

    sudo apt-get install gvfs gvfs-backends gvfs-bin gvfs-fuse libgvfscommon0 ifuse libgpod libiphone-utils libiphone0 python-iphone ibplist++1 libplist-utils python-plist libusb-1.0-0 libusb-1.0-0-udeb libusbmuxd1 usbmuxd

  3. Edit the FUSE config file.

    sudo gedit /etc/fuse.conf

    -> Remove the “#” in front of “user_allow_other”, save and exit.
    Next, open “System” -> “Administration” -> “Users and Groups” in Ubuntu Menu.
    Click on the little key at the bottom to unlock it for making changes. Then, select your username and click on “Manage Groups”.

    Find the “fuse” group and double-click on it. Make a checkmark next to your name in the window that opens. Click on OK and close all dialogs. You’re now in the “fuse” group.
    Next, completely log out and in again – do a reboot to be safe. This is important !
    Open up a terminal again. Let’s verify we’re really in the “fuse” group:

    We can now mount the phone as regular user after connecting it, run

    ps ax | grep usbmuxd

    to verify that usbmuxd is listening if you want):

    ifuse /mnt/ipod/

    We can also unmount as regular user (a sudo shouldn’t be necessary):

    fusermount -u /mnt/ipod/

  4. Prepare ipod itunes directory :
    Ok, now mount the device with “ifuse /mnt/ipod/” (if not still mounted) and create the “iTunes_Control/Device” directory:

    mkdir /mnt/ipod/iTunes_Control/Device/

    Then, get your UUID:

    lsusb -v | grep -i iSerial

    It’s the first number and should be 40 characters long. Then, run:


    (mountpoint here is /mnt/ipod/)
    This should generate a file named iTunes_Control/Device/SysInfoExtended.
    Make sure it’s not empty and whatnot; it should be a large-ish plist (XML file) with a bunch of info.

    fusermount -u /mnt/ipod/

  5. Reboot your computer

  6. Plug the ipod : you should see it appear on the desktop
    and it should now be

    1. directly mounted in rhythmbox and you can add music files (transfer rate still slow but acceptable)

    2. mounted in gtkpod but you'll have to launch the "ifuse /mnt/ipod".

    3. NOT visible in amarok 2.2.1 and still haven't figured out why...
      rhyhmbox is unable to remove music files, so please use the previous gtkpod part either to remove files or add videos to the ipod.

    Hopefully amarok will handle it soon so everything can be performed from the same app (and gtkpod is a real pain !).

  7. That's all folks
    Hope this helps,

Comments :

9 comments to “HOWTO : ipod touch 3G/iphone sync over USB without jailbreaking under Karmic”
Juan TimanĂ¡ said...

I can't make it work. I get this:

$ ipod-read-sysinfo-extended d651b4a66ef9d02723bf160d7f8a0c61a2d4ad11 /media/ipod/
Couldn't read xml sysinfo from d651b4a66ef9d02723bf160d7f8a0c61a2d4ad11

Joe Engressia said...

please make sure you have done at step 4. We don't use directory media to mount the ipod. For make it works, please same the directory.
thanks LOL

David said...

When I try running 'ifuse /mnt/ipod' I keep getting, "If it is make sure that your user has permissions to access the raw usb device.
If you're still having issues try unplugging the device and reconnecting it."
I've tried every USB port, what else should I try?

Joe Engressia said...

It was happening because you aren't root when accessed it.
please to be root:

$ sudo -i


$ sudo su

Joe Engressia said...

please try this command on your terminal:

sudo ifuse /mnt/ipod

Note: It will execute "ifuse" as root permission because you do "sudo" first.

Hope it works 4 U. :)

Anonymous said...

This looks very promising :) I am an Ubuntu / Windows Vista user with a dual-boot, ufortunately. I'm getting an iPhone 3GS soon and really, the only purpose of installing Vista was for the iPhone, but now that I have read your article, I will definitely give this a try and if it works, goodbye Windows :D

Anonymous said...

@Joe, Sorry I haven't checked this in a while.

I tried running it as sudo and su, but sudo tells me \ERROR: the mount point specified does not exist
and su doesn't reckognize ifuse

jojo said...

hmm, maybe ipod directory doesn't create automatically when ipod connected on your ubuntu.
please make it first:
$ sudo mkdir /mnt/ipod/

after did it, you can follow from Edit the FUSE config file on step 3 until finish.

kelly said...

I updated Lucid from Karmic, and this wasn't working until I did this. Thanks for the help, now my iphone is working perfectly with ubuntu.

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