Chapter 16: Ubuntu and Your iPod

This article is from a new book published by No Starch Press: Ubuntu Linux for Non-Geeks: A Pain-Free, Project-Based, Get-Things-Done Guidebook by Rickford Grant. This excerpt covers using your iPod with Ubuntu and it is full of tips, tricks, and helpful pointers. Reprinted with permission from No Starch Press, all rights reserved. More information about the book and its autho
Managing Your iPod in Ubuntu

Normally in Windows and Mac OS, you load files to your iPod via iTunes, but, of course, since Apple has not created a Linux version of that popular application (and I doubt it ever will), you will have to find some other way to go about things. Fortunately, there are a few Linux applications that can work to various degrees with your iPod, including two you learned about in Chapter 15: amaroK and Rhythmbox.

In fact, Rhythmbox is set as the default application for iPods in Ubuntu, and as such it will automatically appear once your iPod is connected to your machine and mounted by your system. All you have to do then is click the IPOD icon in the left pane of the Rhythmbox window, and you can see the contents of your iPod. Click the small arrow to the right of the IPOD icon in the left pane, and you can also see your collection of playlists. But other than all that seeing, there isn't much more you can do with your iPod via Rhythmbox.

However, there are a few other applications, specifically designed for use with your iPod, that are arguably a bit more useful. These are the de facto Linux standards (in the GNOME world, anyway): gtkpod and YamiPod, a freeware entry, available in Linux, Windows, and Mac versions.

Managing Your iPod's Audio Files in gtkpod

The most commonly used Linux application for iPod file handling is gtkpod, which is shown in Figure 16-4. It is a pretty straightforward application with a fairly large user base, which means you should be able to get a lot of questions answered in Ubuntu and other Linux online forums should you have any. It also handles most of the functions that one uses when dealing with an iPod, including album cover art (but it does not handle photos other than that).

Figure 16-4:  Managing your iPod with gtkpod

Downloading, Installing, and Running gtkpod

Of course, in order to use gtkpod, you first have to download and install it. You can do this via Synaptic by doing a search for gtkpod and then installing gtkpod-aac following the installation steps in Chapter 5. If you didn't install the list of files mentioned in Project 15A on page 240, now would be a good time to do so. After that, plug your iPod into one of your computer's USB ports, if you haven't already. Once your iPod is mounted (once the desktop icon appears and Rhythmbox opens) go to the Applications menu, and select Sound & Video » gtkpod. You can close Rhythmbox if you like.

Using gtkpod

When the gtkpod window opens, you should see two entries in the left pane: one called Local and another with the name of your iPod. Sometimes there will be some other name there instead. Mine read amaroK, for some unknown reason. If you find yourself facing a similar naming mismatch, just change the name for the top entry so that it matches that of your iPod.

Once you've come to grips with the name thing, display the contents of your iPod by clicking the entry for your iPod in the left pane and then clicking the Read button. The contents of your iPod will appear in the right pane. If you have any playlists on your iPod, you can also click the small arrow to the left of your iPod's name in the left pane of the window, which will reveal the lists you have created.

You can add new songs or folders full of songs by clicking the +File or +Dirs buttons below the menu bar and then navigating to the items you want to add. You can also create playlists either by clicking +Playlists to create a playlist of the contents of a particular folder, or by clicking the New PL button to build your own playlist.

In the case of the latter method, a new list will appear in the Playlists pane at the left side of the window, after which you just drag the songs you want from the right pane in order to build your list. Just be sure to drag the files directly onto the playlist icon, as gtkpod can be a bit finicky in this department. You can also add songs to existing lists in the same way.

While on the topic of dragging and dropping, it is worth noting that you can add songs to your iPod library by simply dragging them from your Music folder (or any other folder) and then dropping them in the right pane of the gtkpod window. If you want to add a song to both your iPod's library and a specific playlist, drag a file or directory from your Music folder to the icon of the playlist in question. Pretty cool.

Album Art and Tag Handling

Tag editing, including album cover images, is another area in which gtkpod can prove quite useful. Click any track in the playlist, select Edit Details, and the Details window for that track will appear (Figure 16-5). In that window you can edit all of the tag entries (artist, album, track title, genre, and so on), and, very importantly, you can set the album cover art for the track. Once you have finished making your changes, click the Apply button, and then click OK.

Figure 16-5:  Editing tags in gtkpod

Copying Files from Your iPod to Your Hard Disk

A handy feature of gtkpod that isn't available in iTunes (at least not without a special freeware plugin) is the ability to copy songs from your iPod to your hard disk. To do this, select the tracks or playlists you want to export (hold the ctrl key to make multiple selections or use the tabs to select whole artists or genres if you like), click the File menu, and select Export Tracks from Database. A submenu will then appear, showing three choices: Selected Playlist, Selected Tab Entry, or Selected Tracks. Choose the entry that matches your selections.

This approach works well enough, but it doesn't seem to work for AAC files. In that case, just drag the file in question from the gtkpod window to your desktop, and the file will automatically be copied there. That file, however, will not have its original filename. It will have an odd name, such as INEI.m4a or OSPO.m4a. The files exported in this manner are themselves fine; all you need to do is rename them as you would rename any other file (right-click the file, and then select Rename—in case you forgot).

Playing Tracks on Your iPod with gtkpod

It is possible to use gtkpod in order to play the tracks on your iPod, though gtkpod must use a helper application to do this, as it has no playback capabilities of its own. The default helper app for this purpose is XMMS, which isn't a bad choice—especially if you want to have headache-free AAC file support. Of course, if you haven't installed XMMS, the default setup won't do you any good. You must, therefore, either choose a different helper app, such as Rhythmbox or amaroK, or run Synaptic, doing a search for xmms and installing xmms and xmms-mp4 (if you want AAC playback support).

If you decide to change the audio helper application for gtkpod, open the gtkpod Preferences window by going to the Edit menu and selecting Edit Preferences. Once in the Preferences window, click the Tools tab, and then click the uppermost Browse button. In the window that appears, scroll up and select rhythmbox or amarok (depending on which you prefer). Once your choice is made, click the OK button, and then once back to the Preferences window, repeat the process, this time clicking the second Browse button. Click Apply and then OK to record your changes and close the Preferences window.

Finishing Up the Job with gtkpod

Once you've done all you want to do with gtkpod, click the Sync button to record the changes to your iPod. You can then quit gtkpod. After that, right-click the desktop icon for your iPod, and select Unmount Volume. When the desktop icon disappears, you can disconnect your iPod from your computer.

Using YamiPod for Your iPod File Management Needs

A relative newcomer to the iPod file management arena is YamiPod. YamiPod, which also comes in Mac and Windows versions, looks like a cleaned-up version of gtkpod; YamiPod's layout is more straightforward, making it easier to use in many ways. It also allows audio-direct, helper-less playback (which gtkpod doesn't), and it is easier to deal with in terms of playlist creation and handling.

Downloading, Installing, and Running YamiPod

To get YamiPod, you'll need to download it yourself from the project's website at Just go the site's Downloads page, and then download YamiPod to your hard disk. The file will appear on your disk as a tarball, so first extract the tarball, and then move the yam-linux folder, which is the product of that extraction, to your home folder. Once you've done that, there is one small chore you need to perform before you can run the application: copying the libfmodex file within the yam-linux folder to the /usr/lib folder. Since /usr/lib is in protected territory, you will have to use the sudo command to perform the copy procedure.

Here are the steps:

  1. Open a Terminal window, type cd yam-linux, and press enter.

  2. In the same Terminal window, type the following command, and press enter (and make sure to leave a space on either side of cp and between so.* and /usr): sudo cp* /usr/lib

  3. When prompted for your password, type it, and press enter. When your user prompt reappears, you can close the Terminal window.

As YamiPod itself is an executable binary file, you don't have to install it to put it to work, and you are now ready to step into action. To get things under way, plug your iPod into one of your USB ports, and then double-click the YamiPod file within the yam-linux folder. YamiPod will appear as a small window until it reads the contents of your iPod, after which the window should expand into something like the window in Figure 16-6.

Figure 16-6:  Managing your iPod with YamiPod

Using YamiPod

Working with YamiPod is very simple. To add songs to your iPod, just drag tracks or folders from your Music folder to the bottom pane of the YamiPod interface or to any open playlist in the playlist pane. An Add To Ipod window (Figure 16-7) will appear, showing the tag information for each of the songs you've just dragged over. In that window you can edit the tags for each of the songs, if you'd like to, before adding them to the library. When you've finished making your changes, just click the Add All button, and the songs will be immediately added to your iPod's library.

Figure 16-7:  Adding songs to your iPod with YamiPod

To create a playlist, click the + button near the top-right corner of the window, and name your list in the New Playlist window that appears. Once you've made your choice, click OK. You can then drag the tracks you want to add to the list from the main library pane in the bottom half of the window. You can also drag files directly from your Music folder to the Playlist pane, thereby adding those tracks to the playlist and your iPod's library at the same time.

If you would like to remove a track from the library, just right-click the track in question, and then select Delete song in the popup menu. To remove a playlist, just select the targeted list from the drop-down menu button at the right-top corner of the window, and then click the – button to the right of that.

Finishing Up Your YamiPod Session

Since YamiPod performs changes to your iPod in real time as you perform those changes within the YamiPod window, wrapping things up is quite simple. Just click the small, circular eject button at the very bottom-right corner of the YamiPod window. YamiPod will then close, and your iPod will be automatically unmounted.

Exporting Files from Your iPod with YamiPod

Like gtkpod, YamiPod allows you to export files from your iPod to your hard disk. To copy songs from the library in YamiPod, select the tracks you want to copy in the main library pane (and hold down the ctrl key while doing so if you are making multiple selections), right-click any one of the selected files, and then select Copy song to in the popup menu.


Although both YamiPod and gtkpod allow you to copy podcasts to your iPod, neither application provides you with a list of available podcast feeds. YamiPod does have a feature by which it can download the feeds you want if you provide the URL, but I don't recommend doing that, as it seems to crash the program.

The result of these facts is that if you want to look for podcasts and add them to your iPod's library, you will have to do a little more work than you're used to. One application that can help is iPodder (Figure 16-8), which you can download and install via Synaptic by doing a search for ipodder, and then . . . well, you know the steps by now.

Figure 16-8:  iPodder podcast browser and receiver

Once you select and download your podcasts, iPodder will place them in the downloads subfolder of the iPodderData folder that it creates for you in your home folder. To add these podcasts to your iPod in gtkpod, create a playlist called Podcasts (if there isn't one there already), and then add the podcast file to the playlist, as you would any audio file, by simply dragging it onto that playlist.

You can add podcasts to your iPod via YamiPod in almost the same way. Just select the Podcasts playlist from the drop-down menu button at the top-right corner of the YamiPod window, and then drag the file to the top-right pane of the window.

Setting Up Your System to Automatically Launch YamiPod or gtkpod

If you like, you can set up your system so that YamiPod or gtkpod automatically launches when you plug your iPod into one of your USB ports. To do this, go to the System menu, and select Preferences » Removable Drives and Media. When the Preferences window appears, click the Multimedia tab, and then check the box next to the words Play music files when connected in the iPod section of that tab. In the Command box, type gtkpod if you want to use that application, or if you prefer YamiPod, click the Browse button and navigate your way to the YamiPod binary file within your home folder. Once you're done, the Preferences window should look something like Figure 16-9. If so, click Close.

Figure 16-9:  Setting up your system to run YamiPod when you plug in your iPod



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Vivian Chen (Linux Guru)'s picture

ok I get it but I also found similar linux solutions @


Anonymous's picture

how do u transport music into banshee i have music in my music file on my computer but how do i transport ht music to banshee so i can put it on my ipod!

may be i can have a try ! it

anderry's picture

may be i can have a try !

it is very good !

IPOD nano G5 working on latest UBUNTU 10

Anonymous's picture

Hi All

Just to let you know that the ipod Nano G5 works perfectly on the Beta version of 64Bit Ubuntu 10. Even though this is a Beta OS, it works first time. No driver updates.... amazing And my girl friend is happy she does not need to use windows XP or itunes again.




Pixelated Dwarf's picture

Anyone know about Ubuntu and the Iphone? I like both although I would really like to have the same functionality (or better) with Ubuntu and my Iphone that I do with other OS's. Yes, I know I can "jailbreak" it but I would rather have native support.

iTunes in VM - Updating will brick it.

Anonymous's picture

Just a note about using iTunes w/ XP in a VM. I know this is an old article but still there is not Apple approved solution to this whole iTunes/iPod thingy...

I was running iTunes w/ XPSP2 in a VM using VMWare 6.x and iTunes prompted me to update my iPod. Hey, sure why not! It started the process by erasing my iPod and the download the update but it couldn't find the iPod to remount it and do the update. It bricked it. Luckily I had a mac nearby and just did the refresh there and brought it back to life albeit factory fresh with no tunes.

Banshee does lot more

Viktor's picture

"...if you do happen to lose all the data on your iPod or somehow corrupt its system, you can just use Apple's iPod Updater while in Windows to bring it back to normal and repopulate its song library from your hard disk...."

I actually managed to corrupt the data on my iPod. Run Banshee, detected the error, asked me to correct it and did so in less then a minute. Also, Banshee has the Sinc option - whatever one puts/removes in/from the library, automagically gets updated on the iPod.

Ipod Touch !

Anonymous's picture

Has anyone heard of how I should mount this or make it show up otherwise, the system does not see it at all.

iTunes with a virtual machine

Mark Hewitt's picture

The problem with all these workarounds is that they don't offer the handiest features of iTunes - like the ability to automatically sync just the changes in your music library. I have almost 60Gb of audio on my PC, changing frequently, and manually updating individual albums is just a huge hassle. I ended up setting up a virtual machine (using VMware Server 2, which is free), and it loads in a couple of clicks and runs very fast, even on my old pieceacrap desktop machine, and gives you full iTunes functionality in a convenient windows. Here's the guide, if it's any use to anyone:

mounting ipod in ubuntu 8

pushkar bhatkoti's picture

hi guys,
Here is what I did to mount my 80 gig ipod in ubuntu 8

push@trudy:/dev/.static/dev$ sudo apt-get install ipod-convenience ipodslave-dev libipoddevice-dev

note, it will popup a new window u just need to point ip add and mount point.


verfy if ipod is really mounted:

push@trudy:/dev/.static/dev$ df
Filesystem 1K-blocks Used Available Use% Mounted on
/dev/sda1 185921652 72180244 104371500 41% /
varrun 1553284 276 1553008 1% /var/run
varlock 1553284 0 1553284 0% /var/lock
udev 1553284 52 1553232 1% /dev
devshm 1553284 0 1553284 0% /dev/shm
lrm 1553284 39792 1513492 3% /lib/modules/2.6.24-23-generic/volatile
/dev/sda2 185921652 72180244 104371500 41% /media/ipod

u can see /dev/sda2 is my 80 gig ipod

push@trudy:/dev/.static/dev$ sudo fdisk -l

Disk /dev/sda: 200.0 GB, 200049647616 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 24321 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x3f3ded36

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sda1 * 1 23330 187398193+ 83 Linux
/dev/sda2 23331 24321 7960207+ 5 Extended
/dev/sda5 23331 24321 7960176 82 Linux swap / Solaris

push@trudy:/dev/.static/dev$ sudo apt-get install ipod-convenience ipodslave-dev libipoddevice-dev
[sudo] password for push:
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information... Done
The following extra packages will be installed:
ipodslave libdbus-glib-1-dev libglib2.0-dev libgtop2-dev libid3-3.8.3c2a
Suggested packages:
Recommended packages:
The following NEW packages will be installed:
ipod-convenience ipodslave ipodslave-dev libdbus-glib-1-dev libglib2.0-dev
libgtop2-dev libid3-3.8.3c2a libipoddevice-dev sshfs
0 upgraded, 9 newly installed, 0 to remove and 44 not upgraded.
Need to get 1490kB of archives.
After this operation, 6287kB of additional disk space will be used.
Do you want to continue [Y/n]? y
Get:1 hardy/universe sshfs 1.9-1 [32.3kB]
Get:2 hardy/universe ipod-convenience 0.9-0ubuntu1 [9454B]
Get:3 hardy/main libid3-3.8.3c2a 3.8.3-7ubuntu2 [178kB]
Get:4 hardy/universe ipodslave 0.7.3-0ubuntu4 [121kB]
Get:5 hardy/universe ipodslave-dev 0.7.3-0ubuntu4 [15.3kB]
Get:6 hardy-updates/main libglib2.0-dev 2.16.6-0ubuntu1 [872kB]
Get:7 hardy/main libdbus-glib-1-dev 0.74-2 [91.4kB]
Get:8 hardy/main libgtop2-dev 2.22.0-0ubuntu1 [138kB]
Get:9 hardy/universe libipoddevice-dev 0.5.3-3 [32.2kB]
Fetched 1490kB in 6s (214kB/s)
Preconfiguring packages ...
Selecting previously deselected package sshfs.
(Reading database ... 176269 files and directories currently installed.)
Unpacking sshfs (from .../archives/sshfs_1.9-1_i386.deb) ...
Selecting previously deselected package ipod-convenience.
Unpacking ipod-convenience (from .../ipod-convenience_0.9-0ubuntu1_all.deb) ...
Selecting previously deselected package libid3-3.8.3c2a.
Unpacking libid3-3.8.3c2a (from .../libid3-3.8.3c2a_3.8.3-7ubuntu2_i386.deb) ...
Selecting previously deselected package ipodslave.
Unpacking ipodslave (from .../ipodslave_0.7.3-0ubuntu4_i386.deb) ...
Selecting previously deselected package ipodslave-dev.
Unpacking ipodslave-dev (from .../ipodslave-dev_0.7.3-0ubuntu4_i386.deb) ...
Selecting previously deselected package libglib2.0-dev.
Unpacking libglib2.0-dev (from .../libglib2.0-dev_2.16.6-0ubuntu1_i386.deb) ...
Selecting previously deselected package libdbus-glib-1-dev.
Unpacking libdbus-glib-1-dev (from .../libdbus-glib-1-dev_0.74-2_i386.deb) ...
Selecting previously deselected package libgtop2-dev.
Unpacking libgtop2-dev (from .../libgtop2-dev_2.22.0-0ubuntu1_i386.deb) ...
Selecting previously deselected package libipoddevice-dev.
Unpacking libipoddevice-dev (from .../libipoddevice-dev_0.5.3-3_i386.deb) ...
Setting up sshfs (1.9-1) ...
Setting up ipod-convenience (0.9-0ubuntu1) ...

Setting up libid3-3.8.3c2a (3.8.3-7ubuntu2) ...
Setting up ipodslave (0.7.3-0ubuntu4) ...

Setting up ipodslave-dev (0.7.3-0ubuntu4) ...
Setting up libglib2.0-dev (2.16.6-0ubuntu1) ...
Setting up libdbus-glib-1-dev (0.74-2) ...
Setting up libgtop2-dev (2.22.0-0ubuntu1) ...

Setting up libipoddevice-dev (0.5.3-3) ...
Processing triggers for libc6 ...
ldconfig deferred processing now taking place

push@trudy:/dev/.static/dev$ df
Filesystem 1K-blocks Used Available Use% Mounted on
/dev/sda1 185921652 72177108 104374636 41% /
varrun 1553284 276 1553008 1% /var/run
varlock 1553284 0 1553284 0% /var/lock
udev 1553284 52 1553232 1% /dev
devshm 1553284 0 1553284 0% /dev/shm
lrm 1553284 39792 1513492 3% /lib/modules/2.6.24-23-generic/volatile
/dev/sda2 185921652 72177108 104374636 41% /media/ipod
push@trudy:/dev/.static/dev$ sudo apt-get install ipod-convenience ipodslave-dev libipoddevice-dev


Anonymous's picture

I want to know how to rename my ipod.
can anyone help?

I plugged my ipod into my

Anonymous's picture

I plugged my ipod into my laptop and transferred my songs into rhythmbox and disconnected my ipod and it said there were no songs on it but I went into the settings and it said it was full of songs but in orange so they were in other instead of audio. can any help me out?

GTKPOD can't write on the ipod

Anonymous's picture

hello, could someone please help me with my ipod on ubuntu
i just can"t write anything on the ipod
and when i use sudo gtkpod
or gksudo gtkpod
i get the following error
** (gtkpod:15993): CRITICAL **: sha1_sha1_exists: assertion `sha1' failed

about 20 times!

I use Banshee with my ipod,

Anonymous's picture

I use Banshee with my ipod, it's pretty good, give it a try.

Very useful article

Jaime Iniesta's picture

Thanks for writing this guide. I have an ipod shuffle and want to use it on my Ubuntu Gutsy and your guide seems like a great help.

Excellent article!

Anonymous's picture

I use Fedora 7, but it ported over veeery easily!

i can finally update my iPod! WHOOOO!

except I can't get soundconverter to work with MP3s...

great article though!

google: "lame" or seek it in

Anonymous's picture

google: "lame"
or seek it in synaptic
would help a little bit

Ipod Nano won't mount on 6.06

Charles Petrie's picture

Very helpful article except that
" Just plug in your pod, and Ubuntu will do the rest." isn't true.

I went through the exercise of formating the Ipod on Windows XP.
Then rebooted Ubuntu 6.06 and installed gtkpod. But it can't
see the Ipod and it shows up neither on the desktop nor "places".
If I run gksudo gtkpod, I see that in trying to sync files, I get a "mountpoint" error. I have also run sudo /sbin/rmmod ehci_hcd to no avail. Can anyone please suggest any other magic commands that
might cause the Ipod to mount?

Thanks, Charles

Upgrade to 7.1 or 8.04

charlie's picture

Upgrade to 7.1 or 8.04

Nano iPods do mount on Feisty Fawn

Charles Petrie's picture

It seems Apple used "RAID" in their file systems in Nanos, which earlier versions of Ubuntu can't handle. Feisty works perfectly.

This is a great article - highly recommended.

HFS drives can be mounted on windows

stib's picture

There are proprietary and open source HFS drivers available for windows.
I use one at work, but I can't remember what it is. Means I can access the Linux HFS partition of a dual boot windows/ubuntu machine (and ntfs-3g works the other way, meaning I can meddle with my windows install from Linux).

There's a proprietary one called macdisk or something, and this is one that doesn't integrate into the file system, but lets you explore HFS disks from windows, which actually mentions that it works for iPods.

problem mouting the latest Ipod nano

AlexPires's picture

I just got ubuntu and installed gtkpod and the computer even identifies correctly the nano but when i try to mount it gives the following error message:

Unable to mount the selected volume. The volume is probably in a format that cannot be mounted.

error details:

mount: wrong fs type, bad option, bad superblock on /dev/sda,

missing codepage or other error

in some cases useful info is found in syslog - try

dmesg | tail or so

mount: wrong fs type, bad option, bad superblock on /dev/sda,

missing codepage or other error

in some cases useful info is found in syslog - try

dmesg | tail or so

error: could not execute pmount

And the ipod is windows formated so I just can't make it work.

Help needed

im having the same exact problem.

TheGr8Revealing's picture

I have the same problem. I can see ipod in the usb device manager and i know its formatted correctly. it even shows up in my computer but wont let me mount it.

someone help us please!!!

syncing ipod

paul e wog's picture

hello, quick problem.

When i run gedit /etc/mtab terminal shows mount at sda2, when i run gedit /etc/fstab this shows mount at sdc2. Ihave tried to edit fstab to sda2 but when i do that my ipod wont mount. I can get songs off ipod but no way to transfer to ipod, really frustrated. thanks for your help

Sony NWA 3000

psykyk's picture

Does anyone know if any of these will work with the Sony (I HATE the Connect software that comes with it for use in Windows)?

iPod stuck in read-only mode?

a_dumb_fake_name's picture

I can mount and eject my v5 (video) ipod, and gtkpod and iPodder seem to be installed and running successfully, EXCEPT I can't save any media to the iPod? and all my options to enable read-write capability on the iPod are disabled in Ubuntu (6.06 Dapper Drake/GNOME)? Do I really have to reformat my iPod to FAT32 to get things to work?

Try running them as root!

Ethan's picture

Try running them as root! (gksudo or kdesu NOT plain sudo)
It worked for me!


hypotheek's picture

That just worked perfectly! I was bothering with it a long, long time! Now I can just use it! :D

Upgrade to Rockbox for easy music

lefty.crupps's picture

I agree with the poster who said they used Rockbox on their iPod -- I do the same, and it is infinitely easier to transfer music On-to and Off-of my G5 iPod ("iPod Video"). I have a folder there named Music where I can dump my music files and it acts just like another hard drive (which, in reality, it is). Much easier, and the Rockbox firmware is a lot more fun than the regular iPod firmware.

Thanks for the article, I'll find it more useful as I continue to move my friends to Linux, as I am sure they won't *all* be interested in Rockbox (some already are, though!)

And, what's with the black-and-white screen shots? Just wondering...

I think those B&W shots are

Anonymous's picture

I think those B&W shots are scanned from the book.

Screen shots

Keith Daniels's picture

Actually they are not. They had to be reduced to fit on the website and that caused the "scanned" appearance. Click on them and you will see them in their full glory... :-)

Linux Journal

All the new OSs and windowing systems are oriented towards content consumption instead of content production.

--Steve Daniels 2013

ogg vorbis

Anonymous's picture

For those who would like to use ogg vorbis and flac, you should check out I've installed this free firmware on my Nano and it has been working well, albeit with a few quirks (mostly with the ID3 tag cache requiring a reboot to update).

Ogg Vorbis, and initial setup

Richard's picture

Amarok claims to be able to transcode as it send files to the device. I wonder if any of the others can, as my collection is in Vorbis.

There was something somewhere saying that GtkPod could initialise an IPOD. This would be essential as I have only Linux at home, so no Windows or Mac box to use to set the thing up.

initial setup

AK's picture

I run Linux only (Sidux/Debian) and didn't even know an iPod had to be initialized. But after fussing a bit with Amarok my new iPod G5 (video) is syncing fine with Gtkpod. I did delete the contents of the iTunes folder on the iPod once or twice, to reset the database. I haven't even checked what my iPod is formatted as, but it was brand new and runs great.

Or gnupod

Anonymous's picture

Don't forget gnupod.
It is easy, fast and convenient.
I use it all of the time.
Try it: it is at

or Perlpod

Jesser's picture

And if you want an automatic synchroniser of the latest Podcasts your following and your IPOD then look at Perlpod. It uses GNUPod to copy the files to your IPOD but it handles the checking of feeds and fetching new stuff automatically for you, ideal for crontab!!


iPod mounting in Ubuntu and FC5

Pete Countryman's picture

I've used my nano with both Fedora Core 5 and Ubuntu Dapper. In each distro, I've had to give the command "sudo /sbin/rmmod ehci_hcd" before it would mount the iPod. I understand that this disables USB 2.0, which is a shame, but is nevertheless a good trick to know if there's no other way to make it work. (It still beats running Windows.) More recently, it seems (to me anyway) that the libipod library on FC5 is broken, so after years of running Red Hat or Fedora (since RH7), I've gone over to Ubuntu, with no regrets so far.

P.S. I can't seem to prevent ehci_hcd from loading, even when I put it in the blacklist. Anyone else having that problem?

Wow ! After months and

Anonymous's picture

Wow !

After months and months of struggling with USB devices, your suggestion of "sudo /sbin/rmmod ehci_hcd" solved every issue in one single swoop !

How on earth did you come by that information ??

Do you know of any fix for this ?

I'm using Dapper 6.06 with the latest updates and kernel 2.6.15-27-k7

Re: Ubuntu mounting. I've

captainpotato's picture

Re: Ubuntu mounting. I've never had a problem, although Ubuntu 5.10 (Breezy) would always have an issue unmounting my nano. 6.06 (Dapper) fixed that, and the iPod now mounts and unmounts cleanly, plus connects at full USB 2.0 speed.


Ross's picture

Not true: if you install gstreamer0.10-plugins-bad-multiverse on Ubuntu Dapper then any GStreamer-based program can read the AAC files, including Rhythmbox.


Josiah's picture

Too bad Banshee didn't get a mention in here. For Gnome users like Ubuntu folks, Banshee is a great tool for managing the music library and has support for a number of portable media players including the iPod, various Creative brand devices (NJB) and USB mass storage devices.

That requires mono though..

Anonymous's picture

That requires mono though.. the others don't require that dependency and seem to work well.. haven't tried banshee though.

or rockbox

Anonymous's picture

Or you can just install rockbox and use it like a normal UMS device, ie just copy the files to it with your normal file manager. It also has the advantage of playing mp3, ogg, flac, and other formats without any trouble.

** (gtkpod:15993): CRITICAL

Anonymous's picture

** (gtkpod:15993): CRITICAL **: sha1_sha1_exists: assertion `sha1' failed

could someone tell me what this error all about
i can"t use sudo gtkpod or gtsudo gtkpod
i get this error!

Rockbox absolutely kills

Anonymous's picture

Rockbox absolutely kills your battery though... :(


Anonymous's picture

Rockbox USED to kill your battery. Now that it supports battery profiles, it is much better.