How to Easily Mount Your iPhone As An External Drive in Ubuntu

For those who own an iPhone/iPod Touch and at the same time is an Ubuntu (or Linux) users, here’s is a good news. You can now easily mount your iPhone in your Ubuntu without having to jailbreak your phone.

In the past, the dirty but effective way to access the iPhone from your Linux system is via SSH. This requires you to jailbreak your phone and it voids the warranty. With iFuse, you can now mount your iPhone/iPod Touch under Linux with just a USB cable. You can also view/edit/cut/copy/paste the file just like any USB disk drive.


Open up your terminal, type the following to open up your APT sources file

Insert the following lines to the end of the file

The above is assuming that you are using Ubuntu 9.04 (Jaunty). For any other version, simply replace the jaunty by the respective version name (hardy, intrepid, karmic etc)

Save and close the file.

Back in the terminal:

Once the installation is done, connect your iPhone to your computer via the USB cable.

Open up your Nautilus. You should see the iPhone/iPod entry at the side pane. This show that it is already mounted in your system.


Click on the entry to view the filesystem.

Things that you can do

1. View/copy/download photos.

You can now manage the photos that you have taken with your iPhone without iTunes.

2. Create folders, upload/download files

You can now use your iPhone as a USB drive and use it for file storage. To allow confusion/conflict with the other system files, it is best to create a custom folder (and name it My Folder) and store all your files there.

3. Managing address book/calendar (upcoming)

Work is underway to sync the contact data with Conduit.

What you cannot do now

Manage your music database

Apple uses a cryptographic signing algorithm to encrypt all the music files. While you can access the music folder, there is no way that you can transfer your music over and get it to work in your iPhone.

1. iFuse is not Ubuntu-specific app. It works for most Linux distro as well.

2. Mac users can also use iPhoneDisk to achieve similar functionality.


  1. Anything like this for windows ?

    1. You can try iPhonefs ( I have not tested it yet, but it seems to work fine.

  2. Thanks for the excellent tip Damien.

  3. I just got a new iPhone 3GS as a gift. Feeling nice to see the compatibility with iPhone here. Thank you for sharing such a nice information. I will surely follow your steps of installation. I will surely this site bookmark it for future use. Good Work! Keep it up!

    1. I am glad that you like it as much as I love writing it.

  4. Just tried this on the Karmic alpha (and modified the source entries to karmic as specified above). But not sure if there’s something I missed. When mounting the iPhone, all I can see is the DCIM share. I can’t see the rest of the file system.

  5. Tried this with Karmic. Nautilis sees the DCIM on iPhone but does not show any of the photos already there. Cannot create a new folder on iPhone or copy any photos to the existing folders.

    Here is the error message when I tried to create a folder:
    There was an error creating the directory in gphoto2://[usb:001,017]/.

    Show more details gives this:
    Error creating directory: -6: Not Supported

    Choosing either Cancel or Skip then crashed Nautilis.

  6. I just install it on both of my systems, one at work one home, and I have to say it works just fine like it should be, thank you man… only difference is you have to run it “sudo apt-get upgrade” and then is all good ;-)

  7. hey…what is a Nautilus????

    1. @sarah: Nautilus is the name of the file manager in Ubuntu

  8. this does not work with karmic version i think

    1. The tutorial is for Jaunty.

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