How to Sync Your iPhone Contacts to Ubuntu One

Note: As of June 1, 2011, Ubuntu One contacts sync for mobile (including iOS) will no longer be active. For more information, please refer to this post.

When Ubuntu One first launched, we all thought that it is just another file storage service, just like Dropbox, with the limitation that it is only available for Ubuntu. With the release of Ubuntu Lucid, Ubuntu One has evolved into a great tool that it not only sync your files, but also your music, bookmarks, and broadcast message archive. The latest addition to the plate is the synchronization of your iPhone contacts.

As you all know, iPhone and Linux are never a good pair. iPhone needs iTunes to sync, and iTunes is not available for Linux. Well, with the new Ubuntu One Contact [iTunes link] iPhone app, it is easy to sync your iPhone (contact) with your Ubuntu machine.

Configuring the iPhone-Ubuntu One synchronization

Before you install the iPhone app and start the synchronization, you will need to register for a phone synchronization account.

1. Go to and login into your Ubuntu One account. If you do not have an Ubuntu One account, this is also the time to sign up for one.

2. Once you are logged in, go to


Choose Apple as the manufacturers and iPhone as the model. Click Choose.

3. You will be issued an username and password. Record it down. You will need this info to login to the mobile app later on.


4. Next, install Ubuntu One Contact from the app store on your iPhone/iPod Touch.

5. Activate the app. When prompted, enter your Ubuntu One Phone account login credential.


6. Back to the app main screen, tap on the big Sync Contacts icon to start the synchronization (you will need to connect to the Web for the synchronization to start).


The synchronization will now take place. You won’t see the synced contact in your Ubuntu One folder. Instead, log in to the web-based dashboard and click on the Contact tab, you should be able to see your contact list.


If you decided that you don’t want to do any more synchronization, you can remove the phone from your Ubuntu One account via the Edit Phone Setting link.


One way or two way sync?

In the Settings pane within the app, there are several preferences that you can set. The more important one is the ability to specify whether a one-way sync or two way sync should be made. You can specify to do a two way sync, or just phone -> Server, or vice-versa.


Currently, the Ubuntu One Contact app only syncs your iPhone contact, but I believe that in the future, it could extend its service to your Notes, emails, SMS or even your call log.

What do you like to sync most with this Ubuntu One mobile app?


Damien Oh started writing tech articles since 2007 and has over 10 years of experience in the tech industry. He is proficient in Windows, Linux, Mac, Android and iOS, and worked as a part time WordPress Developer. He is currently the owner and Editor-in-Chief of Make Tech Easier.

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