Sync your iPhone Music Libary With Rhythmbox in Ubuntu Karmic (No Jailbreaking Required)

In Mac and Windows, you can easily sync your iPhone/iPod Touch with iTunes, but in Linux, there is no easy way to sync your iDevice’s music library with any of the media player. Even if you are willing to jailbreak your phone, there are still plenty of complicated steps that you need to do to get the syncing to work. With the release of iFuse (and a bunch of other library), things have changed. Not only can you mount your iPhone as an external drive in Ubuntu, you can also use it to sync your music library with Rhythmbox.

The following tutorial only works in Ubuntu Karmic (and other karmic-derivative distro) and iPhone firmware 3.0 and above.

If you have previously installed ifuse in your system, you need to remove it and its related files. If you did not install ifuse before, you can ignore this part and skip to the next section.

You also need to remove the jonabeck repository from your apt list.

Delete the jonabeck PPA from the sources.list file. Save and close.

Refresh your system.

Add the iFuse PPA to your repository:

Update your system

If there is a need, restart your computer.

Install the relevant packages

Update: I have removed libiphone0 libiphone-dev from the above packages since they are not longer needed.

When the installation is done, go to System -> Users and Groups

Click on the key icon to unlock.

usergroup-unlock

Click the Manage Groups button. Scroll down till you see the fuse entry. Select it and click the Properties button.

usergroup-select-fuse

Check the box beside your username and click OK.

usergroup-add-user

Close all windows and restart your computer.

You can now plug in your iPhone/iPod Touch and see it appears in your Rhythmbox and Nautilus.

That’s it. Let us know in the comments if this works for you.

Image credit: pennacook

66 comments

  1. This is really nice! Great find! And you only come up with this after I installed WinXP and iTunes in VirtualBox too ;)

    • @ZiurJam: I don’t have a Jaunty system to test with at the moment. Will update the article once I have done the test.

  2. Didn’t work for me. Followed the steps, I get a “Couldn’t find package limobiledevice0”.

    • @Cypress: My mistake. It should be “libimobiledevice0”. I have updated the article and correct the mistake.

  3. well my ipod touch is detected and wat not and rhythmbox can see all its songs. However, when i try to add songs to the ipod it doesnt show up on the ipod. Any fixes on that. Has anyone tried it with success?

    • Make sure the music you are moving is mp3 (or compatible). I tried moving some ogg files and found this happening. Rhythmbox doesn’t make it obvious which type of file you are moving.

  4. Hi

    I have the following problem with the installation:

    1) There seem to be problems on my system with dependencies of the dev packages – but I assume they are not needed as all packages are available as binaries?

    2) More serious: if I install libimobiledevice0, I can not install libiphone and vice-versa:

    rkrug@ecolmod:~$ sudo apt-get install libiphone0 libimobiledevice0
    Reading package lists… Done
    Building dependency tree
    Reading state information… Done
    libimobiledevice0 is already the newest version.
    Some packages could not be installed. This may mean that you have
    requested an impossible situation or if you are using the unstable
    distribution that some required packages have not yet been created
    or been moved out of Incoming.
    The following information may help to resolve the situation:

    The following packages have unmet dependencies:
    libimobiledevice0: Conflicts: libiphone0 but 0.9.1-3ubuntu1 is to be installed
    E: Broken packages
    rkrug@ecolmod:~$

    Any ideas what is going on?

    Cheers,

    Rainer

    • I get the same when I run:
      sudo apt-get install gvfs gvfs-backends gvfs-bin gvfs-fuse libgvfscommon0 ifuse libgpod-dev libgpod-common libiphone0 libiphone-dev libimobiledevice0 libimobiledevice-dev libplist++1 libplist-utils python-plist libusb-1.0-0 libusb-1.0-0-dev libusbmuxd1 usbmuxd

      I get:
      The following packages have unmet dependencies:
      libimobiledevice-dev: Conflicts: libiphone-dev but 0.9.1-3ubuntu1 is to be installed
      libimobiledevice0: Conflicts: libiphone0 but 0.9.1-3ubuntu1 is to be installed
      E: Broken packages

      • I’m having this same issue. After issuing this command: sudo apt-get install gvfs gvfs-backends gvfs-bin gvfs-fuse libgvfscommon0 ifuse libgpod-dev libgpod-common libiphone0 libiphone-dev libimobiledevice-utils libimobiledevice0 libimobiledevice-dev libplist++1 libplist-utils python-plist libusb-1.0-0 libusb-1.0-0-dev libusbmuxd1 usbmuxd

        I get: Some packages could not be installed. This may mean that you have
        requested an impossible situation or if you are using the unstable
        distribution that some required packages have not yet been created
        or been moved out of Incoming.
        The following information may help to resolve the situation:

        The following packages have unmet dependencies:
        libimobiledevice-dev: Conflicts: libiphone-dev but 0.9.1-3ubuntu1 is to be installed
        libimobiledevice0: Conflicts: libiphone0 but 0.9.1-3ubuntu1 is to be installed
        E: Broken packages

        THanks in advance

        What Can

  5. After rebooting, it is working (at least, I see my music in rhythmbox – I haven’t tried to transfer any.)

    Thanks,

    Rainer

  6. Has anyone had any issues with album art? I have found that I have to have a jpg of the album cover, in the directory of the music that I move to the iPod.

  7. sorry doesnt work, nothing does yet , been trying to do this once a week for 6 months, there is no way so far to transfer music running ubuntu 9.10 as the sole operating system, to an iphone firmware 2, without jailbreaking, someone please prove me wrong, itunes doesnt even run in wine , load of crap

  8. I installed the necessary programs and I can see/play my iPod Touch music from Rhythmbox. Unfortunately I can’t transfer music to my Touch. Is there a fix for that?

  9. When you drag the music from the right pane, you must drop it on the top-level i.e. “John’s iPod” or whatever it’s called. I tried dropping some podcasts into the Podcast directory but it doesn’t work. It has to be dropped on the top level. It also has to be mp3 or ipod compatible perhaps.

  10. Both Denis and Rainer are still correct. The instructions do not work.

    The article refers to an unknown “limobiledevice” – tried with “libmobiledevice” but doesn’t exist, “libimobiledevice” doesn’t work either as there is a conflict. Please update article for these instructions to work!

    • It should be libimobiledevice0. The full installation command is

      sudo apt-get install gvfs gvfs-backends gvfs-bin gvfs-fuse libgvfscommon0 ifuse libgpod-dev libgpod-common libiphone0 libiphone-dev libimobiledevice-utils libimobiledevice0 libimobiledevice-dev libplist++1 libplist-utils python-plist libusb-1.0-0 libusb-1.0-0-dev libusbmuxd1 usbmuxd

      If you don’t want to install via Terminal, you can also go to the Synaptic Package Manager and install each individual package manually.

  11. Well mine was working fine for a while, but now I get the error:

    The following packages have unmet dependencies:
    libimobiledevice-dev: Conflicts: libiphone-dev but 0.9.1-3ubuntu1 is to be installed
    libimobiledevice0: Conflicts: libiphone0 but 0.9.1-3ubuntu1 is to be installed
    E: Broken packages

    I’m looking into it to see what happened.

  12. John W: You installed ifuse and libiphone before, like me. As I’ve mentioned in the ubuntu forums (http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1406647), libimobiledevice apparently supersedes libiphone. See the forum for details of what to do, but simply remove ifuse first: “sudo aptitude purge iphone” and then do a full system upgrade.

    • Thanks Kay! But a bit late ;) I think I had some kind of permissions issue with my iPod. I plugged in my wife’s (2.2.1 Jailbroken) and it sync’ed fine. But mine (3.1.x not Jailbroken) refused. I restored it in iTunes and now it works as well. What may have caused my problem was first using Rhythmbox, then trying iTunes also. Not sure.

  13. Yeah I did that thanks. But the problem I have now is that the ipod appears in Rhythmbox but nothing can be transferred to it. Weird. It worked before. I guess it’s something to do with iFuse and it still being in development. Oh well, back to VitualBox and iTunes :S

  14. I’m on a fresh Karmic install, followed the guide but this have the following problem:

    Some packages could not be installed. This may mean that you have
    requested an impossible situation or if you are using the unstable
    distribution that some required packages have not yet been created
    or been moved out of Incoming.
    The following information may help to resolve the situation:

    The following packages have unmet dependencies:
    libimobiledevice-dev: Conflicts: libiphone-dev but 0.9.1-3ubuntu1 is to be installed
    libimobiledevice0: Conflicts: libiphone0 but 0.9.1-3ubuntu1 is to be installed
    E: Broken packages

    • Niels, don’t bother trying to install the two libiphone packages, they have been superseded by the libimobiledevice stuff. Just leave them off the “sudo apt-get install” list.

  15. libmobiledevice or variations of that name do not seem to be in the repository. Instructions do not work.

  16. Correction. libimobiledevice is in the repository but the procedure still does not work with my Karmic desktop and iPod Touch with version 3.1 firmware.

  17. I have the same problem – can see it in rhythmbox, but when i transfer any songs and subsequently eject the ipod, i can't see them – they also aren't there when i reconnect the iPod and look in rhythmbox. It's a 32Gb iPod Touch 3G. The songs i'm transferring are MP3 @ 96kbps 44.1KHz… so they should be compatible. Any thoughts?

  18. I am getting size mismatches on libplist, libplist-utils and python-plist when I try to install the packages. I have performed the update and both the dist-upgrade and normal upgrade.

    Any suggestions?

  19. It works great in Ubuntu Karmic i386!
    Do you know how it's possible to sync photos with the iPod Touch, too? It would be great if it's possible!!!!

  20. it works: Acer Aspire One with Karmic and Compaq desktop with Karmic… both work. THANKS

  21. If anyone is having problems seeing the phone in Rhythmbox after the install works successfully, know that you need to disable the passcode on your phone in order for ifuse to mount it. Rhythmbox will not notify you of this. I was only able to figure it out by attempting to mount it manually.

  22. Been fighting with this for a week. I didn't realize I needed to remove the old stuff/repo. Thanks for the good work!

  23. worked for me, thanks a lot, i have tried a lot before that didn't work. on the flipside, it's painfully slow, takes about forever for an album to upload, nothing near usb 2.0 transfer speed, anyone else got the same experience, or is it just my setup?

    • Yeah its taken me about 4 hours to sync 1050 songs. Anyone had any success getting files moving faster?

  24. I've been using the iFuse Rhythmbox combo exclusively with my iPhone and Touch successfully since February. This weekend I experienced my first problem. After extensively pruning my Touch, mostly removing duplicates, some of my Album Art shows up on the wrong songs or albums. I haven't spent any time yet attempting to diagnose this. Was wondering if anybody else has had this problem and has suggestions for repair or avoiding this issue in the future?

    Thanks for the help and the great tutorial.
    Nolo

  25. Ubuntu Lucid support iPod/iPhone syncing out of the box. No hacking/tweaking required. Simply plug in your iPhone and you will be able to sync with Rhythmbox.

  26. Not for me. My file manager sees the phone and I can browse the files it reveals, but Rhythmbox does not see my iPhone 3G. Any suggestions?

  27. Im on lucid. Rhythm recognizes my jailbreak 3g 4.0 but will not sync. I can see the device but theres no options when I click on the phone. No music or anything. I looked and found that iFuse was not installed so I installed it and still nothing. What do i do now? :)

  28. What about this?

    ubuntu@ubuntu:~$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:pmcenery/ppa
    sudo: add-apt-repository: command not found
    ubuntu@ubuntu:~$

  29. Very Nice info. Congratulations.
    My old hp nx9110 with kubuntu 9.4 connected immediately to my jailbroken iPhone 3GS with os 4.1.
    I can see all the device’s files.
    I can upload music to iPhone
    I can play only on av player
    Iphone’ s library seems to be broken, Either if the files are there. Other players cannot connect to the library.
    Any idea?

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