Why Sync iPhone with Linux?
Gadget lovers attached to mobile devices and PCs alike have the ever-popular issue of synchronizing contents of the mobile device with that of the PC. Be it music, address book contacts, photos, bookmarked websites etc, the syncing process helps you not to lose any important item residing on your digital companion regardless the circumstances, time and location.
For Apple iPhones however, the manufacturers have made it difficult to sync the iPhone with other third party applications. Despite these constraints, ardent Linux hackers have come up with methods to achieve this particular capability, and impressively in more efficient ways than traditional syncing methods available on Windows mobile and Apple Mac platforms.
The guide below shows the steps required to sync your iPhone/iPod over a wireless network connection with your PC powered by Linux. For explanation purposes, the particular Linux distribution is Ubuntu 8.04 on an iPod. Nevertheless, the steps do not differ drastically for iPhones and other flavors of Linux.
The Syncing Process
To start the syncing process one needs to first jailbreak your Apple device. Jailbreaking allows the user to gain complete accessibility to the entire Unix file system, thus enabling him/her to add any application of his/her choice to the Apple device. However, it is important to note that jail-breaking inadvertently makes you lose the warranty you gain with your iDevice. Another important point is to take a backup of your phone before attempting with any of these the nitty-gritty so that you will not lose on everything for being too adventurous!
There are many ways to accomplish the jail-breaking process. This how-to guide explains the jailbreaking process achieved with the use of ZiPhone application.
- First, turn the phone on, go to Settings->General->Auto-Lock.
- Choose Auto-Lock option ‘Never’.
This option prevents the phone from being disconnected during long file transfers.
- ZiPhone installs BSD Subsystem and OpenSSH, two third party applications that you will require to go ahead with the syncing process.
- For iDevices without ZiPhone application, it is possible to get it installed from Installer.app link.
- Run ZiPhone application and follow the on-screen instructions. After the application exits your iDevice will be successfully unlocked.
After the jailbreaking process you need to connect your iDevice to the same Wi-Fi network that your PC is connected to. In order to do this on your iPhone, you need to:
- Go to Main Menu->Settings connect to same Wi-Fi Network
- Note down the IP address you receive
- Click on ‘Static’ button to retain your IP address whenever your iDevice connects to the network
- Then go to Main Menu->Settings->General->Auto Lock
- Choose option ‘Never’ (same reason as in step 1)
- Open up a terminal and ensure libgpod3 is installed
- Then install ipod-convenience application in synaptic. In Ubuntu the command is:
#sudo apt-get install ipod-convenience
- When ipod-convenience is being installed you will be prompted to enter your phone’s IP address. Submit the IP address you noted down from step 2
- Accept the default mount point (/media/iphone)
- Connect the iPhone/iPod to the PC with the USB cord.
- Open a terminal enter the command:
For iPhones, the command is:
- Once the connection is made, you will be prompted for the root user password
- Enter the password. The default password is ‘alpine’
- This completes the mounting process, thus enables your iDevice to access your Linux system’s files.
- Once the syncing process is complete, you should always unmount the device from your Linux system. To unmount an iPod, open a terminal and type
For iPhones, the command is:
- Re-enter the password, when prompted. This completes the unmounting procedure