Help answer threads with 0 replies.
Go Back > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Hardware
User Name
Linux - Hardware This forum is for Hardware issues.
Having trouble installing a piece of hardware? Want to know if that peripheral is compatible with Linux?


  Search this Thread
Old 05-04-2008, 05:24 PM   #1
Senior Member
Registered: Apr 2005
Location: BrewCity, USA (Milwaukee, WI)
Distribution: Xubuntu 9.10, Gentoo 2.6.27 (AMD64), Darwin 9.0.0 (arm)
Posts: 1,152

Rep: Reputation: 46
Does anyone have experience with the iPod touch?

Hi I have an iPod touch I've had it for about 6 months. I jailbroke it the first day I got it and have all sorts of cool software on it like games, tcpdump and a terminal emulator (Unix in my pocket is so very nice )

One of the first things I looked into was syncing with my Linux computer but all I could find is one howto on the site which shows how to set it up for ubuntu with gtkpod or amarock but with no cover art! Half the reason I bought the thing was for touch screen coverflow I have about 20Gb of music all with cover art.

So what did I do? I just used it with iTunes on my G4 iBook and all was well but I keep most of my media and do all of my video encoding on my Linux box so I had to move things from Linux -> Mac -> iPod now the thing is my mac died a horible long draged out death. (at the end it had a woodworking clamp holding the GPU in place and was running off 2 12v Lead-Acid scooter batteries) I have had the same 8Gb of music and video on my iPod ever since.

So as I understand it the ipod touch must be jailbroken and set up to alow your linux box to log in over ssh and copy things using scp. I've had all of this sorted out for months but then you are suposed to install the ipod-convenience package from a certain repository and such. Well I don't use ubuntu I don't have synaptic I use Gentoo. I've got no problem installing from the source or cvs but it would be nice to know what version of what will work for me. I'm revisiting this problem after almost 6 months and finding various reports of cover art does or doesn't work, no idea of weather I can add videos or not and almost every bit of information either leads back to the same ubuntu guide or is totally useless.

Has there really been no development on this wonderful little device? does anyone have one of these working with linux and what works for you? I don't care what software I have to use to manage the thing I just want to be able to change my music around and keep the cover art and maybe put some tv shows on there.

Last edited by johnson_steve; 05-04-2008 at 05:27 PM.
Old 05-05-2008, 04:31 AM   #2
LQ Guru
Registered: Aug 2003
Distribution: CentOS, OS X
Posts: 5,131

Rep: Reputation: Disabled
Well, by design, it shouldn't work under Linux so don't expect any official support anywhere but that you knew already. Second thing is, it's so damn expensive (compared to other similar devices) that I don't believe too many Linux users bother buying it, knowing that it probably doesn't work well. Even jailbreaking has some potential traps, so better own a Mac before owning an iPod Touch.

But into the business. The Ubuntu guide is surely not distribution-specific. It should mention the software used and the configurations done, and you should then be able to just hunt the same software for Gentoo, install (compile?) it and do the same things - right? Or you could even use an utility like deb2tgz to explode the Debian package (click the reposity link mentioned in the guide, find and download the .deb file you need) if you need; though at least the ipod convenience package seems to exist as a .tar.gz so you could just as well download and work with that.

As of now I don't think there's a smoothly working, bullet-proof solution to get your device work like a dream. The best you can do is follow the unsupported routes, and before going there, backing up your iPod content - so that if you manage to wreck it up, you can try to recover it.
Old 06-23-2008, 02:44 PM   #3
Senior Member
Registered: Apr 2005
Location: BrewCity, USA (Milwaukee, WI)
Distribution: Xubuntu 9.10, Gentoo 2.6.27 (AMD64), Darwin 9.0.0 (arm)
Posts: 1,152

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 46
Originally Posted by b0uncer View Post
As of now I don't think there's a smoothly working, bullet-proof solution to get your device work like a dream. The best you can do is follow the unsupported routes, and before going there, backing up your iPod content - so that if you manage to wreck it up, you can try to recover it.
Well I do have it working like a dream! Everything but Photo support (Not a huge deal for me.) Even better then it could work with a mac!

- Wireless Sync (no need to ever plug my iPod in except to charge it!)

- Album Art

- Video Files

- Instant Access to all my media over wifi (streaming)

- gcc and other wonderful unixy things in the palm of my hand

- Metasploit 3.2 (Pen testing from an iPod is slick.)

Not that anyone cares but this is what worked for me:

1) buy and iPod touch. This was the most simple and most difficult step. Simple because all I had to do was go to the apple store and whip out a wad of cash. (after finding out I had to wait in a special line because I intended to pay in cash.) Difficult because I work hard for my money and $300 was nothing to sneeze at. I justified this to myself by reasoning: this will be my new laptop; I need a new portable anyways as my iBook now runs of a 30lbs. battery pack making it not quite portable.

2) Set up your wireless network: no DHCP People! you want to use static IP addresses so your iPod always has the same address. mine is at with being my linksys wrt54g and being my gentoo box.

3) Jailbreak the motherfscker. I don't know why everyone wouldn't do this the device is quite lame as it comes from apple. I bought mine last fall I took it out of the box and went to to jailbreak it. the site exploited a weakness in safari and was able to execute it's code afterwards it patched the weakness in safari making it much more secure then stock. Unless your iPod has firmware 1.1.1 the procedure for jailbreaking may differ but won't be overly complicated.

4) Install a few essentials. Use the new installer icon to install some cool new stuff like: OpenSSH and BSD subsystem (both required to make your iPod work with linux.) I would recommend installing Cydia it is a graphical front end for an apt-get based package management system with some very nice unixy things all ported over to the iPod/iPhone. get mobileTerminal from Cydia. It is the best terminal app available and supports 4 simultaneous terminals custom colors and programmable multitouch shortcuts. it also works in landscape mode making typing much more tolerable.

Basically the situation is this: while all previous iPods (this is my 5th iPod) were standard usb mass-storage devices the new iPod isn't. they use an encrypted system that doesn't work with linux, so we say "well screw you apple and your little white cable too!" we use fuse to mount the iPods filesystem over wifi using ssh. I can put new songs on my ipod even if I forgot it in my car. try that with a mac!

WARNING: Some of the following will be gentoo specific I will try to note where as to not confuse you but I don't have much experience with other distros.

5) make sure your kernel supports fuse if it doesn't rebuild it. you should be able to check like this:

zcat /proc/config.gz | grep CONFIG_FUSE_FS
it should return this:
install sshfs-fuse for gentoo this is as simple as:
emerge sshfs-fuse
but if all else fails get it from:

6. passwordless ssh. now you should be able to mount your iPod and get at the files but you need a password; that's no ggod if you want to automate things with a script. so lets make it work without a password. do this stuff as your regular user not root!

check if you already have a keyfile:
cat ~/.ssh/
If not make one like this:
ssh-keygen -t rsa
Just push enter a bunch to use all the defaults. do not put in a key phrase! just push enter.

now copy your key to your ipod like so:
scp ~/.ssh/ root@
WARNING: Newer iPods use the account media instead of root you may have to adjust some things.

Log into your iPod:
ssh root@
now do this:
chmod 0755 ~ ~/.ssh
chmod 0644 ~/.ssh/*
and edit the config file:
nano /etc/sshd_config
adjust it a bit:
RSAAuthentication yes
PubkeyAuthentication yes
AuthorizedKeysFile      %h/.ssh/authorized_keys
Reboot you iPod:
If you did it right you should now be able to log into or mount your iPod without entering a password.

7. Get and install iPod Convenience: I got it off the web site:

this is just a few shell-scripts to simplify things follow the instructions in the README and you should be able to mount and unmount your iPod like so:
WARNING: Make sure your iPod is pluged in the first time it needs to get some information from lsusb in order to work properly if it isn't plugged in it writes the incorect information to your ipod and you have to find it and delete it or it won't try again.

8) Linux side software: I am using:

libgpod 0.6.0


gtkpod 0.99.12

this is important older versions won't work.

At this point you should have a fully funtional iPod adding photos seems to work but when you try to view them on the iPod it doesn't.

I found out that the ipod will play ipod formatted files off the web through safari and thought since I have many, many tv shows and movies on a 250Gb hard disk in my gentoo box, why limit myself to 8Gb.

So I set up an apache web server on my gentoo box and put symbolic links to my ~/Movies , ~/Music and ~/Roms in /var/www/localhost/htdocs . now (on my ipod outside in the shade with a nice cold beer) I surf over to:

and I can watch any of my movies or tv shows listen to any of my music and download roms to play on the emulators i have on the ipod. this is by far my favorite thing to do at home with my iPod but since it would be a whole lot less cool without my huge collection of ipod friendly .mp4 files here are some simple scripts I use to encode video:

This one rips a dvd and encodes it in 1 step with mencoder if you can watch your dvd with mplayer this should make it work on your iPod:


# Rip a dvd and encode it to an iPod friendly .mp4
# blatantly plagiarized from others and the Advanced bash scripting guide

echo "rip2mp4"

if [ -n "$1" ]
# Should we rip a real dvd or an image file?
	echo "Using dvd image: $1"
	echo "No dvd image Specified Using: /dev/dvd" # Default, if not specified

# What movie is it?

title=`lsdvd $drive | grep "Disc Title:" | sed 's/Disc Title: //'`
echo "Ripping dvd: " $title 

mencoder -dvd-device $drive -ofps 25 -of lavf -lavfopts format=mp4 -af lavcresample=44100 -vf-add harddup -vf-add scale=480:-11 -oac lavc -ovc lavc -lavcopts aglobal=1:vglobal=1:acodec=libfaac:abitrate=128:vcodec=mpeg4:vbitrate=384:keyint=25 -o "$title.mp4" dvd://$2
./rip2mp4 - to rip a dvd

./rip2mp4 movie.iso - to rip a dvd from an image file


./rip2mp4 /dev/dvd 2 - to rip title #2 off a dvd (usefull when a dvd has 2 versions of a movie on it) replace /dev/dvd with an image file to use that instead.

this one converts video files


# Create the MP4

mencoder -ofps 25 -of lavf -lavfopts format=mp4 -af lavcresample=44100 -vf-add harddup -vf-add scale=480:320 -oac lavc -ovc lavc -lavcopts aglobal=1:vglobal=1:acodec=libfaac:abitrate=128:vcodec=mpeg4:vbitrate=384:keyint=25 -o "$1.mp4" "$1"
this streches the file to fit the ipod screen. this is not always desirable but I had a bunch of svcd format .mpg movies that were 480x480 with an aspect of 0 and looked terrible otherwise if you are working with better source files change:

scale=480:320 to scale=480:-11

this will scale the width to fit but not the hight this works very good for widescreen formats.

Well I'm going to stop now as I want a sandwich. If anyone finds this useful, or confusing please let me know.

Last edited by johnson_steve; 06-23-2008 at 03:00 PM.
Old 06-25-2008, 11:07 AM   #4
LQ Guru
Registered: May 2005
Location: boston, usa
Distribution: fedora-30
Posts: 5,290

Rep: Reputation: 916Reputation: 916Reputation: 916Reputation: 916Reputation: 916Reputation: 916Reputation: 916Reputation: 916
i dunno' about ipod but my archos av500 portable dvr is able to display albumart while playing back songs.

the .jpeg is embedded in the .mp3 so you do something like
eyeD3 –add-image=”$IMAGE”:FRONT_COVER “$FILENAME”

like every other mp3 player when you plug in the media player you can drag-and-drop the .mp3 to a directory on the unit.

Last edited by schneidz; 06-25-2008 at 11:08 AM.


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Linux OS for Apple Ipod Touch theunixwizard Linux - Laptop and Netbook 2 04-30-2008 08:45 PM
WTS apple ipod Touch jdphones1 Linux - Newbie 1 02-08-2008 07:27 PM
NOKIA 770 vs Ipod touch netlogic Linux - Hardware 1 10-28-2007 10:36 AM
Maxtor 200gb One Touch HD Experience MugenAcc99 Linux - Hardware 1 08-06-2004 02:57 AM > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Hardware

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:34 PM.

Main Menu
Write for LQ is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration