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Old 09-12-2006, 10:31 AM   #1
Registered: Jul 2004
Location: Panama City Beach, Florida
Distribution: Debian Etch
Posts: 150

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Jumping in to CLI, already stumped

ok.... so here's the situation.........
I'm running Debian Etch on my desktop. I have KDE as my GUI. I've been wanting to configure my ipod shuffle so that I can use it via Amerok; however I need to figure out how to configure the ipod so that Amerok recognizes it and can use it. I found an article in TUX magazine that addresses this, but am having problems in the text editing.
The TUX article indicates that I need to get into the /etc/fstab file and edit it as follows:
/dev/sda1 /mnt/ipod vfat noauto.user 0 0

the problem I am having is that after I edit the file as shown, I am not allowed to save the file because evidently I do not have permission. When I try to use the root terminal, even then I am advised that I do not have permission to edit this file.

where am I going wrong? I've tried using vi, and Kedit...... but without success.
Old 09-12-2006, 10:51 AM   #2
Senior Member
Registered: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,642

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Open a console and run:

$ kdesu kwrite /etc/fstab

A window will pop up and prompt you for your root password. Enter your root password and kwrite will come up and display /etc/fstab. You should now be able to edit and save your changes.

You need to be root to edit fstab. The above method launches kwrite with root privileges.

Finally, the edit should probably be:

/dev/sda1 /mnt/ipod vfat noauto,user 0 0


/dev/sda1 /mnt/ipod vfat noauto.user 0 0

I assume you just made a typo.
Old 09-12-2006, 11:48 AM   #3
Registered: Jul 2004
Location: Panama City Beach, Florida
Distribution: Debian Etch
Posts: 150

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
well..... your instructions sure were correct about being able to log in as superuser and change the file; however, after editing and saving the file Amerok still says that I need to configure the ipod. When I click on "connect" in the Amerok toolbar, it says no mounted ipod found.


I even experimented and went back to the fstab file and changed /mnt/ipod to /media/ipod..... same result. no mounted ipod found.
Old 09-12-2006, 12:26 PM   #4
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Registered: Aug 2003
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Now that you're added the fstab entry (which isn't even necessary, if I'm correct, but it's ok to have it there), do this in order to get the device function correctly:

1) plug the ipod in
2) if you don't have an automounter, mount the device as you would mount a normal USB mass storage disk:
mount /dev/sda1 /mnt/ipod
3) run Amarok. Go to Amarok Settings, click the "Media Devices" icon. Click "Autodetect devices", if your sda1 is not listed; after it is listed, change the Plugin: menu to "Apple iPod". Apply settings, OK to exit.
4) On the Media device (well the page where your iPod should be shown; I'm using finnish version so it might be called differently) page your iPod's content should be visible, so your iPod should be connected. If not, click the "Connect" button. Then click the tools icon ("Configure Device" -tooltip). It's vital the iPod is connected before the next step.
5) "Pre-connect command"-field: write here mount %d
6) "Post-disconnect command"-field: write here umount %d && eject %d
7) Press OK to exit, then Disconnect to eject your iPod.
8) Plug it out and plug it in, Amarok should automatically connect to it

that's how I did it. Hopefully I didn't forget anything. The thing is, at least iPod Shuffle has to be mounted before Amarok can connect to it, and you can set the pre/post-connection commands only after the iPod is connected (otherwise they don't get saved for that iPod). So first you manually mount the device, then you either manually or automatically connect to it in Amarok, then you put the pre/post-connection settings right (tell Amarok to mount the device automatically before connecting and umount/eject it after disconnecting, so the device always gets handled correctly), then disconnect the device to save this information and re-plug it in for use.

I've tested with my two iPod Shuffles (512MB) and it seems this procedure has to be done for each different Shuffle one by one. If you attempt to set the pre/post-connect settings when the iPod is not connected, they don't affect your iPod when it is connected, and in that case you'll always need to manually mount the device before connecting to it from Amarok, and umount it after you've disconnected from it in Amarok. That's why you want to automate this process using the Amarok settings -- this whole process (which is simple, even if this text seems difficult) is essential and only has to be done once per device.

In my opinion Amarok handles these iPod Shuffles way better than iTunes does. And after my iTunes (on Windows) started going mad and refused to work with any iPod, Amarok just continued to work (lockfile problem).

EDIT: if you happen to run into trouble, don't find the settings I told about, you happen to fail at some point or you just can't get your Shuffle work, I'll be glad to help. I just got my iPod working with Linux after I thought it was broken (thanks to iTunes), and I'm pretty sure I know how to do this now

If you want aid on any other matter I can help you in, feel free to ask personally. I can be found in the irc too (freenode), occasionally, and here at LQ surely.

Good luck, and have a nice day.

- Juho

Last edited by b0uncer; 09-12-2006 at 12:32 PM.
Old 09-13-2006, 08:54 PM   #5
Registered: Jul 2004
Location: Panama City Beach, Florida
Distribution: Debian Etch
Posts: 150

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
well..... it's been a crazy couple of days. Never could get Amarok and Ipod to work together, so I abandoned ETCH in an attempt with Ubuntu. That kept freezing up when trying to launch applications, so I thought...heck, give Sarge another go, but still can't get Sarge to recognize my onboard ethernet so that was a no-go. I then saw that ETCH has an AMD64 version ISO, and since I have an AMD64 system thought I'd try that. Several applications did not work with that version, so I just came back to regular ETCH. Now I'm working in a Gnome environment ( thought I'd give it a try over KDE.... Gnome looks cleaner ) not sure how well it works however.

Anyway......... so now I'm trying to figure out how to become superuser in a gnome text editor so I can modify my /etc/fstab file to mount my ipod

I can find instructions and help files for nano and gedit....but I've not been able to find instructions on how to become su so that I can save the changes I make to the file.

can someone help me out again?
Old 09-13-2006, 09:35 PM   #6
Registered: Aug 2005
Location: Lansing, IL
Distribution: Opensuse 11
Posts: 140

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Well, there is the tried and true method from a terminal. This will work regardless of your window manager/desktop environment. Open up a terminal (accessories --> terminal), type in su, enter root password, and you should get something like this:


you are now root, and to edit the fstab, type the following from your new root prompt:

gedit fstab

follow the above instructions for your fstab.

when your are done, type exit and you will be back to you.

Theoretically, though, you should be able to plug in the ipod, and gnome-volume-manager will mount it and place it on your desktop. That is, if ipods are recognized as mass storage devices (I do not have one to confirm). If not, editing the fstab will work, and if done as above, all you have to do is issue the command mount /mnt/ipod (or whatever your mount point is), cd to /mnt/ipod and see your files.

Another option for gnome is to check out gtk-pod: believe it is in the debian repositories.


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