I need to update firmware of my iPod Touch (iPhone) in Ubuntu and as I have jailbroken iPod Touch I need iTunes to install apps, but unfortunately haven't found any ways to do that in Ubuntu yet. I know that it is possible to use VirtualBox or Wine, but still in the most of the times iTunes doesn't want to work on Wine and for VirtualBox I need to install again that Windows from which I switched into Ubuntu just a few months ago and don't want to go back to it.

What do Linux users who have iPod Touch(iPhone) do in this case?

Any suggestions to solve the problem will be pleased.

And finally,how long will it be before Apple develops iTunes for Linux OS?

  • 4
    You should probably re-title this as something along the lines of 'How to update iPod firmware from Ubuntu' as your title is subjective for the most part and not really to the point of your question
    – manyxcxi
    Jul 28 '10 at 22:36
  • 1
    Agreed with the above, those downvoting ought to read the question however as it is a legitimate query.
    – Ross
    Jul 28 '10 at 22:48

While some older versions of iTunes can currently be made to work with Wine (or Crossover), they cannot be used to update or sync newer iPods

The reason is that Wine lacks a handler for Windows USB device drivers, and the iPod acts as a custom USB device. This is the same reason that software that requires a special key dongle also doesn't (yet) work in Wine. There are some preliminary patches available for this, and you can read more history on the Wine wiki, however don't expect anything to work.

The only iPods that currently work in Wine are really old iPods that act as simple USB mass storage devices. And even then you still need to find an older, working iTunes.

Because of this problem in Wine, to do the firmware upgrade you'll need to either setup a virtual machine with Virtualbox or VMware or, perhaps more simply, borrow someone else's computer.

  • Yes I have done this. I have installed VirtualBox and updated my ipod there in Windows.
    – Bakhtiyor
    Dec 6 '10 at 12:37

I don't know if this works with your iPod touch, but it works for my older iPods: http://code.google.com/p/ipod-update/

  • Unfortunately the iPod Touch and iPhone work completely differently so this would not work. Oct 6 '10 at 23:02

Looking at the Crossover page for iTunes, a couple of versions have been reported to work somewhat. Crossover costs money, but it may be worth it for you.


Firmware-Upgrade didn't work for me: Ubuntu 8.04 LTS with vmplayer and an old XP with iTunes.

No chance. the iphone was out of order for the rest of the day until i pluged it on my windows pc at my job-side.

From this point of view: apple-products are an absolutely No-Go! Why do i need a windows or mac with itunes for having a phone? Where is it stated that on buying that 'thing-a-magic' i need a running iTunes to make it work? Who knows the costs on before?

  • 4
    It's becoming more common knowledge that Apple products only work in their own little ecosystem, but that doesn't help a product like Ubuntu where people already have something that works and are more likely to reject the new thing (Ubuntu) than the old thing (their iFruit player).
    – Broam
    Sep 30 '10 at 14:47


It's still experimental but you should check libimobiledevice. There is no GUI as of yet, but they're working on getting ipod touch models to work on Linux (including software up and downgrade).

Edit: According to the Ubuntu Wiki this is the default since at least 14.04 and implemented in various projects. Check the news and status on the libimobiledevice project page for details. Currently they claim that they support iOS 9, which was still in beta at the time of writing.


I tired to update my iPhone firmware form v2 to v3 using iTunes running in VMware. The process stoped mid stream and the iPhone was rendered useless. I hooked it up to a friend's windows machines and after several update attempts it came back to life.

Updates withing the same major versions worked fine in iTunes/VMware though.

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