I've tried different ways to install iTunes, but to no avail. I tried with Wine, but it didn't work. Is it possible to have iTunes on Ubuntu?

  • 2
    Why do you need to install iTunes?
    – NoBugs
    Nov 12, 2015 at 15:16
  • 6
    @NoBugs To properly manage an iOS device Jan 30, 2016 at 19:53
  • 1
    @BenMordecai You can move documents on/off the device with the instructions here: askubuntu.com/questions/685268
    – NoBugs
    Mar 24, 2016 at 14:31
  • 2
    You can manage music, audiobooks, podcasts, that are on VLC app, you can share to any app that supports iTunes-document-sharing.
    – NoBugs
    Mar 25, 2016 at 1:04
  • 43
    @NoBugs Could you be less helpful? The OP would not be asking if he/she did not have reasonable need; or, at least, he/she should be given the benefit of the doubt thereof. Yes, I would assert iTunes is a bloated mess, but the state of does not not imply the need for. Your response is a perfect example of a "pooh pooh" fallacy: you see no value in the question, and so you dismiss it.
    – tphelican
    May 14, 2016 at 10:01

8 Answers 8


You can try using PlayOnLinux.

PlayOnLinux is a graphical tool supplementing Wine.

To install PlayOnLinux on Ubuntu follow the below steps:

sudo wget -q "http://deb.playonlinux.com/public.gpg" -O- | sudo apt-key add -

Add playonlinux repository and install it

sudo wget http://deb.playonlinux.com/playonlinux_precise.list -O /etc/apt/sources.list.d/playonlinux.list
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install playonlinux

In case you get an error, do this else skip to next

sudo apt-get install curl p7zip-full p7zip-rar

Now run it

sudo playonlinux

iTunes on Ubuntu

  • Download iTunes
  • Navigate to the already open PlayOnLinux window and click on Install a non-listed program as shown below. enter image description here
  • Browse to the iTunes setup file. enter image description here
  • Click on Next and follow the installation instructions


  • it didnt work do you reckon you could do a video on it?
    – user243028
    Feb 3, 2014 at 6:35
  • 1
    Didn't manage to find a version of iTunes that would install on Ubuntu 12.04. Niether 32bit nor 64bit.
    – installero
    Oct 6, 2014 at 11:18
  • I don't think this is correct, and furthermore following these instructions and then running sudo apt-get -f install caused some crucial-sounding programs like upower and gnome-power-manager to be removed. Feb 24, 2015 at 17:40
  • syncing with i devices does not work
    – Abs
    Oct 27, 2016 at 7:11
  • 2
    sudo wget -q "http://deb.playonlinux.com/public.gpg" -O- | sudo apt-key add - Requesting over http defeats the purpose of a public key. Over https that page returns 404. Seriously, what do the playonlinux folks think a public key is for anyway?
    – Nateowami
    Dec 23, 2016 at 4:39

These solutions are in more detail and have screenshots here:

It is possible to run iTunes using Wine but you may have to download an older version and certain things will not work however these steps should allow you to at least get the program up and running:

  1. Go to Ubuntu menu and select

    System –> Administration –> Synaptic Package Manager

    then type ‘wine’ in quick search and select wine package.

  2. Hit Ctrl+I to mark it for installation or set a checkbox left to package name (it will also ask to mark several dependency packages).

  3. Press Apply button or hit Ctrl+P and confirm the installation.

  4. In a few minutes Ubuntu will download and install wine.

  5. After a confirmation message that packages were installed close Synaptic Package Manager. From this point wine is installed on your Ubuntu and you can run various windows applications including itunes.

  6. Download the latest version of iTunes from www.apple.com (today it is iTunes 9.2) or download one of previous versions from www.oldapps.com if the latest one poses problems or just refuses to install under wine emulator (this happens so be prepared for this situation).

  7. Open folder with downloaded itunes.exe (if you use Firefox as browser it’ll be saved directly to the desktop), select file and enter to file properties (right click –> Properties).

  8. Save changes and execute the file by double click. Follow itunes installation steps until it shows that installation is successfully finished.

  9. Once installation is finished you will be able to start itunes by clicking corresponding shortcut on Ubuntu desktop or running the following command in terminal (go to Ubuntu menu and select System –> Accessories –> Terminal):

    wine ~/.wine/dosdevices/c\:/Program Files/iTunes/iTunes.exe

The second and less popular way of getting iTunes running is by using a Virtualbox, and this way all of the features are available. To do so follow the steps provided here:

  1. Go to www.virtualbox.org and download the latest version of Virtualbox binary deb package for Ubuntu.

  2. Open downloaded package with GDebi Package Installer — it comes with Ubuntu by default and is associated with .deb files from the beginning so just double click Virtualbox deb package.

  3. Press ‘Install Package’ button and follow easy instructions to get Virtualbox package installed. Once finished you will get ‘Oracle VM Virtualbox’ item in Applications –> System Tools menu.

  4. Open

    Applications –> System Tools –> Oracle VM Virtualbox

    and press button ‘New’ to create virtual machine, and prepare virtual machine for Windows XP (you can also use other versions of Windows) operating system that will be used to run iTunes. You may need to look into Virtualbox's documents on setting up a virtual machine as they can be kinda tricky sometimes.

  5. Insert your preferred version of Windows media (disc, iso, or usb and I personally currently recommend Windows 7) and press ‘Start’ button to boot virtual machine. Install a copy of Windows to virtual machine and logon to the Windows desktop.

  6. In Windows inside virtual machine go to apple.com, download and install the latest version of iTunes. Once finished you will get workable itunes with all those terrific features it supports.

Another way to keep iTunes in your life is dual-booting Windows and Ubuntu.

And these are some alternatives to iTunes that work great in Ubuntu

  1. Rhythmbox — this one comes with Ubuntu by default so it’s even not necessary to install it, just go to

    Applications –> Sound and Video –> Rhythmbox Music Player.

    It provides powerful and easy music browser, can sort/search music of almost all known formats including streaming audio, can play and rip CDs and DVDs. One of the most important features of Rhythmbox is iPod support meaning e.g. I can connect my favourite ipod classic 160GB and transfer music to it without itunes at all. Developers say that Rhythmbox was inspired by Apple’s itunes. I believe them.

  2. Amarok — music player and manager with impressive list of features.

    Currently this is the most powerful music engine available for Ubuntu and Linux on the whole. Amarok makes it possible to transfer files to iPod and other mp3 players, to buy legal music from Magnatune (www.Magnatune.com) store, to create dynamic playlists, to import itunes music database and much-much more. Amarok was designed for KDE (while Ubuntu runs Gnome) desktop manager so it requires a lot of dependencies when you install it — be prepared to download 200 MB of staff to get Amarok installed.

  3. Banshee — is open source media player supported by Novel. It brings a lot of useful features to user starting from ability to manage music library and media art and ending with full support of video and podcasts. Banshee is one of the most pretty-looking application of this list, it took a lot of features from itunes and can also sync ipod and other media devices with your music and video library. I’m using Banshee for several years and still believe this is the best itunes-like music player for Ubuntu.

  4. Exaile — is very fast and easy-to-use music player for Gnome window manager. Currently it is on its early stage of development and didn’t reach 1.0 version but brings very powerful list of features like album art management, lyrics fetching or ipod device support. Exaile was designed as an alternative to Amarok and iTunes so you will find many features from them.

Buy legal music in Ubuntu without itunes

There are two major alternatives to iTunes Music Store in Ubuntu which can be used in the same way — Jamendo, Magnatune. Ubuntu applications Rhythmbox, Banshee, Amarok and Exaile supports mentioned music stores and make it possible to navigate the music store and buy the music as easily as in itunes music store. Also there are a lot of music stores like Amazon which makes it possible to preview and buy music using any browser like Firefox, Opera or Chromimum which are supported by Ubuntu.

  • While this link may answer the question, it is better to include the essential parts of the answer here and provide the link for reference. Link-only answers can become invalid if the linked page changes. Oct 10, 2014 at 18:19
  • Okay hmm, it's a pretty long and thorough page I guess I'll try to
    – Daniel
    Oct 10, 2014 at 18:34
  • This should be redone - suggesting the use of XP is dangerous as XP is no longer supported. You also assume the user has a disk
    – Thomas Ward
    Oct 10, 2014 at 19:02
  • This is alot of work :)
    – Daniel
    Oct 10, 2014 at 19:22
  • Also, the use of Wine for iTunes is bad - it doesn't effectively run anymore and can't actually be used with the mobile devices ("Mobile Device Support could not be initialized" is the error it throws). I have tested this multiple times too and confirmed this.
    – Thomas Ward
    Jan 7, 2015 at 13:29
  1. Install VirtualBox: https://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Linux_Downloads
  2. Create a Windows VM
  3. Install iTunes in the running VM: https://www.apple.com/itunes/download/
  • 3
    Install a separate, bloated OS to run bloated iTunes software, just to move some files onto iDevice? Why not use libimobiledevice? I use it to transfer books, audio and view the shared-documents on apps that support it.
    – NoBugs
    Nov 12, 2015 at 15:03
  • 3
    Because libimobiledevice cannot manage audio on modern iOS versions. Jan 31, 2016 at 14:16
  • @BenMordecai You can move audio to and from VLC and any other apps that support document sharing.
    – NoBugs
    Jul 28, 2016 at 5:26
  • 1
    But not any of the native apps. Jul 28, 2016 at 12:10
  • @BenMordecai I agree; it's pretty funky. However, it does work. I personally use this just to make iPhone backups. Mar 18, 2017 at 15:51


Tunesviewer: Lightweight, easy-to-use app for university podcast access.

I might be a little bit late, and this solution does not provide all iTunes functionalities but its enough for streaming/downloading podcasts and iTunesU content.

  • 2
    Just what I needed! Cheers.
    – alex
    Jan 20, 2016 at 16:02
  • 1
    That looks like a promising solution! Does it allow the user to leave a review (rating) for a podcast shown on iTunes?
    – orschiro
    Jan 28, 2016 at 5:38
  • @orschiro not that I know of!
    – Yan Foto
    Jan 28, 2016 at 9:42
  • 1
    What a bummer. I appreciate your response! Let me know if you are aware of any way to submit a rating or review to a podcast on iTunes.
    – orschiro
    Jan 28, 2016 at 13:34

You don't need to install the repo to get PlayOnLinux, as the standard repos contain it. It can be found by using the following command:

sudo apt-get install playonlinux

You will also need to do install curl and 7zip as mentioned above:

sudo apt-get install curl p7zip-full p7zip-rar
  • Definitely a good point! Could you move this to a comment on the top answer so it's more visible?
    – bonh
    Nov 6, 2016 at 3:03
  • This helped - along w/ not running planonlinux as root
    – rbj
    Feb 2, 2021 at 17:39

Alternatively, if you can't get Itunes stable on your desktop, you can try a native approach. Such as the libimobiledevice-dev. Last time since I tried it, was when I had the Iphone 3. It did work for me then. And the status of their features has only gone greener since then. Development is still on going:


17.10.2014: usbmuxd-1.1.0.tar.bz2 has been officially released.


Iphone support:

Tested with iPod Touch 1G/2G/3G/4G/5G, iPhone 1G/2G/3G/3GS/4/4S/5/5C/5S/6/6+, iPad 1/2/3/4/Mini/Mini 3/Air/Air 2 and Apple TV 2G/3G running up to firmware 8.1.2 on Linux, Mac OS X and Windows.

Install it like so:

sudo apt-get install libimobiledevice-dev

Reboot your system and you will be able to do with it whatever you want, using file-managers and Media Players.can read.


  • 1
    This will not work with the latest iPhones and iOS software.
    – Thomas Ward
    Jan 7, 2015 at 13:28
  • @ThomasW. Tested with iPod Touch 1G/2G/3G/4G/5G, iPhone 1G/2G/3G/3GS/4/4S/5/5C/5S/6/6+, iPad 1/2/3/4/Mini/Mini 3/Air/Air 2 and Apple TV 2G/3G running up to firmware 8.1.2 on Linux, Mac OS X and Windows.
    – blade19899
    Jan 13, 2015 at 9:44
  • Tried yesterday, still a no-go - you need the Debian Sid packaging or newer I believe to make it truly work
    – Thomas Ward
    Jan 13, 2015 at 13:35
  • @ThomasW. You could try to compile the latest version? If only I still had an Iphone... wait, scratch that last part. I might compile the latest version myself. Make a deb, and post it on-line.
    – blade19899
    Jan 13, 2015 at 13:42
  • @ThomasW. It does work with the latest iOS. If it doesn't work for you did you have the latest version? There is a PPA if you don't want to compile: launchpad.net/~martin-salbaba/+archive/ubuntu/…
    – NoBugs
    Nov 12, 2015 at 14:59

MIGRATE YOUR ITUNE FOLDER instead of installing iTunes on Ubuntu. Use banshee instead. Just wanted to post a follow up to what I said above:

Please note that I just tested this and it works

Copy your iTunes folder from it's location in Windows (under My Music) to an external HDD or USB Thumb drive.

After you have Ubuntu installed you need to install Banshee because 12.04 comes with Rhythm Box by default. In my case I also installed ALL of the (install banshee from the software center first) and then install all the Banshee add-on's listed under Banshee in the Ubuntu Software Center. You also should install (from the Software Center) the Ubuntu Restricted Codecs (it's called UBUNTU RESTRICTED EXTRAS).

OK after all that is done go ahead and fire up Banshee and select (from the top) EDIT then under that select PREFERENCES

Checkmark the option called, "Copy Files to media folders when importing". The only other thing I checkmarked on this page was the "Update file and folder names" (everything else is optional)

After you do that select (from the top) MEDIA then under that select IMPORT MEDIA

Now change the selection to read, "iTunes Media Player"

It will now let you browse to your iTunes folder and select the XML file. The file is under the iTunes folder (it's easy to find). Select it and click "open" and then "import"

Banshee will now add the iTunes songs to itself BUT (and this is the important part) it will also copy all your music to your Ubuntu MUSIC folder.

After it is done your music is in your Ubuntu MUSIC folder and you can continue to use Banshee or use Rhythm Box or any other Linux based music player.

Hope this helps!

  • Does Banshee sync the music to VLC or other players, because I hear Apple decided a few versions ago that no-one should be able to add music to the main iTunes-player on device.
    – NoBugs
    Nov 12, 2015 at 15:04

Work-around (Ubuntu 16.04 at time of writing): Use built-in RDP (Remmina) with audio enabled. I'm listening to my iTunes Home Server now...

  • Please do not post the same answer twice on different questions.
    – fosslinux
    Aug 3, 2016 at 0:38

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