I recently got an iPhone 6s. Is there a way to transfer files (music, photos, PDF, or really anything actually) between Ubuntu and the phone? It should not involve syncing via an internet service, as I may have the need to transfer large or private files. Also, I do not want to jailbreak the device.

There are a few results when searching for this on Google, but none seems very up to date.


I don't know whether there's any difference between versions, but I can simply access the files of my iPhone 5s via the file manager when it's plugged over USB (using the AFC protocol).

I'm using iOS 9.2 beta, I have no idea whether it works on 9.1 or earlier. I can access the device from Nautilus' sidebar, if it doesn't show up, try navigating to the following address:

afc://<your iPhone's UDID>/

Also, most music players (at least Rythmbox, Banshee and Clementine) support music synchronization over AFC (Apple File Conduit).

EDIT: I just learned I can easily synchronize my pictures using tools like gThumb.

  • it's plugged over USB (using the AFC protocol) how to connect like this – Kasun Siyambalapitiya Sep 25 '16 at 2:58
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    Just plug it in, and it should show up. If it doesn't, make sure you have the package gvfs-backends installed. – s3lph Sep 25 '16 at 20:35
  • I ran sudo apt-get update and then sudo apt-get install gvsf-backends then it notifies me that I am having the latest one installed. But when I connect iphone to Ubuntu, only I am able to copy the camera photos ( and other pdfs, pptx...) to my computer only, I cannot copy ones from my computer to the iphone. I even tried Banshee but it doesnot have devices tab in the left side. How to Sync music and videos from Ubuntu 16.04 to iphone 4s? – Kasun Siyambalapitiya Sep 26 '16 at 1:28
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    pretty sure it should be sudo apt-get install gvfs-backends – Chris Mar 15 '17 at 0:13
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    If you don't know the UDID, check out this answer. Also, if the phone's documents folder shows up automatically you can click it, press Ctrl+L and delete the colon and everything after it like it is shown in this picture. – totymedli Nov 22 '17 at 20:34

Apple constantly breaks Linux applications' access to iPhones. As of 2019, the best way of uploading and downloading files is to use a 3rd party app on iOS. Apparently, the file you upload is only accessible by that 3rd app.

Phone Drive is a good app for this. First, take note of the IP address of your iPhone, then, when PhoneDrive is in the foreground, typing the IP address of the iPhone from a PC connected to the same local area network would give you a website where you can upload and download files. You can also use FTP protocol on the same iPhone IP address. Phone Drive supports playback of a lot of video and music formats.


  • Thank you, Unfortunately, this does not help much. First, as you notice, the file you upload is only accessible by that 3rd app. This makes the upload feature essentially unuseful. Symmetrically, I guess it will not be able to download, say, photos taken with the phone. In the end, this can be occasionally useful to move a file when you don't have a pendrive and plan to use that file elsewhere (say on another computer), but not much more – Andrea Jan 3 '19 at 12:59

Sandisk now makes a USB device that plugs directly into the iphone and can backup and move pictures, music, calendar items, and some file items. It can't do notes and some other items, but what it does it does very well. It is especially nice for multiple large video files. Just dump it on the usb pen drive and plug it into whatever and move the files over.

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