Is it at all possible for a virtual machine running Windows 7/8.1/10 on VMWare or VirtualBox on a Ubuntu GNOME 15.10 host, to detect an iPhone 4S running iOS 9.2.1 as an iPhone and for iTunes on the virtual machine to sync and backup the iPhone? I've tried it many times and I could only get the virtual machine to detect my phone as a storage device, not a phone and therefore I couldn't sync it. I'm trying to do this so I can switch from Windows to Ubuntu for good, and this is the only obstacle. I'd appreciate any help with this.

  • Also to let you know you can not definitively run iTunes using wine or similar solutions and also using a Windows virtual machine doesn't really make it an Ubuntu issue just because your using it inside Ubuntu. – xangua Feb 16 '16 at 15:52
  • Actually you can run older versions of iTunes on Wine but syncing and backups don't work. And it is a Ubuntu issue since my main problem is to sync/backup my phone with Ubuntu. The virtual machine was just a suggestion. Plus, having a virtual machine running Windows on a Ubuntu host recognize my device, is a Ubuntu + VirtualBox/VMWare issue. – Ahmed Anwar Feb 16 '16 at 15:56
  • In addition to steps outlined by lfcmaniac, I also had to install the USB 3.0 Windows Drivers as well. I found them here: Intel USB 3.0 Driver Link – pokkie Jul 21 '18 at 17:01

I found the following procedure listed on a couple of forums and websites. Just tried it out with my iPhone 5S on a Windows 7 VM with a Ubuntu 14.04 host and it works fine.

  1. Install VirtualBox and the VirtualBox Extension Pack. Find them both here. Create a Windows virtual machine.
  2. On your host Ubuntu machine, run the following command -

    sudo usermod -a -G vboxusers <USERNAME>

    Replace <USERNAME> with your username, of course.

  3. Log out and log back in. (This seems to be important!)

  4. Run VirtualBox. Open the Settings to your Windows VM. Under the USB tab you'll be able to choose your Apple device by clicking on the + button on the right.

  5. Run your Windows VM now and install iTunes. You'll be able to sync and backup like normal.

Hope this helps you out!

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  • 1
    In addition to this, I needed to set the USB connection as USB 3.0 in the Windows USB settings page. This was on a Windows 10 Pro guest and a Linux Mint 19 host. iPhone 7. – kas Jul 14 '18 at 5:55

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