I recently got an iPhone and would like to know how i could use it to sync with an iTunes like software on Linux.

Any suggestions?

  • 2
    You might want to ask your question again with a different title. People seem to be answering the question asked in the title (giving you Linux music players) instead of answering your detailed question (syncing with your iPhone). (I'd say "edit the title" but there's a lot of good answers here to the question of "iTunes alternatives".) – quark Jul 21 '09 at 23:27

The short answer is you can't legitimately sync iPhones in Linux.

Ubuntu has a wiki page about syncing iPhone/iPod Touch here. If the the iPhone has firmware 3.0 or greater there is no way to sync outside of iTunes. The suggestions on the site are: virtualise Windows or jailbreaking the iPhone (see instructions for firmware V1 and firmware V2). With some hacks you can then sync music on old firmware.

Edit: there has been some progress on iPhone OS 3.0 with usbmuxd (I notice that the wiki linked above has also been updated to reflect this). I'm not certain whether this method require a jailbroken iPhone.

  • 1
    +1 because this seems like the only answer that actually answers the original question. – Sasha Chedygov Jul 21 '09 at 21:18
  • Does iTunes run under Wine? If I switch over to Linux completely, I'd rather not have to buy a copy of Windows just to virtualize. – David Thornley Dec 10 '09 at 15:14
  • @David, recent version of iTunes (8.x and 9.x) run very poorly or nor at all. There is ongoing work getting iPhone OS 3.0 to sync with linux: marcansoft.com/blog/2009/10/iphone-syncing-on-linux – redacted Dec 14 '09 at 10:09

Banshee & SongBird work well as an iTunes replacement for iPods, however iPhones cannot by synced.

  • 1
    Banshee can't sync iPhones or iPod Touches, see the Hardware section of banshee-project.org/support/faq – redacted Jul 21 '09 at 8:49
  • updated to reflect – John T Jul 21 '09 at 9:02
  • Songbird can't do it either, getsongbird.com/features , 'In Progress', 'Devices': "Apple iPhones, iPod Touch and Microsoft Zune devices are not yet supported." They implemented a workaround which exports from Songbird to iTunes, then syncs the iPhone with iTunes. Doesn't work on Linux though as you need iTunes installed. – redacted Jul 21 '09 at 9:45
  • hmm thats odd O_o – John T Jul 21 '09 at 10:35


I think this is the best music player for Linux. Massive amount of features, but last time I check it was a little bit bloated. Just like iTunes :)

Unlike everything else on this list, Amarok is QT based. Which could be bad or good depending on your perception. However it works fine under Gnome.


Rhythm Box

Default music player for the Gnome desktop. Simple and straightforward.

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Mono based GTK player, very similar to Rhythm Box.

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Quod Libet

Simple, fast music player. In the vein of Foobar for Windows. Not sure if it is actively developed anymore. My second choice after Amarok.

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Up and coming open source music player. I have yet to be impressed so far.

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  • 2
    Songbird isn't made by Mozilla, it's just based on Mozilla's XULRunner. Just a small nitpick. :) – Sasha Chedygov Jul 21 '09 at 19:01
  • Oh really, I will correct myself them, thank you. – James McMahon Jul 21 '09 at 21:10
  • 1
    songbird team has officially discontinued its linux support :( – Jonathan Sep 1 '10 at 6:21

Related question: iPod management software for Linux.


Definitely amarok. It has large set of features and works very well. In fact it is one of the few KDE apps that are tolerated in my GNOME environment;-) And yes, it can sync with iPods and iPhones (if they are jailbroken).

  • This is the zinger isn't it... I've really wanted to avoid jail-breaking my phone, but honestly I'm tired of using iTunes especially since i have to boot into windows to use it (not to mention I hate how sluggish it is, and no I've never used it on a Mac). Maybe I will do this now... calls for a new question on this site! – codeLes Jul 21 '09 at 13:33

You should also check out Feed Flipper. It's a free online service that converts an iTunes-only podcast into a RSS feed which can be subscribed to from any RSS news reader, like Banshee/Rhythmbox/Amarok/etc.

Feed Flipper: http://picklemonkey.net/flipper/convert.php

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