How to sync your iPad with Linux

Apple makes some great hardware, but their closed eco system is far from Linux-friendly. Thankfully it can be done - here's how you can use your iPad, iPhone and iPod with your Ubuntu Linux computer…


Sync your contacts via Ubuntu One

Ubuntu One is a cloud-hosted storage and streaming platform from Canonical. It is available as a limited free version as well as a paid service with more space and features. You can use it to synchronise your iPhone or iPad contacts and other information with your Ubuntu computer.

16. Working with Ubuntu One
Head over to and create an account for yourself. Then you will be instructed to add a repository to your installer setup. After this you can install the Ubuntu One client with the command ‘# sudo apt-get install ubuntuone-client’. Once the installation is complete, you should find the Ubuntu One application installed under Applications> Internet>Ubuntu One. Follow the steps shown in the application in order to add your computer to your account.

17. Set up your device
Head over to and set up your device with your account. Note that the mobile version of this service comes at a price, which is mentioned on the website. You will require a username and password for this account. Take note of this information as you will need it later.

18. Install Ubuntu One Contact
On your Apple mobile device, search for and install the Ubuntu One Contact app from the App Store. Launch it and enter your username and password along with the server address as ‘’. Once you have done all this, like magic, your contacts will be synced with your account. Go to the Contacts tab in the Ubuntu One Dashboard to view them. You can set the details of how you want the sync to your account on the app on your mobile device.

19. Integration with Nautilus

If you are an Ubuntu 10.04 or 10.1 user, one thing you might notice is how well your Apple device integrates with the Nautilus file manager. You can not only browse through the contents of your device, but Nautilus also gives you a link to view and manage your photos and music with the applications available for these tasks.

20. Unmount
When you are done with using your iPad, iPod or iPhone with Linux, make sure you unmount the device before you unplug it from the computer. Right-click on the Desktop icon and select the Unmount option. When the icon disappears, it’s safe to unplug the device.

Right-click to unmount your device before unplugging it

Linux User & Developer is the magazine for the GNU Generation
Click here to try 3 issues for £1

See what else features is issue 94 of Linux User & Developer
Return to the Linux User homepage

Related Articles

[twitter username=”linuxusermag”]