How to use gtkpod to manage your iPod in Ubuntu

by Ross McKillop on July 7, 2007

iPod Linux

This tutorial will guide you in installing, setting up and using gtkpod to manage your iPod in Ubuntu. Though the steps to install gtkpod are specific to Ubuntu (or any Linux distribution that uses the Synaptic Package Manager), the steps to actually use gtkpod can be applied to any Linux distribution.

Note: if you aren’t using Ubuntu, visit the gtkpod downloads page to obtain gtkpod for your version of Linux/*nix/BSD etc.

  1. Installing gtkpod in Ubuntu
  2. Using gtkpod
  3. Launching gtkpod in Ubuntu each time you plug in your iPod

Installing gtkpod in Ubuntu

  1. Open the Synaptic Package Manager by selecting System -> Administration -> Synaptic Package Manager. You’ll need to enter your password for Synaptic to launch.
  2. synaptic package manager
    click to enlarge

  3. Click the Search button from the top of Synaptic, enter gtkpod and click Search.
  4. gtkpod

  5. Click the box next to the gtkpod entry and select Mark for installation.
  6. gtkpod

  7. Click the Apply button.
  8. gtkpod

  9. A summary window will appear asking you to confirm that you wish to install the package. Click Apply to continue
  10. synaptic package manager
    click to enlarge

  11. Synaptic will now download and install gtkpod.
  12. synaptic package manager
    click to enlarge

  13. After the installations were successful, click the Close button.
  14. synaptic package manager
    click to enlarge

Using gtkpod

  1. Plug in your iPod, if it isn’t already. Depending on your current setup, a program such as Rhythmbox or Amarok might launch. If it does, close it down. Launch gtkpod (in Ubuntu do this by selecting Applications -> Sound & Video and then gtkpod)
  2. gtkpod
    click to enlarge

  3. The main gtkpod window will open. Click the Load iPod(s) button.
  4. gtkpod
    click to enlarge

  5. Depending on which iPod you have and where it’s mounted, you may need to help gtkpod determine some info. Start by clicking the Browse button.
  6. gtkpod

  7. Select File System from the Places column and then the media folder. Select your iPod and then click the OK button.
  8. gtkpod
    click to enlarge

  9. Now chose your iPod from the Model: drop down list. Since I have a first gen iShuffle, I selected it (which results in x9724). Click OK when you’re done.
  10. gtkpod

  11. If you get a Warning message just click OK.
  12. gtkpod

  13. Back in gtkpod, click the Files button to begin adding some music to your iPod.
  14. gtkpod

  15. Navigate to your music, select a track or two and click Open.
  16. gtkpod
    click to enlarge

  17. Click the Save Changes button and the files should be loaded on to your iPod and saved.
  18. gtkpod
    click to enlarge

  19. Repeat the above three steps until your iPod is loaded up. Note: you can add entire directories of music by using the Dirs button in gtkpod.

Launching gtkpod in Ubuntu each time you plug in your iPod

  1. Select System -> Preferences -> Removable Drives and Media.
  2. gtkpod ipod
    click to enlarge

  3. Select the Multimedia tab and then click the Browse… button in the Portable Music Players section.
  4. gtkpod ipod
    click to enlarge

  5. Assuming you installed gtkpod in the default location, select File System from the Places column, then the usr folder and finally the bin folder. Scroll down to gtkpod, select it and then click the Open button.
  6. gtkpod ipod
    click to enlarge

  7. Back at the Removable Devices and Media Preferences window, click the Close button.

    gtkpod ipod
    click to enlarge

  8. The next time you plug in your iPod, gtkpod will launch.
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  • Steve

    Step 3 says to click on the Browse button — but there is no Browse button in the main menu. How do you get to the window shown in step 3?

  • Steve

    Step 7: Nothing happens when I click the Files Button. I’d like to be able to select Music on the CDRom. But the Files button opens no dialog, window, or browse option to select the CDRom or files on it.

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  • bob

    is there any way to have cover art added to the albums?

  • http://patronfan.com/blog/ Wayne N

    An excellent tutorial on how to FINALLY get my iPod functioning the way that I’d like while running Ubuntu. Many kudos to ya!!

    Now let’s see if I can just use this program in conjunction with Songbird ;P

  • rem

    Sounds like a nice tool, but when I the music is on the ipod, but it doesnt recognize it as music files. There is an error saying it cannot eject the ipod, and then writing data for ever. When I look at it on a windows itunes, it shows the files as orange, non music files. so they are there just not recognized. I have a silver ipod nano 4gb. I tried to enter the serial in the sysinfo file on the ipod but that didnt help ..
    Ill try to put some music on windows first then see if it works, but until now, no way to get usable music on the ipod with linux (ubuntu).

  • Jacob

    Pl confirm if the same works for a third generation 4 GB Nano. I think a hack is required

  • http://thinkmoult.com/ Anon

    If you select 3rd Gen Nano Video (i did silver 8gb), it works flawlessly with a 4th Gen Nano (mine is silver and 8gb too). No hacks required. Thanks!

  • http://none carly

    When I do the search in synaptic, nothing shows up :(

  • http://nothing Alok Durgapal

    I have a 2 GB nano silver 2nd gen -ITP . I am using gtkpod for my ipod. The problem is that some of the tracks are repeated somehow and some of them are not even working/playing and in the start of the track list a cross is displayed. I want to delete some tracks but I am not being able to do so?
    Please help..

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  • Aivo

    Gtkpod doesnt want to load my ipod. Just few minutes ago i got my ipod full o music, when i ejected it normally all music dissappeared. And now i dont know how i managed to get the music into ipod. Ive tried exaile also, but exaile complains all the time about ipods mountpoint…. Maybe i just start all over with another computer and this time with windows, Ipods and linux arent made to work together :D

  • http://twitter.com/daleswan dale

    Took me a little while to get my ancient 1st Gen Shuffle fully managed under Ubuntu but I finally got it and these instructions will get you most of the way there with a few little exceptions. Doing a full wipe/reset of the iPod helped me a lot – just make sure you have everything backed up first. Completely reloading your iPod is going to take a while- be patient.
    Right now I’m searching around for tips on a more efficient way to manage and refresh the podcasts I like to listen to.

  • Agostino

    E’ assurdo mettere in rete simili traduzioni!!! Nel caso di Linux, dell’Open Source e del software libero è, oltretutto, un insulto alla comunità internazionale che vi lavora seriamente.

    In cose simili emerge tutta la stupidità e la falsità di cui internet è capace.

    Agostino

  • http://lazybug.wordpress.com Akhil

    Excellent. Thanks.

  • Brian Wallace

    Can’t get anything under Ubuntu 9.10 that works. I’m using Hipo under 8.04 LTS it’s the only thing so far that’s worked. You didn’t cover that one. I forced a connection but still don’t see the screens shown here though I can see some of the files on the iPod.

  • Venk

    Not able to find my new iPod shuffle 4GB.. how to add / what model number I have to input. Getting iTunesStats not getting loaded as error when I gave 2GB shuffle ver.

  • Annonymous

    Whenever i try to load the ipod an error comes up that says”ipod database import failed: illegal seek to offset 0 (length 4) in file ‘ /media/IPOD/Ipod_Control/Itunes/ItunesBD”
    i dont know how to fix it some help me!!!

  • Mickaelaaa

    Nice directions but I have an ipod touch and it wont do ANYTHING at all when I click the search ipod(s) button. what do I do????