How to use gtkpod to manage your iPod in Ubuntu

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.

Please note: This guide was originally published back in 2007. Quite obviously, a lot has changed since then (including Ubuntu). gtkpod still exists, and supports quite a few iPod models. With that said, the steps and screenshots used in this guide have likely changed. It’s staying up as a historical/archived document, and should be treated as such.

Note: if you aren’t using the Ubuntu Software manager, visit the gtkpod downloads page to obtain gtkpod for your version of Linux.

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

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

  6. Click the Apply button.
  7. gtkpod

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

  10. Synaptic will now download and install gtkpod.
  11. synaptic package manager
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  12. After the installations were successful, click the Close button.
  13. 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
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  3. The main gtkpod window will open. Click the Load iPod(s) button.
  4. gtkpod
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  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
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  17. Click the Save Changes button and the files should be loaded on to your iPod and saved.
  18. gtkpod
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  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
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  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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4 thoughts on “How to use gtkpod to manage your iPod in Ubuntu”

  1. 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.

  2. 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

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