ZoneO-tips for Mandriva Linux

Mandriva Linux and the iPod Nano

Here is the latest big question on internet forums: can you use the iPod nano with Mandriva? Well, yes you can, and here is how!

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Step 1: Locating the device

Start the Konsole
Figure 1: Start the Konsole
Lucky you! You just got the latest gadget that everybody wants! I have to say that I fully agree, those new ipods are fantastic: 4gb, in such a small space, so light, so cute!

Mandriva (I tested with 10.1) does not readily recognise the iPod, but it's easy to get it working. You'll have to use the console to set it up though. So here we go, open a konsole and log in as root (type su, Figure 1). The first thing you need to do is to locate the device connected to the ipod.

  • start monitoring your log file: tail -f /var/log/messages
  • plug your iPod into the usb port and you should see a message like
    kernel: usb 4-4: new high speed USB device using address 3
    kernel: usb 4-4: configuration #1 chosen from 2 choices
    kernel: scsi1 : SCSI emulation for USB Mass Storage devices
    kernel: Vendor: Apple Model: iPod Rev: 1.62
    kernel: Type: Direct-Access ANSI SCSI revision: 02
    kernel: sdb: Spinning up disk....ready
    kernel: SCSI device sdb: 7999488 512-byte hdwr sectors (4096 MB)
    kernel: sdb: Write Protect is off
    kernel: sdb: assuming drive cache: write through
    kernel: /dev/scsi/host1/bus0/target0/lun0: p1 p2
    kernel: Attached scsi removable disk sdb at scsi1, channel 0, id 0, lun 0
    usb.agent: Keeping default configuration with
    scsi.agent: disk at /devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:1d.7/usb4/4-4/4-4:1.0/host1/1:0:0:0
    perl: drakupdate_fstab called with --auto --add /dev/sdb1
    perl: drakupdate_fstab called with --auto --add /dev/sdb2
  • If you lived in a perfect world, you would see an iPod icon showing up on the desktop, unfortunately, you don't!
  • Locate the second partition on the iPod in the message above. In my case: /dev/sdb2.

Step 2: Setting up the ipod

  • Make a directory to mount the iPod: mkdir /mnt/ipod/.
  • Mount the ipod: mount -o users,exec,suid,umask=0 /dev/sdb2 /mnt/ipod/ (replace /dev/sdb2 with the device you found).
  • Miracle! You have an iPod icon on the desktop!

Remember or write down the device where you iPod shows up, and next time you will want to use it, you will simply type

mount -o users,exec,suid,umask=0 /dev/sdb2 /mnt/ipod/
and don't forget to replace /dev/sdb2 with the proper device!

Once you are finished with the iPod, do not forget to unmount it:

umount /mnt/ipod/
It is very important, you might corrupt it if you do not do this.

Step 3: Transfer music!

Start gtkpod
Figure 2: Start gtkpod
There are several applications to transfer music between your iPod and mandriva, but I recommend you to use gtkpod. It is available in Mandriva, but you may have to install it (see install software with Mandriva).

Start gtkpod (Figure 2). You first need to call you need to call File->Create iPod's Directories once to create directories on your iPod.

gtkpod main window
Figure 3: gtkpod main window

The basic use of gtkpod is a follow:

  • Import the iTunes database from the iPod: menu File->Read iTunesDB
  • To add songs: + Files icon.
  • To add music files directories: + Directory icon.
  • To add playlists: + Playlist icon.
  • To delete songs, albums or playlists: select them in the main window, right clik, and select Delete from iPod in the popup menu.
  • Once you are done adding or removing files, simply hit the sync icon and quit gtkpod.

Finally, do not forget to unmount your iPod:

umount /mnt/ipod/
And I'll repeat it: it is very important, you might corrupt you whole iPod if you do not do this.

As you can see, it's quite easy to get the iPod nano working under Mandriva. So just get one at Amazon and enjoy!

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