How to transfer music to an iOS (iPhone)?

I am using KDE Connect to transfer files to my iPhone and back to my Manjaro KDE Plasma.

For now though, I have to keep a Windows installation with iTunes, so I can transfer music to it.
I have re-organized all my music library with Strawberry and it would be very handy if I could transfer music to my iOS devices from Linux, without the need of iTunes.

KDE Connect only has access to certain folders and Music Library is not one of them.
I don’t mind using another player to play music, if that will give me the option to copy files into its folder.

Any suggestions?

Not an iphone user but I see lots of ideas on the internet.

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Not an iphone user either and never will be but there are several packages available to allow you to navigate the device when plugged in via usb. As for I-tunes in Linux, I hope not. Have you plugged in the phone? What do you see?

Adding to this:
the for me logical thing to try to do would be to create a folder
(if that can be done - I have zero experience with iPones)
and to move/copy the files to there.

and play from there … direct your player app to this place
(I suspect that this to me easy and logical thing is somehow not possible with iPhone player apps …)

or use a player than can access this place …

or use this folder to then move the files within the device
to the place (Music Library or whatever it is called) where Music files “normally” reside
(if that can be done - I suspect that it can’t be done - would be too easy, I guess :grimacing: )

For now I found a way of doing it, but it is definitely not ideal…
I am using KDE Connect to manually transfer songs into its folder, then I open Files (iOS File Manager app) and move all the files to VLC folder. Then I can use VLC to play music.

I would like to avoid at least the in-between them transfer as it is >2000 songs
I would like to use a more optimized app for Music instead of VLC

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Or…as an alternative, you could keep the music on your iphone and use the multi media utility Uxplay to broadcast the music and video too through your Manjaro installation. Uxplay will broadcast through your systems audio set up. I have done this to listen to music on my iPad played through my laptop connected to my Labtec subwoofer and speakers.

The solutions seem convoluted to me, it seems the synchronization of music the way apple has designed it is within the boundries of the whole itunes stack. Since selling music makes the company money and opening it up could make them less money we can all see if native support is ever going to be an option.

Another convoluted option could be to run a virtual mac/windows machine, give it access to your music and pass through the phone to the virtual. example, virtual mac on virtualbox

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I am an ex-mac user. I have several iPods & iPads in my graveyard of iOrphans.
Just forget about trying to get Linux & Apple devices to work. You need iTunes & that’s all there is to it.
Even if you install wine & run iTunes it won’t work because there are strict compatibilities with the iOS version, device generation & what Wine can support.
It’s really a rabbit-hole of misery. Use Win/Mac or sell the device. This is the way.


Tried that, but my problem is I no longer use iTunes as my music organizer, instead I use Strawberry. If I want to use iTunes, I have to transfer all my work (mostly playlists & ratings) back to iTunes and do the work twice, if I want to have both systems in sync.


The only way I have found to reliably transfer files between an iOS device and Linux is to jailbreak the iOS device. Apple has locked down access to the iOS filesystem–and changes the locks with every update. The Files app is… well you have used it. You probably know its limitations. The ideas on the internet that I have seen are either outdated or unmanageably complex and unstable.

I do not know if the latest version of iOS can be jailbroken, but r/jailbreak on Reddit is the first place I go for jailbreak info. I run iOS 12 and 13 on my iPhone and iPads and use checkra1n to jailbreak them. I think it works with 14 as well. But there are other tools, and at least a few have been developed for later iOS iterations. I do not know which are directly available on Linux, but most can be run from a Win/Mac VM.

With a jailbroken device, you can transfer files using ssh or sftp to any directory on the system. And yes, this is a security concern, but in my experience, the fears around security and jailbreaking are vastly overblown. The biggest real-world risk IMHO is that you forget to turn off the ssh server on your phone before going out in public after also neglecting to change the mobile and root passwords on the phone.

I wouldn’t do that. But I have been jailbreaking for a decade without any problems that weren’t of my own making.

Good luck. I am also all ears for other solutions. I ran iMazing instead of iTunes on my old iMac and it is still clanking along in case I need to start completely from scratch with anything. But I would like a Linux-based way to manage these things.

At least until I find a digital audio workflow on Linux that can compete with what I can do on iOS, I need these things to keep working. If I weren’t using my iPads to make music, I would have fled Apple’s walled garden long ago.


Any iPad or iPhone can access a samba share - so if you setup a file service it should be a breeze copying files to and from your iPad/iPhone.

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Thank you for your reply.
I do have a samba share, as all my music is located to a NAS, which I have access from all my devices.
My problem is, where/how to copy files on my iPhone, so I can access them easily.
Even with a Samba access app, I have to download them into its own folder, and then copy them to my Music app folder.

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There is an app in the app store FTPManager which has many functions related to media including iTunes.

At one point I had my Synogy nas setup to stream music - I could even do it on using mobile internet connection.

I didn’t have to copy music to my phone - it was right there - all the time.

I am doing something a bit similar. Pcloud, a cloud service has apps for just about every platform. I downloaded and installed it from our repo. It runs cli to launch. I clicked on my music folder on my music partition and it started backing up. 699 files. It may be done later tonight.

The plus for me is that it has a nice integrated audio player. On my iPad it plays right into my Bluetooth hearing aids.

Not sure if that would work for your situation.

My current iPhone solution is using VLC for iOS, and in the “Network” area when I want to transfer music, I enable “Share via Wi-Fi” and it’ll give you the IP and/or mDNS to connect via a browser. So, visit the URL in your browser of choice on your desktop and you are presented with a page to upload music to your iPhone. It isn’t perfect and if you want to transfer a large library all at once it can be problematic.

I ordered a FiiO K9, so I went to iOS App Store to get their applications to control the device.
Fortunately, I discovered the FiiOMusic app which offers most of what I want to do.
Apart from their better sound quality, and multiple formats they playback, they offer file transfer via http/WiFi.
So, what I do is open Strawberry and my browser to the URL the app provides and I drag/drop songs from my Playlists to the browser tab and copies the files to the app’s folder!
The app also has access to iTunes library, so we can use both if needed.

Very handy and free (no app purchases)!

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you should also checkout libimobiledevice (library to communicate with iOS devices) and all its derivatives, pretty decent mature project from the looks of it. both libimobiledevice and ifuse are part of the main repo. have no idea how good it is, but it has is following.

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