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Installing Linux On An Ipod Ipod Linux Simple Tutorial.

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Installing Linux on an iPod! (Doom, Videos on Nanos, Photos, even 4th Gen or Minis!)


Recently I've been toying around with my friends iPod Nano, and my 5th Gen Video so, I decided to share the wealth.


Pre-Tutorial Glossary

iPod Linux - The iPod Linux OS we will install.

Podzilla - Another name for iPod Linux

The Apple OS - The orginal menu system on your iPod

iPod Linux is a firmware installation that will run ALONG with Apples OS. So, you may be thinking, whats so great about this iPod Linux? Heres whats so great.

Play videos on Nanos, Photos, even 4th Gen and below, including Minis!

Play games like Tetris, Doom, Asteroids, Minesweeper, and many many more.

Save battery life with mono tone theme.

Make it look like your own with many diffrent themes and fonts.

Many, many more.

This tutorial is very simple to install and run iPod Linux.




Download the iPod Linux installer. There is one for every OS. Click here to get it.


Plug in your iPod. Close all applications using the iPod. (iTunes, etc.)



Run the installer. Click next, it should say "I found an iPod Nano..." etc. It should give you a warning that ALL DATA WILL BE DELETED, and ask if you want to make a back up. Make the back up by hitting next, and letting the install run. Don't worry about breaking the iPod, you can always run Apples Restore tool.


When prompted, unplug the iPod and let it reboot into Podzilla (iPod Linux.) The install is done, and working.


Usage Guide


Using iPod Linux is simple, but can get confusing around the parts of switching from Podzilla to normal mode, and installing games, and movies.



Knowing how to get into disk mode is VERY important. Disk mode is the area you want to be in to add files to the iPod. To get into Disk Mode, hit and hold Menu + Select (Middle button) until the white apple goes away, as soon as it does, move your figer down to Play/Pause so you are holding down Play/Pause and Select. The Apple should flash and disk mode should appear.



To go back to the standard OS, hold down Menu + Select like for disk mode, but instead of changing to Play/Pause, move to Fast Foward. This should take you right into the old OS.



iDoom is a port of the orginal Doom game built for iPod Linux. The install is VERY simple. First off, download the zip here. Then unzip, and boot your iPod into Disk Mode, and plug it in. Once the computer find the iPod, go into the root of it by going to My Computer and viewing it as a removable drive. Copy the unzipped iDoom file into the root.



To play iDoom, boot into Podzilla and select File Browser. Scroll down to the 'mnt' folder, and select it. Then find the iDoom folder, select it, and select iDoom. You should get some scart text, but soon the Doom screen will pop up. Controls are as follows.


Menu = Up

Last Song = Left

Next Song = Right

Play/Pause = Fire

Fliping Hold on and Off = Menu


Thats about all of it. Everything works, save games and all.



To play movies, copy uncompressed .avi videos into the root of the iPod like with iDoom, and then use the file browser on Podzilla to find it in the same place the iDoom folder was. Click here, to download a demo video. (From eBaums World.)



For any support, the iPod Linux forums can help you out.

Ipod Linux Site

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thanks ive been looking for a guide on how to do this, the only thing is i couldnt get it to work but im gonna have anotha go in a min!!! i think it could be wicked when its done and i think its well worth me skipping the homework to give it a go! nice one cheeers for this and talk soon i suppose on a ya or nay if i get it to work lolsee ya kyle

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Yes, it is infact installed over top of it. You hit Menu + Select until the Apple goes away like booting into Disk Mode, but hit Select and Fast Foward, and it will boot right into it. What I do is use the Apple OS to listen to music, and iPL for everything else.

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Ive installed linux on 3 diffrent ipods and it worked great on all of them. For anyone who has a video there is a color gameboy emulator out, it works great, its about 90% the speed of a real game, but still its fun. Its really simple to install just go to the link and follow the instructions http://forums.xisto.com/no_longer_exists/. If you have one of the greyscale ipods there is a version for you too, just go here http://forums.xisto.com/no_longer_exists/. Have fun

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I was readin on that site that they don't support my nano 1 gigger. That's ok though, I will just wait and get another at some point an time.

They say they don't support alot of the models. You can try just installing it, if it fails, you can run apples restore.

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Just look around on the forums there (ipodlinux.org/forums) and you're almost guarnteed to find a tutorial there. Almost all models are working except for the shuffle (guess why :) ). I like it, the only bad thing MPD (the Music Player Daemon) doesn't work for a 5g video ipod, but if you have any other kind it'll work

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Yea thats a great tutorial and all you guys there afraid that linux will ruin your ipod I dont THINK it will. Its such a great program. Also if you dont like it then all you have to do is un-install it because the regular firmware will always be on there. Also I have an Ipod mini and i put linux on it and its great i love it. I can watch videos, play many more games including game boy games. All my friends love it and also want to have it, but I have been charging them 5 dollars and they are doing it.

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all you have to do is un-install it because the regular firmware will always be on there.

True and false at the same time. Most tutorials have you backup your firmware and it'll be on your computer. You can end up deleteing it by removing the first partition of your ipod harddrive, which is the active one that gets booted when you start your ipod. But there is no way to "brick" your ipod. All you'd have to use is the apple restore utility, or the hp restore utility. The only time people really freak out (there is a bug with installing on some nanos) is when the screen turns completely blank, nothing shows. When you plug it in your computer or to your wall ac adapter, nothing shows. All you have to do is do a 'hard reset' then put it into disk mode. You can do this by holding 'Center and Menu' for a few seconds, then as soon as you see the apple logo hold 'Center and Play' until you see the 'Disk mode' logo. Then just plug it in and restore.


Installing linux on your ipod is completely safe. Just make sure all your songs are on your computer (if you use itunes dont worry) before you install, otherwise backup your songs then install.

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1. You can not "brick" your iPod in anyway. (You can brick your PSP though.)2. My method will give you a firmware backup, as well as an easy uninstall. All you have to do it rerun the installer.I'm going to look into the Game Boy Emu later.

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I think I am going to get it for my iPod Nano. I will talk to some of my peoples and see what they think of it. I will tell you people how it goes.

Good luck, I can help you out if you need help.

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