Accessing an iPads file system from Linux
Despite using Linux on pretty much every computer I’ve owned for the last 20 years I’ve made an exception when it comes to tablet devices and adopted an iPad into my life as commute friendly “source of all books.” Overtime it’s been occasionally pressed into service as a camera and I recently realised I’ve never backed any of those photos up. “That’s something easy to remedy” I naively thought as I plugged my iPad into a laptop and watched as it didn’t appear as a block device.
While there are many pages on the internet that explain parts of the process of accessing your iPad file system from Linux it was awkward enough to piece together that I decided to summarise my own commands in this post for future me. I used the following commands on a Fedora 28 install to access an iPad Air 2.
First add the software needed to make the connection work:
# install the required packages (on fedora) sudo dnf install ifuse libimobiledevice-utils
Once this is installed unlock the iPad and run
idevicepair pair to
pair the iPad with your Linux host. You should see a message saying
that pairing was successful. Now we have access to the device let’s
access its file system. Create the mount point and make the current
user the owner:
sudo install -d /mnt/ipad -o $USER
Finally, mount the iPad so we can access its file system:
ifuse /mnt/ipad ls -alh /mnt/ipad/
If this fails ensure the
ifuse module is loaded by running
modprobe ifuse if it isn’t. Once you’ve finished exploring don’t
umount /mnt/ipad to release the iPad.