Rants on software, computing, and any other topic I feel like.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

iPhone on a virtual machine

Ever since I started my new job where I don't have to run Windows all the damn time, I haven't sync'ed my iPhone. So, when I tried to just back it up on Ubuntu, it totally messed up the iPod app. So I decided I wouldn't try that again. Anyway, now that VirtualBox supports USB passthrough, I figured it was time to try to get it working again. I created a Windows 7 virtual machine and installed iTunes, moved my library over, and started syncing. Some things that might make it easier on those trying to do this:

1. Make sure you're in the vboxusers group. Things worked for me without doing this, but I had problems, so just do it even if things work for you.

2. The iPhone occasionally will disconnect on certain types of operations and come up as a different device which won't get automatically captured by VirtualBox. iTunes then waits and waits for the iPhone, but never sees it so bad things happen. Watch for this and tell VirtualBox to capture the iPhone when it happens. I think the USB filter thing in VirtualBox helps here. This is especially important when updating to a new version of iOS. If you have problems, look up UDF mode.

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