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As I understand it, the iPhone will pop up some options on a Windows computer to update the system when you plug it into the computer. Honestly, I don't own an iPhone, but my friend wants to use my computer to update hers, because it's not receiving data properly. So is it possible for me to mount the phone and push some data to it? or otherwise update it? only relevant looking link I found via google was suggesting a VM, which more than I want to do. Tutorial links are of course welcome. Also please advise if there's a decent chance doing this this way could brick the phone.

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Apple's only supported method is through iTunes which is not available for Linux. Any other method will probably require jail breaking, but I'm not aware of any specifics. – penguin359 Mar 31 '11 at 5:09
Apple has a long history of creating non Linux compatible devices, I do not think this will work. And if it does, they will probably make sure that it does not work after the next update.... – Johan Mar 31 '11 at 6:49
You may be able to run iTunes with wine – vanillaike Mar 31 '11 at 15:10
sell your soul – mikeserv Apr 15 '14 at 1:04
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Apple works pretty hard to make sure that this can only be done through their tools, and they do not release iTunes for linux. The hacks that sometimes allow it to work under wine are usually short lived.

The only way to do this without eating your head off and probably failing anyway is to use windows through an emulator such as VirtualBox, install a quick basic windows instance with iTunes, connect the USB devices to it, and manage it from there.

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Agreed, I wouldn't bother trying either. It's a lot of work for such a trivial task (unless, of course, you happen to use virtualization as part of your normal computing). – Tim Post Apr 2 '11 at 14:06
Now I remember why I don't buy apple devices – xenoterracide Apr 2 '11 at 16:49

libimobiledevice has a tool called idevicerestore for updating or restoring the OS on Apple devices. While it is currently maintained, it does not appear to be available in binary form: compiling it requires several dependencies (although most are available as binary from distributions, e.g. Ubuntu; one thing I had to compile was libirecovery). I have successfully used it to update an iPad Air to iOS 9 GM, although I can't say it's any safer than Apple's official Windows/OS X and OTA methods.

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