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I am looking for a way to transfer large files to the iPad without using iTunes or pushing to and pulling from a remote server.

I run an Ubuntu laptop as my only OS at the moment and want to be able to transfer movies to my iPad. I currently transfer most of my files by way of the dropbox app which works well for small files but is quite slow for larger files and eats up my bandwidth. Ideally I'd like to be able to transfer over a cable or through WiFi.

Thanks for any tips.

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5 Answers 5

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Look at the iOS app GoodReader. GoodReader is a $5 app that allows you to transfer files from Windows, Mac OS X & Linux via WiFi to your iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch. You can then open the files in other apps based on the filetype.

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Goodreader? What's that? A book, a magazine, a website or an application? – user2763 Jan 27 '11 at 19:58
Goodreader worked for getting the files onto my iPad though I was unable to play them, not sure if that is simply the file itself or how Goodreader deals with them as the "Open with" capability seems to be reserved for third party apps, i.e. I can't open with Videos or iPod. – Stephen L Jan 28 '11 at 17:48
goodreader is an app – fnord_ix Feb 8 '11 at 9:52

Yes! You can transfer files to / from the iPad from Ubuntu via USB.

  1. You can always transfer files via SSH / a Samba share / etc.

  2. However that would be over Wifi, which is nowhere near as fast as USB connectivity.

  3. Via USB you can only access /var/root/Media on the ipad. Useful to put movies onto it - you will need to find a way to make these visible within iPad - I think you need to create some playlist?

    • I use FileBrowser on the iPad and since my iPad is jailbroken, I ssh in and mv the transferred files from /var/root/Media to /var/mobile/Applications/[app-ID]/.data/Movies/. It is then visible within FileBrowser and Movies can be played there.


Install additional PPA repository

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:pmcenery/ppa
sudo apt-get update

Install libimobiledevice-utils

sudo apt-get install libimobiledevice-utils

Plug in the iPad / iPod / iPhone. It is visible as a removable drive!

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To clarify: 1. you don't need jailbroken iPad 2. you don't need the ppa. The package is in universe on Ubuntu 11.10 3. Any app that accepts arbitrary files such as Smart Disk Free is enough (just connect ipad to the computer using the standard Dock Connector to USB Cable and drag and drop files) – J.F. Sebastian Apr 2 '12 at 18:04

FileBrowser is very good for transferring files.

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Not sure if this will work for everybody, but I can get movies (mp4, didn't try any other format) onto the ipad through the 'Documents' app from the app store. When I connect the iPad to my comp with usb it brings up a folder called "Documents on YOUR NAME's iPad". In this I can open the Document app's folder and just drag and drop. The files appear in the app then....magic!

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I used to transfer by uploading to dropbox and downloading files on the dropbox app on my ipad.

There is another way which doesn't need internet which is using the app called "wireless drive". With this basically you connect your ipad with your laptop by creating wifi hotspot and transfer the files. But my ipad is unable to connect the wifi created by my new laptop. (wifi connection problem for unknown reason) ..... what do I do? I dont have internet right now.

You do following (after installing the app):

  1. just connect ipad to laptop using usb cable.
  2. You see "documents on the ipad" as a usb drive (as the external-pen drive)
  3. open the documents on the ipad > you see different apps you have on the ipad
  4. You will see "wireless drive" in the list, open it by double-clicking.
  5. You will see folder "documents", open it.
  6. You will see folder is empty, if it's used for the first time. Just simply copy whatever you want to copy to your ipad in this folder and that's it!!

Now, just open the "wireless drive" app on your ipad, and you see the files you have transferred. Tap on any of the document, you will be asked which app to be used to open/run the file, select appropriate app and you can use the file on your ipad.

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