I transfered my images from my iPhone to my Linux laptop (debian 10) by running the following command:

sudo dmesg|grep SerialNumber:

Then in file browser, I pressed Ctrl+L then write:


This gave me access to my iphone and I could copy all the images to my PC.

When I checked the transferred files, I didn't actually find files. I found that each image is located in a folder. Folders have different extensions (.HEIC, .JPG, .MOV).

The images in these folders have poor quality and are small-sized. Not what I used to find when exporting my files to PC.

I tried converting the .HEIC folders to .jpg by running this command

for file in *.heic; do heif-convert $file ${file/%.heic/.jpg}; done

but I got the message :

Could not read HEIF file: Invalid input: No 'ftyp' box

How can I handle these folders to get normal images and vidoes out of them? I don't want to loose my images or my images' quality.

  • If you want this migrated to a unix site, you might get a better answer if this is more about software recommendation picking a library or how to use the correct flags. I’ll get up an answer on what standard Apple uses - it’s very likely someone here uses both Debian and iOS so no need to migrate it unless you feel it’s better elsewhere. This is totally on topic here and has enough detail to know precisely what you seek.
    – bmike
    Jun 13, 2020 at 15:02

2 Answers 2


You can use ImageMagick now to convert HEIC files. Install that e.g sudo apt install imagemagick and use its convert command similar to the heif-convert command. Specifically edit out "heif-" from your script above so it's "convert" instead. And bob's your uncle!


Here is the code / standard for the MPEG image container that Apple has widely adopted a bit earlier than others, but most major platforms should have good support these days.

I would try this library if you can based on my trust in the Ubuntu community’s ability to vote up some great posts. (It appears Debian was patching HEVC in 2019 so you may already have the libraries you need once you know what to search for...)

sudo apt install heif-gdk-pixbuf

I do not have direct experience, so I welcome a big edit here or a better answer if someone has more direct experience.

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