I am trying to read for an exam and I want to download exercises to my iPad. I have downloaded the exercises from here. I have no Mac laptop or desktop computer. I am tired of clicking every pdf one-by-one.

Trial 1: I bought the GoodReader app for iPad, but its developer said that I need a Mac computer (or something with iTunes) to download the folder like above. I have no Mac computer.

Trial 2: I am now trying things with iBooks software on my iPad:

  1. How can I easily get them to iBooks without Mac?

  2. How can I edit iBooks (iPad) directory on Ubuntu?

  3. Is this easier with Amazon Kindle rather than with iPad?

I am not much interested in how you really get the PDFs from such directory structure to the iPad or other device, I am just trying to get more paperless because my printer is broken and not comfortable to read just with laptop.

Perhaps related:

  1. How can I study efficiently and paperlessly?
  • Do you have access to a Windows machine? That can be used with iTunes the same as a Mac. (I assume it's too much to hope that iTunes for Windows could be used in Wine.) – Cajunluke May 24 '12 at 18:14
  • GoodReader syncs entire folder trees recursively via SCP or DropBox. You don't need a MAC. The developer is mistaken. – user588 May 24 '12 at 19:52
  • Use iCAB MOBILE -app to do this, more here, and then open the files from DropBox in some program such as PDF Expert. – hhh Oct 19 '12 at 10:33

Put your PDFs in a folder structure on your computer, in DropBox, or on a computer somewhere online that you have FTP or SCP access to.

Then, in GoodReader, sync that folder. You can do it locally over WiFi and SCP or WebDav, remotely over SCP, or through DropBox.

Once the PDFs are in GoodReader, you can read them offline, mark them up, etc. If you set up bi-directional syncing, then when you are back online you can sync your notes back to your laptop.

  • How does the SCP access work? I use scp daily but cannot see how it works here. – user17950 May 24 '12 at 21:15
  • +1 anyway, this is on the right track -- just wanting to get the scp working :P – user17950 May 24 '12 at 21:22
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    $ scp tt http://19x.xxx.1.142:8080/My%20Documents/Test ssh: Could not resolve hostname http: Name or service not known lost connection what is wrong? I clicked something called WiFi-transfer, right thing? – user17950 May 24 '12 at 21:26
  • GoodReader > Connect To Servers > Add > SFTP. Then, fill in the details, either hostname (maybe won't work) or IP address (should work) of wherever the PDFs are. It looks like you are trying something different which is when GoodReader makes itself a webserver that you can connect to and upload with your browser, or AFP. This won't do 2-way syncing. You want SFTP from GoodReader to your computer. – user588 May 24 '12 at 21:37
  • Sorry but 'scp!=sftp', I have no sftp/WebDav configured -- not sure how easy it is to configure them to *ix server, investigating. – user17950 May 25 '12 at 4:53

While you can't just download the whole directory into GoodReader you can still enter each individual URL and load that.

Or more easily, browse into the directory with Safari, open each PDF and from within the PDF select "Open in..." to open and save it in GoodReader.

Or email them to a mail account configured on the iPad and open them from there.

  • I do this currently but when I want to go offline, this is pain and not working -- very time-consuming (i.e. I am not getting the files because I do not have time to click everything one-by-one). Basically this mean that I use iPad only at home where I have the internet with WLAN. When I go elsewhere, I read documents with my laptop. – user17950 May 24 '12 at 18:21
  • If you go the above route including opening them in GoodReader, they get downloaded to GR and are available for offline reading. – nohillside May 24 '12 at 19:05
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    ...this is slow, not easy/fast to get things offline many files. – user17950 May 24 '12 at 21:21

I think @mankoff has the right answer here, and the OP may be struggling with an implementation detail. The solution is going to be Goodreader in some way or another.

When I want to move a lot of files between my computer and Goodreader, I use the "WiFi-transfer" mode in Goodreader. In my hands, this only works with an ad-hoc local network, but that's pretty simple to start. I can then mount my iPad's Goodreader folder onto using a desktop computer, and then interact with the iPad just as with any server's filesystem.

This is, for me, easier than Dropbox when I have a lot of local PDFs I want to transfer. I also think it's a very platform-neutral approach.

The other way to do it, of course, is to run a little FTP server on your Ubuntu machine, and serve your own files to Goodreader from there. Or, even better, get FTP access to the server you linked to originally, at koti.kapsi.fi.


If you download all the PDFs on your Windows/Mac/Linux/whatever machine and email them to an account you get in Mail on the iPad, you can open the attachments in Mail and it will give you the option to open the messages in GoodReader or iBooks. These apps should then save the files so you only need to send them once.

  • Can the downvoter provide any explanation? – Cajunluke May 24 '12 at 21:12

Well to copy a PDF file to GoodReader, just download iTunes for Windows and install it. After installation, open iTunes and connect you iPad to your computer you'll find your iPad listed in iTunes. Just click on it and your iPad detail will be listed on the main windows. Click on app tab can scroll to the bottom of the page. You will find the GoodReader directory. Drag and drop your files there and you will find it on your iPad.

  • The OP mentions Ubuntu, so I'm not sure they have access to a Windows machine. – Cajunluke May 24 '12 at 18:13

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