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This guide should allow you to update any version of iPod (2G, 5G, Mini, etc) to any firmware (Official, Rockbox, etc) from any platform (x86, PPC, etc). However, I have only done this by updating a 5th Gen Late iPod to the latest Official Apple firmware from an x86 machine. Your mileage may vary.



This guide assumes you already are able to mount your iPod and that you have internet access. If you are unable to mount your iPod then please refer to this article.

Identify iPod Model

First, you need to identify which model your iPod is and what the latest firmware for it is.

Download Firmware

I have listed the links directly here in case the page from which I got this information from moves (as happened with the previous version of this page).

This page also has links to all of the latest firmware for all iPod and iPhone models.

Rename the downloaded file's extension (.ipsw) to .zip and extract the contents.

Identify Partition Structure

Before we copy the new firmware to the iPod we're going to make a backup - just in case. First, run the following to determine your partition layout.

cat /proc/partitions

Mac formatted iPods have three partitions whereas the Windows formatted ones only have two partitions. Below is an example of each. Note that the first example is of a slightly older iPod and has a smaller sized firmware partition.

40 GB "4th Generation" example:

major minor  #blocks  name
   8    48   39063023 sda
   8    49         31 sda1   <- Mac partition table
   8    50      32768 sda2   <- firmware partition
   8    51   39030224 sda3   <- HFS+ data partition

30 GB "5th Generation Late" example:

major minor  #blocks  name
   8    16   29302560 sda
   8    17      96264 sda1   <- firmware partition
   8    18   29206170 sda2   <- FAT data partition

Make A Backup

After determining which partition holds the firmware for your iPod, run the following command (replacing sdXX with the correct iPod device letter and firmware partition number) to backup your current firmware to the FirmwareBackup file.

dd if=/dev/sdXX of=FirmwareBackup

Copy Over New Firmware

Run the following command to copy over the new firmware. Don't forget to specify the path to the firmware you download and extracted earlier. Again, replace sdXX with the correct values.

dd if=path/to/extracted/firmware/Firmware of=/dev/sdXX


Eject the iPod

eject /dev/sdX

Follow the appropriate directions for your model of iPod. When the iPod does begin to install it will take a few minutes. Be patient while it extracts and updates.

Newer iPods

Leave the iPod connected to the computer if it is a 5th Gen and above, 2nd Gen Mini and above, or Nano. The iPod will detect the new firmware and install by itself.

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Last modified: Thu, 04 Sep 2008 04:50:00 +0000 Hits: 34,741