How to Download iTunes for Linux

Access your iTunes music, movies, and TV shows on Linux

For owners of the iPhone and iPods, iTunes is the primary way to sync music, movies, and other data from their computers to their mobile devices. It's also a great way to buy music or stream tens of millions of songs with Apple Music. And that's great for users of macOS and Windows, which both have versions of iTunes. But what about Linux? Is there iTunes for Linux?

The simplest answer is no. Apple doesn't make a version of iTunes that can run natively on Linux. But that doesn't mean that it's impossible to run iTunes on Linux. It just means that it's a little harder.

How to Install iTunes on Linux with WINE

iTunes on Linux running with WINE

Your best bet for running iTunes on Linux is WINE. This program adds a compatibility layer that lets you run Windows programs on Linux. Here's what you need to do:

  1. Install WINE. WINE is a free download available here.

  2. Once WINE is installed, check to see if your version of Linux needs any extras installed to support iTunes or its files. One common tool that is used in this situation is PlayOnLinux.

  3. With your environment configured correctly, next you'll start installing iTunes. To do that, download a 32-bit Windows version of iTunes from Apple and install it. It will install in the same way as if you were installing it on Windows. 

    Don't download the 64-bit version for Windows.

  4. If the initial installation doesn't work properly, try an earlier version of iTunes.

    Earlier versions may not have the latest features or support syncing with the newest iOS devices.

  5. Once you've completed the installation, you should be running iTunes on Linux. This post at AskUbuntu.com has more extensive instructions on running iTunes in WINE.

How to Install iTunes on Linux with VirtualBox

iTunes in Linux running through a Windows 7 virtual machine via VirtualBox

This approach requires that you install VirtualBox on your Linux machine. VirtualBox is a free virtualization tool that imitates the physical hardware of a computer and lets you install operating systems and programs in it. It allows you to, for instance, run Windows from inside macOS or, in this case, to run Windows from inside Linux.

To do this, you'll need a version of Windows to install in VirtualBox (this may require a Windows installation disc). If you've got that, follow these steps:

  1. Download the correct version of VirtualBox for your Linux distribution.

  2. Install VirtualBox in Linux.

  3. Launch VirtualBox and follow the onscreen instructions for creating a virtual Windows computer.

    The installation process may require the Windows install disc.

  4. With Windows installed, launch your preferred Windows web browser and download iTunes from Apple.

  5. Install iTunes in Windows, and you're all set.

So, while this isn't truly running iTunes in Linux, it does give you access to iTunes and its features from a Linux computer.

And that, or running WINE, is probably the best you'll get until Apple releases a version of iTunes for Linux.

Will Apple Release iTunes for Linux?

Generally speaking, Apple doesn't release versions of its flagship programs for Linux (not all of them even exist on Windows). Given the relatively small number of users and the cost to port and support programs on Linux, it's doubtful iTunes will make the leap to that platform.