If you have a fairly recent iDevice (iPod, iPad, iPhone etc) running iOS 7.x.x (or higher) and you use Linux like me, at first glance you might have been a little disappointed when plugging it to the computer, as there is this wierd "trust bug" going around in some distros, also you might have wonder what are you going to do if you don't have iTunes here, well let me show you how comfortable actually it is to use an Apple device under any linux distro.
NOTE: I use Fedora Linux, so this tutorial will be based on that distro but there are not really "specific" steps or tools I'll take/use so you can follow my instructions under any other distro with very slight modifications.
We are going to need some deps in order to accomplish what we wanna do, so please open your terminal/package manager and install them:
Build deps (basic compilation software)
For fedora please install these packages.
su -c 'yum install gcc rhythmbox libgpod ifuse gvfs-afc usbmuxd libusb libusb-devel usbmuxd-devel'
2) "Trust Bug" Fix
When plugging an iOS 7 (or higher) device to a Linux computer, you might have noticed that there's this kind of annoying message (and it doesn't dissappear):
So, the fix for this is downloading, compiling and installing the latest version of libimobiledevice from git, this can be accomplished as follows:
NOTE: If your distro provide packages for libimobiledevice-1.1.6 (or higher) please save yourself some time and just install the library as you would install any normal package and move on to the 3rd step of the guide. If you however are stuck with an older version packaged, then follow these steps down here...
1 git clone https://github.com/libimobiledevice/libimobiledevice.git
2 cd libimobiledevice
5 sudo make install
NOTE: I believe Ubuntu users have a special PPA for this, it's called "ios7support" or something, you can search for it at Google if you want instead of compiling but I don't see the point of adding a PPA to your system just for a couple of files.
The last command will "install" the library under /usr/local/lib (see picture above), you have to move all the generated files to your actual libs directory (in my case, on Fedora 20 x86_64, such dir it's the /usr/lib64 one). If in your system the selected path from the compilation it's the correct one (/usr/local/lib) then you're good to go. In case you have to move the files, note that your actual libs directory might already have some of these files in it, replace them all except the pkgconfig folder, in that case just copy the contents of the generated one to the other already existing in your actual libs directory.
After these steps, you'll have to run another two commands:
1. sudo mkdir /var/lib/lockdown
2. sudo chmod 777 /var/lib/lockdown
Reboot the computer (with the device unplugged) and you're good to go. After the reboot, log in to your desktop and plug the device again, (make sure it is unlocked). it should mount correctly now.
3) Using as massive storage device
Just open any file manager and you'll see the device mounted, you can now use it as a big external HDD to transfer files and such:
4) Multimedia (Music, Photos, Videos, etc.)
The best app for music managing it's rhythmbox. It even supports syncyng:
¿And for photos? DigiKam it's your app:
For video related tasks, I'd recommend using VLC media player (both in the phone and in the compter):
5) Networking (AirDrop & Home Share features)
One of the features I like the most about the Apple products it's the Airdrop feature. Basically it is a way to share files across devices at very fast speeds without the cloud involved (Somehow like a LAN of some sort). If you wanna enjoy this feature between your iDevice, your Linux computer (and other devices) just install Dukto on all of them, connect them to the same network and voilá! instant secure file sharing for everyone (plus other features); For the media server (HomeShare), I believe the best way to go is to install the xbmc package on your distro (it comes in any distro's repos) and working from there towards tour preferred sharing setup.
6) Apps & Backups/Restore
For downloading/purchasing and installing apps on your device, just use the Appstore/iTunes store apps in it, it is not possible to "send downloads from the computer" using linux if you don't have iTunes installed. For full-device backups (app preferences and stuff for soft restoring) just use the iCloud option the device offers under Settings>iCloud, it comes with 5.0 GB free and for the music and stuff you can always make a backup on your machine with the deja-dup backup tool (available for all distros in repos) or so. For hard restoring (DFU Mode and the like), you can always use this open source tool in your linux box.
7) Software Updates
The Appstore app will handle individual app updates, for O.S. updates, just use the OTA update system under Settings>General>Software Update
Seven points, seven basic managing tasks that iTunes accomplish, now you can fully manage your iDevice without iTunes using only FOSS software! (or mostly); How awesome is that? I believe it's amazing.