MobileMe iDisk on Ubuntu

Posted on Monday 30 May 2011

So – now that things are working again…. for now 🙄 , I thought I’d chat about something that worked the first time out – and it worked really Really well!

As I’ve mentioned, I’ve fallen down the rabbit-hole vis-a-vis Apple. I thought that I would give their MobileMe feature a try since I now had an iPhone and an iPad. My biggest concern was how I could access their Cloud storage from my Linux/Ubuntu machine…

I also need to say up front, how amazed I am as to how well the MobileMe environment works between Apple devices. It just works. They act like one device, if you update a calendar on one, it updates on the other, if you get a message or delete a message or send a message it looks, acts and does the same thing on the other.

Sure I could have created a work around with Google’s tools and gmail etc etc. But MobileMe acts and looks like it resides on your device, you don’t need to log into anything or do anything, it just works! Very impressive.

I managed to figure out how to transfer all my contacts and calendar from my Ubuntu machine to my MobileMe environment. Alas I have yet to find an easy/sensible/workable way to keep all of that in sync with my main machine. Even Windows doesn’t do that though, so I don’t feel too bad about that. If I do find something ( on either Windows or Linux ) you’ll be the second one to know.

However the MobileMe cloud storage, called iDisk, works very, very well on Windows platforms. Apple of course makes the code for it. But alas they don’t do anything for Linux, so I had to put my Google search skills to work to find a solution. And of course I did…

So the site I found and the guy who came up with the solution have done a great job of putting the info on the solution together, so I’m not going to try and repeat what he has done. He did the work, laid it out better than pretty well anything else I’ve seen ( or would be capable of doing ) so he should be getting all the credit! It works very VERY well.

Here are his directions and he includes a handy little script that will make your life quite easy in future as well….

Yes the link wording is in French, but he offers the solution in French and English and the link points to the English solution…. so don’t sweat it!

His solution and script work flawlessly.

One thing I do have to emphasize is his warning about automounting the iDisk…. DON’T DO IT! The problem is that you need Internet access to mount the disk and  it’s possible that your Internet won’t be up when your reach this stage when booting up, or could even be down for any other reason and you won’t be able to get your computer booted all the way up until you boot up with one of your installation CD’s and do a repair turning off the automatic mounting for iDisk.

Trust me using the  iDisk utility that he has made makes the whole process a lot less painful in the long run ( yeah I had to try it and found out why one shouldn’t…. what can I say…. )

After your machine boots up, just open a terminal and type

$ sudo iDisk -m

Enter your admin password and then your idisk password and voila. An Apple iDisk will reside on your Linux machine!

One of the big things I like about iDisk is that it seems to prioritize the uploads and downloads to Cloud device. As you may, or may not know, I’ve tried and kicked the tires on other similar such devices: DropBox, ZumoDrive, etc and they all pale in comparison to the speed and ease of use of iDisk.

A case in point: We were in Quebec City visiting family ( about a 4 hour drive away ). My wife asked me to show the local family a particular picture of one of our grandsons. Unfortunately, it wasn’t on my iPad. However in less that 5 minutes, I was able to log into my machine at home ( from my iPad ) using TeamViewer ( Hope to talk about that one later. ) I then copied the picture she wanted into the iDisk on my Linux machine and an extremely short time later load up the picture on my iPad from the iDisk icon on my iPad… man did I look good…. ( I wish… )

To be truthful, no one noticed or cared. But I did, and it still blows me away. There is no way I could have done a transfer that fast ( save for direct copying from my Linux machine to my iPad ) using any other tools I have ever looked at or tried.

So again – check out Pierre’s directions and script ( which will make the whole thing much, MUCH easier, ) trust me you’ll be really pleased with the results!

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