How-To Geek

How To Tether Your iPhone to Your Linux PC


Apple, like most companies, doesn’t really offer Linux support, so it’s a great thing when the community can deliver much-desired functionality. By adding a repo and installing a package or two, you can get tethering working via USB or Bluetooth.


You can connect your iPhone to your laptop and share its 3G connection, allowing you to browse the internet in places without WiFi connectivity. This process is called tethering, and you may be required to pay a fee to your carrier to use your data this way. While jailbreak-only apps can enable this kind of functionality without going to your carrier, it remains debatable whether or not your carrier can tell if you are tethering or if this legal. If your mobile carrier finds out, you may be charged extra fees or be switched to a more expense “tethering allowed” data plan. You tether at your own risk; we’re not responsible for any charges you may accrue or other damages that may ensue.

With that being said, I’ve never known anyone personally who was charged for tethering using 3rd-party methods. I, myself, use MyWi to get the job done, and I’m sure to restrict my usage to reasonable amounts. I’ve never had any problems. We just wanted to give you some experience-based information. Again, you’re doing this at your own risk.

On Your iPhone

Be sure you have tethering enabled. You can get this enabled by chatting with a AT&T or Verizon representative and signing up for a plan that supports it.

Photo Jul 28, 4 02 48 AM

Alternatively, if you’re jailbroken, you can install apps such as MyWi or iTether that enable this functionality for a nominal fee. One way or the other, you need to able to tether on your iPhone.

In Ubuntu

Pop open a terminal and enter the following command:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:pmcenery/ppa

add repo

Hit Enter, let it do its thing, then update:

sudo apt-get update

Now you can download and install the package we need to get things working:

sudo apt-get install ipheth-utils


Restart your computer. This will not work until after a restart.


Photo Jul 28, 4 03 15 AM

If you’re tethering via Bluetooth, pair your iPhone with your computer before you enable it. If you’re using USB, enable tethering first, and then plug in the cable to your computer.


You’ll see a new wired interface pop up if you’re using USB, and it should automatically connect.

This may not work on its own with some systems. If you tried this method and you’re not getting anywhere, try uninstalling the package and then reinstalling it alongside some related ones:

sudo apt-get remove ipheth-utils

sudo apt-get autoclean

sudo apt-get install gvfs ipheth-dkms ipheth-utils

After a restart, my second system connected fine using this method.

Do you tether your iPhone? Share your experiences in the comments.


Yatri Trivedi is a monk-like geek. When he's not overdosing on meditation and geek news of all kinds, he's hacking and tweaking something, often while mumbling in 4 or 5 other languages.

  • Published 07/28/11

Comments (9)

  1. jon_hill987

    There are Linux users with an iPhone?

  2. aziz

    how about tethering Android phone with linux

  3. Ed

    For Android, use Wireless Tether for Root Users. Of course, you will need to root your phone to use it.

  4. John

    I just use the mobile hot spot when I connect to my Linux laptop. That way I don’t have to fool with that dang USB wire thingy.

  5. Chrunchstick

    On my droid its build in

  6. kimberly

    If I already can tether using MyWi, does this repository or ipheth-utils add anything? What exactly do they do?
    @jon_hill987 I know, it’s counterintuitive. We exist, though.

  7. mihaimm

    @jon_hill987 yes, there are! liking the hardware, form factor & ui is not incompatible with hating proprietary software, Apple’s patent trolling, etc.

  8. Gerardo

    It works perfectly with:

    udo apt-get remove ipheth-utils
    sudo apt-get autoclean
    sudo apt-get install gvfs ipheth-dkms ipheth-utils

    Now tethering from iPhone 3G in Ubuntu Natty.

    Thank you!

  9. Alekib

    Yess… i’m one.
    I surf internet with my Iphone 3GS and a virtualized Ubuntu (when i’m at work to bypass content filtering) and it works very well.

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