How to Install Rockbox Utility on Ubuntu 13.04, 12.04, 12.10, 10.04

This simple tutorial shows you how to install Rockbox Utility on Ubuntu 13.04 Raring, 12.04 Precise, 12.10 Quantal, 10.04 Lucid.

What is Rockbox:

As you may know, Rockbox is a free and open source replacement for the standard firmware in various forms of digital audio players (DAPs). It offers an alternative to the player’s operating system, in many cases without removing the original firmware, which provides a plug-in architecture for adding various enhancements and functions. Enhancements include personal digital assistant (PDA) functions, applications, utilities, and games. Rockbox can also retrofit video playback functions on players first released in mid-2000. Rockbox includes a voice-driven user-interface suitable for operation by visually impaired users.

What is Rockbox Utility

Rockbox Utility is a free computer application that is used to install and manage Rockbox on DAPs. It provides automatic installation of Rockbox, as well as themes and voice files, directly onto a DAP with minimal user interaction.

Rockbox Utility is updated frequently as support for new devices is added. Currently supported devices include iPod, iPod Mini, iPod Nano, Archos Jukebox series, Cowon X5, M5, M3, iRiver H10/H100/H300, Mpio HD200, Packard Bell Vibe 500, Philips GoGear, Samsung YH, SanDisk, Toshiba, Olympus. Read more


  • Base
    • Bootloader installation
    • Rockbox installation
  • Extras
    • Fontpack installation
    • Theme installation
    • Game files installation (i.e. freedoom)
  • Accessibility
    • Install voice file (from the webpage)
    • Create voicefile
    • Create .talk clips
  • Uninstallation
    • Uninstall bootloader
    • Uninstall Rockbox (partial, or full)
  • Manual
    • Access to the Manual of your device
  • Info
    • Shows all installed parts of Rockbox

Install Rockbox Utility:

The official website only provides source code for Ubuntu users. GetDeb repository has added Rockbox Utility packages for Ubuntu 12.04 and higher (exclude Ubuntu 11.04, 10.10).

Press Ctrl+Alt+T on your keyboard to open a terminal window. When it opens, run below commands to add getdeb repository:

sudo dpkg -i getdeb-repository_0.1-1~getdeb1_all.deb

After that, install it from Synaptic package manager. Or run below commands instead:

sudo apt-get update; sudo apt-get install rbutil

Once Rockbox Utility is installed, open it from Unity Dash.

By Ji m

I'm a freelance blogger who started using Ubuntu in 2007 and wishes to share my experiences and some useful tips with Ubuntu beginners and lovers. Please comment to remind me outdated tutorial! And, notify me if you find any typo/grammar/language mistakes. English is not my native language. Contact me via Buy me a coffee:


  1. not looking to be critical here but… why would you want to? As a media player on ubuntu? Surely there are tons of better alternatives…

    1. Rockbox is an alternative firmware for your mp3 player, not for ubuntu. And what a hell of an improvement! My old Sansa e200 went from not supporting large microSDs, to an 8Gb mp3 player (I don’t know if it can handle more, but 8’s fine with me); from only playing mp3/wma to supporting pretty much every format under the sun (including my beloved FLAC!) Also improved audio output quality and upped volume levels. All hail open source!!!

      And thanks for the guide Ji m!

  2. Thank you Ji for the effort by putting this very clear and useful manual online.

    Much appreciated.

  3. After running “sudo apt-get update”:
    N: Ignoring file ‘getdeb.list.bck’ in directory ‘/etc/apt/sources.list.d/’ as it has an invalid filename extension
    W: Failed to fetch “” 404 Not Found [IP: 80]

    W: Failed to fetch “” 404 Not Found [IP: 80]

    E: Some index files failed to download. They have been ignored, or old ones used instead.


    After running “sudo apt-get install rbutil”:

    Reading package lists… Done
    Building dependency tree
    Reading state information… Done
    N: Ignoring file ‘getdeb.list.bck’ in directory ‘/etc/apt/sources.list.d/’ as it has an invalid filename extension
    E: Unable to locate package rbutil


    I’m using Linux Mint 17 64bit.

    1. the /etc/apt/sources.list.d/getdeb.list file has a line that looks like this:
      deb ‘ qiana-getdeb’ apps
      replace it with this:
      deb ‘ trusty-getdeb’ apps

      if you have a backup (same file name but with .bk or something at the end, it’ll be largely a duplicate and you can delete it (if you are totally lost, just leave it be and ignore the error warning).

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