iRony RockBox Installer

Latest version: 0.1a1 (Prerelease Alpha)

Download: irony_installer-0.1a1.tar.gz

You can always find the most up-to-date version of the iRony RockBox installer at the project's homepage:

The iRony RockBox Installer is a simple Python installer for the RockBox jukebox firmware onto Apple iPods. It is meant to automate the long and sometimes complex process of installing RockBox firmware onto different types of iPods.

More information on RockBox can be found on the RockBox homepage. More information on RockBox on iPods can be found on the main iPod Port page in the RockBox wiki.

Running the iRony RockBox Installer


The iRony RockBox Installer was designed as a simple script to help automate the repetitive process of iPod installation at iPod install parties. It has only been used at a small number of such parties and only then by the experts in Python with the source code in an editor in front of them for tweaking.

It is not designed to be used by users inexperienced with either RockBox installation onto iPods or Python. If you're using this software, especially outside of its narrow use, do so at your own risk.

To use the installer, you will first need to install and compile the file ipod_fw.c and bootloader(s) for the iPod(s) that you wish to install. You should be able to do this by running make in the unpacked directory. Running make will require that you have both GCC and the program wget installed. Both will be installed on many standard GNU/Linux systems.

Once you have successfully downloaded and built ipod_fw and the necessary bootloader(s), you can run the installer as root with the command:

sudo ./irony_installer


The installer will download a version of rockbox for your iPod so please be sure that you run the scripts with a network connection.

For the rest of the installer, simply answer the questions to the best of your ability and carefully watch the output of the commands. The installer will ask you before it overwrites the firmware on the iPod at the last step. Please carefully look over the output of the script. If you see anything that looks like an error, hit Ctrl-C immediately. iRony can't detect every error and installing when there have been errors risks rendering an iPod temporarily unbootable or worse.

The installer will create a series of backup files each time you run it. To remove these, run make nobackups.

To remove all downloaded files, including those neccessary to install RockBox, you can run make clean.


This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with this program; if not, write to the Free Software Foundation, Inc., 51 Franklin Street, Fifth Floor, Boston, MA 02110-1301, USA.

Look in the COPYING file for the text of the GNU GPL.

Author and Feedback

This program was written for the iRony iPod Liberation Party. The party was held by Boston Free Culture and the Computing Counter Culture Group at the MIT Media Lab.

The sole author of the script to date is Benjamin Mako Hill. For more information about Mako and his programs, you can see his homepage. Please feel free to contribute to this script and get your name added here.

If you have questions, feedback, complaints, suggestions or patches (yes please!), please send those to or use any of the contact methods listed on Mako's contact page.