The iPhone, VBox, and devio

Kevin Fries kfries at
Fri Sep 19 19:39:53 UTC 2008

I have been monitoring a problem with the iPhone breaking their Windows Virtual Machines on Linux hosts.  Basically the problem progressed like this:

If you have a Linux host, and tried to run iTunes on it, it would not run correctly via Wine.  Most of us tried to create a virtual machine using one of the VM products on the market (this one was Sun's VirtualBox, but VMWare has volumes of details on it also).  This allowed iTunes to work better, but as soon as you plugged in your iPhone, the VM would crash.  Updates to both VMWare and VBox has stopped the crashing.  However, iTunes still does not acknowledge the phone, so you can not backup your contacts, music, etc.  So, I like many, have resorted to a dual boot situation to back up the phone.

The phone is such an unreliable POS, that not syncing is not really an option.  So, we wait, and wait, and wait some more.  Finally today, one of the guys over at VBox/Sun came up with this solution:

> In case one of you is in for some adventure. The iPhone works if you modify the linux sources and recompile your kernel:
> Modify MAX_USBFS_BUFFER_SIZE to 128K in drivers/usb/core/devio.c

I figure I would ask the developer community before putting anything in Launchpad so I can ask for something that does not make me look as stupid as I am in this area (kernel and drivers programming).

  * What would be the downside of requesting this change permanently in the Ubuntu kernel modules?

  * Could it be done safely?

  * Would any other devices/apps benefit from such a change other than the iPhone?

Kevin Fries

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