Podzilla (legacy)

From wikiPodLinux

The title of this article should be podzilla (legacy). The initial letter is capitalized due to technical limitations.
Note: pz0 only supports iPod models before 5G (Video). If you have a 5G model or newer, you need to use podzilla2 instead.

Table of contents


podzilla is the old default user interface for iPodLinux. It provides a familiar user interface for accessing various functionality in iPodLinux, such as playing music, file browsing, image viewing, and more (see the list below).

Since there is now a new version, podzilla2, in development, we also refer to the two version as pz0 (legacy, original, descibed on this page) and pz2.

pz0 is a monolithic application, meaning that all of its functionality is built into one file.

Currently, there are two official versions of pz0 available: The release version (included in the old userland files (https://sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group_id=73079&package_id=73279)) and the nightly builds (http://www.ipodlinux.org/builds/) (unsupported). The GUI installers usually include the nightly builds, so be wary of any odd activity.

pz0 is built using the Nano-X (http://www.microwindows.org) toolkit - this means it can be built to run on the iPod or on a desktop computer running X11. For information on modifying and compiling podzilla, see the Building Podzilla_(legacy) and Modifying Podzilla pages.

Please note that pz0 has been abandoned by the core developer team in favour of pz2.

Release Status

Incredibly old, use a nightly.

  • File browser
    • JPEG image viewing
    • video player
    • text file display
    • basic mp3/wav/aac playback (via console based application)
  • Games

Beta Status

The latest podzilla nightly builds are available here (http://ipodlinux.org/builds/).


  • A music browser allowing you to view your iPod's music in a similar way to Apple's iPod firmware
  • Basic MP3/AAC/WAV playback (with volume control)
  • Basic recording on 3rd Generation iPods
  • Some simple games
    • Bluecube (Tetris (http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tetris))
    • Hunt The Wumpus (Wumpus (http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wumpus))
    • Invaders (Space Invaders (http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_invaders))
    • iPobble (Puzzle Bobble (http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puzzle_Bobble) or Bust a Move)
    • Lights (Lights Out (http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lights_Out_%28game%29))
    • Nimesweeper (Minesweeper (http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minesweeper_%28computer_game%29))
    • Othello
    • Pong (http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pong)
    • Steroids (Asteroids (http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asteroids))
    • Tic-Tac-Toe
    • Tunnel
    • Tuxchess (Chess)
  • A few GFX demos
    • Cube
    • Matrix
    • Mandelpod
  • Some vaguely useful things
    • Calendar display
    • Touch-Tone Dialer
  • A file browser able to:
    • Read text files
    • View images (JPEG, GIF, BMP, PNM and XPM formats are supported)
      • For better performance, compress images
    • Play video (http://ipodlinux.org/Video_Player)
    • Execute external applications


Simply replace the old podzilla binary located at /bin with a new one.


Playing Songs

You can play songs via either the Music menu, which plays your iPod's song in an ordered way (similar to that of the iPod's original firmware) or by selecting the song using the file browser

When the song is playing, you can pause by pressing the play/pause button, and resume the song by pressing play/pause again. The volume can be changed with the scrollwheel. You can go the next song by pressing next, and go back by pressing previous if the song was played through the Music Browser. To go back to podzilla, press Menu. When Menu is pressed, the song will stop playing and you will be shown the podzilla interface again. You can choose Shuffle and Repeat as well through the Settings menu.


In the Extras menu, select Games, and you will be presented with a choice of games. Pressing Menu while in a game will bring you out of the game.

  • Game Instructions
  • Bluecube(Tetris): Previous is used to move the block left, Next is used to move the block right. Play/Pause is used to speed up the block going down. The scrollwheel can be scrolled left or right to turn the piece. Pressing the middle select button causes the piece to go down straight away.
  • Pong: The scrollwheel is used to control the movement of the paddle.
  • Othello: The scrollwheel is used to control which block is selected, and the center button is used to select that block.
  • Nimesweeper(Minesweeper): The scrollwheel is used to select the mine you want to mark. Press play to mark a mine. Press play once again to cancel.
  • Steroids(Asteroids): Scroll wheel rotates ship, middle select button fires, Next toggles thrusters on/off. Play/Pause can be used to pause the game.

Browsing Files

The File Browser is located on the main menu. When in the File Browser, you will be able to access the different directories on the iPod's harddrive. You can open text files by selecting .txt files. To select a file, scroll to that file, and press the center button. To get back to the File Browser from the text file viewer, press Menu. You can also open picture files (JPEG, GIF, BMP, PNM and XPM) on the iPod by selecting the file, and pressing the select button. A picture may take a while to open depending on the size. Pressing Menu will take you back to the File Browser. Pressing Menu in the File Browser will take you back to the Main Menu. If you want to go into another directory, scroll to the directory and press the center button. If you want to go back to the parent directory, scroll to the top of the file browser till you see "..". Selecting this will take you back to the parent directory.

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