How To: Jailbreak (Almost) Any iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad

Discussion in 'iPhone Jailbreak' started by Lincoln, May 1, 2008.

  1. Lincoln

    Lincoln New Member

    General Info: The What & The Why of Jailbreaking


    So, you've heard about jailbreaking, and it sounds intriguing. And dangerous. (But mostly just intriguing.) Here's how to hack your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad—yes, iPad—into an unrestricted, freshly empowered mega-machine.

    In buying an iProduct, you're accepting that its fate will be dictated by Apple. They control what kind of apps you install on your device, which of the hardware functions you can exploit to their full potential, and which carrier you can use your iPhone with. They've loosened up on at least one of those fronts in the last year or so, expanding the types of apps available in the App Store, but many—screw that, most—of the same restrictions still apply. Want to install an app that Apple hasn't explicitly approved? Sorry. Want to use an app over 3G that's been designated for Wi-Fi? Nope. Want to change your apps' icons? Install system-wide gestures? Record video on iPhone 3G? No. Such. Luck.

    Enter jailbreaking. In technical terms, to jailbreak is to enable a device to run code, meaning programs or system modifications, that hasn't been sanctioned by Apple. Its roots reach back to a time when there were no apps for iPhone OS, and a clever group of hackers zeroed in on some exploits gave people their first way to install apps on their devices, by way of an underground App Store called Installer. It used to be that you could hack your device simply by visiting a webpage. That was two years ago. Since then, the iPhone and iPod Touch have been given a legit App Store, Apple has closed one security hole after another, and jailbreaking has become alternately more and less difficult, depending which device and software version you have.

    Recently, a Windows and Mac tool called Spirit was released to the world. It's simple, relatively safe, and, at the time of it's release, worked on all devices. Every iPod Touch could be jailbroken to run custom apps. Every iPhone, too. Even the brand new iPad could be hacked. Unfortunately, Spirit is no longer universal. Different combinations - iPhone, iOS 4.0, iTunes 9.2, etc. - have broken the tool. However, there are other tools out there as well, so only a small percentage of users will be unable to jailbreak. Find out what group you're in below. So.. theming, data tethering (sans-AT&T), console emulation, secret settings, and much more: With jailbreak, your iThing is truly yours.

    How To Jailbreak

    Three iDevices exist; the iPhone, the iPod touch, and the iPad. There are four generations of iPhone, three of iPod touch, just one of iPad. There are numerous versions of device software, the same applying with basebands and bootloaders. (You don't need to understand those terms.) As such, there are more than 50 combinations of these things that you might have. This, as you probably guessed, makes it difficult for you to understand what jailbreak to use, and for me to link to all the right guides. There's just too much to fit in this post. Thankfully, there's a website called Jailbreak Matrix that is esentially a giant chart pointing you in the right direction. The site is located here - take a look. It's quite useful. If there's a jailbreak for your combination, it'll read "Yes" under "jailbreak options", and that "yes" will be blue - click on it, and you'll be taken to the proper guide. After the dity work is done, head back for advice on what to install after the jailbreak, and a Q&A in case things go bad.


    When you restart your device, you'll see a new icon on your homescreen, called Cydia. Open it up. This is your new App Store. Don't worry, the regular App Store still works. Now you've just got another one.


    Cydia will look a bit different on the iPad and iPhone or iPod Touch, but will contain most of the same software.


    The first thing you need to do, though, is click the button that says, "Make my life easier, thanks!"

    This will back up your device activation profile (called an SHSH blob) to remote servers, which ensures that you won't lose the ability to jailbreak if you accidentally upgrade your device device software in the future. More on that later.

    Regarding Unlocking

    Traditionally, unlocking (opening your phone to use with different carriers) and jailbreaking have fallen to the same tools. Since unlocking has become more difficult with later firmwares, the tools have grown apart. If you want to unlock, though, there may be hope.

    I've never unlocked and know very little about it. However, the same website described above will help you out. Check out Jailbreak Matrix.

    Anyway, that's it! It's time to explore Cydia.


    Special thanks to Saurik, the man behind Cydia, and the indefatigable Comex, for discovering the first userland jailbreak in a loooooooong time. Awesome work, guys. Also, thanks to Gizmodo's John Herrman - many parts of this guide (in fact, the majority of it) came from John's original posted here on Giz.
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  2. patrickj

    patrickj Genius

    This is very good stuff, and is what we need more of at EIC. I reckon there should be a Guides, or How-To's, or both, section that entries like this should live in.

    Some suggested amendments for your consideration:

    Probably worth explaining the difference between unlocked and jailbroken in this doc, as many new users confuse the two terms.

    Where you mention the warranty being voided when hacked, it may be worth stating that that is *if* you are unable to restore cleanly and prevent Apple from realizing you hacked.

    On basic jailbreak definition part, it should say that it allows access to areas of the file system which Apple has not granted, which in turn lets us install 3rd party apps.

    Definition of SSH = a secure method of remote access to systems. (In our case it usually involves file transfers, but doesn't have to.)

    Firmware is generally an interface between hardware and software layers it has to interact with. With the iPhone, the term is almost interchangeable with 'operating system'.

    Pwnage - is safer largely because it allows restore of JBed firmware via iTunes.
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  4. Lincoln

    Lincoln New Member

    Edited. Thanks.

    By the way - this is almost exactly 10,000 characters. I had to remove several words to add in what you suggested.
  5. patrickj

    patrickj Genius

    Cool. Sorry - meant to mention this in my first reply but forgot - have now mentioned in another thread that I think your post could do with being broken up into several, each covering a very specific topic.

    This one should maybe end after defining jailbreak. Then do separate ones for: Essential Apps To Install After Jailbreak, Connecting via SSH, iPhone Themes How-To etc.

    Two advantages to this - lazy readers have less to read through on each specific topic, and it lets you use more meaningful and descriptive post titles, so that at a glance people can find relevant things more easily just by their post title ...
  6. themanofthedark

    themanofthedark New Member

    do I recognize some of my own words in this?
  7. aaronsiphone

    aaronsiphone New Member

    Bravo.....uve talked me into jailbreaking my phone now with your swarve language!! Oh hold on I'm already jailbroken...good read tho!
  8. Lincoln

    Lincoln New Member

    But then I would have to have all of the comments above the be deleted. Otherwise it would look rather ugly.

    - John
  9. Gundam01

    Gundam01 New Member

    Can't connect to wifi...

    Hi. I just re-unlocked my brand new phone and now I'm trying to install apps into it. The problem is that it can't seem to find a host. Does my phone have to be activated with a working sim card and all? I tried hooking up via wifi but everytime I do, it can't seem to recognize the password eventhough I changed my wireless modem's password twice just so I can hook up to it. Are there apps that I can install just by using the usb cable? Also, where do I get a copy of Spring Board (or is it summer board now) and NES apps? Much obliged...
  10. Lincoln

    Lincoln New Member

    As far as your Wi-Fi issues goes, see if this article form Apple offers any assistance.

    Applications from Installer do not require Wi-Fi to be installed. They can be installed over an EDGE connection. Also, if you have an iPhone application on your computer that you wish to put on your phone, you can place it on the phone via SSH, which is explained above.

    SummerBaord is in Installer. After you have installed Community Sources, look in 'All Packages' and find the package named 'SummerBoard'. Install it and then reboot. can be installed form installer. ROMs for the application can be found and are available for download all over the internet.

    - John
  11. Ramesh

    Ramesh Zealot

    Wait, so after pwning, can one restore using iTunes as in the past? Has anyone done it?
  12. patrickj

    patrickj Genius

    Sorry, I don't follow the looking ugly part - how do you mean? In any case, I think we all know a lot of readers are lazy and want quick answers - breaking separate topics out into separate posts, so you can spot the one that interests you much more quickly, would be very helpful ...
  13. Lincoln

    Lincoln New Member

    Well, if I had the jailbreaking definition in the first post, and then he rest starting on the second page, that wouldn't look to great. Plus it would confuse some people.

    - John
  14. patrickj

    patrickj Genius

    OK, now I get it - and that is true. My thought was more that each topic area should be broken off and then stickied as well - if possible in a new 'Guides' or How-To's section. That way, there is a section with a more obvious name to look in, and posts with more obvious titles for users to pick up on ...
  15. davis5050

    davis5050 Member

    I have read this but am missing the part where it tells you how to take the themes off your pc and put them on your iphone. I see how to use smb and how to make your own themes but I need to no how to get d/l themes onto my phone.
  16. The how to is there. As John related, you'll need a SSH client to transfer files, like themes, to the phone. Just follow the path in "Make your own theme" portion of the guide for installing.

    If downloading themes from installer is what your talking about, that's pretty straight forward. Just go to the Themes/Summerboard directory in installer start downloading.
  17. davis5050

    davis5050 Member

    I went to and they had a bunch of themes that you download to your pc. I picked two but i need to know how to get them onto my phone. I'm not very good with the ssh thing so I was looking for directions.
  18. yes, SSH is really pretty easy to work with once you figure it out for the first time, Lori.

    Just follow the directions John posted above.
  19. davis5050

    davis5050 Member

    I know how to use the ssh but I don't know what to replace with what.
  20. Well, If you downloaded a theme for Summerboard all you have to do is drop the theme file into /var/mobile/Library/SummerBoard/Themes
  21. chazm

    chazm Contributor

    So WinSCP is the ssh? I downloaded the file on my comp and I don't see the files i need to drop. I am really confused, is it a FTP?

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