Home > Tips & How To > How to SSH into your Apple iPhone

How to SSH into your Apple iPhone

by Alvin on July 11, 2009

What is SSH?

SSH stands for Secure Shell is a network protocol that allows you to connect and transfer data to or from your iPhone. If you’re using windows operating system on your computer, then you’ll need to install WinSCP SFTP client to SSH into your iPhone. But, if you’re using mac operating system, you can use Cyberduck instead. Both of the SFTP clients are free and you can download from their home page.

Once you’ve installed the SFTP client on your computer, you need to jailbreak your iPhone first before you can SSH into it. Since I’m using windows Vista on my computer, so I can only show you how to SSH into your iPhone using WinSCP for this tutorial. If you’re on Mac, you can also use this tutorial as the steps and settings are similar. Just you’ll need to install Cyberduck on your Mac. I’m sure you manage to follow the tutorial with me. So, let’s get started.

Launch Cydia installer on the iPhone, go to Sections tab, select Networking and look for OpenSSH package. Select and install OpenSSH package. After installation completed, you can close Cydia installer and restart your iPhone.

OpenSSH package

OpenSSH package

If your iPhone Wi-Fi isn’t turn on, go to Settings and Wi-Fi to switch it on. You’ll see your home Wi-Fi network name and connect your iPhone to the network. Tap on the blue right arrow and jot down the IP address. Please make sure Auto-Lock is set to Never. (the Wi-Fi connection will lost if the iPhone is in sleep mode)

IP address

IP address

Connect your computer to your home Wi-Fi if it is not connected yet. Launch WinSCP on your computer, you’ll see the login page and fill the IP address you jotted down just now in the Host name field and fill in the User name and Password fields with “root” and “alpine” (Please exclude the double quote).

WinSCP login page

WinSCP login page

On the same page (WinSCP login page), go to Connection tab, change the Server response timeout value to “90″ and click Login button. It may takes 60 – 90 seconds for the first login.

connection tab

connection tab

You’ll see the same windows as the image below if you’re successfully connected to your iPhone and ready to transfer the data. You might want to backup your iPhone data, including contacts, SMS, notes and calendar.

connected successful

connected successful

P/S: I’ve written the guide on how to backup your Appstore saved games using SSH, you can view the step-by-step guide here.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

kevin November 26, 2009 at 4:40 am

I have followed your “How to SSH into your Apple iPhone” directions exactly and when I click “Login”, it never connects… I have:
Win XP
iPhone 3G (jailbroken)
and everything else mentioned in your post. Anything else I am missing?

kevin November 26, 2009 at 4:43 am

I have corrected the problem… issue resolved. Thank you

kevin November 26, 2009 at 5:06 am

Now that I am able to look into my iPhones files, how do I determine which folders are which? I am trying to extract all my photos and music… Can anyone help me identify which files I need to drag and drop please.

Leave a Comment