When you don't want to depend solely on the official App Store to get your iPhone 2.0 applications, you want to jailbreak your iPhone or iPod touch—and less than two weeks after the iPhone 2.0 launch, it's easier than ever to do with your new device. The hard-working iPhone Dev Team released the jailbreak utility PwnageTool version 2.0.1 this weekend, and while it's not as one-step as ZiPhone, it still offers an easy GUI interface for the job. Let's take a look at the step by step for jailbreaking your iPhone 2.0 device with PwnageTool.
Warning: The 2.0 jailbreak is still relatively new, and does suffer from instability. While I successfully jailbroke my device this morning, I have experienced hang-ups and freezes trying out new apps, and I haven't had a chance to make sure every single feature on my device still works as it did pre-break. If you decide to jailbreak, proceed with the utmost caution and a full backup of your device's data.
What You'll Get
The 2.0 jailbreak will add an app called Cydia to your iPhone, which is the 2.0 version of Installer.app. Like Installer.app, using Cydia, you can browse and install free iPhone apps not officially sanctioned by Apple. Right now pickings are very slim, but they're bound to expand over time. Update: Skip ahead to see what types of applications are available post-jailbreak.
You can still use the App Store as usual after you jailbreak your device—this just gives you more than one place to get iPhone apps. Apps you've already installed from the App Store still run on your device as well.
At this point in time the 2.0 jailbreak is still very young and the selection of applications is sparse for end users—so you may run into problems without much gain. If you're dead-set on jailbreaking right now, before you start, back up your device and be prepared for the worst. Alternately, you can hang in there and wait for things to get more stable, more apps to come out, and for developers to issue a one-step solution like ZiPhone was for the 1.0 software.
What You'll Need
To get your 2.0 jailbreak on with PwnageTool 2.0, you'll need an original iPhone upgraded to the iPhone 2.0 software, a new iPhone 3G, or an iPod touch upgraded to the iPhone 2.0 software. You'll also need a Mac since PwnageTool is Mac-only. Finally, you'll also need to download a few files: the PwnageTool itself, iPhone 2.0 firmware, and boot loaders.
As per the very helpful Mac OSx86 blog:
- People with old iPhone V1 (2G) will need to download this firmware from Apple :
iPhone 2.0 (5A347) firmware for 2G (10121)
- People with new iPhone V2 (3G) will need to download this firmware from Apple :
iPhone 2.0 (5A347) firmware for 3G (3883)
- Please also download the bootloaders 3.9 and 4.6 : here.
Finally, download PwnageTool 2.0.1 here. Once you've got the right files, unzip PwnageTool and launch it.
PwnageTool Step by Step
What PwnageTool does is build a custom software bundle to install on your device, which includes all the official iPhone 2.0 software goodness along with the jailbreak. When all is said and done, you'll come out the other end with an IPSW file that you'll use to "restore" your iPhone or touch with in iTunes. Here's how to build your custom jailbreak bundle with PwnageTool.
Fire up PwnageTool and note the big honking warning.
Again, for emphasis: While the custom iPhone software PwnageTool produced ran fine on my first gen phone, your mileage may vary, proceed with caution, don't run with scissors, and do consider just waiting till more folks get a chance to test this out and developers can squash any bugs.
What, you can't wait? Or you just want to live vicariously? Ok. Choose your device and hit the next button.
PwnageTool will try to detect the 2.0 firmware you've already got. If it doesn't automatically (which it didn't for me), browse to the firmware you downloaded above and select it.
Next up is the boot loaders. Unzip the
bootloaders.rar file you downloaded above, and choose "No" when PwnageTool asks to search the web for them.
Hit Yes to manually browse to the bootloader.
Once you've selected the appropriate bootloader file (
BL-39.bin, may be 4.6 for your newer 3G device), give PwnageTool the go-ahead to generate its IPSW file.
If you've got a plan with AT&T (or your original local provider) and haven't unlocked the carrier on your iPhone, answer "Yes" to the "Are you a legit iPhone user?" question.
Now PwnageTool starts to do its thing and build your custom IPSW file. Go get yourself a drink or watch the pretty animation while it works.
Enter your password when it prompts you.
PwnageTool will work awhile longer, then ask if your device has ever been pwned before. Hit No if you've never seen the pineapple logo on your device.
Now PwnageTool has to get your device in "DFU" mode to prime it for restoration with the new IPSW file it created. You'll have to shut the device off, connect it to your Mac, hold down Home and Power for 10 seconds, then just Home for another 10. PwnageTool will time you, but if you screw up, it's a no-go.
I'm such a spaz that it took a couple of tries to get the keys and timing down for me (while trying to get screenshots). If you don't get it right you can try again.
Once you're in DFU mode, you're done with PwnageTool—you've got your custom IPSW bundle file sitting on your desktop.
Now, fire up iTunes, which will prompt you to restore your device. Hold down the Option key when you click the Restore button in iTunes, and choose the PwnageTool-generated IPSW file on your desktop. iTunes will install the custom bundle on your device. Then it will prompt you to restore your device's data from backup.
Oddly, my iPhone wasn't able to restore from the most recent backup I had—I got an error saying it was incompatible. But choosing an older backup did work.
Once your iPhone has the jailbreak installed and it's restored from backup and synced your data, the Cydia app will appear on your device.
Tap Cydia to launch it.
When you get a prompt to upgrade to the latest version, choose "Upgrade Essential."
Once Cydia updates and you re-launch it, you can browse featured packages, read the FAQ, and experiment with what's available (which is exactly what I'm doing right now). As I play with what's out there, I'll update this post.
Jailbreak Application Offerings
Update: For the end user, "slim pickings" is an understatement in terms of apps. Here's an explanation of why from the iPhoneOS 2.0 folks. That said, for command line lovers, there are few really useful (and fun) things here—namely, OpenSSH, the NES emulator, and MobileTerminal. Get them under the "Featured Packages" section of Cydia, as pictured.
Gamers, here's what the NES emulator looks like running a Pacman ROM:
Here's what MobileTerminal looks like:
While that may not seem like much, the OpenSSH server package alone—which gives you command line access to the device—lets you do all sorts of things, like tether your iPhone to your laptop to get online from anywhere, copy music and video from the device to your computer without iTunes, securely wipe your device's data before you sell or give it away, and even wirelessly sync the device in Linux.
Once you've installed OpenSSH, here's how to use it from your Mac's Terminal.
I used OpenSSH to copy the Pacman ROM to my device for the screenshot above. The exact command I used was:
scp PACMAN.NES [email protected]:/var/mobile/Media/ROMs/NES/.
Just replace 192.168.xxx.xxx with your device's IP address.
For more jailbreak documentation, check out:
- How to jailbreak your iPod touch running the 2.0 firmware [Simple Help]
- Pwnage 2.0—Jailbreak iPhone 3G now! [Mac OSx86]
Have you jailbroken your device? How'd it go? Got any tips, tricks, or insights? Post 'em up in the comments.
Gina Trapani, the editor of Lifehacker, enjoys a good 2.0 jailbreak. Her feature Geek to Live appears every week on Lifehacker.