If you read FSMdotCOM you’re either on a jailbroken device or you really considering on jailbreaking your device. One thing you can do if your device is jailbroken is to access the iPhone files and pretty much do whatever you want inside the iPhone/iTouch ( inside the OS not the hardware ). This process is called SSH. ( read more iPhone/iTouch terminology and f.a.q. here ).
If you’re on a Mac you can SSH into your iPhone/iTouch using Cyberduck. If you are a Windows user, you can SSH using WinSCP, or iPhone Tunnel ( iPhone Tunnel for 3.0 is no longer free ). Another way you can SSH into your iPhone/iTouch if you are on Windows is through Total Commander. Total Commander is a shareware Orthodox File Manager (OFM) for Windows. Some features include a built-in FTP client, file compare, archive file navigation, and a versatile multi-rename tool with regular expression support.
In order to SSH via TC, you will also need a plugin called T-Pot and of course iTunes. This plug-in is based on iTunes API which allows to access the iPod file system by the USB, unfortunately this API isn’t publicly documented yet. For the moment, some features are either not part of the API or were not discovered so far:
- getting/setting attributes
- permission flags
- date of creation/modification/…
- most file types: block/character device, soft links, …
- partition information: free/occupied space, file system type
- sending commands that could be hooked on the device
- setting an access password
Using the T-Pot plugin you can:
- transfer files/directories between the iPod and the PC
- move files/directories between the iPod and the PC
- remove files/directories from the iPod
- create directories on the iPod
- PNG image conversion
- binary PLIST file conversion
- all the associated functionalities in TC (comparing files, searching directories, compressing/decompressing files, …).
How to get and install T-Pot plugin:
1. Download the latest version of the T-PoT plug-in
You can get it from this page. There are two versions:
- one compiled with Visual Studio 2005 and which requires Microsoft .NET Framework Version 2.0.
- one compiled with Visual Studio 2003 that only requires msvcp71.dll and msvcr71.dll (which I put on the download page as Libs2003.zip. You can copy those files into C:\Windows\System32.
If you are not sure, choose the VS2003, it offers exactly the same features and the libraries are easier to get than the other version. Most up-to-date Windows systems should have the necessary libraries for the VS2005 version though.
2. Save the zip file in a temporary directory and open it with Total Commander.
Enter the following address in your favourite browser: http://code.google.com/p/t-pot/downloads/list
Left-click on the version you want to install, and select the directory you want to save it to (some browsers will automatically download the file at a pre-defined location):
Note: If that opens Winzip instead, do a right-click on the link and choose “Save link as…” instead (or save the zip file from Winzip itself).
3. Adding the Plug-in.
Go to the download directory with Total Commander. To open the zip file, select the file and press Enter or double-click it:
Total Commander will recognize a self-installable plug-in and ask whether you want to install it or not:
Simply click Yes.
If you miss some of the libraries mentioned earlier, you will get an error message:
Otherwise you can proceed with the installation.
- If this is the first time you install the plug-in, Total Commander will ask you where to store the files. You can safely use the default path:
- If there was another version already installed, Total Commander will aks whether you want to overwrite it, or install the plug-in elsewhere. Normally, you should overwrite the previous version:
Note: the default path may change from one version of Total Commander to the next. For example, 7.01 proposes <TC>\plugins\wfx\T-PoT, whereas 7.02a has <TC>\plugins\T-Pot as a default path. You needn’t worry, the actual directory doesn’t matter at all.
4. Installation Status.
Once the plug-in is installed, the File system plugins window opens and shows you the installed plug-ins. You should see a T-PoT entry:
You can rename it if you like, this will only change the name seen in the Network Neighborhood as explained below. From that window, you can also remove the plug-in. This will only unload it from Total Commander, the files will be left in the installation directory.
You can get back to the File system plugins window anytime from the Configuration menu, by choosing Options, then Plugins. Click on the Configurebutton of the File system plugins (.WFX) category to open the window.
5. Check if the plug-in is visible.
Open the Network Neighborhood in Total Commander:
- open the left or right drive letter drop-down (alternatively, press Alt-F1 or Alt-F2)
- select “[\-] Network Neighborhood” at the bottom of the list
You should see a [T-PoT] entry, or the name you renamed the plug-in to, next to an iPod icon:
6. Browse the iPod directories.
First, make sure the iPod is connected to the USB port of your computer and that it is recognized by iTunes.
Enter the [T-PoT] directory by selecting it with the arrow keys and pressing Enter, or by double-clicking it with the left mouse button:
Note that the last screenshot above shows what you should see on a jailbroken iPod. In its original configuration, you will have the /var/root/Media as root directory and won’t be able to see the whole file system.
That’s it, you’re in the iPod, congratulations!
How to use T-Pot:
If you are not familiar with Total Commander, the best is probably for you to get the knack of it by visiting the website tutorial. It’s pretty good and even has animations to get you through the main features of this tool.
Make sure to know the basics before transferring files to/from your iPod! Certain files and directories are quite important and you could render your device inoperable by erasing or overwriting the wrong one.