Last updated: November 22, 2023
Cydia is an alternative app store developed by Jay Freeman (aka "saurik") for jailbroken devices. It provides a graphical user interface and a version of the Advanced Packaging Tool (APT). You can easily access many "unsanctioned" app packages through Cydia. Most jailbreaks install Cydia automatically.
Many tools on a jailbroken device can be installed by using Cydia, which is the unofficial AppStore for iOS devices and allows you to manage repositories. In Cydia you should add (if not already done by default) the following repositories by navigating to Sources -> Edit, then clicking Add in the top left:
- http://apt.thebigboss.org/repofiles/cydia/: One of the most popular repositories is BigBoss, which contains various packages, such as the BigBoss Recommended Tools package.
- https://cydia.akemi.ai/: Add "Karen's Repo" to get the AppSync package.
- https://build.frida.re: Install Frida by adding the repository to Cydia.
- https://repo.chariz.io: Useful when managing your jailbreak on iOS 11.
- https://apt.bingner.com/: Another repository, with quiet a few good tools, is Elucubratus, which gets installed when you install Cydia on iOS 12 using Unc0ver.
In case you are using the Sileo App Store, please keep in mind that the Sileo Compatibility Layer shares your sources between Cydia and Sileo, however, Cydia is unable to remove sources added in Sileo, and Sileo is unable to remove sources added in Cydia. Keep this in mind when you’re trying to remove sources.
After adding all the suggested repositories above you can install the following useful packages from Cydia to get started:
- adv-cmds: Advanced command line, which includes tools such as finger, fingerd, last, lsvfs, md, and ps.
- AppList: Allows developers to query the list of installed apps and provides a preference pane based on the list.
- Apt: Advanced Package Tool, which you can use to manage the installed packages similarly to DPKG, but in a more friendly way. This allows you to install, uninstall, upgrade, and downgrade packages from your Cydia repositories. Comes from Elucubratus.
- AppSync Unified: Allows you to sync and install unsigned iOS applications.
- BigBoss Recommended Tools: Installs many useful command line tools for security testing including standard Unix utilities that are missing from iOS, including wget, unrar, less, and sqlite3 client.
- class-dump: A command line tool for examining the Objective-C runtime information stored in Mach-O files and generating header files with class interfaces.
- class-dump-z: A command line tool for examining the Swift runtime information stored in Mach-O files and generating header files with class interfaces. This is not available via Cydia, therefore please refer to installation steps in order to get class-dump-z running on your iOS device. Note that class-dump-z is not maintained and does not work well with Swift. It is recommended to use dsdump instead.
- Clutch: Used to decrypt an app executable.
- Cydia Substrate: A platform that makes developing third-party iOS add-ons easier via dynamic app manipulation or introspection.
- cURL: Is a well known http client which you can use to download packages faster to your device. This can be a great help when you need to install different versions of Frida-server on your device for instance.
- Darwin CC Tools: A useful set of tools like nm, and strip that are capable of auditing mach-o files.
- IPA Installer Console: Tool for installing IPA application packages from the command line. After installing two commands will be available
ipainstallerwhich are both the same.
- Frida: An app you can use for dynamic instrumentation. Please note that Frida has changed its implementation of its APIs over time, which means that some scripts might only work with specific versions of the Frida-server (which forces you to update/downgrade the version also on macOS). Running Frida Server installed via APT or Cydia is recommended. Upgrading/downgrading afterwards can be done, by following the instructions of this Github issue.
- Grep: Handy tool to filter lines.
- Gzip: A well known ZIP utility.
- PreferenceLoader: A Substrate-based utility that allows developers to add entries to the Settings application, similar to the SettingsBundles that App Store apps use.
- SOcket CAT: a utility with which you can connect to sockets to read and write messages. This can come in handy if you want to trace the syslog on iOS 12 devices.
Besides Cydia you can also ssh into your iOS device and you can install the packages directly via apt-get, like for example adv-cmds.
apt-get update apt-get install adv-cmds