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iPhone Jailbreak Tips – How To Connect to Your iPhone via SSH


Now that we’ve had an impressive wave of new untethered jailbreak releases for the latest version of Apple’s iOS firmware, and many of us have got the jailbreaking bug again, I thought it might be a good time to revise and re-share an old favorite iPhone Jailbreak Tips post – on how to connect to your iPhone via SSH.

Being able to connect to your iPhone via SSH is useful for a number of reasons – including the ability to transfer files and folders directly to and from your iPhone via a desktop PC. Hit the jump for a step-by-step run-through of how it’s done …


How To Connect to Your iPhone Via SSH

Topic Description: SSH (secure shell) is a network protocol that allows data to be exchanged over a secure channel, in this case between a computer and your iPhone.  If you have a jailbroken iPhone (or iPod Touch or iPad), an SSH connection over a wireless network is often the best way to browse your iPhone, carry out simple file transfer back and forth to the iPhone, or manually install applications to it.  This short guide provides a rundown of how to establish an SSH connection to your iPhone.

Requirements & Assumptions:

A jailbroken iPhone. 

An SSH program on your computer.  A couple of good free options are WinSCP for a Windows PC, and Cyberduck for a Mac. 

OpenSSH installed on your iPhone.  You can find this in the Networking section of the Cydia jailbreak app store, or via a search in Cydia.

iPhone and computer need to be on the same (usually wireless) network.  For the sake of this guide, we’ll assume both are on a home wireless network.

An ability to turn SSH On and Off on the iPhone.  One of the easiest ways to do this is to use the SBSettings app – which can also be found in Cydia. SBSettings provides easy toggles to turn key services – like SSH, WiFi, Bluetooth, 3G, and more – on an off quickly (much more quickly than via the iPhone’s Settings app).


  • Make a note of your iPhone’s IP address.  To find this, on your iPhone go to Settings > WiFi and tap on the blue arrow to the right of the name of your home network.  On the screen that comes up, note the set of numbers listed in the IP Address field. An even quicker way to find this address if you are using SBSettings (SBS) is to bring SBS up and look for the Wi-Fi IP Address entry below its groups of icons.
  • Turn SSH On, on the iPhone.  When you install OpenSSH the SSH service will be turned on by default. For both security and battery-saving purposes, you should make a habit of keeping this turned off except when in use by you. You can use SBS to toggle the service on and off as needed.
  • Launch your SSH app on your computer.  WinSCP will land you on a new ‘Session’ screen straight away.  On Cyberduck, you’ll need to choose ‘Open New Connection’.  See screencaps at the top of this post and below for a look at how these screens appear. Then you need to fill in a few fields to specify how you want to connect and what device you want to connect to.  The fields are named slightly differently depending on which program you use, but they are similar enough that you should be able to fill them in as follows:
    Hostname or Server = enter your iPhone’s IP address in this field
    File Protocol = should be SCP on WinSCP and SFTP on Cyberduck
    Username = enter ‘root’ (without the quotes) in this field
    Password = enter ‘alpine’ in this field (without the quotes) or whatever you have changed root’s password to, if you have ever changed it.
  • Once you have entered the information as above, hit ‘Login’ on WinSCP or ‘Connect’ on Cyberduck.  It may take up to 30 seconds or so to connect. 
  • You may see a confirmation message asking if you will accept key exchange / connection with the device with the iPhone’s address.  You’ll need to say Yes or Allow on these.

Once connected, you are presented with an Explorer-like view of the file system on the iPhone, or of the iPhone and your own computer.  Once there, you can copy files and folders back and forth between the computer and iPhone.

WinSCP screencap

Continue reading:


  • Lance F.

    Technically this is SCP (secure copy), not SSH (secure shell).

    Readers should be warned: if you enable the SSH server on your device, the first thing that you should do is to change the password for both the “mobile” and “root” users.

    The default password “alpine” is well-known, meaning that anyone can access and control your device.

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  • Ivan Radisson

    as Lance said, this article is for SCP access (file browsing) not SSH (command prompt).

  • JA

    Thanks for this, it helped a lot.. cheers

  • Leonardo

    Hi Friends,

    I can’t sync or connect my Iphone 4 ( Verizon ) in any PC or Itunes, I don’t know if dock connector is damage, because it rechearge, but

    My device is not Jailbreak installed..

    How can to install OpenSSH in my device to use CyberDuck or WinSCP? or How can to open SSH ?

    PLease helpme


  • Warren

    Works wonderfully – thanks! Can then easily install .ipa files directly to iphone without iTunes, copying them right into the Installous download directory on the iphone, then installing from within Installous. Cheers!