Archiving and installing Cydia programs via SSH

For whatever reason, you may want to backup your favorite Cydia programs and install them through SSH. Sometimes good programs just disappear from Cydia, or maybe you have a lot of programs and you'd rather just install them all at the same time on your next restore.


I will be using YummyFTP to upload the files in this tutorial. These instructions can be applied to any files you want to add to your iPhone, provided you already have SSH installed. If you have not installed OpenSSH, or used YummyFTP before, then you must read this tutorial first.


Navigate to /var/cache/apt/archives on the iPhone.


Now find the program you want to backup in Cydia. I'm going to use ultrasn0w (the unlocking program) as my example. As part of the installation process it will kill CommCenter and knock out your Wi-Fi for a minute. Wait for the Wi-Fi to come back before proceeding. You may see your unlocked carrier name appear as well. Note: Other programs may have you restart the springboard or return to Cydia or reboot the iPhone when installing. Don't do anything just yet!

iPhone       iPhone

Go back to YummyFTP and click the refresh button. You should see the .deb file appear, in this case ultrasn0w_1.2.4_iphoneos-arm.deb. Drag the .deb to your desktop to save it. This covers how to back up a Cydia program.


Installing manually

I've since removed the program I just installed through Cydia. I'll demonstrate how to install that .deb that you put on your desktop. Go to the /tmp folder and place your .deb file here.


You can either use the Terminal on the iPhone, or the one on your Mac to run the next commands.

dpkg -i /tmp/NameOfApplicationYouWantToInstall.deb

killall SpringBoard


If you launch Cydia and press Manage, then Packages you will see the program in the list. You can of course remove the application through Cydia, and if there are any updates Cydia will alert you to this.

Installing automatically

If you install a lot of programs from Cydia, then you might like this method of reinstalling them all at once after a fresh restore and jailbreak. Navigate to var/root/Media/   There most likely isn't a Cydia/AutoInstall path here, so create this folder within a folder if you have to.


Place your .deb files in the AutoInstall folder and reboot your iPhone. I found I needed to reboot two times for all the programs to get installed. You'll notice your AutoInstall folder will become empty once the programs have been installed.


Return to top of page