Archiving and installing Cydia programs via SSH

Posted: December 26, 2013

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 SSH, or used YummyFTP before, then you must read this tutorial first.


Navigate to /var/cache/apt/archives on the iPhone. In iOS 8 & 9 the debs are stored at /var/mobile/Library/Caches/com.saurik.Cydia/archives/


Now find the program you want to backup in Cydia. I'm going to use MxTube as my example. Note: programs may have you restart the springboard or return to Cydia or reboot the iPhone when installing. Don't do anything just yet until you get that downloaded file on to your dekstop.

iPhone       iPhone

Go back to YummyFTP and click the refresh button. You should see the .deb file appear, Drag the .deb to your desktop to save it, or use the program to transfer the file to another folder. 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. There may already be files here. That's fine, just leave them alone.


You can either use the Terminal on the iPhone, or the one on your Mac to run the next command. You will of course need SSH installed.

dpkg -i /tmp/NameOfApplicationYouWantToInstall.deb



If you get an error message like: dpkg: status database area is locked by another process, then simply reboot the iPhone and try again.

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. You'll notice your AutoInstall folder will become empty once the programs have been installed. If you place a lot of files in here you may need to reboot more than once to install them all.


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