Installing iDroid (OS X)

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This guide is intended for OS X users who want to install iDroid manually. For an automated installation, use Bootlace.

This guide is aimed to help you get iDroid running on your iPhone 2G, 3G or iPod Touch 1G.



If you have no idea what sudo rm -rf / does, then please don't try to do anything first.

This is also an alpha release, there is no guarantee that the OS is 100% stable, if you are not familiar with messing with the iPhone and at least a basic understanding of Linux, it is not recommended that you install iDroid on your device for the time being.


OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard

  • Knowledge of OS X bash commands comes highly recommended.
  • Libusb and libreadline are needed. Please download the following and run the following package:
WARNING: This will overwrite any versions you have installed with Homebrew.


iDroid is NOT compatible with the Spirit Jailbreak ( nor is it compatible with the Jailbreak.

Recommended jailbreaks are redsn0w or any of the pwn varietes (QuickPWN, Pwnage tool etc) - These are known to work well.

Download the Files

  1. Navigate to with your browser.
  2. Choose the folder that relates to your preferred release version.
  3. Download the file related to your device and gunzip it.
  4. Navigate to the idroid folder and check if you have the following files:
    • android.img.gz
    • cache.img
    • system.img
    • userdata.img
    • zImage
  5. Navigate to and choose the folder that corresponds to your device:
    • iPhone1,1 corresponds to iPhone 2G.
    • iPhone1,2 corresponds to iPhone 3G
    • iPod1,1 corresponds to iPod Touch 1G.
  6. Download the file (openiboot.img3) to a convenient location such as your Desktop
  7. Depending on your Operating System, download the tools to install OpeniBoot from here:
    These tools have been improved and updated from the original ones created by planetbeing. For best results and optimum installation, it is advised to use the tools from the download link.
  8. Extract/unzip the archive. You should end up with a folder named for your type of OS; i.e. OSX for Mac OS X 10.6. Please note that the OS X tools were built using 10.6 Snow Leopard so they may or may not work on 10.5 Leopard.
  9. Copy/Move the files from the folder extracted (corresponding to your OS) to the same convenient location where openiboot.img was extracted to (ex. Desktop).
  10. The convenient location must contain: loadibec, oibc, openiboot.img3.
  11. Don't forget to install the package file above (if you forgot, the link is here: Run the package file. Leave everything at default. Don't forget to enter your password when asked. Don't worry it's not filled will malware, spam or anything malicious.

Preparing the device

Beginning with openiBoot 0.1.2, the idroid files (from idroid folder) must be placed on the iDevice in the directory /private/var/idroid.

There are many ways in which this can be achieved. The best and most recommended way is to use ssh/scp. Cyberduck is a good free client for OS X.

If you want to transfer files via USB cable, DiskAid, iPhone Explorer, or Phone Disk can be used on OS X (although afc2add must be installed with Cydia in order for it to connect to the device).

  1. SSH into the device (this should be fairly clear to any beginner iPhone user by now) and navigate to /private/var/.
  2. Make 3 new directories named idroid (/private/var/idroid/), sdcard (/private/var/sdcard/) and firmware (/private/var/firmware). These directories are case-sensitive and are all in lowercase/small letters; firmware is not the same as Firmware or FIRMWARE. The firmware folder will be required in the next section.
  3. Copy the 5 android related files into the /private/var/idroid directory. The 5 android files are android.img.gz, cache.img, system.img, userdata.img and zImage. If you are using OpeniBoot version 0.1.1 and below, the directory is /private/var instead of /private/var/idroid.
  4. Make sure that the filesizes of the 5 android files from your computer match or are equal to the filesizes of the 5 android files in /private/var/idroid.

Extraction of firmware

For legal reasons, the iDroid Project cannot distribute these copyrighted binaries, so you will need to extract them from the device itself.

Auto-extractors are recommended as these are supported by the main devs but there are also manual extraction methods. The preferred method is to use Neonkoala's Bootlace app from Cydia (but if you use that, you might as well install iDroid using Bootlace).

Getting the Zephyr files

Automated Zephyr Extraction

It is recommended to use Bootlace to automatically extract the zephyr files since Bootlace runs on iOS and will put the files to your firmware folder.

You can use Dripwn by James Munnelly ( for an automated extraction.

Manual Zephyr Extraction

Install iokittools from Cydia

  • For iPhone 2G Multitouch:
  1. Run the following commands over ssh:
    ioreg -l -w 0 | grep '"Firmware" =' | cut -d '<' -f2 | cut -d '>' -f1 | xxd -r -ps - zephyr_main.bin
    ioreg -l -w 0 | grep '"A-Speed Firmware" =' | cut -d '<' -f2 | cut -d '>' -f1 | xxd -r -ps - zephyr_aspeed.bin
  2. Transfer them (zephyr_main.bin and zephyr_aspeed.bin) to your PC
  • For iPhone 3G:
    cat /usr/share/firmware/multitouch/iPhone.mtprops | grep -B2 0x0049 | grep data | sed 's/^\t\t<data>//' | sed 's/<\/data>$//' | base64 -d > zephyr2.bin
    This command will automatically extract the zephyr2.bin for iPhone 3G and put it in the right folder.
  • For iPod Touch 1G (1st Generation):
    cat /private/var/stash/share*/firmware/multitouch/iPod.mtprops | grep -B2 0x0033 | grep data | sed 's/^\t\t<data>//' | sed 's/<\/data>$//' | base64 -d > /var/firmware/zephyr2.bin
    This command will automatically extract the zephyr2.bin for iPod Touch 1G and put it in the right folder.

Getting sd8686 and sd8686_helper

The Wi-Fi firmware files are already included in the latest release. They are in the firmware folder from the extracted archive. Don't forget to read the included LICENSE.txt.

They can be also found on Marvell's site, if you want to try different firmware.

  1. Go to
  2. Under "Choose a platform", select "Linux 2.6 - Fedora".
  3. Click the Search button under the drop down box.
  4. Download and extract the SD-8686-* zip archive.
  5. Rename helper_sd.bin to sd8686_helper.bin
  6. Keep sd8686.bin and sd8686_helper.bin in a safe place for later.

Transferring the firmware files

Once all extraction has finished, you should end up with the following files:

  • zephyr_aspeed.bin and zephyr_main.bin (iPhone 2G)
  • zephyr2.bin (iPhone 3G and iPod Touch 1G)
  • sd8686.bin and sd8686_helper.bin (All Platforms)

All these files must be placed in the firmware folder created earlier (/private/var/firmware). Make sure that the filesizes match again. Wrong filesizes can mean an error or problem in transferring so please try transferring the files again until the filesizes match.

Loading and Installing OpeniBoot

  1. Open up a Terminal and navigate to the convenient location containing loadibec, oibc, and openiboot.img3. The following is only an example command:
    cd Desktop
  2. Turn off your device and place it in Recovery mode:
    • When the device is turned off, hold down the Home button, then connect the USB cable (make sure that is connected to the PC), keep holding the Home button until a screen with the iTunes logo and and a cable pointing towards it. Don't forget to kill iTunesHelper or else iTunes will automatically open upon detecting an iDevice in Recovery Mode.
  3. Go back to the Terminal window and type the following command (don't forget to enter your password when asked):
    sudo ./loadibec openiboot.img3
    The device's screen should flash for a brief second and the OpeniBoot menu will load.
  4. If you would like to test Android before installing OpeniBoot, simply navigate with the volume buttons (or Power button if you are on iPod Touch 1G) to the Android logo and press the Home button. You will have to repeat the loading OpeniBoot process in order to install it later.
  5. Using the volume buttons (or Power button if you are on iPod Touch 1G), navigate to the console selection (the cog icon) but don't press the Home button yet.
  6. In the Terminal window type the following command:
    sudo ./oibc
    Do not press enter yet - this is where your quick reflexes will pay off.
  7. Press the Home button on the device, wait 1 or 2 seconds and then press enter on your PC to send the command, this is necessary as there is a current problem with OpeniBoot where the computer often does not connect to the device if the console screen has been on for a long time. You will know if the computer has failed to connect to the device if you receive only this output:
    !<filename>[@<address>] to send a file, ~<filename>[@<address>]:<len> to receive a file
    The command will succeed if you see the OpeniBoot ASCII art on the Terminal screen on your PC. Windows users may have to try entering oibc multiple times before the drivers are loaded and ready to go (depending on your USB port speed and PC processing power).
  8. In the Terminal window type this command:
    Note: If you get a error like this:
    **ABORTED** Writing total image size: 0xeb240, new ibot size: 0x3b180 at 0x20000 would overflow NOR!
    Try to remove any custom bootlogo/recovery images by jailbreaking the device again without this option.
    • The install process should take around 30 seconds to 1 minute to complete. When completed, it will display this message on the iDevice: Openiboot installation complete. It may also display the message on the Terminal screen on your PC.
    • This command will have also copied a file to your PC: norbackup.dump (usually a 1MB file). Keep this file in a safe location as it is the backup of the original bootloader, if the bootloader corrupts and you do not have this dump file, your device may become a very expensive paperweight.
  9. Type this command in the Terminal:
  10. Your device should reboot and you shall be presented with the OpeniBoot menu again. Select the iOS option (press Power/volume buttons to select) and boot iOS by pressing the Home button.

Congratulations, you have finished the installation procedure. Enjoy flaunting iDroid on your device. Refer to the User Manual for proper and correct usage of iDroid. If you have any questions, check out the FAQ.

Getting Help/Reporting Bugs

If you experience any issues or bugs (which there are likely to be many) please take a moment to report them to us so that we can fix them - report them at

If you need help with setting up or have general questions either visit the forums ( or talk to us on IRC (#idroid-dev on


If you enjoy this work, please consider donating to the project in order to keep up with the growing costs for bandwidth.

Special Thanks

Our thanks go to (in no order of importance, everyone has worked hard):

  • Planetbeing
  • Munnerz
  • Geohot
  • nickp666
  • ddominator
  • alex
  • NeonkoalaTerminal
  • Malgaur
  • fergy
  • ricky26
  • Bluerise
  • Ninn
  • Rekoil
  • konaya
  • Jaywalker
  • TheUnleet
  • nitestarzz
  • Noltari
  • Dario
  • apocolipse
  • James
  • Oranav

If anyone is missing from the list above, then please feel free to bitch at alex.


  • alex for the guide