Hacking the iPod Touch / iPhone - Part 2

Previously on Part 1 ...

Just kidding! Scroll down and read it your self.

Its been a while, and I think I'm falling into the "Oh twittering is so much more easier than blogging" trap. So if you've been following my twitter, then you'd know that I've been discovering quite a few uses for the iTouch.Unfortunately its late and I think you'll have to wait for another post before I get into all that :( So instead, lets first cover some of the basics.

Freeing up some space for 3rd party Apps

I'm assuming you have already setup the openssh package as well as the BSD Subsystem, there by enabling you to remotely login or copy files (scp). If not, use the Installer app to install those two packages.

One of the problems you'll quickly realize as you begin to install more and more apps, is a pop up message notifying you that your running out of disk space! This is due to the root partition (/) which also happens to hold /Applications, being only 300MB. Most of this 300MB was already taken up by the Darwin (OS) itself as can be seen by doing a df -h, while sshed into the iTouch.

# df -h
Filesystem Size Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/disk0s1 300M 268M 30M 91% /
devfs 15K 15K 0 100% /dev
/dev/disk0s2 15G 6.0G 8.9G 41% /private/var

Therefor what you want to do is to move /Applications directory over to the /private/var directory, as it has the rest of the free space and create a symbolic link (aka shortcut), to the root (/). The following command should do it:

cp -a /Applications /private/var
rm -fr /Applications
ln -s /private/var/Applications /Applications

Once your done, just logout and restart the iTouch, just to be on the safe side. You should now be able to install all the apps to your hearts content. Similarly, I also moved the /opt to /private/var to free up a bit more space.

Turning an iPod into an iPhone

The ipod touch is a crippled version of the iphone, in terms of missing applications (notes, google maps, mail) and missing hardware (bluetooth,speaker, mic) . While the missing hardware can't be compensated, you can install most of the iphone apps to the touch and get the PDA experience of the iPhone on the iTouch.

In order to do this, you do need to get a hold of the iphone apps. If you know someone with an unlocked iphone, then you can copy it from that person or else you might be able to download it off the net. Try here. Once you grab the files, its mostly a matter of copying the app_name.app directory to the /Applications directory (using scp for example).

Most other 3rd party Free & Open Source or otherwise free-ware apps can be installed using the Installer application itself.

Finally here is an ipod touch compatibility list of iphone apps that also work on the touch. Stay tuned for part 3.



Unknown said…
Go ahead..
geekaholic said…
Ah! one thing I forgot to mention is after moving /Applications to /private/var you need to change the way that partition is mounted as specified in /etc/fstab so apps have permission to execute. Otherwise when you click on an icon in spring board it will not function.

/dev/disk0s2 /private/var hfs rw,noexecute 0 2
/dev/disk0s2 /private/var hfs rw 0 2
Still not sure whether I should hack my iPod touch. Have you noticed any difference in performance or anything?

I've hacked mine. Nice to get everything for free now :)

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