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November 8, 2008 Update — Please read this newer post instead if your device is running the newer iPhone OS 2.

Feb 22, 2008 Update — AFPd is no longer available via the STE repository. You can, however, download it from the author’s site.

Listen, this guide is for Mac OS X users only. As of now, there’s no easy way to mount the iPod touch as if it’s a thumb drive in other operating system such as Windows. Mac users… read on!


You’ll need a jailbroken iPod touch, and a little app called “AFPd” by Prof. James F. O’Brien of UC, Berkeley. The app can be found in the Installer, under the “Network” category via the STE source (http://psmxy.org/iphone/). The “BSD Subsystem” package is mandatory and you’ll have to install it first if you have not already done so previously.


After installation, tap on AFPd’s icon to launch it. Then slide “Server Active” to ON. Needless to say, this turns on AFP support. You’ll also want to turn on the second option, “Broadcast Active”. Your Mac (and any Mac on the same local network) will then be able to find your iPod touch through the magical Bonjour protocol. Lastly, give your iPod touch a cool name. That’s the name it’ll display when it is mounted in OS X.

OK, we’re ready to mount the iPod touch.

Leopard Users:

  • Open a Finder window by double-clicking on your hard drive.
  • You’ll see your iPod touch in the Sidebar, under the SHARE heading. Select it.
  • Now click the “Connect as…” button, and enter the user name as “root” while the password is as you have set (try “alpine”).
  • After that, you should see two folders (they are actually partitions but nevermind the terminology) in the Finder window, namly “iPhone Root FileSystem” and “Root’s Home”.

Tiger Users:

  • In Finder, select “Connect to Server…” from the “Go” menu (Or use the keyboard short-cut, Command+k, in Finder).
  • In the pop-up window, enter the Server Address as “afp://192.168.123.88/” (replace 192.168.123.88 to your actual iPod touch’s address as shown on the bottom of AFPd’s main screen.) Do not omit “afp://” in front of the address.
  • When prompted, enter the user name as “root” while the password is as you have set (try “alpine”).
  • A new window will pop up asking you which partitions to mount. For this tutorial, select either one will do.

Now look at your Desktop; your iPod touch is mounted on the Desktop! You can now manipulate its contents such as installing new apps/themes, copy files into or out of the iPod touch, etc. The mounted drive is a thumb drive, formatted in good old Apple File Format, HFS+. And of course you can change the icons to ones you fancy, like I did.

So, the next time you are instructed to “ssh”, “sFTP” or “whatever” into your iPod touch to install something or manage files, you can just mount it instead. It’s simple and fast.

Don’t you just love Mac OS X? πŸ˜›

Checklist:

  • Toggle “Server Active” to off to save on battery consumption when not in use.
  • You can copy and store your files into the “Root’s Home” partition, preferably under the “Media” folder. There are some pre-defined folders in it. You can of course create your own too.
  • The “iPhoneRoot FileSystem” partition is small. You can reclaim some disk space by moving the “Applications” folder to the other partition. I’ll tell you how to in a future posting (it’s here.)
  • You’ll want to extend the duration of Auto-Lock or set it to Never in Settings -> General -> Auto-Lock when the iPod touch is mounted.
  • It’s possible to rename the partitions but you better not.
  • Apple has added SHA1 encryption algorithm to iTunesDB database to prevent other software from reading and writing the iPod songs library. You hence cannot upload or download your mp3s directly.
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37 Comments

  1. I aleady have AFPd but it never occurs to be that’s the eaiest way to use the iPod as a flash drive.

    You’re brilliant!

  2. This excellent post proves once again mac users are often misinformed when the general consensus in the PC world is we can’t use the iPod touch as a flash drive.

    They can’t, but we can!!!!

  3. Holy cow! This is amazing!

  4. Thankyou thankyou thankyou

  5. Rupert: Wonderful post. You are truly my Yoda.

  6. i dont get it am lost i did everithing but i dont know what to do in connect to server i put afp:/ and my ip and then i try to connect but says error and i dont undertand about the root name or alphine ._. can you help me?

  7. Pablo, it’s “afp://” and not “afp:/”. πŸ˜›

    You will be prompted to enter your user name and password, which are “root” and “alpine” respectively.

  8. itΒ΄s done now i have to investigate how put the nes roms on it, but i dont understand yet why there are 2 partitions and what is each for? .___. and other cuestion when i put mi ipod touch on a pc or other mac it show me the partitions? like a external hard drive?

  9. oh i find why the tow partitions lol am sorry ._.

  10. ._. i have a problem i cant conect again alwais was right but when i try to conect the third time the ipod like root home i forgot conect it by the usb and when i conect itit tryed to work but the finder get it no response so i restart the mac and try the conection again but when it start to conect appear something saying looking for a conection ftb and it doesnt find it saying error T___T what can i do?

  11. the ipod lost the conection to the internet modem i think is that but i dont know why and how resolve it ._. damn im a dumass u___u

  12. Yes Paolo, the iPod is connected via WiFi only; it does not need to be plugged in via the USB cable at all.

  13. Can you restore the iTouch thru Disc Utilities if I make a image of it after connecting thru the afp. I am copying the whole dick image right now. I thought if I could image it after I loaded all of the programs and packages then copy it over to multiple iTouches for my band mates. Is this possible????

  14. Hi Aaron

    I was looking into using Disk Utility to make an image for restore purposes. Unfortunately, Disk Utility’s “restore” function doesn’t work on a network attached drive but locally attached one only.

    All is not lost though. I’ve been manually backing up the /~Library and the /Application folder. I’m able to then manually restore (almost all) my pre-installed apps, and most importantly my eMails. All my eMail accounts and emails are intact, which is great because re-setting them up is a pain.

    I probably should write a how-to on this subject.

  15. hi, i’m runnning a jailbreaked 1.1.3 firm on an iPod Touch, i have installed AFPd. when i open the app is all ok…but when i try to switch it on, after 2 sec it automatially come back to off. i have tried to restart the phone, and i have also used boss prefs to activate wifi…any suggestion? ty in advance

  16. @Stel

    Please uninstall AFPd 0.2; it’s not compatible with 1.1.3 firmware.

  17. can u use AFPd 0.2 a jailbroken iPod 1.1.3?

  18. @tomatolover

    No. It’s not compatible.

  19. If APFd is not compatible with 1.1.3, how can I install your themes? I’ve only used the installer so far.

  20. @Andre

    I wrote this new post just for you. πŸ™‚

    After you SSH into your iPod touch, simply navigate to

    /private/var/mobile/Library/SummerBoard/Themes

    and drag and drop the theme’s file into it.

  21. IVE GOT TWO QUESTIONS:

    1.CAN I USE THIS METHOD TO FIX THE 1.1.3 SUMMERBOARD SO IT ACTUALLY WORKS.

    2.IF I CAN, CAN YOU TELL ME HOW (LOL)
    (YOU CAN EMAIL ME IF YOU WANT)

  22. @ndwboy95

    Summberboard works perfectly fine if you jailbreak your iPod touch using this method: https://rupertgee.wordpress.com/2008/02/08/jailbreak-113-official-gui/

    No I don’t want to email you; giving you an open reply helps others who may have the same problem.

  23. i have already tried your method.
    it worked but after i did it the ipod kept freezing up and when i try to add a source(or type anything)it really freezes up and i cant even turn off the ipod. i have to wait for it to run out of battery. if you know how to fix this then i would be more than happy to re-jailbreak it your way.

  24. @ndwboy95

    The freezing problem has nothing to do with AFPd.

    You must follow this jailbreaking guide fully, especially PART B Step 5.

    https://rupertgee.wordpress.com/2008/02/08/jailbreak-113-official-gui/

  25. I noticed in Installer, that the version of AFDp was higher than the one you used here Rupert, so I checked out the authors site (found here: http://www.eecs.berkeley.edu/~job/afpd/ ), and found the .3 version of AFPd is compatible with the 1.1.3 firmware.

    So, I Installed it. I had a little trouble with the source, so I dl’d it directly from the above authors site, and used SSH to get it on my iPod.

    But… It told me a “run as root” error. I discovered I needed the BSD Subsystem installed (found it under All Packages), so I installed it.

    At this point, I had been fudging with the internals for a while, and did a full reboot.

    Tap AFPd, and the server is already on! πŸ™‚ Command K on the ole Macbook… and There is my iPod!

    here is a link to the screen grab to prove it!

    Now, if I could just figure out what I am gonna use it for?

    Rupert, you made an addict outta me! I’ve gone mod-happy!

    -Jeremy

  26. @Jeremy

    That’s weird, APFd v0.3 showed up in mine a few days ago. Hiyah, the ste caching system is driving lots of people nuts. I’m also very frustrated by it, reading readers complaint about oktoprep, 1.1.3 upgrader not showing up… just to name two, when they are in mine.

    Now AFPd. Myself found I lost VNSea yesterday, but it magically showed up today. I have no control over it.

    It’s frustrating. But you know what? I’m not alone and someone wrote to ste to voice his displeasure, something I wanted to do if he doesn’t stop messing around. Guess what? I’m glad I didn’t write in, or I might be the unfortunate one to gets humuliated (be warned – the link contains profanity):

    http://blog.psmxy.org/2008/02/17/why-do-i-bother/

    Sigh.

    Anyways, glad AFPd is working for you. It makes PC users soooooo jealous of us, doesn’t it? πŸ˜›

    You know what, I wish the iPod touch supports screen sharing. When a remote Mac is connected to your mac and shows up under “SHARE”, there will be an additional button “Share Screen” for it. The iPod touch only has the second “Connect As” button. If I can share my iPod touch screen in my desktop Mac… goosh… imagine the posibilities!

  27. Wow, you really amaze me. Let’s look at your complaints, one by one:

    1) “…the ste caching system is driving a lot of people nuts.”

    It drove me nuts too. I was forced to use the CoralCDN caching system as a stop-gap measure, to keep the site alive for as many people as I could, while I looked for a better solution, when my hosting provider threatened to shut down the site, due to too much traffic. It was a less-than-perfect solution, but the alternative was to let my provider shut down the site right then. However, as of the date of your comment above – February 17th, the repository had been on the new dedicated servers for at least 7 days and it is running perfectly – I couldn’t be hapier. Every download issue people have reported since then has been directly linked to their failure to either update their “Community Sources” package to at least version 3.4 and/or their Installer.app to version 3.0 (NOT 3.0b followed by a number).

    2) You mention Oktoprep and VNSea.

    Those applications aren’t hosted by me. They are hosted by Conceited Software. Their repository normally runs fine, but just after I moved my repository to new servers, they moved theirs to new servers too and had a couple of days of instability during the move. After that, if people couldn’t access their site, it was because, once again, they failed to update their “Community Sources” package to at least version 3.5.

    3) AFPd being out of date on my repository …

    I got severely behind on updates during the time my repository was having all it’s hosting-provider-created issues. You’ll note that the first batch of updates I released, on February 11th, the day after the move to the dedicated servers was complete, included the latest AFPd. I’m still working to get caught up, so please be patient.

    4) On being frustrated and wanting to voice your displeasure if I didn’t “stop messing around”.

    First off, the only “messing around” I did was to try and keep things running so that hundreds of thousands of ungrateful, complaining people could continue to download over 500,000 packages a day from my repository, for free. I worked my tail end off to keep it running, as best I could, during the four weeks or so that my provider kept throttling the site and threatening to shut it down, and when I finally acquired two dedicated servers with tons of bandwidth, from two kind and generous sponsors, I worked even harder to get them both up and running perfectly, as fast as I could. During that time, it made no sense to be updating packages. Many people wouldn’t have been able to get them and I had to be concerned with the site itself, rather than its contents. I’ve been working very hard, since then, to get caught up.

    Where do you, or anyone else, get off thinking that you have a right to complain to me about anything, in the first place? Do you you pay me to do this? No. Is this my job? No (though I treat it as if it were, usually). If you read my blog, you would have known all about the issues with the repository and everything I was doing to try to keep it running and why packages were getting out of date. Since it appears you do read it, as evidenced by your linking to it in your comment above, I can only conclude that you either don’t comprehend what you read there or you just don’t care and would rather complain about my “messing around” than actually understanding what was happening and being patient until it was resolved.

    As for the person I “humiliated”, his email to me was extremely rude and offensive. Yes, I’ll admit, I should have just silently pressed delete and moved along. However, after being constantly bombarded, via email and IRC, to get caught up on packages RIGHT NOW, I got fed up and took it out on him. OMG. That’s right – Ste’s not perfect. He has a breaking point. He lost his temper for a moment.

    So sue me.

    -ste

  28. @ste

    Why are you digging up old comment that I wrote about how I felt about events that took place days before your caching system was fully implemented across the world? I was “frustrated” when I had to explain to many pple about the new caching system! I wasn’t frustrated or angry at you. My apologies if that was how I sounded. Go read my whole blogs’ commentary sections to find out more before you come here to vent your own frustration on me. Yiou are not the only person doing the world a favour. I know how you feel when impatient people write and demand you help them out as if you owe them something. But I still choose to help them out of genuine kindness, using my own time, pulling out some hair and just scream within myself “how stupid can some people be” instead of posting rude replies.

    Would you be so kind to copy and paste your above reply and post it in your own blog? It sure will clarify many misconceptions people have on the whole issue. Writing it here the target audience is too small.

    Anyways… thanks for everything. Really.

  29. @ste

    I should explain “messing around”. On hindsight that was a terribly bad choice of word and I apologize. I do read your blog via RSS. That doesn’t mean I understand it! πŸ™‚ My impression were… you had a new caching system NullRiver (or somebody) made for you. There were some glitches… but it should be smooth sailing after a day or two at most. Then BW sponsors were found… then… new community sources that make everybody update. There were lots of changes (that I termed “messing”). The changes frustrated me as a person trying to help pple jailbreak. I’m sorry I chose the wrong term and hope you understand how I was feeling.

  30. Rupert, I’ve been most thankful of your help and know you are a good person. Fellow reader Legacy even nominated you the Patron Saint of iPod touch! Ha Ha. I hope you are not let down by nasty people. Just ignore them and keep up your good (and often humorous) work! I wish you and yours health, prosperity and happiness.

    Hello from Indonesia!

  31. eek! someone help me. Whenever i try to unzip the afpd file, it tells me it is not supported on my mac, eventhought it is a tiger.

  32. @Jay

    That’s normal. You cannot run AFPd on your Mac. You have to copy it into your iPod touch’s /Applications folder. Respring and you’ll see it in the Springboard.

  33. ok i did this but when i put in the username root and the password alpine. i got three folders and nothing new was on my desktop. im trying the whole process again and now the ipod doesn’t show up in the shared sidebar thing. what should i do. this is to get the gee theme btw. it was on summerboard, but it says iphone, and i want the other version

  34. @cory

    To see the iPod partitions (3 of them) mounted on your Desktop, you must go to Finder’s Preferences, and enable “Show Connected servers”. Otherwise they show up in the Finder’s sidebar only.

    Erm… try rebooting your Mac? I know that’s a very PC thing to do but sometimes it helps.

    Grin, the iSpazio Edition is for Italian iPhone; some icons don’t show up for English iPod touch. πŸ˜›

  35. Hi,
    Does having AFP, or, for that matter, SSH, running on your iPod drain battery life at all? As a result, would it be advisable to only turn them on when required?

    –K

  36. @kieranajp:

    I wouldn’t know about SSH since I use AFP, but yes, it does run your battery down. But it’s a really slight amount, and as long as you charge it every night (which is advised either way) it shouldn’t be a bother.

  37. Adding to thegpc, there is a Bossprefs addon allowing you to turn off SSH


2 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. By neverendingbooks.org on 05 Jan 2008 at 5:49 pm

    […] To control APFd, use its control pannel to toggle the Broadcast active feature only when you need your iTouch in Disk mode (it will then appear under Shared in your Finder window, at least under Leopard. For more on this see Mount and use your iPod touch as a Thumb Drive. […]

  2. […] Interested? Full instructions after the break! Okay – let’s begin. First, you’ll need to find what you want to be in your firmware. The easiest way would be to download them all on your iPod, then copy them over. Since Pwnage is Mac Only for now anyway – there’s a really easy way to copy your apps over. More info available here. […]

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