Running Linux on iPhone06 Nov 2020
iSH is a project which offers a Linux shell environment on iOS using a usermode x86 emulator.
The emulator is based on Alpine Linux but does not ship with SSH or APK the Alpine Linux package manager. To install the package manager with iSH and ultimately other tools we can download this with Safari from following URL.
The emulator does not by default have access to iCloud Drive files, but this can be mounted by running following. Note when mounting iCloud Drive you get prompted which folder, you can select root or Downloads folder where APK install file would be located.
mount -t ios . /mnt
With the iCloud Drive mounted to emulator we can look to unpack and then create a symbolic link.
cd /mnt/Downloads tar xvzf apk-tools-static-2.10.5-r1.apk -C / ln -s /sbin/apk.static /sbin/apk
With the package manager client installed we can install things like OpenSSH.
apk add --no-cache openssh
We can then use the SSH client to connect to any network reachable IP running SSH server.
While exploring iSH I found another interesting thing is that it seems to share the network stack. So if you run a web server within iSH like:
apk add --no-cache python3 echo 'Hello from iSH' >> index.html python3 -m http.server
When you see the ‘Serving HTTP on 0.0.0.0 port 8000’ message, you can then switch to safari and browse localhost.