Troubleshooting Cydia: Problems with Broken Repos

By , Apr 11, 2011

I had a scary experience last night. As I was searching for a certain tweak in Cydia, I noticed that I wasn’t getting the results I was looking for. So I searched for a few more apps and tweaks, and I kept getting no results. I thought about it for a minute, and then realized that every item I had searched for was from the BigBoss repo.

I’ve recently upgraded to the iOS 4.3.1 jailbreak, and I haven’t gotten to play around with my main iPhone setup that much yet.

To my surprise, the BigBoss repo was broken in Cydia. BigBoss is a pre-installed repo in Cydia, so it’s very odd that it wasn’t working. The good news is that there’s a way to re-add default Cydia repos without re-jailbreaking the iPhone…

The Telesphoreo Tangelo (saurik), ModMyi, BigBoss and ZodTTD repos come pre-installed with Cydia when you jailbreak. Unlike repos that you manually add to access more content, these default repos follow a different APT structure. Because these repositories have different branches, source builds, user permissions, etc, it’s impossible to simply delete and re-add them in Cydia like you would any other repo.

If one of these key repos is corrupted in your version of Cydia, you lack access to a large percentage of the content that’s indexed for the jailbreak community. And that’s a sad thing.

If one of the four main repos is broken in your version of Cydia, chances are that something went wrong when you jailbroke your iPhone, or you messed something up through SSH.

A good way to generally tell if a repo link is broken is to check its icon.

When you look at your list of repos in Manage > Sources, you should see either a specific icon for each repo or a question mark. The question mark usually indicates that a repo is either corrupted or empty.

You can tap on each repo in your sources list to see the content that’s being delivered for that repo, and a broken repo will have no content to display.

If one of the four pre-installed repos is indeed broken, you can’t re-add it like any normal repo. You have to tunnel into your iPhone’s file structure through your favorite desktop SSH client. (I recommend iPhone Explorer.)

Step 1: Navigate to root > private > etc > apt > sources.list.d

Step 2: Add the .list file for the repo you want to replace.

File downloads for: BigBossTelesphoreo Tangelo (saurik), ModMyiZodTTD

If you want to make your own .list file, open up TextEdit (Mac OS X) or Notepad (Windows) and copy the following text:

# do not edit this file to add your own custom sources
# this file is subject to be upgraded as part of a package
# either add your own .list file to /etc/apt/sources.list.d
# or add your entry to the global /etc/apt/sources.list file

deb http://apt.thebigboss.org/repofiles/cydia/ stable main

(Replace the URL with the repo URL you need to fix.)

Step 3: Save the file as a .list to your desktop.

Example: “bigboss.list”

Step 4: Add the new .list file to the sources.list.d folder.

Make sure there are not any existing copies of the file you are adding. If the desired .list file already existed before you added your new version, make sure to delete it.

Step 5: Respring your iPhone!

Check your sources in Cydia to see if your repo(s) work again. If not, you can try adding the ModMyi or BigBoss repo under the Telesphoreo Tangelo source list.

While this method I’ve highlighted has proven successful in multiple instances, it isn’t fail-proof. Always have your data backup handy in case you need to restore your jailbreak.

Let us know about your Cydia repo woes in the comments below. Did this method help solve your problem?

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  • http://www.twitter.com/janzukato Janzukato

    There’s a more easier way to fix it without ssh. Just delete the broken pre installed repo and just add time thru the MORE SOURCES on your cydia homepage. Voila!

    That’s how i fixed my broken Modmyi repo. Give it a try!

    • QuarterSwede

      That’s what I did as well. Worked a treat.

    • Terry Vega

      What do you mean, “add time” what is time?

      • George W. Bush

        He meant “THEM”

  • Haider Ijaz

    I don’t know why but from last night i have problem while loading cydia. It always starts with a black line at the top reading UPDATING DATABASE. Here it has started displaying Error : Bad Url. I still installed some cydia tweaks and i don’t have problems. But i do have question marks next to a few repos like iclarified, apt storage, iPhone delivery, hackulo. Is the ERROR : BAD URL due to one of these repos? or is there any other issue? Help would be appreciated thanks.

    • http://mripod.wordpress.com/ mripod64

      i had that problem a while back, i cant remember what was causing it but i think it was a bad repo, try deleting some and see what happens. maybe one doest work anymore.

    • QuarterSwede

      I’ve found that you have to delete everything in the dialog box to get it to see the repo. If I leave “http://” in it and add the repo address to that it gives me the bad URL message. I think it’s a bug.

      • Haider Ijaz

        Thank you both of you.. :) I deleted all of the useless repos and i don’t get that msg again

  • http://www.twitter.com/janzukato Janzukato

    There’s a more easier way to fix it without ssh. Just delete the broken pre installed repo and just add time thru the

    MORE PACKAGE SOURCES
    on your cydia homepage. Voila!

    That’s how i fixed my broken Modmyi repo. Give it a try!

  • http://www.twitter.com/janzukato Janzukato

    There’s a more easier way to fix it without ssh. Just delete the broken pre installed repo and just add it thru the

    MORE PACKAGE SOURCES
    on your cydia homepage. Voila!

    That’s how i fixed my broken Modmyi repo. Give it a try!

    • marxist

      dude ok we heard you the first time!! that worked for me too ok. many thanks. now stop with the multiple postings please :)

    • Ali

      I think you are not explaining it Well! :P Please tell us one more time! :D

  • Mark

    The problem with my device was that I used PKGBackup to restore also the default repos into the newer cydia. This ‘crashed’ the bigboss repo.

  • babeh

    are you sure iphone explorer works at 4.3.1
    last time worked at 4.2.1 but not at 4.3.1,
    well lets try again

  • babeh

    hmm it works now the iphone explorer. good

    • Terry Vega

      are you using pc or mac. I can’t figure out. I have alot of icons with question marks(?) under sources in Cydia.

  • WOW!

    when I refresh changes in CYDIA, i get 2 new errors:

    1) that the method http has died unexpectedly
    2) and the sub-press http recieved signal 10

    • KS

      I had the same error and have just fixed it. The error seems to be caused as the .list file have the same repo’s in them that I already had in my cydia.list so I removed the rest of the .list files and only left the cydia.list and resprung the device and it seems to have gone in ok.

  • KS

    I have just tried this and updated the list using the files above. After a respring I now get a refreshing data screen and it give me 2 errors.
    Error 1: Method http has died unexpectedly!
    Error 2: Sub-process http received signal 10.

    Any ideas?

  • Terry Vega

    I can’t figure it out..I deleted apple-news and now I can’t get it back. Your example is more MAC printscreen…how do you add a repo back?

  • Alex Osorio

    I still wish Saurik had waited until all the bugs were out before pushing out Cydia 1.0 and 1.1.
    Wish we still had Icy or Rock. Monopolizing makes bad software. That much he could have learned from Microsoft. I really hate not having a choice anymore what to use once jailbroken.
    I have a bad feeling about mr. Freeman. A year ago I could not have imagined ever thinking or saying that.

  • Jeff

    This is a really ass-backwards way to fix this issue….. just delete the broken repo and re-add it through “More Package Sources” section of the main Cydia tab.

    • WOW!

      Thanks Jeff, BUUUUT, you can’t delete the repos that came with Cydia, nice try tho!!

  • Andrew

    well for the last 3 days Cydia says I have 0 packages and 0 sources… everything is just blank

  • KS

    Anyone got a good working list of sources that are all working today?

  • WOW!

    still no fix to this problem???!?

  • scribbs

    just reset your Cydia to default sources. Navigate to /var/lib/cydia and delete metadata.plist

  • Solomon

    mine doesnt show question mark on the repos but on the apps inside them:o

  • JunPaolo

    All the posts are confusing the person who’s visiting this page to get an issue fixed!
    AS FOR THIS TUTORIAL/GUIDE, I FOLLOWED THE STEPS AND IT WORKED!

    To avoid confusion and further errors, just download the .LIST file provided.

    Thank you very much for this info!

  • http://twitter.com/jpfroud Jean Pierre Froud

    Very usefull, worked for me, thanks

  • Lavender Silver

    hi, i accidentally replace the file /etc/apt/sources.list … how can i restore it to default back?

  • Loben Maishen

    Hey thanks! This method fixed my ZodTTD! If only Cydia didn’t have the package limit on it, then I wouldn’t have deleted it.

  • Stanislav Tokaryev

    Thank’s!