Mobile Terminal is an extremely handy tool to have if you’re used to using a command line interface.

Unfortunately, the version that’s still in Cydia has gone without an update for quite some time now, rendering it unusable on recent iOS firmware.

With this handy video tutorial, I’ll show you how to get back in the game with Mobile Terminal on iOS 5…

You will need to be jailbroken in order to install any instance of Mobile Terminal. It also helps if you have iFile as well.

How to Install Mobile Terminal on iOS 5

Step 1: Verify that you have CoreUtilities installed in Cydia. If not, you will receive a dependency error when trying to install Mobile Terminal. To verify, open Cydia and tap the Manage tab. In the upper left-hand corner tap the Settings button. Select Hacker Mode and tap done. Tap the Search tab, and search for “coreutils”. You should see Core Utilities and Core Utilities (/bin). You want to make sure that the first Core Utilities is installed on your device (not the bin, as that should already be installed upon initial Cydia installation).

Step 2: Open Mobile Safari and download the Mobile Terminal.deb file from the following Google Code repository. Then choose open with iFile in the upper right-hand corner. You must have iFile installed.

Step 3: Once iFile loads, a pop up menu will appear. Select “Installer” from the menu and it will install Mobile Terminal.

Step 4: Respring or Reboot, and you should have a working Mobile Terminal for iOS 5 (it should also work on iOS 4 as well).

Mobile Terminal is good to use for tons of things. You can even respring your device directly from a terminal if you wish by typing: killall SpringBoard

That’s just one of many uses for Mobile Terminal. Why do you use it?

  • ben

    i found a way to increase boot time speed of iphone/ipod/ipad (mine boots in 6 seconds after doing this)

    after installing mobile terminal

    type this —


    • ben

      i mean decrease (not increase[my english is bad 😛 sry]) boot time

      • DebTym


    • The_Ben

      For those unaware with basic unix commands – the above one will basically delete your iPhone (making it unable to boot).


    • That’s just mean. /Don’t/ do this anyone.

      • DebTym

        jeff ben wants attention. please give him some, its halloween.

      • soccerkrzy

        Can’t you delete comments? I’d recommend this to be deleted since most people aren’t too smart…

      • Tony

        You should remove this comment so nobody does it.

  • cd /iDB
    sudo rm -rf ben

  • jamesandyori

    What are the steps to the password change?


  • su root
    type new password
    retype new password

    • jamesandyori

      Thank you !

    • soccerkrzy

      Also change your mobile password

      • jamesandyori


      • Whammy!

        @jamesandyori: Same as above but replace “root” with mobile.

  • The app is way too buggy. Just use a dedicated SSH client and point it to localhost.

    • Whammy!


    • The latest version is pretty stable from my experience.

  • JoBerlin

    This is how I did it in 4.x and after installing 5:
    1. install sshd from cydia
    2. ssh into your iDevice as root
    3. change the root and mobile password
    4. scp/sftp the MobileTerminal.deb to your phone. I recommend /var/mobile/somewhere because it’s not on the system volume.
    5. use dpkg -I MobileTerminal.deb to install MobileTerminal
    6. respring or just use uicache
    After using uicache 4 white icons and all hidden apps will appear temporarily on your iPhone. One is called FieldTest. FieldTest shows informations about the cell towers around you.

  • WhoAmI

    installed via iFile installer. did a respring and now terminal shows as a white icon. it still works the same, but why the white icon?

  • tron

    finally a way to run mobileterminal on my iOS5 3gs.
    Thank you, you rock.

  • I have found that Panic’s prompt allows you to ssh into root@localhost, and the interface seems much cleaner. Are there any advantages to using mobile terminal?

    • James Matoe

      There’s a certain delay on using Prompt

  • Thanks Jeff, it worked.

  • Alex Altshuler

    Thanks a lot Jeff, it worked!!

  • Cedric Villeneuve

    Thanks, i need to use it for dev in python !

  • I just bought issh from the iTunes store, but I forgot I downloaded mobile terminal a few days ago for an issue I had. At they the same program basically? Or is one better than the other? Can I use issh app and mobile terminal app?

  • I just bought issh from the iTunes store, but I forgot I downloaded mobile terminal a few days ago for an issue I had. At they the same program basically? Or is one better than the other? Can I use issh app and mobile terminal app?


    I HAVE AN I PHONE 4 running on 5.1

    • Thomas Weaver

      It will open a HUD in iFile, if it does not, then you have failed somewhere

  • when i press open in ifile i don’t get that pop up that says install

    i have a itouch 4g ios 5.1

  • Will this work for iOS 5.1.1