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Install theos on macOS and iOS

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Theos began its journey as an iPhone framework, conceived to streamline code development for command line interfaces, particularly tailored for jailbroken iOS devices. It swiftly gained traction as one of the foremost libraries, facilitating the creation and compilation of a plethora of top-tier jailbreak tweaks, spanning both rootful and rootless configurations. Over time, Theos transitioned into a versatile Make-based build system for desktop platforms, such as Windows, Linux, and macOS.

A substantial portion of the jailbreak community relies on open-source jailbreak tweaks, which function not only as inspirational demonstrations of the potential for modifying the iOS system but also as expansive knowledge repositories for budding tweak developers. Many of these tweaks necessitate the utilization of Theos libraries for compiling jailbreak tweaks.

The Theos libraries are conveniently installable across various platforms, including iOS devices, macOS, Linux, and Windows PCs. This versatility enables developers to compile tweaks seamlessly on a diverse range of operating systems. In this guide, we will walk you through the step-by-step process of installing Theos libraries specifically on macOS and iOS platforms.

In the upcoming article, I'll walk you through the process of compiling an example open-source tweak, designed to support both rootless and rootful jailbreak environments, available on GitHub. Alongside, I'll pinpoint common mistakes that might hinder the smooth compilation of the tweak. However, before we embark on that journey, let's start by installing Theos.

How to install theos on macOS

This guide is designed to assist you in installing Theos on your macOS device. To proceed with the installation, your macOS system should be running Mavericks (10.9) or later, up to the latest Sonoma 14 operating system. The most recent version of Theos for macOS can compile packages for macOS, iOS, watchOS, tvOS, as well as simulators.

Follow those steps to install theos on macOS Sonoma 14:

Step 1. Open the terminal app and install Install Homebrew Package Manager for macOS.

/bin/bash -c "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/HEAD/install.sh)"

Step 2. Install additional brew components required to compile files, modify a binary's entitlements, manage git repositories, and extract archives.

brew install ldid xz
brew install git
brew install make

echo PATH=\"$(brew --prefix make)/libexec/gnubin:\$PATH\" >> ~/.zprofile

For versions of macOS earlier than 10.15 Catalina, the default shell is bash rather than zsh. As such, you’ll want to use ~/.bash_profile instead of ~/.zprofile in the command above.

Step 3. Install Xcode from the App Store, which includes essential toolchains for all Apple platforms. Please be aware that the latest version of Xcode includes the latest SDK of iOS.

Step 4. Run theos installer for macOS from the terminal app.

 bash -c "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/theos/theos/master/bin/install-theos)"

Screenshot of theos installer running in terminal app on macOS.

Step 5. Set up the THEOS environment variable.

export THEOS=~/theos

echo "export THEOS=~/theos" >> ~/.zprofile
chmod 755 ~/.zprofile

Step 6. Downloading patched iOS SDKs required for tweak compilation.

curl -LO https://github.com/theos/sdks/archive/master.zip

Step 7. Extract the patched SDKs archive to a TMP folder. Create it if doesn't exist.

unzip master.zip -d TMP/

Step 8. Move all patched SDKs to theos skds folder.

mv TMP/sdks-master/*.sdk $THEOS/sdks

Screenshot of patched SDKs list in Finder.

Step 9. Remove the master.zip file and the TMP folder.

rm -r master.zip TMP/

Step 10. Occasionally, you should update Theos. This can be done with the following command.

$THEOS/bin/update-theos

How to install theos on iOS

This comprehensive guide is designed to assist you in successfully installing Theos on your iOS device. By following the steps outlined below, you will be able to seamlessly run Theos on iOS 12.0 or later. Whether you're operating in a rootless or rootful jailbreak environment, rest assured that both configurations are fully supported. Let's get started!

Step 1. Jailbreak your device with a preferred tool.

Step 2. Add required repositories to your package manager like Sileo.

https://apt.procurs.us/
https://apt.bingner.com/

Step 3. Install packages (bash, curl, sudo) with your package manager or from the terminal app.

apt-get install bash curl sudo

Step 4. Open the terminal app and install theos for iOS.

bash -c "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/theos/theos/master/bin/install-theos)"
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Written by

Kuba has over 20 years of experience in journalism, focusing on jailbreak since 2012. He has interviewed professionals from various companies. Besides journalism, Kuba specializes in video editing and drone flying. He studied IT at university before his writing career.

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