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  13. NEWS
  14. README.md


A client library for applications to handle usbmux protocol connections with iOS devices.


This project is a client library to multiplex connections from and to iOS devices alongside command-line utilities.

It is primarily used by applications which use the libimobiledevice library to communicate with services running on iOS devices.

The library does not establish a direct connection with a device but requires connecting to a socket provided by the usbmuxd daemon.

The usbmuxd daemon is running upon installing iTunes on Windows and Mac OS X.

The libimobiledevice project provides an open-source reimplementation of the usbmuxd daemon to use on Linux or as an alternative to communicate with iOS devices without the need to install iTunes.

Some key features are:

  • Protocol: Provides an interface to handle the usbmux protocol
  • Port Proxy: Provides the iproxy utility to proxy ports to the device
  • Netcat: Provides the inetcat utility to expose a raw connection to the device
  • Cross-Platform: Tested on Linux, macOS, Windows and Android platforms
  • Flexible: Allows using the open-source or proprietary usbmuxd daemon

Furthermore the Linux build optionally provides support using inotify if available.

Installation / Getting started

Debian / Ubuntu Linux

First install all required dependencies and build tools:

sudo apt-get install \
	build-essential \
	checkinstall \
	git \
	autoconf \
	automake \
	libtool-bin \
	libplist-dev \

Then clone the actual project repository:

git clone https://github.com/libimobiledevice/libusbmuxd.git
cd libusbmuxd

Now you can build and install it:

sudo make install



This utility allows binding local TCP ports so that a connection to one (or more) of the local ports will be forwarded to the specified port (or ports) on a usbmux device.

Bind local TCP port 2222 and forward to port 22 of the first device connected via USB:

iproxy 2222:22

This would allow using ssh with localhost:2222 to connect to the sshd daemon on the device. Please mind that this is just an example and the sshd daemon is only available for jailbroken devices that actually have it installed.

Please consult the usage information or manual page for a full documentation of available command line options:

iproxy --help
man iproxy


This utility is a simple netcat-like tool that allows opening a read/write interface to a TCP port on a usbmux device and expose it via STDIN/STDOUT.

Use ssh ProxyCommand to connect to a jailbroken iOS device via SSH:

ssh -oProxyCommand="inetcat 22" root@localhost

Please consult the usage information or manual page for a full documentation of available command line options:

inetcat --help
man inetcat


The environment variable USBMUXD_SOCKET_ADDRESS allows to change the location of the usbmuxd socket away from the local default one.

An example of using an utility from the libimobiledevice project with an usbmuxd socket exposed on a port of a remote host:


This sets the usbmuxd socket address to for applications that use the libusbmuxd library.


We welcome contributions from anyone and are grateful for every pull request!

If you'd like to contribute, please fork the master branch, change, commit and send a pull request for review. Once approved it can be merged into the main code base.

If you plan to contribute larger changes or a major refactoring, please create a ticket first to discuss the idea upfront to ensure less effort for everyone.

Please make sure your contribution adheres to:

  • Try to follow the code style of the project
  • Commit messages should describe the change well without being too short
  • Try to split larger changes into individual commits of a common domain
  • Use your real name and a valid email address for your commits

We are still working on the guidelines so bear with us!



This library is licensed under the GNU Lesser General Public License v2.1, also included in the repository in the COPYING file.

The utilities iproxy and inetcat are licensed under the GNU General Public License v2.0.


Apple, iPhone, iPad, iPod, iPod Touch, Apple TV, Apple Watch, Mac, iOS, iPadOS, tvOS, watchOS, and macOS are trademarks of Apple Inc.

This project is an independent software library and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Apple Inc.

README Updated on: 2020-06-12