Netatalk for AFP on your iPhone/Touch (and toggle switch)

AFPd in ActionA year and a half ago I wrote a blog post about using AFPd on my hacked iPhone to get access to my phone’s file system through Finder using Apple’s AFP system. When firmware 2.0 came out I went legit with my phone and lost touch with jailbreak app updates. I recently re-jailbroke my iPhone and now I’m having to relearn how to accomplish the things I used to have set up. A lot has changed in a year and a half!

AFPd apparently broke with firmware 2.0, and Netatalk was developed to take its place. You’ll find Netatalk in Cydia. If it’s not showing up under default repositories, do a web search to find out where it’s living. Once installed, you’ll see your device as a shared computer in the left sidebar of Finder. When you select the device, you’ll need to hit “Connect As…” and log in as either root or mobile. If you haven’t changed the password for these accounts, it will be alpine, but you really should change this password. Until you do, anyone who knows anything about Mobile OSX defaults will be able to access your file system.

That point about security brings up another issue… anyone on a Mac on the same WiFi network as your device will see your name in their finder sidebar. It’s not a huge deal, I’m a pretty public person, but I’d still like better control over my name being thrown around in places like coffee shops and other public connections. This is where RupertGee’s Boss Prefs toggle comes in. With it installed, you can turn AFP on and off instantly, letting you control the broadcasting of your name as you roam around networks.

I really think having manual control over this service is a must-have. Instructions on installing the Boss Prefs toggle for AFP are located at RupertGee’s blog here: http://redwolfberry.com/rupertgee/iBlog/2008/11/08/netatalk-toggle-v100/

Chris Owens


  1. Grin.

    Welcome back to the “licit” corner.

    2 points I want to clarify.

    1. Netatalk is hosted by the Telesphoreo Tangelo Repository, which is run by Saurik, the author of Cydia (among other apps). What I’m saying is Netatalk is available for installation in every jailbroken devices off-the-shelves. There’s no need to find its repo.

    2. Everyone should change the access passwords of their jailbroken devices (which are “alpine” by default.) A simple terminal command, passwd, is all it takes to have a peace of mind. Toggling Netatalk off is not a good security measure at all. Afterall, we could still gain access via ssh if you don’t change your password. The toggle was made to help reduce battery consumption, and as a stealth mode. However, I don’t see any noticable increase in power usage with Netatalk operating round-the-clock at all. So the only benefit of toggling off Netatalk is really to made your devices invisible when you’re in a wireless Bonjour-enabled environment.

  2. Hey RupertGee,

    Thanks for stopping by and leaving such a detailed follow up comment. That’s good to know about the repository, I feel like I had trouble finding it initially but I may have been getting my packages mixed up. I DID have trouble finding the toggle, which is where your blog post (and hard work) was so helpful.


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