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List All IPSW Files in Apple Servers Using Command Line

Check tutorial of How to List All IPSW Files from Apple Servers Using the Command Line

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Many advanced users prefer to use firmware files when updating their iOS devices to the latest version, and every time an iOS update comes out, we post direct download links for the latest versions. Every now and then we get questions from users wondering how we find those file links as they are tucked away on Apple’s download servers, seemingly hidden from the public. Well, there is no magic to it and it is easy to do via the command line with a simple one trick which fetches a complete list of IPSW files available directly from Apple. In its simplest form, it lists literally everything, but with some minor changes to the command syntax, you can sort by specific iOS versions or by files corresponding to a specific piece of hardware.

This probably won’t be useful for everyone, but for users who enjoy working with IPSW, or for system administrators who need to download a lot of different firmware files to perform bulk updates on a lot of hardware, this should be helpful. For everyone else, it can be a lesson to further prove that we at compsmag are nerds who spend too much time thinking about things like this.

If you’re going to try this one yourself, copy the entire syntax block and paste it into the command line. The commands look spaced out on the web, but they should be pasted into the command line just fine as a single command string on a single line.

Get a list of all IPSW files for all iOS devices

The following command string returns a pretty clean list of pretty literally any IPSW file for any iOS device, iPad, iPhone, iPod, you name it, hosted by Apple’s servers:

curl http://ax.phobos.apple.com.edgesuite.net/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/com.apple.jingle.appserver.client.MZITunesClientCheck/version | grep ipsw | sort -u | sed ‘s /// g’ | sed ‘s /// g’ | grep -v protected

To run through the syntax, curl opens the “version list” from Apple’s server URL (by the way, this is the same URL hit by iTunes when it detects that an update is available). That list is then sent by grep command to match with “ipsw” but discount ‘protected’, sort -u makes sure the returned list items are unique, and finally results are passed through ‘sed’ for cleaning up some useless XML from the results. Running that command will just dump everything to the command line, you can send it through ‘more’ to make it more readable, or maybe for some users it would be better to redirect it to a text file like:

curl http://ax.phobos.apple.com.edgesuite.net/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/com.apple.jingle.appserver.client.MZITunesClientCheck/version | grep ipsw | sort -u | sed ‘s /// g’ | sed ‘s /// g’ | grep -v protected> ~ / Desktop / ipswlist.txt

That will dump everything in a text file named ‘ipswlist.txt’ on the desktop.

Get a list of all iPhone IPSW files from command line

Don’t care about the other iOS files and just want list iPhone IPSW? Use grep for iPhone and the rest of the command remains the same:

curl http://ax.phobos.apple.com.edgesuite.net/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/com.apple.jingle.appserver.client.MZITunesClientCheck/version | grep ipsw | grep iPhone | sort -u | sed ‘s /// g’ | sed ‘s /// g’ | grep -v protected

Add “> ~ / Desktop / iPhoneIPSW.txt” at the end to send the results to a text file on the desktop.

Get a list of all iPad IPSW available on Apple’s servers

Similar to using grep to search for an iPhone, specifying ‘iPad’ only returns iPad firmware files:

curl http://ax.phobos.apple.com.edgesuite.net/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/com.apple.jingle.appserver.client.MZITunesClientCheck/version | grep ipsw | grep iPad | sort -u | sed ‘s /// g’ | sed ‘s /// g’ | grep -v protected

As before, you can send that to a text file if you want by adding “> ~ / path / to / text.txt” at the end.

Get a list of only specific iOS version from Apple

As with searching for specific iOS hardware, you can also return specific iOS versions if you wish. For example, the following syntax returns only all IPSW results that match iOS 7.0.4, indicated by that version string in the second grep:

curl http://ax.phobos.apple.com.edgesuite.net/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/com.apple.jingle.appserver.client.MZITunesClientCheck/version | grep ipsw | grep 7.0.4 | sort -u | sed ‘s /// g’ | sed ‘s /// g’ | grep -v protected | awk ‘{$ 1 = $ 1} 1’

Apple is quick to release updates, and because of the Over-the-Air mechanism, most people will notice new updates almost immediately when they become available. Nevertheless, some users use a variation of the above trick to check for new iOS releases by periodically searching for different version ranges that don’t yet exist on Apple’s servers. However, that’s a bit beyond the scope of this article.

There may be cleaner and / or better ways to do this, please call in the comments if you have another solution.

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How to List All IPSW Files from Apple Servers Using the Command Line: FAQ

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The time to complete the How to List All IPSW Files from Apple Servers Using the Command Line tutorial is 10+ minutes.

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Apple

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mac OS


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