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Thread: [GUIDE] Moving /Applications to /private/var/root to free up disk space

  1. #1
    Default [GUIDE] Moving /Applications to /private/var/root to free up disk space
    EDIT: Wiki now posted for this guide, located here:
    http://modmyi.com/wiki/index.php/Mov...edia_Partition

    Alright, so I've seen a few people asking about this, and I got curious because I had never thought about it before. Basically it involves moving the /Applications directory to the Media partition to give you more space to install apps and themes from Installer, and creating a symlink in the root directory, much like you do during the jailbreak process. This is for version 1.1.1, I'm not sure if it'll work for 1.0.2, but you don't need to on 1.0.2 because it gives you over 100 megabytes which is more than enough. This will allow you to jump from around 30 megabytes to over 50 or so, which still isn't as much as 1.0.2, but it definitely helps!

    Note that I'm on Windows XP, but the process is exactly the same for Macs, you'll just have to use your ssh program.

    I've seen a couple of different methods so far, but this is the one that I followed, and I figured I'd type it up and provide screenshots to those that need them, as well as provide instructions for those of you who don't have ssh, the process is exactly the same:
    http://www.modmyi.com/forums/showthr...g+applications

    NOTE: If you did this on 1.1.1 and then upgraded to 1.1.2, you may notice as you are looking through your ssh program that the symlink is no longer there. You have to be logged in through an SCP session, not an SFTP session(you can do this by installing OpenSSH through Installer.app), and you can recreate this. Delete the ROOT_Applications directory you created, and then follow the steps again. You will have to reinstall all your apps from Installer, but this is the safest way to do this. You won't have to reinstall themes and the like, only the actual applications themselves.

    EDIT (12/14/07): I've noticed a lot of people are having trouble with this. To answer some of your questions, yes you CAN do this all on a 1.1.2 phone. Doing this on 1.1.1 then upgrading is NOT recommended, as upgrading with the symlink installed WILL erase your symlink and reinstall the default /Applications folder. You should remove this before upgrading to any new version of firmware and redo it. I just double checked myself by removing and redoing the instructions with my 1.1.2 phone and it works.

    NOTE(take two): I noticed after finally getting a chance to look back through the forum that a lot of folks are questioning whether you can use this on any firmware version. As far as I know, yes. I've been using this method since version 1.0.2, and I have used it on each version of firmware since, so I know it does work. Just follow the guide exactly and you'll get it.

    NOTE(take three): If you are on firmware version 1.1.3 or higher, make sure to substitute mobile anywhere you see root. For example, instead of putting /private/var/root in the command in step two, put /private/var/mobile. It won't hurt anything to use root instead of mobile, but as of 1.1.3 the /private/var/mobile directory is where Apple is keeping everything instead of /private/var/root like in versions prior to 1.1.3, and it may end up being that the /private/var/root directory is removed altogether eventually.

    Alright, here we go:

    Needed:
    - any firmware version will do
    - an SSH program of your choice(i'll be using WinSCP...the username is root and the password is dottie on 1.0.2, and on 1.1.1 the password is alpine)
    - more than likely you need to have all the BSD World and BSD Extra files installed, which you should have already, if you followed the guides here to jailbreak 1.1.1, and obviously you need to have gone through installing ssh on your phone

    Step 1:
    First we have to make sure that the noexec command is not set in the /etc/fstab file. If you followed the guide here on jailbreaking 1.1.1 you may remember looking at this file to make sure that there were no "ro"s in it. Now we are going to check it and make sure that it doesn't say noexec, and if it does, delete it. So, connect via SSH however you'd like, and navigate to your /etc directory. If you are using WinSCP you can double-click the file and view it straight from WinSCP and edit it. If you are using a command-line ssh program, such as Putty, you'll need to pull it from the iPhone and look at it, then put it back. Simply run this command:
    Code:
    getfile /etc/fstab fstab
    And you'll have the fstab file on your computer wherever Putty happens to be stored.



    Open up the fstab file. Notice in the red circle that it says "noexec"? We need to get that out of there. So, delete it, and save it.


    Again if you are using a command-line ssh program you'll have to put it back. Run this command:
    Code:
    putfile /etc/fstab fstab
    Step 2:
    Now that we are able to run the commands that we need to run, we need to actually move the /Applications directory. In WinSCP hit Ctrl+T to bring up the terminal window(I'm not sure what the command is in other programs). Using a command-line terminal you won't need to do this step, obviously


    Now type this command and hit Execute:
    Code:
    cp -R /Applications /private/var/root/ROOT_Applications
    Note that, for some reason, after running this command WinSCP reported a connection lost error. If something similar happens to you, simply reconnect and you should be ok.



    Notice that now, in the /private/var/root directory, ROOT_Applications now shows up! That was easy, wasn't it?

    Step 3:
    Now we need to create the symlink which will trick the iPhone into thinking we never moved the /Applications directory. Go back to your terminal, and type in this command:
    Code:
    rm -rf /Applications && ln -s /private/var/root/ROOT_Applications /Applications


    This does two things in one step. First it removes the /Applications directory, and then it recreates it as a shortcut to the new one we just made before. If you look in the root directory, you'll see the /Applications folder, only now it has the shortcut arrow on it. Opening it up will show you all your Applications, as normal. If not, something got botched somewhere along the line. Restart your iPhone and you should be good to go!

    Removing the symlink:
    If something happened to your iPhone, reversing the process is easy to do. Go back in through ssh and type the following three commands into the terminal:
    Code:
    rm /Applications
    cp -R /private/var/root/ROOT_Applications /Applications
    rm -rf /private/var/root/ROOT_Applications
    And everything should be alright. You might want to do this before doing any future upgrades, as I'm not sure if this will affect the upgrade or not.


    Hopefully that wasn't terribly difficult for you to follow, as it's my first guide on something like this. If anybody knows how to execute these commands in iphoneinterface or iphuc let me know. I actually just ran into a weird issue where when I run either of those, it's as if my phone isn't jailbroken anymore, but I have ssh capability and installer and all my third party apps working just fine. Somebody try running these commands in either of those and see if they work, I really don't feel like restoring/downgrading/reupgrading/rejailbreaking my phone today lol.

    Again, the method I used was that outlined by scr4p in the thread that was linked above. Thanks!
    Last edited by rianbattle; 05-07-2008 at 01:01 PM.
    Peter: "Brian! There's a message in my alphabits! It says 'OOOOOOOOO'!!!!!"
    Brian: "Peter...those are Cheerios."


    Guides:
    Moving Applications into the Media Partition to get more space for third party apps

  2. The Following 16 Users Say Thank You to rianbattle For This Useful Post:

    apwtwenty (12-02-2007), bgattis (11-05-2007), bhz1 (11-17-2007), borsosbalage (12-10-2007), brainfood (01-12-2008), dlubbat (01-11-2008), jwaschbisch (12-01-2007), laving (05-16-2008), mad102190 (01-09-2008), philbee (12-19-2007), RC_OZ (11-22-2007), rotaryheadrx7 (10-30-2007), tonydeli7 (11-17-2007), toyvan (10-31-2007), tsatryan (11-12-2007), Zach23 (12-31-2007)

  3. #2
    Retired Moderator stlcaddie's Avatar
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    Thanks bro......

  4. #3
    thanks for the excellent guide.... now what is the username and password to log into winSCP... i read somewhere that it's no longer dottie and the password is different also in 1.1.1

  5. #4
    username is root

    Password is alpine

  6. The Following User Says Thank You to bchilton9 For This Useful Post:

    808mp5 (10-22-2007)

  7. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by 808mp5 View Post
    thanks for the excellent guide.... now what is the username and password to log into winSCP... i read somewhere that it's no longer dottie and the password is different also in 1.1.1
    the username is still root, and the default password for 1.1.1 is now alpine instead of dottie. i added it to the guide ^_^
    Peter: "Brian! There's a message in my alphabits! It says 'OOOOOOOOO'!!!!!"
    Brian: "Peter...those are Cheerios."


    Guides:
    Moving Applications into the Media Partition to get more space for third party apps

  8. #6
    I had a question, I edited the fstab file so that noexec was deleted then ran the first command in terminal which copied the Applications to /var/root/ROOT_Applications but it ended up going into private/var/root because its linked to it so I continued and typed in the second command but my Applications folder turned into a dead icon pretty much and looked like the "mach" file if you look at the figure above in the root directory and my springboard disappeared I tried to remove the link but there was no link so I ended up restoring. Any suggestions on why that happened?

  9. #7
    is there a guide for doing this on a mac ive been looking but found nothing anybody have any ideas

  10. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by alpineflip View Post
    I had a question, I edited the fstab file so that noexec was deleted then ran the first command in terminal which copied the Applications to /var/root/ROOT_Applications but it ended up going into private/var/root because its linked to it so I continued and typed in the second command but my Applications folder turned into a dead icon pretty much and looked like the "mach" file if you look at the figure above in the root directory and my springboard disappeared I tried to remove the link but there was no link so I ended up restoring. Any suggestions on why that happened?
    that's actually a really good question. if you wouldn't mind trying again, could you try replacing /var/root/ROOT_Applications with /private/var/root/ROOT_Applications in the two commands that use it and seeing if that will work? if so, i'll update the guide and use that instead. i would try it but i haven't had any problems with that happening...

    Quote Originally Posted by thebambino View Post
    is there a guide for doing this on a mac ive been looking but found nothing anybody have any ideas
    you can follow this guide on a mac, the only difference will be which ssh program you use. the only thing that would really change are the screenshots.
    Peter: "Brian! There's a message in my alphabits! It says 'OOOOOOOOO'!!!!!"
    Brian: "Peter...those are Cheerios."


    Guides:
    Moving Applications into the Media Partition to get more space for third party apps

  11. #9
    iPhone? More like MyPhone
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    Quote Originally Posted by rianbattle View Post
    that's actually a really good question. if you wouldn't mind trying again, could you try replacing /var/root/ROOT_Applications with /private/var/root/ROOT_Applications in the two commands that use it and seeing if that will work? if so, i'll update the guide and use that instead. i would try it but i haven't had any problems with that happening...
    I did this a while back and I used /private/var/root/... and have no problems whatsoever. Very good write up!

    Wish I had it when I was doing it for the first time.

  12. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by rotaryheadrx7 View Post
    I did this a while back and I used /private/var/root/... and have no problems whatsoever. Very good write up!

    Wish I had it when I was doing it for the first time.
    Thanks for the confirmation(and compliment)...guide has been updated to use /private/var/root/ROOT_Applications


    let me know if anyone else has any problems ^_^
    Peter: "Brian! There's a message in my alphabits! It says 'OOOOOOOOO'!!!!!"
    Brian: "Peter...those are Cheerios."


    Guides:
    Moving Applications into the Media Partition to get more space for third party apps

  13. #11
    I will give it a shot tonight when I get home, is it ok if I already have some apps installed, sense you are creating that symlink it should see it as if nothing happened you just gained more space? And when the symlink is removed do the apps function properly still as long as there is space available ?? Curious for if a future apple update sense symlink might cause some problems unless I am wrong?

    Also Thanks for the reply as well to my first question

  14. #12
    iPhoneaholic
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    kool awsome it worked.. thanks
    Last edited by julianqm2; 10-30-2007 at 12:42 PM.

  15. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by alpineflip View Post
    I will give it a shot tonight when I get home, is it ok if I already have some apps installed, sense you are creating that symlink it should see it as if nothing happened you just gained more space? And when the symlink is removed do the apps function properly still as long as there is space available ?? Curious for if a future apple update sense symlink might cause some problems unless I am wrong?

    Also Thanks for the reply as well to my first question
    yea, having apps installed won't be a problem. i already had everything i wanted installed from installer and did this and it worked fine. and yea, if you follow the steps to remove the symlink, the phone will tell you that you are running out of space. that most likely won't happen with just apps though.

    as far as being affected with a future update, not really sure until it happens. i'll gladly be the first to test updating with the symlink in place to see if it causes any damage, but if it's just an update it should only write to the files that are getting updated and shouldn't mess with moving the directories around. if any apps are updated, the symlink should still work and just point the updates to the ROOT_Applications folder instead of the normal /Applications folder. if you're worried about it, remove the symlink and update, and then reapply it. but, like i said, i'll gladly test it first to make sure it works and post results here ^_^
    Peter: "Brian! There's a message in my alphabits! It says 'OOOOOOOOO'!!!!!"
    Brian: "Peter...those are Cheerios."


    Guides:
    Moving Applications into the Media Partition to get more space for third party apps

  16. #14
    Thank you for your helpful and simple guide..cheers!

  17. #15
    My iPhone is a Part of Me
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    Thanks. Couldn't be any more simple then that!!!

  18. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by toyvan View Post
    Thank you for your helpful and simple guide..cheers!
    Quote Originally Posted by bgattis View Post
    Thanks. Couldn't be any more simple then that!!!
    thank you both ^_^

    comments and compliments are always appreciated lol. especially as it's my first guide, i was hoping that my demented way of explaining things would be simple enough to follow
    Peter: "Brian! There's a message in my alphabits! It says 'OOOOOOOOO'!!!!!"
    Brian: "Peter...those are Cheerios."


    Guides:
    Moving Applications into the Media Partition to get more space for third party apps

  19. #17
    Wow, if I used Installer for everything I would so use this guide. Very easily explained even all the newbies could process that!!

    Reako

  20. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Reako View Post
    Wow, if I used Installer for everything I would so use this guide. Very easily explained even all the newbies could process that!!

    Reako
    you can still use it even if you install apps manually...it's just to give you more room for all your apps. as long as you have bsd subsystem installed you can still use it ^_^
    Peter: "Brian! There's a message in my alphabits! It says 'OOOOOOOOO'!!!!!"
    Brian: "Peter...those are Cheerios."


    Guides:
    Moving Applications into the Media Partition to get more space for third party apps

  21. #19
    hi,
    I replaced my MeCCa to use custom ringtones
    i wanted to move more ringtones into my /Library/Ringtones folder but somehow after a few ringtones it gave me error. shouldn't the ringtones storage be in the media section, shared with music and videos? or is it in the smaller section where third party apps are installed?

  22. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by peeInMyPantz View Post
    hi,
    I replaced my MeCCa to use custom ringtones
    i wanted to move more ringtones into my /Library/Ringtones folder but somehow after a few ringtones it gave me error. shouldn't the ringtones storage be in the media section, shared with music and videos? or is it in the smaller section where third party apps are installed?
    no...the ringtones should be stored in the /Library/Ringtones folder using the method regarding replacing the MeCCa file...what did the error say that you got?
    Peter: "Brian! There's a message in my alphabits! It says 'OOOOOOOOO'!!!!!"
    Brian: "Peter...those are Cheerios."


    Guides:
    Moving Applications into the Media Partition to get more space for third party apps

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