Ask Different is a question and answer site for power users of Apple hardware and software. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have jailbroken iPad (iOS5.1.1) with the shell utility installed.

I'd like to be able to launch and control applications via the command line, as I would normally do in Unix or Linux. Say I want to play a specific file in my iPad, I want to be able to ask the iPad's music app to play it for me via command line. (Something similar to cvlc, I couldn't find cvlc for the iPad)

Is it possible to do so? If yes then how?

share|improve this question

You can install OpenSSH in Cydia and use a SSH client (say, Panic's Prompt - look for it in the App Store), that makes a pretty nice terminal emulator for iOS.

As to running programs from the command line, sure, no problem, but none of them are designed to work in CLI. They don't retrieve/parse arguments, don't output...etc If you can get some out of Cydia or compile them yourself, it'll work, but I don't think you'll be able to command Apple's own apps that way.

share|improve this answer
Thanks for the answer, I already have ssh and a shell installed that I use to run commands I got from Cydia/Compiled, what I wanted was to be able to control the iOS apps and daemons via CLI, say launching the default application for mp3 files via CLI, but I guess you're saying that's not possible? – ffledgling Apr 30 '13 at 22:00
Launching will most probably be possible, but it will bring up the GUI. I don't believe you will manage to interact with it via CLI exclusively. – Olotiar Apr 30 '13 at 22:23

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.