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TUAW Hands On: 4.2 jailbreak


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With nothing better to do (plus a few pending reviews that require a jailbreak), I decided to give the redsn0w 4.2 jailbreak a try. A 4.2 GM 2nd generation iPod touch was my test device. The jailbreak is not very hard to do: download a copy of the current 4.1 firmware (it's on Apple's servers), point redsn0w to that firmware, and then follow directions to place the device into DFU mode.

Unfortunately, the results were not positive. This is not the fault of redsn0w; it is set for 4.1 jailbreaks, not for 4.2. Rather, the jailbreak succeeded, but the patches (at least for my 2g iPod) caused too many operational issues under 4.2 for me to recommend this approach to others. In addition to a noticeable and unsightly screen flicker, Cydia fails to run properly. That prevents me from installing any further software as OpenSSH and the command-line apt-get utility are unavailable.

On the positive side, it was easy enough to restore my firmware using a simple upgrade procedure -- allowing me to return to a functional unit already loaded with music, apps, and videos in just a few minutes, rather than perform a complete system restore. I ended up jailbreaking and restoring twice. In both cases, I found the same issues and in both cases I returned to a standard 4.2 installation a few minutes later.

While I cannot recommend using a 4.2 jailbreak at this time (at least on 2nd generation iPod touches, your mileage may vary on other devices), I still appreciate the flexibility and strength of the jailbreaking tools that at least gave me an opportunity to try.

Update: 3rd gen iPod touch jb is going far, far better... Cydia is up and running. Just did the "complete upgrade" and my unit is rebooting. Will be installing OpenSSH & apt 0.6 transitional once the reboot finishes. Well, correct that. 3rd gen was running 4.1 and I forgot to upgrade first. Under 4.2 Cydia does not run.

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