Installing Summerboard Themes

Screenshot of shelves theme

I recently had a go at installing the excellent Wood Shelves Summerboard* theme on my iPhone, but found the process of adding a theme manually a blind stumble. It involves using SFTP to connect to the phone, but various tutorials had outdated information, and I had to cobble together the various snippets until I got it to work.

So, just in case this is useful for someone else, here’s how I got it to work. This assumes you’ve already jailbroken your iPhone, and have and Summerboard installed, ready and waiting for you.

How to connect to your iPhone (1.1.4) and add a Summerboard theme:

  1. Via, install BSD Subsystem and OpenSSH (found in the ‘System’ Category)
  2. Go to Settings> Wi-Fi > (Network Name) and click on the blue arrow to get your IP address.
  3. In Transmit (or other SFTP capable app), enter the following information to connect:
    • IP Address
    • Username: root
    • Password: alpine (not ‘dottie’!)
    • Mode: SFTP
  4. Once connected, navigate to /private/var/mobile/Library/Summerboard/Themes. There are, it seems, 2 locations for Summerboard themes, but for the 1.1.4 iPhone, this is the one SMB prefs reads from - iPod Touch may be different.
  5. Upload the theme folder and change permissions on the folder (and its contents) to 755

The theme will now show up in the SMB prefs menu! Hurrah!

Vishal Parpia reminded me that you should disable SFTP by removing OpenSSH afterwards, otherwise your iPhone becomes eminently hackable. If you can work out how to change the root user password, so much the better!

*(a theming app for the iPhone and iPod Touch’s ’Springboard)