idb has some prerequisites. As it turns out, things like ruby and Qt are difficult to bundle into a stand-alone installer. While idb itself can easily be installed via Ruby Gems, you need to have some additional software first:

1. Prerequisites

1.1 Ruby Environment

idb requires a valid ruby 1.9.3 or 2.1 installation and it is recommended to install the used ruby using RVM. Ruby 2.0 does not work properly due to issues with qtbindings.

Important Note: Shared library support is required! This is the default for many system rubies, but if you install a ruby via rvm or similar, you need to do one of the following:

  • Under rvm use rvm install 2.1 --enable-shared when installing ruby.
  • Under ruby-install/chruby use -- --enable-shared when installing ruby.
  • Under ruby-build/rbenv with ruby-build use CONFIGURE_OPTS=--enable-shared [command] when installing Ruby.

1.2 Install Other Prerequisites:

For OS X:

brew install qt cmake usbmuxd libimobiledevice

For Ubuntu:

apt-get install cmake libqt4-dev git-core libimobiledevice-utils libplist-utils usbmuxd libxml2-dev libsqlite3-dev -y

2. Installing idb

2.1 Production Use

  • Install idb: gem install idb
  • Run idb: idb
  • Hooray!

2.2 Development

  • Clone the repository: git clone
  • cd idb
  • bundle install (using the right ruby version)
  • As for every ruby gem, the application code lives in the lib folder
  • Run idb by calling bundle exec idb
    • Note: Running bin/idb directly won’t work since it will not find the idb gem (or use the installed gem and not the checked out source code). Instead, the bundle exec command runs idb in the current bundler environment where bundler supplies the gem from source.