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First iPhone OS Version Emulated With QEMU By Developers

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First iPhone OS Version Emulated With QEMU By Developers

(CTN News) – Due to mackintosh tools, iPhone OS macOS has been running on non-Apple computers for many years. However, no one has been able to run iOS on other platforms – at least not until recently.

QEMU has been successfully used by one developer to emulate the first version of the iPhone OS (remember that name?) on a computer.

Emulation of iPhone OS 1.0 without the use of iPhone hardware

In 2007, the first-generation iPod touch was released with the first version of the iPhone operating system, which was emulated by Martin de Vos, also known as devos50, using reverse engineering techniques.

Due to the difficulty of simulating things such as multitouch support and other hardware components, the project took more than a year to complete.

According to de Vos, the tricky part was simulating the iPod touch’s hardware components.

Since the iPhone version would require emulating even more components than the iPod version, the developer chose to emulate the first build of the iPhone OS made for the iPod rather than the iPhone.

Furthermore, de Vos opted for iPhone OS 1.0 due to the fact that it has a much smaller number of security mechanisms than more recent versions of the operating system.

“Contemporary Apple devices contain a variety of additional hardware components, including neural engines, secure enclaves, and sensors, which make emulating them much more difficult and time-consuming,” the developer explains.

An interesting fact about this project is that it was only made possible by OpeniBoot, an open source implementation of Apple’s bootloader.

In spite of the fact that the project was discontinued long ago, users were able to install Android on the first generation iPhone and iPod touch.

However, does it serve its intended purpose?

Despite a few bugs, the final project appears quite functional, and QEMU – an open source virtualization platform – has been successfully used to emulate iPhone OS 1.0.

With a mouse and keyboard, the system can be navigated easily, and many of the pre-installed applications are fully functional. Although the system can crash in some situations, it is still impressive to see a version of iOS emulated on another platform.

According to the developer, this is probably the first time that open source tools have been used to emulate the iPhone operating system. In the case of Corellium, for example, the company sells virtual iOS devices, but all the tools and code are proprietary.

Creating your own virtual machine is not an easy task, but de Vos has provided all the details in a blog post.

In his next project, de Vos intends to emulate the second-generation iPod touch, which was released with iPhone OS 2.1.

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