By Alex Free

The .ipa file format is the official way iOS applications are distributed by Apple. For older devices that can no longer use the AppStore or other means, these files can be installed manually after they are ‘decrypted’ (untied from the specific AppleID used to purchase/download them) using various methods.

I think there is a better way to manage applications originally distributed in the .ipa file format. That is, to convert decrypted .ipa files to the format that jailbreak-only software/tweaks are distributed in traditionally, known as .deb.

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v1.0 (2/27/2023)

IPA2DEB v1.0


IPA2DEB requires 4 arguments:

1) The filepath of the .ipa file you want to convert, or a directory of .ipa files (that IPA2DEB will bulk convert recursively).

2) The filepath of the the output directory, where your converted .deb files will be written to as well as any error .txt log files.

3) Your contact info: first name, last name, email (all in quotes). Something like "Your Name <>". You don’t have to really put an email here though if you’d rather not.

4) Your website URL (used for .deb related info).

There are 3 possible log files that may be generated during conversion by IPA2DEB:

These log files will be mentioned at the end of a conversion if they are generated. All files mentioned above are placed in the same output directory as the converted .deb files, specified by the 2nd argument given to IPA2DEB.

There is an additional script available in each IPA2DEB release, genrepo. This script requires 1 argument, a directory of .deb file(s). It will generate a Packages.gz and turn the directory into a valid Cydia repo that can be uploaded on a server to use.


IPA2DEB is released into the public domain, see the file unlicense.txt for more info.