How to use Apple’s iMessage in Linux (sort of)

RemoteMessages web browser window at work.RemoteMessages web browser window at work.

This tip requires Jailbreaking your iPhone or iPad, so if you don’t want to Jailbreak then look away now. Jailbreaking is a method of expanding the iPhone beyond it’s parameters set by Apple, so you can run lots of extra software on it. If you don’t know how to Jailbreak, there are plenty of guides online on how to do it. Most of them require you either have a Windows VM or real machine, but some work on Macs as well. I’ve never seen them on Linux before. See this guide for a howto on Jailbreaking.

  1. Option 1: Remote Messages

  2. Once you have a JailBroken iDevice, launch the Cydia app and search for the Remote Messages app. It costs $3.99 USD. Install the app, go to Settings on your iPhone and look for Remote Messages in your settings. Tap that and then enable the service. Set a username and password that you like. Note the current IP of your iPhone is listed in the settings screen so over on your Linux box, open up your web browser, and type in your idevices ip address, followed by a port number (example: http://192.168.1.3:333/ ). This will work on any platform, even your phone. You can take it a step further by enabling port forwarding on your router, so you can access your messages outside of your local area network.
RemoteMessages web browser window at work.

RemoteMessages web browser window at work.

Option 2: The hacker way via the CLI!

You can SSH into your iDevice via the terminal and send messages using curl. Note this is only sending – you cannot receive a message via this service.

$ curl -X POST http://textbelt.com/intl -d number=5551234567 -d "message=hello!"

Check out textbelt.com for more information on their free service and which mobile operators are supported, note you have to change the /intl to /text if you are in the USA.

Hat tip to coltonon for these great tips!

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