Veteran jailbreakers are likely familiar with a handy utility called Cydia Eraser, which Saurik released several years ago to help jailbreakers ‘un-jailbreak’ their pwned handsets without restoring and updating their firmware via iTunes. Saurik’s busy life has prevented him from updating Cydia Eraser for modern versions of iOS, but it now looks like there could be a light at the end of the tunnel.

iOS developer Sam Gardner, perhaps better known to the community as Samg_is_a_ninja, took to /r/jailbreak this weekend to tease a spectacular project that he has been working on for nearly a year and a half, and he calls it Succession.

According to Gardner, Succession is an upcoming alternative to the renowned Cydia Eraser utility for jailbroken devices running iOS 10.0 and later. The developer published a demonstration video in his post, showcasing what the interface looks like and how it would work:

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Gardner explains how the tool works in his /r/jailbreak comment:

Succession works by downloading an IPSW file for your device and iOS version, extracting the root filesystem DMG, and then using rsync to replace any modified files with clean versions, and delete any additional files. The great thing about this is, it doesn’t take very much work to update to add support for new iOS versions (if I had released this tool back in 2016 for iOS 10.0, it would’ve required two updates, once when iOS 10.3 was released (to add support for APFS), and once when iOS 12.0 was released (Apple added something that I believe is related to CoreTrust that caused bootloops, but that’s obviously been fixed now).

A number of restoring tools have been released in recent memory that can achieve similar results, but Gardner explains how Succession compares to those in his comment:

So, I can already hear you saying to your computer screen “but Sam, isn’t there XXX restore tool that does the same thing already”, so I’ll run through a list of popular competitors and how Succession compares to them:

>>> Cydia Eraser: Cydia eraser is a great tool, but it only supports iOS 7.1-10.2.1, 10.3-10.3.3 require a dirty workaround, and I have never actually seen Cydia Eraser actually work on any version higher than 10.2.1 (it usually fails due it filling the entire storage of the device on 10.3+), and doesn’t support 11.0-12.1.2 at all. In addition, if you delete your language files, it takes Cydia Eraser a long time (in some cases, literal days) to complete, and if you use BytaFont, it doesn’t work. Also, even though it hypothetically supports 7.1-10.3.3, there are many instances where OTA files don’t exist for all device/firmware combinations, (for example, 7 on 10.0-10.0.2, 6S on 9.0-9.0.2, SE on 9.3-9.3.1, and many others that I won’t bother listing here) in which case you’re basically SOL. Succession supports all iOS versions 10.0+, as well as deleted language files, as well as BytaFont 3.

>>> SemiRestore, SemiRestore Lite, OSRestoreX, rec0vering, and Delectra: None of these tools actually restore the device! These are all simply quick ways of removing all your installed tweaks, on older iOS versions, they will also undo stashing from your filesystem, but that’s it! If you, for example, used Upscale to set your device to 9 by 16 pixels (as any sensible man would do, ;P), and ran any of the tools, your device would not be fixed. Succession not only removes the jailbreak, but actually restores missing or modified iOS files.

>>> Rollectra (or using unc0ver’s “rootfs restore”): This is probably the toughest competition for me. Rollectra works by reverting everything except for /var to exactly how they were in a backup which is taken instant before the first time the device is jailbroken. In most cases, since nothing outside of /var can be modified before the device is jailbroken, this is a perfect match to what the device looks like stock. However, there are a few early versions of Electra and unc0ver which “forgot” to make this backup, and none of the 10.3.X jailbreaks even attempt to make the backup. Also, the beta version of Rollectra on pwn20wnd’s GitHub works fine on 11.0-12.1.2, however it hasn’t been updated on Chariz to support 11.0-11.2.6, and the GitHub version doesn’t allow installation on 11.4.1-12.1.2 (although, as far as I know, it would work fine).

As it would seem, Succession is still a work in progress, but the developer says he should be able to release it in a few more weeks after fixing a few of its remaining bugs. This is particularly exciting for those who want to be able to restore their device jailbreakable iOS version without updating either to re-jailbreak from scratch or to maximize the handset’s resale value.

Succession is entirely open-source, and those interested in learning more about how it works can visit Sam Gardner’s GitHub repository. Just keep in mind that the tool is completely untested at the time of this writing, so don’t download and use anything until it’s officially released for your own safety.

Are you excited about the upcoming release of Succession? Let us know in the comments section below.