Feature #16180

iPhone USB tethering support

Added by geb 8 months ago. Updated 21 days ago.

In Progress
Hardware support
Target version:
Start date:
Due date:
% Done:


Feature Branch:
Type of work:
Affected tool:



Quick tests let me think that USB tethering with iPhones and tails may not be functionnal.

Its especially problematic, considering that sharing a phone connection with USB tethering can be a good workaround (*) when Wifi is not working with Tails : lot of recent Macs seems to have the problem and their users may be more likely to own iPhones.

When you try to activate USB tethering on an iPhone, the phone prints instructions about installing iTunes on the computer. Quick research let me think that adding a few additionnal packages (usbmuxd, libimobiledevice) may solve the problem, in the same way than additional packages may have been necessary for MTP support.

Refs: &

(*) with limitations for the Mac spoofing feature etc :(.


#1 Updated by mercedes508 8 months ago

  • Status changed from New to Confirmed

#2 Updated by geb 2 months ago

  • Subject changed from Investigate about iPhone USB tethering support to iPhone USB tethering support
  • Status changed from Confirmed to In Progress
  • Target version set to Tails_3.15


I managed to have a working connection using an iphone through USB Tethering
(debug informations has been sent using whisperback)

It required :
- usbmuxd
- ipheth-utils
- libimobiledevice-utils

All of them are available with Debian and were installed via the additionnal software feature.

I Waited for those packages to be installed, and desactivated mac spoofing feature.

After that it was only necessary to plug the iphone, activate connection sharing, and confirm the computer is trusted to access the internet.

Tested IPhone model 6s plus. Tested IOS 10.4.15 (as far i recall ; sent the exact version number using whisperback).

Next steps :
- Test Other Iphones models / IOS versions
- Verify if desactivating mac spoofing is necessary.

Then, i'll submit a patch to include those packages. Maybe will we want to have a security evaluation of the precise interactions they have with the iphone before including them in Tails.

It may also be worthly to document the use of USB tethering when Wifi is not working and its concequences (like the fact mac spoofing will not work).

I would like to try to have this feature included in 3.15.

#3 Updated by geb 2 months ago

Please let me know if it would a good idea to send more traces of working connections from other models/versions to frontdesk, or if it would just be unnecessary noise.

#4 Updated by geb 21 days ago

  • Target version changed from Tails_3.15 to Tails_3.16

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