How To Convert DEB File To IPA For App Sideloading On iOS

While there’s more than one way to sideload an iOS app without jailbreak, the easier, more accessible method needs the app’s IPA file. There aren’t too many apps that can’t be had from the App Store, but many of those that aren’t are available as sideloadable DEB packages. XBMC’s Kodi is a popular example.

Now, you could go through the long and arduous process of sideloading a DEB file using Xcode (which requires a Mac or macOS VM, by the way), or you could jump through one extra hoop before you sideload to make it all a two-minute affair. Converting the DEB package to an IPA file will allow you to use Saurik’s trusty Cydia Impactor tool to sign and sideload an app on your non-jailbroken iPhone, iPad or iPod touch in a few clicks.


The conversion itself is quite straightforward too. If you’re reading through this, we’re assuming you’ve already found or downloaded the DEB file you want to sideload, so let’s get right to it.

1. Install an unarchiver utility on your computer. Free options include 7-Zip for Windows and The Unarchiver for Mac.

2. Using your unarchiver program, extract the downloaded .deb file.

  • With 7-Zip on Windows, simply right-click on the .deb file and select 7-Zip > Extract files… to unpack it to a directory of choice.
  • With The Unarchiver on Mac, simply open the .deb package with the program to unpack it.

3. Within the extracted folder, find the data.tar file and unpack it same as in the previous step.

4. Open the extracted data folder, then open the Applications folder inside.

5. Here, you’ll find a folder with a name ending in “.app”. Create a new folder and name it “Payload”. Now, drag the “.app” folder onto it.

6. Select the Payload folder and pack it into an archive.

  • With 7-Zip on Windows, simply right-click on the Payload folder, select 7-Zip > Add to archive…, and in the window that follows, ensure that the Archive format is .zip, then set a name (any name) for the archive ending in “.ipa”.
  • On Mac, you can use the built-in archiving tool for this. Simply right-click on the Payload folder, select the Compress option and set a name (any name) for the archive ending in “.ipa”.

That’s it! Your app is now ready to be sideloaded the easy way. You can now head on over to our guide to installing IPA files using Cydia Impactor.

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Sameed Khan

I write, game, design at times, and revel in sarcasm. You can find me on Twitter.