Brussels / 3 & 4 February 2024


Breathing Life into Legacy: An Open-Source Emulator of Legacy Apple Devices

This talk presents QEMU-iOS, an open-source emulator of legacy Apple devices. I outline the process of emulating an iPod Touch 2G, discussing the technical challenges and reverse engineering methodologies applied. The talk starts with an overview of the project's goals and then outlines the reverse engineering process, utilizing tools like Ghidra for disassembling the Apple bootloader, XNU kernel, and other binaries. Then, I describe QEMU, a popular framework for emulation, and show how essential iPod Touch peripherals such as the touchscreen, storage, and display have been implemented. Finally, this talk touches upon the implications of open-sourcing this project, its contribution to the emulation and reverse engineering landscape, and its potential for future efforts to emulate newer Apple devices.


Martijn de Vos