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Old 03-17-2018, 01:22 AM   #1
ItalianUruguayan
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Kobo Hacks and Utilities Index

While trying to turn my Kobo Glo HD into some sort of all-purpose e-ink PDA, I have come across a great deal of useful resources. This is intended for personal use, but could be useful to more people. I will update this post when finding more interesting things.


Firmware versions

-3.14.0: Factory firmware release. Slow and buggy. The menus suffer from a lot of ghosting. The web browser makes the screen flicker when scrolling or updating pages. It is supposed to be the last version with chess available on the beta features menu, but since there are not Metazoa patches available for it, there's no way to know.

Download (Mark 6) - Discussion thread

-3.15.0: Nice update. The ghosting has dissapeared and the web browser runs smoothly. Chess is still available via this database hack. pbchess doesn't work reliably with this version.

Download (Mark 6) - Discussion thread - Metazoa patch

-3.16.0: Almost identical to 3.15.0, but much slower when opening epubs. Not worth the effort. pbchess continues to fail here.

Discussion thread

-3.17.0 / 3.17.3 / 3.18.0: Pretty horrible updates with several bugs. Some of them suffer the infamous sickel bug that makes the reader reboot itself when handling a moderately intensive task. Others show signs of unpolishment. A bug makes it impossible to suspend the device while charging it. Not recommended.

-3.19.5613: Nice release with all the aforementioned bugs fixed. But it is better to use the next one.

Download (Mark 6) - Discussion thread - Metazoa patches

-3.19.5761: The golden release. Stable and fast, it lasted for almost a year. This has made a lot of hacks and patches available only for this version, which makes the task of making a heavily-patched version of the firmware much easier. It uses the nice tiled homepage that dissapears in the 4.XXX.X updates. Unfortunately, chess has dissapeared from this version and will never be seen again.

Download (Mark 6) - Discussion thread - Metazoa patches

4.3.9084 is the last version with our much beloved home screen.


Apps and utilities

-koreader: Excellent alternative reader with Calibre server integration and a rudimentary RSS reader. Very slow with large (thousand-pages long) documents.

-pbchess: Launcher for Qt apps with chess, checkers, reversi, sokoban, gomoku, notepad, a calculator, a file manager, and OPDS browser, Dropbox integration, USBnet, a simple terminal, a port of Coolreader and the ability to add your own apps.

-CoolReader launcher for Nickel: Two scripts taken from tshering's Kobo Start Menu that make it possible to launch CoolReader with a tap on a custom tile, without having to open pbchess.

-QtFrotz: Qt port of Frotz for Kobo ereaders.

-sketch: Simple alternative to the Kobo sketch pad app. It needs the use of the power button in order to work and, as far as I know, does not have a delete button.

-plato: Epub reader. Still in a very early stage of development.

-Feedhudler: Free website to send RSS feed updates to Pocket. A faster premium version is also available.

-KoboCloud: A set of scripts that make Kobo download books on a specific Dropbox / Owncloud public folder in every sync. It does not seem to work anymore, but it should be relatively easy to fix.

-Wallabako: Wallabag (open-source Pocket alternative) client for Kobo readers.

-Kobo-clock: "A Clock app for Kobo Aura HD, built against sdl".

-Kobo weather forecast for Wifi and Touch: Weather app that seems to be broken on the Glo HD.

-kobo-display: Simple website to show information like the clock and weather.

-Offline Wikipedia: Requires a bigger SD card.

-Reabble: Online (paid) RSS reader optimized for e-ink devices.

-kvncviewer: VNC viewer for Kobo.

-RSS reader: Simple python RSS reader that converts feeds to images.

-Kobo-Note: A simple notepad app.

-Kobo-Aura-HD-Clean-Articles: A script to clean leftover Pocket articles.

-pdf2kobo: Cuts pdfs in order to make them more comfortable to read.

-Enable telnet

-Kobo WebPortal: Local webserver, running on your Kobo. It has a HTML landing page with links to several sites. It can also run CGI scripts and thus provide you with browser-based apps.

-Ad blocker for Kobo web browser: A custom /etc/hosts file.

-Kielack's Javascript Games: Some games that should work on eink browsers, including Tetris.

-Takuzu: Binary sudoku.

-Kobo Utilities: Calibre plugin to manage our Kobos.

-kepubify: Cross-platform epub to kepub command line converter.

-kobostuff: A package of different utilities by NiLuJe.

-Night mode and reset tiles: Method to activate the night mode for readers without a light button.

-Kute File Monitor: An improved version of fmon.

-kobo-book-downloader: Command-line app to download your purchased Kobo books and remove the DRM protection from them.

-Autoshelf: Automatically create shelves/collections based on folder structure on the Kobo.

-Custom password protection: To block access to your device to potential data thieves.

-Kobo calendar: Google Calendar app with weather.


Firmware and design modifications

-Metazoa patches for 3.19.5761

-Show games on beta features: Simple script that automates the process.

-CSS modifications for nickel

-Kobo eReader.conf tweaks: Hidden features that can be enabled after editing a .conf file. Some of them no longer work.

-New dictionaries for Kobo

-Adding new interface languages

-Python 2.7 on Kobo

-Python 3

-Modifications for bad eyes: With lots of explanations on how the CSS works.

-Nickel icons: Script to change the icons and images of the system.

-patch-images-png: Another script to change the system icons.

-Random screensaver image on nickel

-Kobo Start Menu 09: Replaces nickel at boot.

-advboot: Dual-boot menu for nickel and koreader.

-Running bash scripts on Kobo browser

-koboy: Turning the Kobo touch into a flying instrument.

-Replace the Kobo bookstore with your own Calibre content server: Very experimental hack.

-Upgrading the memory of your Kobo without using a computer: Run the script, remove the SD card and put a bigger SD card. The script sets up everything for you.

-Modified fonts: Index to the customized fonts uploaded by Mobileread users.

-Linux on the Kobo Glo HD (part 1) (part 2): I don't understand a word of it but it seems to work.

-okreader: Open-source firmware based on Debian and koreader. An experimental branch seems to work fine on the Glo HD.

-Kobo-nightmode: "White-on-black mode for Kobo ebook readers".

-makepatch: A a little program that can be used to create 'Patcher' style patches (for use by kpg, patch32lsb or KBpatcher programs) from the difference between two binary files.

-How to use two different versions of the ebook reader (libnickel.so) at the same time

-Enable telnet and stop wifi timeout

-Make nickel refresh some tiles at boot

-OcherBook: Alternative firmware for old models (Kobo Touch)

-kobowm: A simple X window manager built to run on a Kobo Touch


Guides and lists of resources

-GeoffR's guide to patching

-pipcat's list or resources

-Hacking the Kobo touch for Dummies

-The Tech Faucet articles

-Hacking the fnacbook (part 1) (part 2)

-Kobo hacking resources

-Index of frostschutz's modifications

-How to build Qt apps for Kobo

-How the browser downloads files

-Some information about system fonts: by GeoffR

-Interesting strings in libnickel.so

-Make your kobo faster by modifying filesystem options: Five-year-old tutorial. Not sure if it still works.

Last edited by ItalianUruguayan; 03-28-2018 at 08:51 AM.
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Old 03-17-2018, 05:22 AM   #2
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Very nice. Thank you.
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Old 03-17-2018, 06:06 AM   #3
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I do suggest dropping all the firmware versions before 3.19.5761. There's no reason to link them. All that will do is confuse people.
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