Kobo firmware 4.6.9995 mega update (KSM, nickel patch, ssh, fonts)

It has been ages that I haven’t updated the MegaUpdate package for Kobo. Now that a new and seemingly rather bug-free and quick firmware release (4.6.9995) has been released, I finally took the time to update the whole package to the latest releases of all the included items. The update includes all my favorite patches and features: Kobo Start Menu, koreader, coolreader, pbchess, ssh access, custom dictionaries, and some side-loaded fonts.

Kobo Logo

So what are all these items:

  • firmware (thread): the basic software of the device, shipped by Kobo company
  • Metazoa firmware patches (thread): fix some layout options and functionalities, see below for details.
  • Kobo Start Menu (V08, update 5b thread): a menu that pops up before the reading software (nickel) starts, which allows to start alternative readers (like koreader) etc.
  • KOreader (koreader-nightly-20171004, thread): an alternative document reader that supports epub, azw, pdf, djvu and many more
  • pbchess and CoolReader (2017.10.14, thread): a chess program and another alternative reader, bundled together with several other games
  • kobohack (web site): I only use the ssh server
  • ssh access (old post: makes a full computer from your device by allowing you to log into it via ssh
  • custom dictionaries (thread): this fix updates dictionaries from the folder customdicts to the Kobo dictionary folder. For creating your own Japanese-English dictionary, see this blog entry
  • side-loaded fonts: GentiumBasic and GentiumBookBasic, Verdana, DroidSerif, and Charter-eInk

Install procedure

Download

Mark6 – Kobo GloHD

firmware: Kobo 4.6.9995 for GloHD

Mega update: Kobo-4.6.9995-combined/Mark6/KoboRoot.tgz

Mark5 – Aura

firmware: Kobo 4.6.9995 for Aura

Mega update: Kobo-4.6.9995-combined/Mark5/KoboRoot.tgz

Mark4 – Kobo Glo, Aura HD

firmware: Kobo 4.6.9995 for Glo and AuraHD

Mega update: Kobo-4.6.9995-combined/Mark4/KoboRoot.tgz

Latest firmware

Warning: Sideloading or crossloading the incorrect firmware can break/brick your device. The link below is for Kobo GloHD ONLY.

The first step is to update the Kobo to the latest firmware. This can easily be done by just getting the latest firmware from the links above and unpacking the zip file into the .kobo directory on your device. Eject and enjoy the updating procedure.

Mega update

Get the combined KoboRoot.tgz for your device from the links above and put it into the .kobo directory, then eject and enjoy the updating procedure again.

After this the device should reboot and you will be kicked into KSM, from where after some time of waiting Nickel will be started. If you consider the fonts too small, select Configure, then the General, and add item, then select kobomenuFontsize=55 and save.

Remarks to some of the items included

The full list of included things is above, here are only some notes about what specific I have done.

  • Metazoa firmware patches

    Included patches from the Metazoa firmware patches:

    Custom left & right margins
    Fix three KePub fullScreenReading bugs
    Change dicthtml strings to micthtml
    Default ePub monospace font (Courier)
    Custom reading footer style
    Dictionary pop-up frame size increase
    Increase The Cover Size In Library
    Increasing The View Details Container
    New home screen increasing cover size
    Reading stats/Author name cut when the series is showing bug fix 
    New home screen subtitle custom font
    Custom font to Collection and Authors names

    If you need/want different patches, you need to do the patching yourself.

  • kobohack-h

    Kobohack (latest version 20150110) originally provided updated libraries and optimizations, but unfortunately it is now completely outdated and using it is not recommended for the library part. I only include the ssh server (dropbear) so that connections to the Kobo via ssh.

  • ssh fixes

    See the detailed instructions here, the necessary files are already included in the mega upload. It updates the /etc/inittab to run also /etc/init.d/rcS2, and this one again starts the inetd server and run user supplied commands in /mnt/onboard/run.sh which is where your documents are.

  • Custom dictionaries

    The necessary directories and scripts are already included in the above combined KoboRoot.tgz, so nothing to be done but dropping updated, fixed, changed dictionaries into your Kobo root into the directory customdict. After this you need to reboot to get the actual dictionaries updated. See this thread for more information. The adaptions and script mentioned in this post are included in the mega update.

WARNINGS

If this is the first time you install this patch, you to fix the password for root and disable telnet. This is an important step, here are the steps you have to take (taken from this old post):

  1. Turn on Wifi on the Kobo and find IP address
    Go to Settings – Connect and after this is done, go to Settings – Device Information where you will see something like
    IP Address: 192.168.1.NN

    (numbers change!)
  2. telnet into your device
    telnet 192.168.1.NN
    it will ask you the user name, enter “root” (without the quotes) and no password
  3. (ON THE GLO) change home directory of root
    edit /etc/passwd with vi and change the entry for root by changing the 6th field from: “/” to “/root” (without the quotes). After this procedure the line should look like
    root::0:0:root:/root:/bin/sh
    don’t forget to save the file
  4. (ON THE GLO) create ssh keys for dropbear
    [root@(none) ~]# mkdir /etc/dropbear
    [root@(none) ~]# cd /etc/dropbear
    [root@(none) ~]# dropbearkey -t dss -f dropbear_dss_host_key
    [root@(none) ~]# dropbearkey -t rsa -f dropbear_rsa_host_key
  5. (ON YOUR PERSONAL COMPUTER) check that you can log in with ssh
    ssh root@192.168.1.NN
    You should get dropped into your device again
  6. (ON THE GLO) log out of the telnet session (the first one you did)
    [root@(none) ~]# exit
  7. (ON THE GLO) in your ssh session, change the password of root
    [root@(none) ~]# passwd
    you will have to enter the new password two times. Remember it well, you will not be easily able to recover it without opening your device.
  8. (ON THE GLO) disable telnet login
    edit the file /etc/inetd.conf.local on the GLO (using vi) and remove the telnet line (the line starting with 23).
  9. restart your device

The combined KoboRoot.tgz is provided without warranty. If you need to reset your device, don’t blame me!

16 Responses

  1. Frans says:

    Btw, perhaps it’s slightly less convenient depending on your use case and preferences but KSM also comes with USBNet enabled by default these days.

  2. Clemens D. says:

    Thanks a lot for your update pack! Since a few weeks I only use Coolreader for reading, after downloading your update package for FW 3.9.5761. What I strongly recommend: to replace the eink.qss file in the vlasovsoft/ -directory with one that ist better adapted for the screen. It looks much nicer then, smaller menu fonts (use e.g. Arial). For the Kobo Aura H2O there is a problem with the screen resolution (the upper 11 pixel lines can not be seen). To ajust this, append the line „margin_top=11“ to the file cr3.ini in /vlasovsoft/cr3/ (not in /cr3/data/ !). If reading in landscape, instead append „margin_right=11“ or „margin_left=11“, depending on the screen orientation. Hope you understand my english…

    • Thanks for your comment, some questions: where do I get a better sink.qss? And is it uniform across devices?
      The change specific for H2O is, well, specific and thus not perfect for including in a universal package.

      • Frans says:

        Btw, if it’s of any use here are the KOReader viewport definitons.

      • Clemens D. says:

        I sent a eink.qss-file by email to you, maybe you want to try it out. Of course it‘s a matter of taste, for me, at least on the Kobo Aura H2O, the menu font, menu bar etc. are too large without changing the values in the eink.qss.

  3. rojola says:

    Thanks again for your package,
    but already in firmware 4.6.10075
    i regret being not able to downgrade to this one
    and was unable to master my own patches like you
    have done and ksm doesn’t show for me.
    well now in hope for a new update soon

  4. bobsico says:

    when I got this update from Kobo automatically it bricked my GloHD, got any resources a fairly handy Linux user might use to get the device working again?
    so far the support desk is slow and not useful…

  5. Bill says:

    btw is AuraHD H2O Mark4 or Mark5 device? I had the one with the MicroSD card Slot.

  6. Mark Yisri says:

    Hi. I installed the Mark 6 Mega update 4.6.9995 on my Kobo Aura Edition 2 a few months ago. Unfortunately Nickel now spins in an infinite loop when loading. Other programs (KOReader, KSM, etc) work without difficulties. Do you know why this could be happening?

  7. Nick says:

    No wifi networks seen after this mega update.
    Factory reset and voila, networks are available. I tried twice and each time the same.
    Any idea?

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