Tutorials webOS Installing An Ipk

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Revision as of 22:20, 4 August 2009 by Czar (talk | contribs) (fixed the install command from 'cd' to 'sudo' in the terminal (3b) instructions. added alt rescan method.)
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Our goal is to provide the simplest, most consumer friendly method to install homebrew apps on a stock Pre. The Pre does not have to be 'rooted'. The setup is much easier than the SDK method.

The PreBrew Installer is a tool that not only installs apps, but can run any rooted command on a Pre without having to manually root it. Unfortunately it requires development mode on the Pre, but the rest is very consumer friendly. This is much easier to initially setup than the SDK method. It works on Pres that are rooted or non-rooted.

The WebOS Quick Install program is a full featured WebOS app installer. You can drag and drop as many .ipk files onto the transfer queue as you want. Better yet, among the features, WebOS Quick Install includes a device management panel to get detailed information on your device and offers app uninstall functionality. Oh, and don't forget, WebOS Quick Install works cross-platform on Windows, Mac and Linux.

PreBrew Install Method

Setup Instructions

1) Set Development Mode on your Pre

In order to install Pre apps using this method, you need to have the phone in konami/development mode. You only need to do this section once. To turn Developer Mode on...

  • Go to the main Pre screen and swipe away (close) any running apps
  • Type: upupdowndownleftrightleftrightbastart
  • Click on the Developer Mode icon (if icon does not appear, repeat 2 steps above)
  • Turn on Developer mode
  • Restart your Pre (as prompted)
  • Don't plug the phone into computer until completing the Windows install instructions below

2) PreBrew for Windows - Installation Instructions

  • On a Windows computer, download PreBrew Installer.
  • To install PreBrew on the computer, double click "PreBrew 1.5 Installer.exe" and follow the prompts.
  • After extraction double click "Setup.vbs" and follow the prompts.
  • When complete Restart Windows (only restart if you installed the Novacom drivers.)
  • An icon called "Drop File Here To Install Pre App" with a down green arrow should be placed on your Windows desktop.

If you have driver installation issues firstly reboot. If you still have issues run the PreBrew console from START MENU>Programs>Prebrew and try option 9 then reboot. If this doesn't work try option 10 and reboot.

If you have issues, please post %temp%\PreTool.log and %temp%\PreBrewSetup.log in this Pre Central thread.

3) To Install Pre Apps

  • Plug your Pre into computer USB port and put into 'Just Charge' mode, not 'USB Drive'.
  • An icon called "Drop File Here To Install Pre App" with down green arrow should be located on your desktop.
  • Drop an IPK file (packaged application) over the icon described above to install the App to your Pre.

3b) To Install Pre Apps Using PuTTY(Wifi)

  • Gain root access to your Pre (instruction here Portal:Accessing_Linux)
  • Open a PuTTY terminal to your Pre (instruction here Putty)
  • Type "sudo /usr/bin/ipkg -o /var install URL" (where 'URL' is the url of the .ipk you want to install)
  • Reboot Pre or Luna using "reboot" or "pkill LunaSysMgr" or "sudo luna-send -n 1 palm://com.palm.applicationManager/rescan {}"

4) Where to Find Pre Homebrew Apps

Pre Central has a forum with a repository of many Pre apps. There are now more homebrew apps than in the Palm App Catalog. Download the .ipk App file to computer and install using the step above.

Click Here for Homebrew Apps

Other Info

Tested On:

  • Windows 7 (64bit and 32bit)
  • Windows Vista (64bit and 32bit)
  • Windows XP (32bit)

NEW Version 1.5

  • Webosdoctorp100ewwsprint.jar is now saved to %userprofile%\downloads\webos\Webosdoctorp100ewwsprint.jar for futrue installs.
  • Webosdoctorp100ewwsprint.jar link is updated. palm.cdnetworks.net hosts an updated version. I had a link to the original version.
  • PreBrew attempts to install the novacom dirver (only if they are not installed). If this fails Prebew will try a second install method. If this fails you are notified.
  • If Webosdoctorp100ewwsprint.jar already exists on your machine you are asked if you would like to download the latest version.


  • Possible download issues with Firefox (If someone can host the files I will move them)
  • I am unable to get any feedback from the application install on the Pre. So if it fails I can't tell you :(

PreBrew Console

  • PreBrew console can be loaded from START MENU>Programs>PreBrew
  • PreBrew console will run most of the commands available in PreTool.

Other Commands

  • PreTool (installed to C:\Program Files\PreBrew) contains various command line options as shown below.


  • PreTool EMU -i myapp.ipk (Installs myapp.ipk on emulator)
  • PreTool USB -i myapp.ipk (Installs myapp.ipk on Palm Pre)
  • PreTool EMU -l (List installed applications.)
  • PreTool USB -l (List installed applications.)
  • PreTool EMU -l2 (List installed PreBrew applications.)
  • PreTool USB -l2 (List installed PreBrew applications.)
  • PreTool EMU -r com.myapp (Removes myapp on emulator.)
  • PreTool USB -r com.myapp (Removes myapp on Palm Pre connected via USB.)
  • PreTool EMU -r2 com.myapp (Removes myapp on emulator.)
  • PreTool USB -r2 com.myapp (Removes myapp on Palm Pre connected via USB.)
  • PreTool EMU -c COMMAND COMMANDARGS (runs a command on emulator)
  • PreTool USB -c COMMAND COMMANDARGS (runs a command on Palm Pre connected via USB)
  • PreTool -d (Disables Developer Mode.)
  • PreTool -PreBrew (Enables PreBrew.)
  • PreTool -drv (Checks for Novacom drivers and installs if neccessary.)
  • PreTool -drv2 (Manually install Novacom drivers.)
  • PreTool -recovery (Runs the WebOS Doctor)
  • PreTool -check (Checks Pre connectivity)


If any of the download links for Java or WebOSDoctor change you can change their locations in "Setup.xml"


Need help? Having any issues?

Please post as much information as you can with the below a minimum.

  • Windows Version: Xp, Vista, 7
  • Windows Arch: 32bit, 64bit
  • Any errors?
  • What you have done/were doing?
  • Please post "%temp%\PreTool.log" and "%temp%\PreBrewSetup.log".
  • Open a command prompt and go to c:\Program Files\PreBrew
    • Run InstallApp.bat "<FULL PATH TO IPK FILE>"

WebOS Quick Install Method

Program Installation

Java 1.6 Required

Make sure you're up to date with Java. With this program, Java 1.6 is needed.

  • For Mac OS X, once you've installed Java 1.6, run /Application/Utilities/Java/Java Preferences. Then click and drag Jave SE 6 to top of both list, and exit the program. This will set Java 1.6 as the default version to use.

WebOS Quick Install Setup

  • Download WebOS Quick Install.
  • On launch, it will look to see if you have WebOSDoctor downloaded and will download it for you if its not found.
    • If you already have WebOSDoctor, close WebOS Quick Install and move it to the same folder as WebOS Quick Install.
  • On first launch, there will be a first-time setup popup asking which device you want to use.
    • For the emulator, choose "Emulator"
    • For a real device, like the Palm Pre, choose "USB Device"
  • Also during first launch, WebOS Quick Install will attempt to install Novacom for you.

Preparing Your Device

Not much is needed on the device-end of setup. Ignore these requirements if you're using WebOS Quick Install with the emulator.


You can press the "+" button or simply drag and drop .ipk files onto the window and they'll be added to the the transfer queue. Then just press the "Install!" button and the rest is automatic

In addition, WebOS Quick Install offers uninstall functionality to cleanly uninstall applications remotely.

And for those who prefer to frequently enable and disable DevMode, there is also an option to unhide the application so it will appear in the launcher

Other Features

  • No Linux knowledge needed
  • Full device information section.
  • Support for receiving individual files off of the device
  • Support for sending indifidual files to the device
  • Support for deleting files/folders on the device
  • Quick-access link to the PreCentral homebrew forums.


Having a problem with WebOS Quick Install? Don't worry, chances are a bit of reading through the PreCentral forums release thread will help you figure things out.

If you've read through that and still can solve an issue you're having, feel free to post in that thread. Be sure include what OS you're on, what you were doing when the problem arose, and any other information you think would be useful.

Resetting Pre to Factory Settings

If you have serious problems with your Pre due to a homebrew app, you can completely reset your Pre to factory settings. Try removing the problem App first. It is best to attempt a reset to factory settings before returning a Pre to the store. Note that this will wipe out the files stored to the USB drive, so you may want to copy to computer before resetting.

Click here to reset your Pre to factory settings.


Also discuss installation methods on this Pre Central thread. There are other methods to pursue described in that thread.

Future Initiatives

  • Find a way to push command/ipk w/out Dev/Konami mode (somehow webosdoctor can do this)

Now that greg has a solid method that pretty much matches the SDK method, it's time to raise the bar and figure out how to do this w/out Dev mode.

Somehow webosdoctor is able to refresh the Pre w/out manually putting into Dev mode.

This tool provides a way to look into java class files, which should provide clues to how webosdoctor is able to do this.

DJ Java Decompiler

Are there better tools than this?

  • Develop a PreBrew Installer app for the Pre to download/install ipk over the air


  • xorg started the initiative seeking various methods, pursued webosdoctor method.
  • greg_roll has made significant progress and completely developed the PreBrew method using webosdoctor.
  • Jason Robitaille created WebOS Quick Install was the first to create a cross-platform GUI installer