I am a complete beginner with Kobo or generally ebook readers but I got a Kobo Aura ONE reader mostly for reading PDFs on its large screen. However, the builtin reader is not very great and I have heard very good things in this regards about the KOReader alternative.

I found multiple differing guides on how to actually install it but I am not too wise from it. Is there someone who actually successfully installed it on Kobo Aura ONE? How should I best proceed? And what are the dangers of doing that (can my device be irreversibly damaged?).

Thanks!

up vote 3 down vote accepted

I was impatient so I went ahead with the procedure. (Although worried about bricking a new device, I got it mainly to read PDFs and therefore really wanted to have KOReader up and running).

So I will sum up here the procedure for first-time installation of KOReader on fresh new Kobo Aura ONE. Note that this is just the procedure that I followed, it might change in future or not work for you. Off course, I provide no guarantees about accuracy of this guide. Please read the information in the below links for most up to date information.

  1. Prepare your device. Make sure your device is working properly with no errors. It's recommended to update to the latest firmware version. Charge the battery full and switch off WiFi.

  2. A prerequisite for installing alternative readers is the installation of Kobo Start Menu (KSM). The detailed instructions and the most up-to-date archive can be found here. Download it and follow the instructions:

    Step 1

    1. connect the Kobo to the PC
    2. copy the folder kbmenupngs to the root of the device (e.g. K:\)
    3. eject safely and disconnect
    4. check that all images (exit_nickel.png, switchtokoreader.png, etc.) are listed in the library and their thumbnails are displayed there, and at least once as tiles on the home screen. Only then proceed to step two.

    Step 2

    1. connect the Kobo device to the PC
    2. copy KoboRoot.tgz to the folder .kobo of the device
    3. eject safely and disconnect
    4. wait until the update is finished (do not interrupt it, even if it takes some time)

    Note 1: You can always return to the default Kobo reader by starting the Nickel reader (press start nickel).

    Note 2: KSM is by default only launched every second time but if everything is working correctly for you, you can set it to be the default:

    KSM is by default configured to run only after every second reboot, and nickel automatically runs after every other second reboot. This is a kind of security measure in case KSM does not properly run after installation (something that cannot be excluded with future firmwares or changed hardware). After KSM has started the first time, please change this behaviour:

    Select tools > activate > set runmenu settings.msh > always

  3. The KSM should now be installed and working. But for Aura ONE (and some other newer devices) we need to apply also a patch. You can find the archive and instructions here. Follow the instructions:

    1. extract the KoboRoot.tgz from archive uploaded to this post
    2. copy the extracted KoboRoot.tgz into .kobo of your device (If you cannot connect to the pc from within KSM, connect from within nickel.)
    3. safely eject and disconnect your device
    4. select (in KSM home) handle update > install update (do not select install partial update)
    5. wait until the device has rebooted

    After the patch, you should notice that the KSM font is slightly larger (at least on the bigger Aura ONE).

  4. Now that KSM is up and running, you can install any compatible readers and utilities. This is relatively simple. Download the latest (or a version of your choice) nightly build from
    http://build.koreader.rocks/download/nightly/
    Extract the archive and copy the folder koreader to the .adds directory of your connected device. Safely eject the device and press start koreader to launch KOReader.


That is all. I haven't encountered any problems and the process was quite simple, after I gathered all the information (which was the hardest part).

On a sidenote: After brief testing, KOReader is definitely superior to the default reader for reading PDFs, thanks to its adaptive zooming (cropping) of whitespace. This makes even A4 documents readable. So if PDFs make big part of your reading, I definitely recommend it. For EPUB ebooks, I might keep using the original reader (a subjective choice) but thanks to the KSM, it is relatively simple to switch between the two readers.

The main information sources I followed were:

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