custom-screensaverCustom Screensaver for Kindle Touch

  • thumbnailscreen

This Kindle Touch modification will allow you to use custom images as screensavers. This is not for Special Offer Kindles, nor does it remove the advertisements. By design, this mod will only work with non-ads Kindle Touches. An improvement of this vs the screensaver hacks of previous devices and the simple screensaver hack I released a while ago includes:

  • No filename constraint (name the images anything you want)
  • Auto update when new files are found
  • Scrolls through in alphabetical order (not random order, so you can manage the order of the images)
  • If no custom images are found, it will default back to Kindle’s original screensavers
  • If an invalid file is found, it will be skipped, after 5 invalid files, it will default back to original screensaver (instead of just crashing and requiring a restart)

In addition, images are auto-scaled and auto-converted, which means you are no longer limited to 600×800 grayscale images. Of course, those are the preferred format, but you can now use any PNG file and it will be sized to fit the screen. The only limitation is the image format must be PNG.

Finally, as an added bonus, I’ve included a custom screensaver, “lockscreen.png”. If you place that image in your screensaver folder (and nothing else), instead of a picture screensaver, the Kindle will keep whatever you are reading as the screensaver with a neat lock icon on the top of the screen.

As always, installation and usage directions are found in the readme after download.

All this is made possible by OpenBlanket, my attempt at reversing the APIs for LibBlanket, Amazon’s library for drawing full screen content on the Kindle Touch. You can check out the source for an almost identical re-implementation of the device’s original screensaver module (decompiled by hand and compiles to almost the exact same machine code). The source for the custom screensaver module is a modification of that source (and is included in the download).

Please note that you must jailbreak your Kindle before installing this package.

My stance on removing ads: First of all, I will never stop anyone from removing ads because I believe that a user should do anything they want on a device they own. It’s very easy to do, and there are many ways of doing it. However, I will never aid anyone in doing so, so please don’t ask me for help. The reason is that our main defense for jailbreaking the device being legal and ethical is that “we aren’t doing anything to hurt amazon.” However, when you remove the ads without paying Amazon $40, they lose money (even if Amazon is a big, evil corporation taking money from anyone is, in my opinion, bad), which means that if enough people start removing ads to make an impact they could take action against people like me who bring you the ability to unlock your devices. Since technically, the TOS for the Kindle states that you cannot modify or reverse engineer the device. No, Amazon is not enforcing it. No, I do not agree with it. But Amazon has always been passive in stopping jailbreaks (removing the exploit but not touching the hacks; not worrying about people who jailbreak; allowing people with jailbroken devices to have support even though you technically broke the TOS and can be denied support), but if they start losing money they could start actively blocking jailbreaks.

Changes

  • 2012-01-15: More advanced. Much more features.
  • 2011-01-13: "Simple screensaver" for Kindle Touch. Limited to 99 images of specifically named files.

49 thoughts on “Custom Screensaver for Kindle Touch

  1. Hi Yifan, thank you so much for this. It’s awesome once I got it working!

    You may want to add a special note that it’s important that you actually physically remove the USB cable after copying the .bin file because if you only “safely eject” without removing the USB cable, for some reason you will lose the dictionary look-up functionality! (Your dictionaries will show up in the home screen and you can open them but you can’t use the “look-up” feature and also no dictionaries will appear in Menu > Settings > Menu > Dictionaries.)

    For anyone out there who has experienced this: don’t panic (like I did)! You can just uninstall (making sure you physically unplug the USB cable after copying the uninstall .bin file) and reinstall (again, making sure you physically unplug the USB cable after copying the install .bin file).

    Kudos to you – this is the first thing I thought of when I got my Kindle Touch (how do I set the screensaver to the book contents?). It’s also useful to set the screensaver to your book’s map of the story’s world so you can easily refer to it. :) I love it, thanks again!

  2. Hi Yifan!
    First, thanks for this and all your other work on the Kindle Touch. Amazing work! Thanks!
    I updated to 5.1.0 and unfortunately custom screensavers are not working anymore, any chance an update is on the way?
    Thanks again.

  3. Yeah, re-confirmed: 5.1.0 and this version of screensavers (1.0) don’t love each other… :(

  4. Yifan, I need to write you only to tanks for your amazing work. Really.. F**INK AWESOME!!! Hope one day companies like Amazon think seriously about what’s happening here and (I can dream…) reward people like you, that indeed helps them making money. You simple improved a Amazon product FOR FREE!!! Man, hope there are more people like you in the word.
    Best wishes dude :)

  5. Does the Custom Screensaver v2.0 works with Kindle 5.1.0 ? (people in other comments are only talking about v1.0) Thanks!

  6. It’s because… the link: “Custom Screensaver (2.0)”, download this file: “kindle_touch_custom_screensaver_1.0.zip”

  7. It does work on 5.1 but with the previous screensaver package, i mean, with the one where the name of the png did matter.

    I did the jailbreak following method 3, then tried using update_kindle_touch_custom_screensaver_1.0_install but it woul just lock the screen showing whatever i was just vieqing, instead of even showing a default or custom screen saver. So i unistalled this (update_kindle_touch_custom_screensaver_1.0_uninstall) and tried to see if it maybe worked with the previous version of the mod (update_simple_screensaver_1.0) and… oh yes it did!!!!!

  8. That’s cool, Andy! Thanks! Is there a link to download that still? I happen to have erased it from my computer :S

  9. I request someone to please make the custom screensaver hack work on version 5.1.0
    and the ssmodeswitcher extension for the gui launcher
    i dont really know how all this works but just want to be informed if and when the custom screensaver hack will work
    thanks

  10. no i have im asking that someone posts when the second version of the custom screensaver hack works on the kindle touch 5.1.0, i have already installed the simple screensaver hack but it doesn’t work with ssmodeswitcher.

  11. Lil help? I’ve read the posts but am still having trouble with this. Since installing 5.1.0, when hitting the sleep button, the Kindle just freezes until I wake it up as other people have mentioned, skipping the screensaver altogether. I’ve installed the jailbreak (launcher is appearing) and am running the 1.0 software. Even with properly named png file (test file is “bg_xsmall_ss00.png”), grayscale, 600×800 files, no luck. Even a Device Reset did not fix things. I suspect that I’m making a stupid mistake, but can’t make out what it is

    Any reasons this might be? Perhaps the .png file is in the wrong folder?

    Any help would be very appreciated. I’ve been scouring the internet for a week now, restarting the device dozens of times now just trying to get something working. Cheers!

  12. I tried uninstalling with the uninstall1.0 file (I had 2.0 before, but because the link to the file was changed to the 1.0 file, there’s no longer a way to run the 2.0 uninstall).

    I formatted and named the files correctly, ran 1.0 install, but it’s not working. The 1.0 installer though just says what to name the files, but doesn’t say where to put them. Do they also go in a screensaver folder in the kindle root, or do they go somewhere else?

  13. I’m exactly where Tom’s at.
    I updated to Kindle OS 5.1.0 and it broke the custom screensaver hack. I haven’t tried uninstalling it, I only tried re-jailbraking and doing the simple screensaver hack. Now I’ll try uninstalling first the simple screensaver, and then custom screensaver, and reinstalling simple.
    I’ll also play around with putting bg_xsmall_ss00.png in different directories, if it’s still not working.
    Keep you guys posted :)

  14. I uninstalled everything step by step:
    1. simple screensaver
    2. custom screensaver
    3. 5.1.0 jailbreak
    4. 5.0.1 jailbreak
    And I reinstalled:
    1. 5.1.0 jailbreak
    2. simple screensaver
    I have my bg_xsmall_ss00.png in the screensaver folder, and it’s working like it should :)

    P.S. 5.0.1 jailbreak is the one Yifan Lu released where you have to run a MP3 (it works on Kindle OS 5.0.1)
    5.1.0 jailbreak is the one mentioned here, and works for the newest Kindle OS: http://wiki.mobileread.com/wiki/Kindle_Touch_Hacking

    Yifan Lu’s might also work. Not sure, but I know that one did.

    P.P.S. Here’s a link to the simple screensaver hack file as previously posted by Thierry:
    https://github.com/downloads/yifanlu/KindleTool/simple_screensaver_1.0.zip

  15. On the touch using the simple screensaver for 5.1.0, I keep getting “Update Error: 3″ when I restart my Kindle. What am I doing wrong?

  16. I think there may be some confusion about the version ‘numbers’. The link above says ‘Custom Screensaver (2.0)’ but maybe should be 1.0 instead?
    As far as I can tell there only exists ‘Simple Screensaver 1.0′ and ‘Custom Screensaver 1.0′
    Am I wrong?

  17. @Adam:
    No, this is ‘Custom Screensaver (2.0)’. Just the binary names weren’t changed.

  18. coming a bit late to this party, but is there a way for the screensavers to auto-update and loop through the files in the screensaver folder? maybe even have a launcher option that let you choose whether to auto-update or select a particular screensaver?

  19. Nice job! but will this work on 5.1.0? I jailbroke my kt and installed this but i just cant find ‘launcher’ in menu..

  20. I’m trying to get the simple screensaver up and running but can’t get the so-called universal jailbreak to run at all!!!

  21. Fore some reason I can jailbreak ok but installing any screensaver or mod give me Update Error 3 on my kindle touch

  22. hello, I have still the same problem like kevin – I can freeze the device, but I dont have a screensaver anymore. I try uninstall and factory reset, but I have still the problem. kindle version 5.1 – please help – best regards, Alex

  23. I had the same problem as others after the automatic update to 5.1, with my custom screensavers gone and it staying on the last screen image when it went to sleep, but everything else working.

    Making a long story at least slightly shorter, I followed Compass’s suggestion of (i) uninstalling the simple screensaver hack, (ii) uninstalling the custom screensaver hack, (iii) uninstalling the jailbreak (data.tar.gz). I then reinstalled the jailbreak (no problem there), the reinstalled the simple screensaver hack. All appeared to work well, but still no screensavers.

    I noted that uninstalling the screensaver hack did not delete the existing “screensaver” folder in the Kindle USB root drive. So, after I first copied the old “screensaver” folder onto my C: drive to save it, I deleted the screensaver folder from my Kindle’s USB root drive.

    I then again uninstalled and reinstalled the simple SS hack. That created a new screensaver folder with the standard KT screensaver images. Et voila, I had screensavers back.

    I also noticed what people who are even a bit more tech savvy than I probably know, but in the new screensaver files the images were named according to Yifan Lu’s image naming instructions, but without the “.png” after the “bg_xsmall_ss##” name of the image. So that may have been part of the problem with my ss images showing up. I had named them all with “bg_xsmall_ss00.png”(with progressive sequential numbering). So maybe you don’t follow the naming instructions quite as literally as I did.

    And great thanks to Yifan Lu for the jailbreak and the screensaver hack@!I had the same problem as others after the automatic update to 5.1, with my custom screensavers gone and it staying on the last screen image when it went to sleep, but everything else working.

    Making a long story at least slightly shorter, I followed Compass’s suggestion of (i) uninstalling the simple screensaver hack, (ii) uninstalling the custom screensaver hack, (iii) uninstalling the jailbreak (data.tar.gz). I then reinstalled the jailbreak (no problem there), the reinstalled the simple screensaver hack. All appeared to work well, but still no screensavers.

    I noted that uninstalling the screensaver hack did not delete the existing “screensaver” folder in the Kindle USB root drive. So, after I first copied the old “screensaver” folder onto my C: drive to save it, I deleted the screensaver folder from my Kindle’s USB root drive.

    I then again uninstalled and reinstalled the simple SS hack. That created a new screensaver folder with the standard KT screensaver images. Et voila, I had screensavers back.

    I also noticed what people who are even a bit more tech savvy than I probably know, but in the new screensaver files the images were named according to Yifan Lu’s image naming instructions, but without the “.png” after the “bg_xsmall_ss##” name of the image. So that may have been part of the problem with my ss images showing up, as I had named them all with “bg_xsmall_ss00.png”(with progressive sequential numbering). So maybe I took the naming rules too literally? But everything is cool now!

    Big thanks to Yifan Lu for the hacks!

  24. Oops sorry about that – I don’t know how but I accidentally repeated the last half of the previous post and don’t know how to fix it.

  25. I have a Kindle Touch with 5.1.0 software. I jailbroke it after the 5.1 update and then installed the screen saver 2.0 mod. After I installed it I have no screen saver. The Kindle locks but I’m looking at my list of books.

    I uninstalled screen saver 2.0 and it goes back to the default screen savers. All of the screen savers I put on the Kindle are 600 x 800 grayscale PNG files.

    Any idea what I’m doing wrong?

  26. I also have the same problem, grayscale, png, 600 x 800, yet there is no screen saver! It doesn’t even revert to the old ones, it just freezes, and then I have to press the lock button again to use it… Help?

  27. Only the simple screensaver hack will work. The 2.0 version will result in a lockscreen without pictures.

  28. Caroline is right!! I uninstalled 2 and reinstalled Simple and it is working now.

  29. If you’re having problems with the kindle locking, but no screen image appearing, investigate the .png files you’re using. The Kindle can be very finicky about these files – any meta-data can confuse it. Ensure that somewhere along the way an image hasn’t ended up with a rogue ICC profile tag or something.

  30. Thanks Jase but the problem was with version 2.0. Once I uninstalled it and installed the Simple version, the default PNGs showed up in the screensaver folder and I was able remove what I didn’t want and add what I did.

  31. I have a Kindle Touch with version 5.1.2. I have tried using the “simple_screensaver” version of this, following all of the instructions above, but suffer the common problem that when I lock the Kindle, the screen doesn’t change at all. It is locked – because pressing the screen does nothing – and unlocking works fine, but I cannot get either standard or custom screensaver images to display.

    Is anyone else having this problem?
    Has anyone managed to get this to work on version 5.1.2?

    Thanks!
    David

  32. One other thing: to make things worse, running the uninstall does not revert it back to the working default screensavers, even if I delete the ‘screensaver’ folder. I.e. it still makes the screensaver a ‘screen freeze’ of whatever is already on screen.

    Does anyone know if a reset (i.e. the full factory reset) would resolve this and return everything back to its original state? (I don’t want to do it if it definitely won’t, because obviously it would reset lots of other stuff too).

    Thanks again,
    David

  33. Sorry for the third message in a row, but a quick update in case people find it useful: following my second post yesterday, I tried to install the “custom screensaver” instead. This didn’t work BUT when I uninstalled it, the original screensavers were restored (which they weren’t when I uninstalled the ‘simple screensaver’). So I still haven’t got it working, but I have got it back to the starting point…

  34. @David: I also have the Kindle Touch with version 5.1.2 and was able to get it to work with the simple screensaver version. I was having that same lock problem with custom screensaver 2.0 but uninstalled that (and got the original screensavers back as well) but installing the simple version seems to have done the trick for me, for whatever reason.

    Also FYI to others, if you get stuck with an error 3, it could be that you’re restarting the Kindle from the menu instead of selecting “Update Your Kindle”.

  35. I got update error 003 with other hacks, when I used ‘update your kindle’ , but that might be because I had two install.bins in mnt/us and I tried to install them at the same time. Firmware 5.12

  36. Thank you for your hard work. The hack works beautifully. I have a little over 300 screensavers though and I am only able to view 99 of them. Is there a way for me to get all of them to cycle through? Thank you!

  37. I am having the same problem as David: I have a kindle touch 5.1.2 and cannot get custom screensavers to work , the kindle just freezes whatever I was viewing instead. This happened with both the custom and simple screensaver mods.

    I used jailbreak method data.tar.gz simple method rather than the universal method – is it possible that this has some bearing on the simple screensaver mod not working?

  38. Are you going to update it to 1.5.2? I would love to have it on my Kindle Touch but I do not want to go back to 5.1.0.

  39. [email protected]

    For anyone who has problems with screensavers not displayed on 5.1 firmware: simply installing “linkss” helps!
    http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=195474

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