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Software for PocketBook (Touch) Ebook Readers

Here you find my attempts at writing programs for the PocketBook Touch series of e-readers, tested on (Touch/PB 622 and Touch Lux/PB 623. According to feedback I've received they also seem to work on newer models but since I don't have any of them I can't seriously make any promises. Give it a try;-)


Since the PocketBook devices run Linux it's in principle possible to run all kinds of software on them. One of the most basic programs under UNIX is a shell, which allows you to enter commands, start other programs etc. Such a shell is also available on the PocketBook as part of the installed BusyBox package. The problem is that there's no way to start the shell from the graphical interface and that you need to be able to enter commands and see what the shell replies.

For PocketBook models without touchscreens this problem has been addressed by the poterm program. It starts the shell, communicating with it via a set of pipes, and displays the commands and whatever the shell outputs on the screen while, on the other hand, it allows the user to enter commands via the on-screen keyboard. The same principle is used in my program with the main difference being that it's more geared toward the use with a touchscreen device and uses (since version 1.1) a pseudoterminal instead of a set of pipes (at least if possible).

Warning: This program is not a game. It allows you to do a lot of things that you can't do via the graphical user interface of your PocketBook. This includes deleting important files and possibly screwing up the system in ways that can be hard to fix - and the program won't keep you from doing so. Thus, if you don't have any experience with using a command line shell and how UNIX systems work, it might be prudent not to use it. If you do it anyway take care to try to understand what each command will do and check that you didn't misspell it before you press ENTER. Also keep current backups near at hand should you accidentally delete something important (there's no "waste bin" you can pull deleted files out from again, and if you say e.g. "rm" the system will do it immediately - without asking you for further confirmation!).

The program comes with the sources, distributed under the GPL3. You can download either the source package (but also containing the compiled program) as a "tar.gz" file, or just the compiled program (and the optional configuration file) as a "zip" file. In order to compile it yourself you will need the PocketBook SDK. The third link, the README-pbterm.txt file, contains some instructions for installation and use of the program.

pbterm.tar.gz: Source package (but also contains all the pre-compiled binary) Ready to run compiled program (without sources)
README-pbterm.txt file with instrunctions

The current version is 1.8 from September 25, 2013.

Note: For the PB 622 firmware version 4.2 seems to be required, at least I couldn't get the program to work with the 4.0 release of the firmware. For the PB 623 the program has only be tested with the firmware version 4.3. Since I don't have a PB 626 I can't tell which firmware version is required for this type of device (or if there are firmware version that won't work).


vip is a package that allows you to use the vim editor directly on your PocketBook device. The editor is handled via an on-screen keyboard and some guestures on the touch screen.

The package consists of two parts. On the one hand there's a slightly modified version of the currently newest release of vim, 7.4. On the other hand you get the vip application that is basically a terminal emulator, interfacing with vim.

Note that this package for principle reasons only works on PocketBooks where a pseudoterminal can be used - some older devices and firmware versions had a restriction in this respect that makes use of the program impossible.

Unless you already have a bit of experience with vi or vim you could be disappointed - vi isn't a "what you see is what you get" editor - it got no menus, help windows etc. and needs a bit of getting used to. You probably better read one of the vim tutorials available on the net first. On the other hand vi(m) is an extremely powerful editor with lots and lots of capabilities and is especially well-suited for a device with a relatively small-sized screen.

The program comes with all sources for both the vip application and the vim editor. To get the complete version download the compressed tar archive. There's also a binary only package, for this download the zip archive. The README-vip file contains some installation instructions and a rudimentary description of how to use the program.

vip.tar.gz: Source package (but also contains all the pre-compiled binaries reqiured) Ready to run compiled program (without sources)
README-vip.txt file with instrunctions

The current version is 2.0 from October 21, 2013.

Please note that the files are rather large. While the programs aren't that large, most of the data is for the vim runtime environment, containing scripts and documentation (which can be pared down to whatever you consider useful).

The program has been tested on a PocketBook Touch (622) with firmware version 4.2 and a PocketBook Touch Lux (623) with firmware version 4.3.


I've adapted the pb-mahjong program (link is to the original source code), written by Andrey Kutejko, for use with the PocketBook Touch series of e-readers. Both a pre-compiled version and the modified sources can be found here:

(The message is in German, if you're looking for the pre-compiled application download the ZIP file, for the sources download the packed tar-archive.)

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