Remarkable 2 guide, software modifications

A few modifications to the reMarkable 2 makes it way more pleasant to use. Notice that if you do install these mods or change the lockscreen wallpaper, they will dissapear after a software update. Therefore, it is recommended, that you disable automatic updates.

(This guide is written with Mac users in mind, if you use something else be aware)

Changing the lockscreen image

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One thing that the reMarkable team should have included in the desktop software is a way to change the lockscreen wallpaper. The default “reMarkable is sleeping” is just so boring. Lucky for us the user is given root access to the device and we can change the lockscreen image manually (the lockscreen text is actually just a .png image being loaded every time you lock the screen).

Method 1: Using Cyberduck

Cyberduck is an application that connects to servers or the cloud using different protocols. It also suppports SSH which is what we will be using to access the reMarkable 2, also this can be done wirelessly.

Download Cyberduck. (For Mac users using Homebrew: $ brew install cyberduck)

For Cyberduck to know what device to connect to it will need an IP address. This is the address of the reMarkable. This address and the password can be found under Settings -> Help -> Copyrights and licenses. You will need them to access the reMarkable, and also keep the password safe and stored, take an image or put it down on a piece of paper! If anything goes bad this will be your only way to access the device.

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The local IP address can be seen on the bottom of the page. Just above it you should see the password. Notice that the IP address is a local one - no one on the internet will be able to access your device with it, that is why I am sharing mine without a doubt here, however, keep the password secret.

If your device is connected to a computer two IP addresses will be shown. For wireless access use the one starting with 192.168.x.xx.

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Open up Cyberduck and press New Connection. Enter the IP address and the password that you have just found on the reMarkable. The port should be set to 22 and the username to root.

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Start by navigating to the root folder.

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Then navigate to usr/share/remarkable. Here you should see a suspended.png file. This is the one you will be replacing. Start by renaming it to suspended.old in case you want to use it again sometime. Then simply drag and drop your new lockscreen image into the folder. Rename your lockscreen image to suspended.png and try locking your device! For best results you should use an image of the size 1404x1872. This is the native resolution of the reMarkable 2.

Method 2: Using a magic one-liner

From the terminal it is also possible to transfer a file directly to the reMarkable. You can use the below magic one-liner to transfer said file.

scp "path-to-local-file" root@192.168.X.XX:/usr/share/remarkable/suspended.png

Above template will have to be filled out with a path to your image. Below is an example of me transfering an image, which I placed on the desktop, called lockscreen.png. The IP address can be found be following the beginning of Method 1 (or by going to Settings -> Help -> Copyrights and licenses)

scp ~/Desktop/lockscreen.png root@192.168.0.46:/usr/share/remarkable/suspended.png

You will be prompted for the SSH password. Enter the password and press Enter. Notice that by using this method the original lockscreen image will be replaced.

Installing ddvk mods

The ddvk mods adds a loft of improvements to the original software. It allows you to quickly change between recently opened files and adds some very useful getures like being able to quickly change between the most recently used tools and a gesture for undo and redo.

Take a look at the Github page for a comprehensive list of features.

The install instructions may not be intuitively clear for those who have not used the terminal before.

Open Spotlight (CMD + Space) and search for terminal. Then enter ssh root@192.168.x.xx where the x’s should be replaced by your IP address. See the guide for replacing your lockscreen for details on where to find it. Then press enter. You should now be asked for your password. This can be found in above guide as well. After succesfully connecting to your reMarkable you should be met by the following screen:

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Then copy and paste this automagic line. It downloads and patches the binary files on the reMarkable with the modded ones.

sh -c "$(wget https://raw.githubusercontent.com/ddvk/remarkable-hacks/master/patch.sh -O-)"

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After pressing enter you should be met by this screen, and the reMarkable should restart.

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You can now play around with the mods. Hold down CTRL and press c to either abort or install them. To install the mods press y and then enter to make them permanent (at least till you update the device, thus it is recommended that you disable automatic updates).

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Written on March 23, 2021