~clarkema >_

Lab Notes

Bypassing Kobo Registration

22 November 2022

Today my shiny new Kobo Elipsa arrived. This is a 10.3" eReader that is in many ways similar to the reMarkable 2. I might do a more thorough comparison later, but the broad summary is that it’s less polished as a physical product, but much more readily hackable.

This little lab note is about bypassing the initial registration requirement when first setting up the device, and it’s so short it’s almost anti-climactic.

When you first power on a new Kobo (this applies to the Libra 2 and many other models in addition to the Elipsa) you’re presented with a screen prompting you to connect to WiFi. If you select the second option of “Don’t have a WiFi network?” the Elipsa will prompt you to connect it to a computer. Do so, and it will pop up as a USB storage device.

Ignore the part about downloading the Kobo desktop app; instead open a terminal and navigate to the USB storage device. Once there, change into a hidden .kobo directory, which contains a SQLite database full of settings and other interesting bits and pieces.

$ cd .kobo
$ sqlite3 KoboReader.sqlite

From here you can register a fake user by inserting placeholders into the database:

INSERT INTO user(UserID, UserKey) VALUES('1', '');

Quit out of SQLite and unmount the USB storage device (you might also need to unplug / replug the USB lead.) You should now be presented with the Elipsa’s main screen.

You won’t be able to use any of Kobo’s online services, but I’m not interested in that. All I want is a standalone device that I can feed ePubs and PDFs to; and the Elipsa does a great job there.