Tutorials webOS Installing An Ipk

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Our goal is to provide the simplest, most consumer friendly method to install homebrew apps on a stock Pre. The Pre does not have to be 'rooted'. The setup is much easier than the SDK method.

The PreBrew Installer is a tool that not only installs apps, but can run any rooted command on a Pre without having to manually root it. Unfortunately it requires development mode on the Pre, but the rest is very consumer friendly. This is much easier to initially setup than the SDK method. It works on Pres that are rooted or non-rooted.

PreBrew Install Method

Setup Instructions

1) Set Development Mode on your Pre

In order to install Pre apps using this method, you need to have the phone in konami/development mode. You only need to do this section once. To turn Developer Mode on...

  • Go to the main Pre screen and swipe away (close) any running apps
  • Type: upupdowndownleftrightleftrightbastart
  • Click on the Developer Mode icon (if icon does not appear, repeat 2 steps above)
  • Turn on Developer mode
  • Restart your Pre (as prompted)
  • Don't plug the phone into computer until completing the Windows install instructions below

2) PreBrew for Windows - Installation Instructions

  • On a Windows computer, download PreBrew Installer.
  • IMPORTANT - Extract the contents to a folder.
  • To install PreBrew on the computer, double click "Setup.vbs" and follow the prompts.
  • When complete Restart Windows (only restart if you installed the Novacom drivers.)
  • An icon called "Drop File Here To Install Pre App" with a down green arrow should be placed on your Windows desktop.

If you have issues, please post %temp%\PreTool.log and %temp%\PreBrewSetup.log in this Pre Central thread.

3) To Install Pre Apps

  • Plug your Pre into computer USB port and put into 'Just Charge' mode, not 'USB Drive'.
  • An icon called "Drop File Here To Install Pre App" with down green arrow should be located on your desktop.
  • Drop an IPK file (packaged application) over the icon described above to install the App to your Pre.

4) Where to Find Pre Homebrew Apps

Pre Central has a forum with a repository of many Pre apps. There are now more homebrew apps than in the Palm App Catalog. Download the .ipk App file to computer and install using the step above.

Click Here for Homebrew Apps

Resetting Pre to Factory Settings

If you have serious problems with your Pre due to a homebrew app, you can completely reset your Pre to factory settings. Try removing the problem App first. It is best to attempt a reset to factory settings before returning a Pre to the store. Note that this will wipe out the files stored to the USB drive, so you may want to copy to computer before resetting.

Click here to reset your Pre to factory settings.

Other Info

Tested On:

  • Windows 7 (64bit and 32bit)
  • Windows Vista (64bit and 32bit)
  • Windows XP (32bit)


  • Installer now checks for Webosdoctorp100ewwsprint.jar in C:\Program Files\PreBrew and checks %USERPROFILE%\Downloads\WebOS\Webosdoctorp100ewwsprint.jar.
  • Updated error messages when PreTool cannot connect to Pre.


  • Possible download issues with Firefox (If someone can host the files I will move them)
  • I am unable to get any feedback from the application install on the Pre. So if it fails I can't tell you :(

PreBrew Console

  • PreBrew console can be loaded from START MENU>Programs>PreBrew
  • PreBrew console will run most of the commands available in PreTool.

Other Commands

  • PreTool (installed to C:\Program Files\PreBrew) contains various command line options as shown below.


  • PreTool EMU -i myapp.ipk (Installs myapp.ipk on emulator)
  • PreTool USB -i myapp.ipk (Installs myapp.ipk on Palm Pre)
  • PreTool EMU -l (List installed applications.)
  • PreTool USB -l (List installed applications.)
  • PreTool EMU -l2 (List installed PreBrew applications.)
  • PreTool USB -l2 (List installed PreBrew applications.)
  • PreTool EMU -r com.myapp (Removes myapp on emulator.)
  • PreTool USB -r com.myapp (Removes myapp on Palm Pre connected via USB.)
  • PreTool EMU -r2 com.myapp (Removes myapp on emulator.)
  • PreTool USB -r2 com.myapp (Removes myapp on Palm Pre connected via USB.)
  • PreTool EMU -c COMMAND COMMANDARGS (runs a command on emulator)
  • PreTool USB -c COMMAND COMMANDARGS (runs a command on Palm Pre connected via USB)
  • PreTool -d (Disables Developer Mode.)
  • PreTool -PreBrew (Enables PreBrew.)
  • PreTool -drv (Checks for Novacom drivers and installs if neccessary.)
  • PreTool -drv2 (Manually install Novacom drivers.)
  • PreTool -recovery (Runs the WebOS Doctor)
  • PreTool -check (Checks Pre connectivity)


If any of the download links for Java or WebOSDoctor change you can change their locations in "Setup.xml"

HELP (see Discussion thread below)

Need help? Having any issues?

Please post as much information as you can with the below a minimum.

  • Windows Version: Xp, Vista, 7
  • Windows Arch: 32bit, 64bit
  • Any errors?
  • What you have done/were doing?
  • Please post "%temp%\PreTool.log" and "%temp%\PreBrewSetup.log".
  • Open a command prompt and go to c:\Program Files\PreBrew
    • Run InstallApp.bat "<FULL PATH TO IPK FILE>"


Also discuss installation methods on this Pre Central thread. There are other methods to pursue described in that thread.

Future Initiatives

  • Find a way to push command/ipk w/out Dev/Konami mode (somehow webosdoctor can do this)
  • Develop a PreBrew Installer app for the Pre to download/install ipk over the air


  • xorg started the initiative seeking various methods, pursued webosdoctor method.
  • greg_roll has made significant progress and completely developed the PreBrew method using webosdoctor.