On-device Command Line access returns to webOS 2.1, after a slight tweak | webOS Nation

On-device Command Line access returns to webOS 2.1, after a slight tweak 17

by Adam Marks Thu, 10 Mar 2011 11:11 am EST

With more of our readers on webOS 2.0 using a Pre2 or a Franken-Pre, many are finding that a lot of applications that they have come to rely on in the past have been broken in 2.0. Luckily, the homebrew community continues to rise up to the challenge and have found ways to either update those apps, such as the recently deployed update to Internalz Pro and FileMgr, or to do their homebrew magic to get apps like Classic working again. But if you have wanted to access the command line for shell access directly on your phone using Terminal or Terminus you have been out of luck, until today.

Thanks to PreCentral Forum Member/Developer MetaView, who took a technique developed by WebOS Internal's Rod Whitby, we now have a way to run the Terminus app in webOS 2.1. The directions are pretty simple, and you will need to install both Terminus and Internalz Pro on your device

  1. Run Terminus at least once
  2. Open Internalz Pro and then swipe down from the top-left to access the Application dropdown and select "Preferences".  Under the "TEXT EDITOR" section, ensure that "Newline format" is set to Linux.  Swipe Back to return to Internalz
  3. Navigate to the /var/palm/data/ directory
  4. Open the file "jailusers" in that directory and find the line with terminus (App ID "us.ryanhope.terminus").
    • If there are two lines in the file for Terminus, find and delete the entire line that ends with "jail_game.conf"
    • If there is just one line that shows "jail_game.conf" at the end, change it to "jail_native-palm.conf"
  5. Save the file the close

At this point, you can open up Terminus and get full access to your command line right on the phone.

Source: MetaView


Works perfect! Thanks so much!

I should be able to tweak terminus ipk to do this on install. Stay tuned.

Anyone else having issues logging into the forums?

This also works with xterm. I imagine it will work with the Qt apps that are currently in Preware as well, I'll have to try it with those apps.

EDIT: Yep, does indeed allow Qt apps to launch from launcher.

I guess it took Terminal not working for this solution to be found. I'm sure it could work on 1.4.5 as well, since Qt and xterm also wouldn't launch from launcher on 1.4.5.

Works perfect! Thanks!

Terminal is by far the superior On-Device S h e l l ( has it gone the way of the Dodo? Terminus needs a LOT of work to be as usable as Terminal is/was. I'll give it a shot, though. Secure S h e l l can do almost nothing, so this is the only option there is right now (and no, starting up an entire XServer to type just a couple quick commands, or quick edit a document, isn't really a realistic option).


Meh, personally I prefer xterm to terminus, and it boots up fairly quickly on my Pre 2.

This works fine in webOS 2.0.1 on Verizon phones as well. Just tried it out.

Yes, Terminus needs work. It was sorta just a half-assed proof of concept 100% SDL terminal. I couldn't get anyone else in internals interested in working on it so it sorta went stale. If people make enough noise maybe we can start up work on this again.

The one thing it really needs is an in-app key binding list. Perhaps take the Double-Tap screen to Full-Screen/Card-View idea to be able to use an App Menu to be able to add a key bindings scene. It quite possible that it's not as limiting as I think/thought, but without a key binding list "right there", it's hard to know, ya know?


FYI, I created this technique of bypassing the jail on the flight from Australia to the US the other day, and showed it to MetaView last night on the public #webos-internals IRC channel.

I then went and updated the XTerm packages in the testing feed with the technique.

I consider this technique to be superior to other means of running homebrew services and plugins as root due to it not requiring a separate dependent package, which means that packages that use this technique can be installed with the palm-install tool in one go.

-- Rod

thanks guys, thanks alot. i managed to generate my ssh keys with this again, and can finally use the openssh sftp server

webos internals is boundless.

I changed my compcache via novaterm so I had to learn vi codes. It was actually kind of fun. But thanks for the root access on my device. It does come in very handy. It was the one missing element to a completely self sufficient device.

Install nano. Much easier!


Keep vi. Much more fun!

works perfectly on Sprint Pre- 2.1.