webOS 2.1 for 'Legacy' devices a little easier with WebOS Internals scripts | webOS Nation

webOS 2.1 for 'Legacy' devices a little easier with WebOS Internals scripts 84

by Dieter Bohn Fri, 25 Feb 2011 1:00 pm EST

We've been laying on the warnings pretty thick ever since it became possible to hack together a working webOS 2.1 ROM for "legacy" devices like the Sprint Pre, Verizon Pre Plus, and the like. Those warnings still certainly apply, as there can be problems with your Palm Profile - not to mention that you're essentially opting out of OTA updates (though, really, they're not coming anyway). So unless you're willing to take the risk of getting an unusable device, we recommend biding your time with our webOS 2.1 on an AT&T Pre Plus video.

Ok, now the dangerfun. WebOS Internals has put together a set of scripts that do magical things. They download the necessary webOS Doctor ROMs, mix and match them, and then patch them up in a fairly automated way to create a webOS 2.1 ROM doctor for the following devices:

  • Sprint Pre/FrankenPre+
  • Verizon Pre+
  • AT&T Pre+
  • "WR" devices
  • Telcel Pre
  • Bell Mobility Pre

What's important to note here is that none of these tools actually redistribute any of HP's copyrighted code - it's all on the up-and-up and anybody looking to straight-up download these patched-together ROMs in our forums will be disappointed - neither WebOS Internals nor us are going to allow that. 

Back to the scripts - they do some pretty clever things. The Verizon script, for example, combines the 1.4.5 ROM, features from the Palm Pre 2 2.0.1 ROM like Skype and Voice Dialing, and the European 2.1 ROM. Backups: do them. Palm Profile: get ready to lose backups and possibly data stored there. App Catalog access: works but may not work with webOS 2 apps. Flash: takes some extra work.

Still, if you can handle the terminal and aren't sent running into the hills by the complexity of even this simplified method, it's a neat trick for devices that won't get updated. If you're interested, hit up the PreCentral Forums link below, read all the caveats and warnings, then hit up the instructions, take a deep breath, and then finally let us know if you've taken the plunge (a donation wouldn't hurt in that process, either).


HP take note... you can't kill the "legacy" devices... they'll live FOREVER..

or until I drop it in the toilet again

Gives new meaning to the term FrankenPre...

and take better care of your phones!

Now thats funny, but also i would have just flushed the phone down the toilet, my hand aint going in there without rubber gloves, and more than likely you just did you business LOL

Brave much?

Are they working on an automated update that does all the meta work for you? or is this it?

I just want to know whether or not I should dive in now and attempt it or wait for a preware like "patch" or something simple like that..?

This is a good question.

From where I stand, this is a pretty simple/automated process. I could imagine it being made a bit easier, but from what I can tell the focus now is on making this process work well, make the code clean, etc.

That is the first priority.
Making the process any more 'automated' than it is.. I suppose that if the folks working on it didn't have other things to do (they're all real busy I can see) there are possibilities, but.. I personally can't see the onus on that right now. I also think that there will be a lot of changes going on in the next few weeks that's going to be keeping WOI on their toes, in terms of Palm news/releases/etc, which may make important changes to this process, or otherwise divert energy.
That was a mouthful, my apologies..

short answer -- upto you. As I said to someone else, i'd wait until the kernels are ready.. i'd probably also recommend waiting until the patches you want are out (they're coming fast tho!).

This really does all the meta work for you.. it's a pretty amazing script/process!

Look at it this way, if HP/Palm were to release an official Doctor for AT&T Pre Plus devices to WebOS 2.1 but disable Flash, then that would change things so all that would be needed on AT&T would be to hack in the Flash code, which would be safer than the current method for AT&T users. There could also be a WebOS 2.2 release in the works that fixes the profile corruption issues for all we know, and that is why we have not seen 2.1 released over here.

Thansk, Ya, I will wait a few more weeks or whatever it takes for them to trasnfer the patched and the overclocked kernal stuff, cuz i cant deal with un-clocked pre minus

Y'all have my interest but I may wait a bit to see if there are any possible bugs.

it's sloooww.. i'd wait until the overclocked kernels drop if i was any of ya'll.
(Yes, others say it works well/similarly.. so YMMV) But if you're like me and find a Pre+ w/ 1.4.5 at 500/600 MHz a bit unusable, you'll definitely find 2.1.0 annoyingly laggy, occassionally unsable.

The overclocking kernels have been around for months now for 2.1.

I love this. Hopefully in a couple of weeks there will be user friendly automated version as anyone can do it. I'll pay money for that

Okay, you can pay money now! Donate to WebOS Internals!

I have donated already. Sorry I don't have money well springing out my ass.

I think dagumcp was trying to say that this was the friendly automated way.
From your response I don't know if you disagreed, or you didn't understand him, as you did offer to pay, so all of us are left a little confused. I guess that's a big problem with sarcasm, it often resolves little in terms of making communication more clear.

Maybe you're asking the same question as toofast4yourazz above. Hopefully yes, then i'll try to answer his question, and if i don't fulfill that, hopefully another person may be able to more fully answer.

Ok you are correct, i guess I was being too sarcastic. I guess i sometimes over react when someone keeps asking for donations and I have already donated. Like the fire department after you donate once or twice all they do is call every week asking for more donations lol. but i understand were you both are coming from and i apologize.

What I meant as far as upgrading is that I would like the process be as simple and safe as installing preware or over clocking. When I see terminal commands I get scared.

I don't see any difference between using a GUI (Preware, overclocking) and using the terminal (everything else).

When you're using the GUI, all that stuff that would happen in the terminal is still happening. You just don't see it.

you do know those "firefighters" asking for donations... aren't... your... firefighters?

now why can't hp do this to make things right? Well anyways keep donating hardware to these guys so that they can keep bailing you guys out and hurry up with them damn 2.x kernels so that we can speed up the processor....

Maybe HP realized the homebrew guys would do the work for them. Save money on salary.

They also save money by not officially supporting it!

I sort of want them to do something better to make things right. Something along the lines of vouchers for new phones.

HP did release it, but AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint need to approve the update as part of the terms of the contracts between the companies. From what I have read, it seems like Palm(and now HP), leave the technical support for the devices to the individual carriers, rather than doing their own tech support for the devices. In exchange for that, the carriers end up needing to provide technical support for the updates.

Now, one of the big problems with the current update process is that e-mail, and accounts cause problems during that "first boot" after the upgrade, so you have to turn off backups on the phone(to clear out that account information), then do the update, then add your e-mail, Facebook, and other accounts back to the phone. If the WebOS Doctor could somehow do this automatically prior to doing the actual upgrade, then that might solve all the major issues and would make the carriers more supportive.

Of course, HP could just put a HUGE disclaimer up first asking you four times if you have turned off backups on your phone, make sure you know your e-mail password, and even doing a backup to the storage on the phone for you for your application data ahead of time.

If you use mytether to tether with your phones, like I do, do not update to WebOS 2.0 yet. Mytether was written in Java, and WebOS 2.0 does not support Java. so the app will not work. The developer has to re-write the app in C. If you love free tethering and use mytether to do it. DO NOT UPDATE TO WebOS 2.0 yet.

afaik, freeTether app works fine on webOS 2.x

it crashed my device the first time i asked it to start a tether interface, but i'm on using it now, and it's working fine. (Over USB, in fact!) Actually, it doesn't list this computer on 'Connected devices,' so that's one potential bug/issue.

My only complaints with freetether:
1) Sounds like it can't/doesn't use the MHS data-allowance for those on Verizon (I haven't tested this first-hand since i'm having trouble getting my mhs #'s from vz lately)
2) I'd like to reverse-tether, which is theoretically possible, but i'm not sure how to turn off free's dhcp server.
I DO appreciate the simplicity of the app, the multiple interfaces supported, the mere fact of its existence, and, in particular, the GREAT work done by all in creating this app! _VERY_ cool. :)

HP would need carrier approval to do this...

But HP could (and in my opinion is morally obligated to it's customers) to release a non-OTA official WebDoctor for each of their "legacy devices" without making their customers run the risk of bricking their phone or ruining their Palm profile. The carriers may not like this but there is nothing they could if HP made WebDoctors available on their website.

Thanks only to WebInternals I might soon get WebOS 2 on my Sprint-Pre. But unless HP does something officially for it's customers this is my last WebOS device. It's time for HP/Palm to stop promising vaporware and promising to making things right... just deliver now.

The carriers have a huge option-- they can not carry the next phone from HP.

No matter how many disclaimers HP puts on a release, you know that people will get pissed at the carrier when something goes wrong.

If a carrier thinks that HP's going to go rogue and cause them massive customer service issues, they'll likely avoid the next product, particularly when you're already looking at a phone that's not exactly setting the world on fire.

As much as I want new updates and new hardware, I also want WebOS to survive and expand. It does me no good to get WebOS 2.X on my Pre- if the WebOS line dies this year because they didn't put sufficient resources on the next generation products.

Really is the average user gonna download and run a Web Doctor. No, only the more technically adroit will and they know better to complain to Sprint. Are the users of the WebOSInternal WebDoctor patch script gonna complain to Verizon?

And if the the possibility of "Making Things Right" will never include an WebOS 2 update then why hasn't HP decided how else to make things right? I understand other options might be contingent on establishing carrier support of the new phones but why did HP say new would come in weeks and not months? Why can't HP just publicly state they will announce their "Making Things Right" on some date.

I've used Palm devices for over 10+ years and I would like to see them survive. But ever since the Tungsten days Palm has been on the decline, doomed themselves with promises of vaporware, and poor support. For me this issue will be the straw on the Camel's back I'm no longer personally willing to lay down any more dollars for the "Greater Good of WebOS". It's only an Operating System for goodness sakes.

To me, it doesn't make sense that HP would make things right by promising me a coupon discount for a Pre3 this summer.

When they come out with the Pre3, I'd love to see them give me a discount (wow - to cover the cost of the device on Verizon) in order to jumpstart the market for it.

But I don't really want a Pre2 now and I don't want another promise now. I want a coupon when the phone is out.

This means you think that the carriers have actually put any resources into the Pre and Pre Plus over the past year. Think again, Verizon and AT&T people have done JACK to provide support, and have delayed releasing OS updates for a device they have ignored since release.

As a person who specifically chose this phone because of having flash in the future...I personally feel like I was misled. I am hoping that HP will get the fact that happy legacy customers provide good PR for future sales. Although at this point...I doubt that they will get that message. So I have a choice...take a chance on bricking a phone to get what I should have in the first place or just feel like I have been duped and lied to....not sure which door to open yet. But I still love WebOS....so I guess I am going to have to stick with it...even bought my first Touchstone today (they are on sale at the hp site) I really don't buy the resources argument....I just think HP is out of touch with reality kind of like Palm but with more money

not worth it for me. I have a sprint pre. So you can put all the lip stick you want on it, but its still a sprint pre.

Yeah but lipstick is tacky... Maybe a little Pre nighty will change your mind?

I am constantly amazed by the work you guys do. Absolutely AWESOME!

I'd really like to try this but can't risk my primary phone.
thanks and shout outs to the folks that figured this out and to those brave enough to try it and help work out the bugs.
I re-bought preware homebrew on my wife's pre+.

I have a Pixi+ on O2 (UK).

What options are there for a Pixi+ like mine?

Does anyone know if there is any effort or progress in this direction.

I think since the webosdoctor in these trials are for the Pre2, there isn't much that can be done for pixis. I think the veer might translate, but I'm not sure.

None yet. Palm/a carrier would first have to release webOS 2.x for Pixi.

I'm not sure there's any evidence that WebOS 2.x even exists for the Pixi, anywhere. I think at one point Palm *intended* to eventually create a 2.x build for the Pixi, but things likely never got any further than intentions.

Either way, it's been stated several times by Rod Whitby that the existence of WebOS 2.1 for the Pre is of absolutely no use to Pixi owners.

I think I'll hold off for a while longer. I still haven't given up my (foolish) hope that my Verizon Pre+ will see an official update. I'm sure my resolve won't last long.

IMPORTANT: We don't have default carrier apps (Sprint Nav, Verizon Hotspot, etc.) installed by default, and users who have tried to do it manually report that they don't "just work."

It's being looked into.

Thanks for posting this Ed, hope everyone sees this. I didn't think the doctors installed the carrier apps by default either.
Voice Dial.. that's the piece that seems to have auto-installed, as I didn't.

However, a correction:
I have installed VZ Nav, Skype, and Mobile Hotspot manually. I'm writing this email from MHS, used VZ Nav to drive to SF yesterday, so they both work flawlessly. They "just work," and can succesfully be included in the doctor. I'm happy to test a new doctor or collaborate, as appropriate.
(apologies, i only reported my results in the channels, as the thread has gotten quick unwieldy to follow)

Skype.. that's the tricky piece. It also installs fine, but it doesn't automatically startup (from what I can tell). Maybe an upstart script from the 2.0.1 doctor is missing somewhere? (If someone w/ a VzPre2 can hit me up we can figure this out!)
I started it by hand, and have done both incoming and outgoing texts. I received calls fine. I think I made a call, but i can't quite remember for sure.

Thanks for that update, Sanaking. I lost track of the legacy 2.1 update thread after it got to forty pages or so.

For me, carrier apps were the piece of the puzzle that was missing (particularly the hotspot app) from this whole discussion.

I'll gladly test the Verizon metadoctor scripts if they include the Verizon carrier apps.

Which versions of the VZW apps have you installed?

I suppose there's no reason why one couldn't use the VZW apps from 2.0.1. It makes sense that these would "just work." I'll look into this, and PM you on the forum.

Yes, I'm using the VZW apps from 2.0.1.
I'll look forward to your PM. Thanks for being so responsive! (I have trouble coming back and checking these comments myself, as the 'new' next to comments never disappears, so I always find myself having to 'figure out' which comments are new, which is just troublesome to me.)
Short version: I might not be back to this page again.

you sir are clearly a minor deity at least (Whitby is the god of this particular church, so being minor deity is pretty good).

Word that MHS can be made to work is what I've been waiting for. I don't use MHS very often, but when I need it then I MUST have it, and freetether is not an acceptable substitute (plus I've read recently it doesn't actually work on 2.x?).

So as soon as I see that the VZW Pre+ meta script includes MHS, I'm in. As per instructions, I'll purchase the webos homebrew docs to 'test' the app store, and see about getting a few quid directly to WOI as well.

edit: actually I think it's mytether that may not work on 2.x; freetether works fine I think. either way, working or not I don't want freetether.

I'm gonna get a Pre2+ hahaha

me too. and once i get it, then ill update my +.

I'm not, but I did notice that when I was browsing around on the web today, I was getting adds for the Pre2 on Verizon.

Glad to know they're alive and advertising.

I rely on my Sprint Nav on my phoone, until I can be assured to keep using that App I can't upgrade, but am excited to watch!

Unfortunately Sprint Nav doesn't work yet. Still working on it. Optimism fading....

I did this with my Pre- and it works great! The only thing missing are the overclock kernals which are sorely missed. Hopefully we will get those soon to really speed up transitions.

The only webOS 2.x capable apps I've tried are Koto Player, Music player remix, and flash cards. Music player remix does not show up in the app catalog but the homebrew version still works.

All in all, I'm happy I did this. I will just count down the hours until the overclocks kernals are released.

What's the link to the installation instructions for a Sprint Pre?

This covers pretty much everything you need -


@WebOS Internals,

I will donate a decent chunk of money if you can get Sprint Navigation working in webOS 2.1 on my Pre (Minus)!

It's sad to admit that "legacy" users have become willing to spend money for webOS 2.X. If you guys get me a complete version of 2.1 stable on Verizon, my donation would be generous.

I have a UK O2 Pre- which has been unlocked. My Palm profile/Palm upgrade checker (set up before unlocking) says O2UK, but the Pre itself thinks it is ROW as it has been unlocked.

Has anyone with in the same situation tried upgrading yet? Any issues?

this is all fine and good, but my Pre- is doing oreo twisting, has developed some cracks on the periphery, and is really beginning to show its age. I simply want the Pre 3 on sprint and as an early adopter and in the spirit of HP "making things right" as they say for us... I would like to see something along the lines of say, a Pre 3 for $99 would be a good start. Also, I like the idea of "buy a tPad and get a P3 free"

of course, no matter what happens, as long as Sprint gets the Pre3, I'll be getting one because I love webOS multitasking and user interface, even if I have to pay $199.

Does anyone know if one can install or keep MotionApps Classic with this update?

yes you can, you need to do more doctor work I believe though, there was an article on classic and webos 2.x awhile ago I believe

that being said, has anyone had profile problems yet? That's the only bit that concerns me right now...

Creating a new profile works fine, no problems. I created one on a Pre2, used it on this, no issues whatsoever.

It sounds like you can go from a 1.4.5 profile to 2.1.0, no problems.
I think the real question though is this:

There is a great amount of controversy on whether you can go BACK from 2.x to 1.4.5.
Many say "no," but it doesn't sound like those people have actually tried.
Others say "yes," and they're speaking from personal experience. (eg pastorrich1) It sounds like it's definitely possible if you turn "backup" off. This will delete some, if not all, personal data from your profile (contacts, launcher locations, etc), but your apps will be safe.

I'd really just recommend trying out 2.1.0, and if you feel satisfied, take the plunge, your profile should be fine. But hopefully there are some stories posted about this. Let's look together slambot4, sound good?

Nothing insurmountable. Read the Wiki page.

How about reversability? Should someone jump to 2.X on a legacy device what happens if you try to flash back to 1.X? I'm guessing mostly profile issues.

If you want HP to know how you feel about no WebOS 2 for Pre and Pixi users call:

Customer Support: 877-426-3777

Or email Léo Apotheker using this link


I have an unlocked pre2 in the UK - any word on how/when I can get skype on it?

and does webos2.1 solve the pdf 'find' bar being obstructed by the title?

many thanks

I don't see what it's worth for me to do this for my Sprint Pre minus at the moment. The only 2.0+ app in the catalog that I've coveted so far is the audio recorder. If we all the sudden start seeing great apps come to the catalog and Sprint Navigation starts working, maybe I'll give it a try.

But I like this version of webOS just fine and I've got it overclocked, so I'm fine as far as speed goes too...for now.

I just wish the Pre³ was coming out yesterday.

I do like the idea of "buy a tPad and get the Pre³ for free." That would make up for being misled....and even if we were just misled in that Palm said we'd be getting Flash, that's a lie none the less.

You are wise. I've been using webOS 2 for a week, and I'd be perfectly happy going back to 1.45. I think that the increased speed of the Pre 2 is worth buying now.

For those in a hurry for webOS 2, there's a bug that screws up rendering of html emails over a pop3 connection. Pop3 is the only option for my primary mail provider so it's quite annoying.

Storm the bastille. HP heads on pikes. WebOS Internals rock.

I believe that it isn't the device that can't be reversed, but the palm profile. Once you go 2.0, can never go back I believe.

i've been seeing a lot about freeTether and myTether but can't find it in preware. Where is it?

it might still be in one of the testing feeds, as its not 1.0 yet..


best word ever.

I am waiting. I have a faint hope that they will release an official doctor for Verizon Pre Plus folks.

I think I'll wait till this becomes a bit more stable. I only have a Pre- as my primary phone. Overclocked running 1.4.5. If the kernals were ready I would do it. I'll keep the speed over the stacks. Also I need my sprint nav so when that starts looking better I'll take the plunge.
Hopefully some sort of "automatic doctor" will arise for my poor pre-. Less chance of error I suppose.
I'll stay tuned!

I agree, this needs to become more packaged and tested before it goes on to my phone. When this can be loaded from Preware or similar desktop software, I will give this a try.

I've justed updated my German o2 pre- using the meta script. Absolutely no problem, worked straight out of the box.

I emptied my palm profile before as suggested. After the update I could log in with my original profile without a problem. All my apps are there. I don't know about windows-users, but getting this to work on an ubuntu-machine is really a piece of cake.

Got it working on my o2 uk pre- happy days! Thanks so much guys.

The only 2 things that gave me any issues were having to set up a new profile and had a bit of trouble with spotify but found a solution on the forums here http://forums.precentral.net/palm-pre-2/270279-does-anyone-have-spotify-...

Since I have a spare Sprint Pre - I decided that I would go ahead and try this out. The entire process took about three hours, much of what was spend playing around with Ububtu. I never did get folder sharing to work between Ubuntu and Vista, and ultimately used Cygwin to make all the magic happen.

I doctored bypassing activation and profile log in, then dumped the masqrade file onto the USB then moved it into place. After a reboot my pre- was listing WebOS 2.1!

Now I use my 1.4.5 to tether an internet connection (when outside od WiFi) to my 2.1 and I use it for all the goodies that aren't in 1.4.5, it's really the best of both worlds. I an wait for the patches to make their way to 2.1...and maybe there will even be a way for me to tether my calls and sms right to the other device.

Very cool everyone, not to had to do, just don't be in a hurry.


Ok, I must be retarded. I would really like to upgrade my Pre Plus (800mhz Uber 1.4.5) to 800mhz Uber 2.1. I have a machine with Ubuntu. After clicking every link I can find on here, I still can't find instructions on how to do this or where I need to go to download everything I need. Please post links to all the needed steps and downloads please. ~ Andy

I took the plunge, and everything seems to work fine. I decided not to unlock the Flash until I can overclock similarly to my 1.4.5 Pre. I do use MyTether, or did, so as previously posted, it doesn't work yet.

I still have my first Pre cracked screen and all, and was able get it working with my palm profile and WIFI. When Sprint implements Google Voice I wonder if my cell number will work on my WiFi only 1.4.5 phone? Anyway, thank you Internals, another donation is coming ... any word on over clocking? Also Angry Birds would not update on my 2.1 Sprint Pre ...