Kindle ePub Hack: Installing FBReader on Kindle for ePub Support – FBKindle

Kindle FBReader

For those of you that desperately want to read ePub ebooks on your Kindle, there is a way to install a version of FBReader—dubbed FBKindle—on the Kindle if you are willing to do some technical work.

FBReader is a popular e-reading program with plenty of options for customizing the layout for ebooks. It only works for DRM-free ebooks, however, but the Kindle’s regular functionality is still preserved so you can still get ebooks from Amazon too.

Before installing FBKindle, you have to jailbreak the Kindle first, then install a program called launchpad. The process isn’t for the technically challenged.

After looking over everything myself, I was not willing to take the time to install FBKindle even though FBReader is one of my favorite ereading programs. It’s a lot easier to just convert EPUB to MOBI using Calibre, but if you want to install FBKindle, the three steps are listed below with links to MobileRead for the directions.

It looks like FBKindle will work with the Kindle 3, Kindle DX, and Kindle 2—not sure about the Kindle 1.

3 Steps to Install FBKindle

1. Jailbreak the Kindle

2. Install launchpad

3. Install FBKindle

8 Responses to “Kindle ePub Hack: Installing FBReader on Kindle for ePub Support – FBKindle”

  1. Too much bother for me.

    I must say I was disappointment with the results of some of my EPUB to Mobi conversions for my Kindle. Apparently, Mobi uses 3.2 HTML so there are certain style properties in CSS style sheets that it can’t handle, such as paragraph indentations, that are replaced with the blockquote tag. This results in an absurd amount of indentation in certain cases. In anther case, I had a paragraph header that had a red background that was completely ignored during the conversion. Not just the coloring, but the whole heading was removed by the conversion.

  2. Jailbreak the Kindle? I didn’t know that could be done. Is it possible to jailbreak and install apps on any e-reader? This could take care of any problem, from configuration to font size.

    • Not all ereaders have jailbreak hacks and what not, but a few do. There is alternative firmware for the Sony Readers over at MobileRead as well. And the original E Ink Nook and Nook Color can be hacked since they run Android.

  3. it is easier to install the fbkindle than follow a receipt of the original Schwarzwälder-Cherry-Cake.

    bytheway the jailbreak & launchpad installation is generally usefull to enable the installation of any alternative reading apps or additional alternative configuration to extend the feature.
    i am looking forward to get coolreader for kindle some day, because i like it very much on my Pocketbook pro 903. imo coolreader beat FBReader with better Soft-Hyphenation-algo, floating punctuation and font kerning features as well as a better epub(html,css) – interpretation. The Kindle seems to be very attractive for software-developer with affinity to hack & develop.

    There is also an alternative firmware for kindle, called duokan, which got drm free epub-support(currently only for english and chinese epub, because the special capital support for continental european languages is still bad), duokan got a excellent pdf-support with margin cut, free adjustable zooming! and reflow.
    well i dont need pdf-support for my kindle,- i read only novels on a 6 inch kindle-display,- when i have to keep the original-layout mostly for mathematical or IT-books, i prefer my 9,7 inch e-ink e-reader.
    A german software developer called flip translated the current original duokan gui from chinese to english, which i recommend if u are interested to install duokan.
    Duokan need no jailbreak and leaves the original kindle-firmware untouched.
    Duokan installs a bootloader to enable the choice to start the original kindle or the alternative firmware duokan.

    here is the link to flips english translated duokan:

    p.s. @nathan, there i a new e-ink rival in the house,- a new epson e-ink technology is around with high resolution 9,89 inch and faster than the pearl displays, would be nice if u figure out more details maybe a video of it.

    • Thanks for the tips and for the additional info, Dolansky! A quick question: you have coolreader working on the PocketBook 903?

  4. thats correct, i define coolreader as my default reading app for epub on my Pocketbook 903. Some russian guy recompiled it for the Pro-modells and for the 301/302+ i guess as well.
    found it on mobileread

    by the way on the german pocketbook section on mobileread, we are lucky to test an alpha firmware for the x03 pro models with the main feature of making text highlighting, and free handwriting remarks within or beside of text. The new feature is in FW 2.0.1alpha restricted to FBReader, in the next official firmware or beta version the same features will availabe for the Adobe PDF Viewer.
    The alpha version also support now bluetooth keyboards.
    I use the highlighting and handwriting every day for IT books in chm- and html format. it works good but need of course optimization and got some side effects which pretty normal for alpha. Nonetheless i learn how to handle it.

  5. Librarian At Large May 25, 2011 at 10:49 am

    Have you seen this rumor? Also, last Wednesday I heard something about an official announcement from Amazon.

  6. dolansky are you kidding me?!?!?! sounds like you use your reader more for the novelty of hacking than reading. A site called convertfiles changes epub to mobi in seconds. sure it could be a hassle to do hundreds or thousands of your pirated books, but seriously how many are you going to read?