Experimental email attachment downloader for Kobo devices (gmail only ATM)

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Experimental email attachment downloader for Kobo devices (gmail only ATM)

What is KoboMail?

It is a software that will read emails sent to [email protected] and download the attached files to the Kobo device. It doesn't restrict the filetype so try to keep the emails you send as clean as possible ;) The software takes advantage of a particularity in Gmail which is you can add flags to you email like the +kobo in the example above and still receive those emails on the [email protected] account. This makes it much easier for searching and listing emails specifically targetting your Kobo device. Once the email is treated by program it will automatically flag it as seen so it's not processed twice (there's a flag in the config file that allows overriding for such time you want to redownload all files you've sent).


This software is experimental, if you don't want to risk corrupting your files, database, etc of your Kobo device don't use this. Use this software AT YOUR OWN RISK.



  • Initial release


Quick start for Kobo devices:

  1. download the latest KoboRoot.tgz
  2. connect your Kobo device to your computer with a USB cable
  3. place the KoboRoot.tgz file in the .kobo directory of your Kobo device
  4. disconnect the reader

When you disconnect the Kobo device, it will perform the instalation of the KoboRoot.tgz files onto the device. Once the installation is finished you can verify that KoboRoot.tgz is now gone. No you should head to the .add/kobomail folder and edit the kobomail_cfg.toml file

# currently only gmail is supported

# you need to activate IMAP for your gmail account
imap_host = "imap.gmail.com"
imap_port = "993"

# gmail account
imap_user = "[email protected]"

# gmail app password. you will need to generate a password specifically for KoboMail
# this can be done here: https://support.google.com/mail/answer/185833?hl=en-GB
imap_pwd = "password"

# with gmail you can send an email to [email protected] and the email will land on [email protected] account
# you can customize the flag used to detect the emails you want to process specifically for the Kobo device
email_flag = "kobo"

# flag to process all emails sent fo [email protected] or only the unread emails
email_unseen = "true"

# If you want to uninstall KoboMail just place an empty file called UNINSTALL next to this configuration file 
# and next time KoboMail runs it will delete itself

If the configuration is not correct KoboMail might not be able to work correctly. You will need to activate IMAP on your gmail account and generate an app password as described in the config file. Once the configuration is correct everytime your device connects to a Wifi access point the KoboMail program will run and process any emails sent to [email protected] that are not open yet. If any messages were processed after a few seconds Kobo will display the dialog to connect to a PC, you don't need to actually physically connect a USB cable you just need to click on the Connect button. This is part of a workarround to trigger Kobo to recognize the new ebooks it just received via email. After clicking on the connect button you will see the common full screen dialog as if Kobo was connected to a PC and shortly after it will show the import content progress bar.

You can attach multiple files to a single email, every attachment will be processed. All attachments will be dumped into the folder KoboMailLibrary.

There's a log.txt file in the .add/kobomail folder that will allow to diagnose problems.


Just place a file called UNINSTALL in the .add/kobomail folder and everything will be wiped clean except the KoboMailLibrary~.

Further information.

This project includes bits and pieces of many different projects and ideas discussed in the mobileread.com forums, namely:

  • Why GMail only?

    Why GMail only?

    You say "Only gmail atm", but the program seems to be compatible with any IMAP server. Is there any specific tecnique used in the program that makes it compatible only with GMail?

    Thanks for this by the way!

    opened by daniele-athome 0
  • Suggest using NickelDBus

    Suggest using NickelDBus

    Hi, just saw your post over on MobileRead, looks like an interesting project!

    Might I suggest investigating NickelDBus for better integration with Kobo's software? Especially regarding book recanning. There would be no need for any user interaction with the "connect" dialog then.

    You can even use it to display messages to the user, and a confirmation dialog is available for simple yes/no user input if desired.

    Another thing you can do is listen for 'wifi connected' signals that Nickel emits, as a potential alternative to the udev rules.

    API documentation for NickelDBus is here. Please excuse the Qt nature of the documentation. Substitute the Qt types for d-bus types, and you shouldn't have an issue...

    One example of NickelDBus usage is in Kobo-UNCaGED. NickelDBus itself also has a fully featured (but also deprecated) Go CLI client you can use for reference as well. I keep it around for that purpose...

    opened by shermp 5
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