Changing the ReMarkable2 Sleep Screen

Both me and my wife have bought a ReMarkable 2 notepad. These things aren’t cheap but they are closest to real paper I’ve ever experienced. The only problem we experienced has nothing to do with the device but everything with the fact that we both have one. The screen when the remarkable is sleeping is very simple and can’t be easily customised:

normal suspended screen

So, it’s not easy for us to see which one is which. I figured, surely it must be possible to change, after all, it’s just a linux machine (see Wikipedia). With a little searching in the settings I found something interesting in the Settings/Help/Copyrights and licenses setting, namely the bit under GPLv3 Compliance that states that it requires you as end user to be able to access the device and look and behold, it tells you that you can ssh into it as root and it shows your password as well (this is unique for each remarkable)

Using this information I could just ssh into the remarkable using ssh root@ (the IP address will be different for yours as it’s your local address) and the password provided. Knowing that it’s running a proper SSH daemon made it then easy to setup the /home/root/.ssh/authorized_keys file so I didn’t have to type the password any more.

Then I just started to search the remarkable and found that the files I was looking for were in /usr/share/remarkable and most exactly, the file suspended.png. So using scp I copied this file to my desktop: scp root@ ~/Desktop/. Then I opened the file with preview and saved it as a PDF. Why? because I wanted to use the ReMarkable itself to edit the file.

I then used the ReMarkable desktop app to send the PDF to my ReMarkable and just started to draw on it

Sure, I’m not the greatest of artists but as you can see, at least the screen is now identifiable. So, the next step was then to use the ReMarkable desktop app again to export this PDF as PNG, which is just right-click, export as PNG to Folder. You then simply navigate to that folder and rename the file to suspended-new.png

Now, using iTerm (or terminal) that I used before to ssh into the ReMarkable, I navigated to that folder and scp’ed the file back to the device using scp suspended-new.png root@ and it copied it there.

I then ssh’ed into the ReMarkable and navigated to that folder, renamed the suspended.png to suspended-original.png and the suspended-new.png to suspended.png. Then I rebooted the ReMarkable et voila! The sleeping screen is now customised.