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a FULL walkthrough on on how to Theme the droid (2.0.1)

Discussion in 'Android Themes' started by zathus, Jan 7, 2010.

  1. zathus
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    zathus New Member

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    the shoutouts. thanks to Tdawg5480 for the knowledge on how to do most of this. Xeudoxus and cortalusfreak over at Alldroid.

    ok, First an explanation to those that might not know what the difference is between Theming your phones /system files and using 3rd party programs such as Home ++, Panda GDE ext..

    The Theming I'm going to explain here is literally changing the phones systems it self. what programs like Home ++ do is put a second home version on your phone. think of it like this, you want to put down a new floor in your home. you have tile floors and want wood. one direction you can go is to place wood ON top of the original tile floor. that's what Home ++ does. on the other hand, you can take all the tile out and put wood down. that's whats what I'm talking about. its changing the original parts so to speak. I hope that makes sense. on to the instructions!

    step 1) in order to do any of these changes you need to root your phone. that can be found here

    step 2) you need busybox. the fastest and easiest way to get it (at least for me) can be found here

    step 3) now that your rooted and have busybox. flash a new recovery image. that can also be found in step 2's link. after that do a nandroid backup. (this is just in case something doesn't work, you can still go back to were you started from)

    step 4) get a theme. there are 2 ways to go about this. you can use the systems theme by going in to the /system/app area of your phone. copy the file you want to change.. IE Launcher.apk. pull it out and put it in the SD card. then place said file on your computer. rename launcher.zip pull the files out and make your changes. if you have 7zip or something close to that you can just extract the .apk with out changing the name

    or.. you can get a already made theme. everyone Ive spoken to who has made themes doesn't seem to mind if you make changes. just give them the respect they have earned if you should re list your newly made theme.

    Note: if you should decide to start from scrach, you need to make a .thm file. this goes in the directory part of your ziped file. what it is is a list of what your changing and were the phone needs to go to find the file to change. example, you want to change your launcher. so, in this .thm you will put Launcher.apk then right under it you will put were its located /system/app .......fairly simple to do. you can use notepad then use something like 7-zip to zip it. hit add to archive. when it shows the name uptop change it to .thm instead of .zip.

    step 5) once you have your working platform so to speak. now you want to make changes! every .apk file has sub folder called res. in this folder you will find such folders as drawable-hdpi, drawable-land-hdpi (the land stands for landscape mode, when your phone is horizontal format instead of the vertical format) so, in this file drawable-hdpi you will see a bunch of images. these are the images that are displayed on your phone. there are tons of them and each once displays a certain thing. you can change these images to whatever you like.
    NOTE: the size of the image can matter in some cases so its best to make sure whatever your adding is the same pixel size as the image your replacing.
    NOTE #2) when changing a image it is best to use some type of photoshop platform. reason why is, if you use something like windows paint to make changes, the background of said changes will stay. so even though you spent hours cutting out and fine tuning a image. when you put it back it the white background on the image will stay. so when its put back on the phone you will have this white background around the image you changed.
    NOTE #3) the location of the images your changing is important
    . make sure any file you change goes back to its repected place of orgin.

    step 6) now that you have your changed images this is how you put them back on the phone. there are few ways to do this. im only going to cover the Metamorph way (Metamorph is a free app on the market that will push your files to the correct location). first you need to rezip the file. dont make it a .apk file, keep it as a .zip file. when ziping it, you want to make sure its a store compression. this basically zips the file with 0 compression. 7-zip is a good ziping program to use for this. once its ziped, place it in the Androidtheme file on your SD card (this is after Metamorph has been launched) once its in the androidtheme file on your SD card, open up MM.
    if will give you 2 options, new theme or existing theme. hit new theme. then select the theme you just placed in. open it, select the area you want to push IE Launcher, Framework.res ect.. then let MM do its thing. when changing the Framework your phone will need to reboot.

    There, now you have just customized your phone! ENJOY!

    if theres any questions of feel i left out some important information please add to this tread.

    EDIT!: im adding steps that dont involve using MM. this is for ROMs that MM might not work well on.

    once your done making changes to the .apk file, rezip it using 7zip or something simular, when you hit add to archive, at the end of the name it will say ".zip" change that to ".apk" now the file you extracted, example, Launcher.zip is now a Launcher.apk. take the apk and place it in the root of your SD card. now what your going to do is push the apk were you want it, heres the code to do that using ABD or a TE
    Code:
    su
    mount -o remount,rw -t yaffs2 /dev/block/mtdblock4 /system 
    busybox cp -R /sdcard/### /system/app 
    mount -o ro,remount -t yaffs2 /dev/block/mtdblock4 /system
    sync
    reboot
    ###=the name of the app your pushing. like it would be busybox cp -R /sdcard/Launcher.apk /system/app

    If your adding in a framework-res file make sure at the end its /system/framework

    there are a few codes that work, this is the one i use.
  2. pdm0376
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    pdm0376 New Member

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    sounds fun and all but I really don't want to root my phone and chance losing the warranty on it from doing so.
  3. alf
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    alf New Member

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    zathus, Thank you for this. Very good instructions!!!!! :icon_ banana:
    It was only after reading this I figured out why the ICE them would never work. It was ziped up twice. Now for the first time ever I was able to use MetaMorph. And also now have a understanding of how it works. Nice Job........
  4. freebirds87
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    freebirds87 New Member

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    Wonderful tutorial, thanks!
  5. Vulcan1600
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    Vulcan1600 Super Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

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    You lost me when I read "root your phone".
  6. clwither
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    clwither New Member

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    Thank you very much!!! Im hoping this will work better for my phone. The new version of Open home keeps crashing my phone... My only question is does the new recovery image include root as well as busy box?
  7. gruffgriff
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    gruffgriff New Member

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    Maybe this is a really obvious question, but what's the deal with themes installed by way of MetaMorph and widgets? Am I the only one who rebooted only to find a slick new theme, but all broken widgets that say they can't be displayed?
  8. pcandroid
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    pcandroid New Member

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    You have to take down your old ones and put them back up. Because they changed.:icon_ banana: Its peanut butter jelly time.
  9. zathus
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    zathus New Member

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    Im bumbing this thread b/c i see about 2 new posts a day about how to theme and such. all questions should be covered here.
  10. natediddy1120
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    natediddy1120 New Member

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    Thanx zathus....

    Actually, I'm glad you bumped this thread up, because this is the first time I've seen it lol and I've had some trouble with Metamorph but wanted to try something with it...
  11. JonKyu
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    JonKyu Beta Team

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    Whoot great post looking forward to the video been wondering how to do it. I only had a vague understanding but this definitely should clarify things.
  12. jev
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    jev Member

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    Can you go back to stock after installing a theme? If so, how?...........Is there an E.T.A. on the video? Thanks
  13. sik
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    sik New Member

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    Ran into a problem i took a theme someone already made and just tryed to edit the launcher like you mentioned just to see if i could get it to work.

    I grabbed the launcher.apk pulled it out renamed to .zip and extracted. took the picture i wanted to change and pulled it up in photoshop..(which btw the pics look like crap?) anyway i changed the pressed_handle whatever it was to a diff color just did a quick fill with color. Im just trying to see if it will work.

    After i changed the color i rezipped it using 7-zip and kept it a zip file and did the store compression one.

    Placed it in the android theme folder...unmounted, loaded up MM and tryed to find it and it found it but when installing got some error..cant think of right now will get it later not at home. now when i zipped the pressed_handle i zipped it back in the whole folder it came in and tryed to use that...didnt work then i tryed just the pressed_handle by itself didnt work.

    anyone know what im doing wrong?
  14. CFH
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    CFH New Member

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    I am stuck on the .thm file. I've extracted the Dock.apk file I want to change, and have made the changes, but Metamorph tells me the theme file is not correct or missing.

    I opened a text document and wrote the following:

    Dock.apk
    /system/app/

    I saved the file and renamed it Dock.thm, and added it to the archive.

    What have I done wrong?
  15. h1br1d7heory
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    h1br1d7heory New Member

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    is busybox needed? i rooted the phone already...am i able to just load a theme or do i need to follow all the steps needed to install busybox as well?
  16. Flomaster
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    Flomaster Premium Member Premium Member

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    wow, so in theory I can edit my smoked Glass .THM file for facebook and change the file name from /system/app/Facebook.apk to where facebook actually installs the app / data/app/com.facebook.katana.apk this would save me from moving and renaming facebook after I install it.

    -=Jason=-
  17. Flomaster
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    Flomaster Premium Member Premium Member

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    yes you need busybox you can do all this via terminal but you need busybox metamorph just saves you from typing all the code.

    -=Jason=-
  18. droidpcguru
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    droidpcguru New Member

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    Theming DxTop

    Hello all:) First post here, but I'm pretty well experienced now with my rooted Droid.

    I tried to Morph just one image in Dxtop, to make it match the rest of my Droid's theme. I created the .thm file, with these contents:

    com.android.dxtop.launcher.apk
    /data/app

    I then pulled the .apk from my Droid, renamed it to zip, and pulled the image I wanted to change out (/res/drawable/pattern_tray_background.png). I modified the image, and clicked save. Then, I created a folder named res, created another inside res named drawable, and placed the image in drawable.

    I then zipped my .thm file and the new "res" folder together, and tried it with Metamorph.

    Metamorph tells me that it cannot find the target file:icon_eek:.

    Any ideas?:)

    I have also tried this manually.. modifying the .apk then placing it back causes DxTop to "disappear".. Modifiying the installation .apk for DxTop causes it not to install.. so I am at a dead end.. Metamorph seems the only hope.
  19. zathus
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    zathus New Member

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    from what ive had happen Metamorph cant push files to the /data/app area. just in the /system/app area. if you want to change a market app, you have to keep it as a .apk then push it to the system app area.
  20. jray707
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    jray707 New Member

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    **** THIS GOD DAMN ****R I BEEN TRYNA FOR 2 ****IN DAYS TO MAKE THE DROIDINATOR TO WORK WITH NO FUCIIUN LUCK. METAMORPH WONT OPEN CAUSE NO BUSYBOX AND IVE DOWLOADED BUSY BOY 4 TIMES N PUT IT IN MY SD CARD FOLDER. can sum1 give me a simple step by step walkthgough on how to do this. im not talkin bout well u tye in {sdgrfs\-KN&%%> ewe< i dont know where to type that **** in or nething so wtf?> AND PLEASE
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