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Nokia N9 – Get extra functions by editing the mce.ini file

Okay. I’ll let’s make this clear. This is not for those who do not know how to follow what I have done. If you don’t know what ssh is or don’t know how to edit an ini file properly, backup etc, please don’t try this. This can REALLY SCREW UP your brand new Nokia N9 and/or potentially brick the device if not careful. But if you are a quick learner and won’t hold me responsible, read on. =)

Nokia N9, like all other previous Nokia Maemo tablets, has an mce.ini file located at /etc/mce/ directory.
The parameters in this file can be modified to make the N9 behave differently to what Nokia intended.

NOTE
1. It’s best that you have developer mode enabled. (for sshserver sftp access over wifi)
2. Make sure you backup the mce.ini file somewhere safe just in case.
3. Edit the file using Wordpad or any other decent text editor.
4. You will need to reboot once you make changes to the file and overwrite the one on the N9.

I will only go through one mod for now as that’s all I’ve tried so far.

 

POWER KEY BEHAVIOR

– You can change the behavior of Short press, Long press and Double press of the power button on the N9.
– Example video below shows the unlocking of N9 with the double tap of the power button.
– See UPDATE #1 at bottom of this post as you can set it so it unlocks with single press instead.

[youtube]oktOwsnPWIw[/youtube]

 

Default [PowerKey] section in the /etc/mce/mce.ini file is as below:

[PowerKey]

# Timeout before keypress is regarded as a medium press
# This delay is used when powering up from charging
#
# Timeout in milliseconds, default 1000
PowerKeyMediumDelay=1000

# Timeout before keypress is regarded as a long press
#
# Timeout in milliseconds, default 1500
PowerKeyLongDelay=1500

# Timeout for double keypresses
#
# Timeout in milliseconds, default 500
PowerKeyDoubleDelay=500

# Short [power] behaviour
#
# WARNING:
# Setting short, long, and double press to disabled will make it
# near impossible to turn off your device without removing the battery!
#
# Valid options:
# disabled – do nothing on short press
# poweroff – shutdown device
# softpoweroff – enter soft poweroff mode
# tklock-lock – lock touchscreen/keypad lock if not locked
# tklock-unlock – unlock the touchscreen/keypad lock if locked
# tklock-both – lock the touchscreen/keypad if not locked,
# unlock the touchscreen/keypad lock if locked
# dbus-signal-<signal name> – send a D-Bus signal with the name <signal name>
PowerKeyShortAction=tklock-lock

# Long [power] behaviour
#
# Valid options:
# disabled – do nothing on long press
# poweroff – shutdown device <default>
# softpoweroff – enter soft poweroff mode
# tklock-lock – lock touchscreen/keypad lock if not locked
# tklock-unlock – unlock the touchscreen/keypad lock if locked
# tklock-both – lock the touchscreen/keypad if not locked,
# unlock the touchscreen/keypad lock if locked
# dbus-signal-<signal name> – send a D-Bus signal with the name <signal name>
PowerKeyLongAction=poweroff

# Double press [power] behaviour
# Note: the double press action is triggered on press, rather than release,
# to avoid the second press to be processed elsewhere before the
# double press action has taken place
#
# Valid options:
# disabled – do nothing on double press <default>
# poweroff – shutdown device
# softpoweroff – enter soft poweroff mode
# tklock-lock – lock touchscreen/keypad lock if not locked
# tklock-unlock – unlock the touchscreen/keypad lock if locked
# tklock-both – lock the touchscreen/keypad if not locked,
# unlock the touchscreen/keypad lock if locked
# dbus-signal-<signal name> – send a D-Bus signal with the name <signal name>
# PowerKeyDoubleAction=dbus-signal-powerkey_double_ind
PowerKeyDoubleAction=disabled

Now the fun part, you can make changes to the 3 functions that I’ve highlightes in BOLD above.
It’s quite self explanatory really. You just change the function to the valid options listed.

If you can’t understand what you need to do, this isn’t for you right now.
Maybe someone will make an app later on which will do this for you safely.

Also, I DO NOT recommend changing the PowerKeyLongAction=poweroff.
If you change this to something else, you may not be able to turn off your N9!

e.g. I have made the following change in mine to enable the “instant unlock” by double pressing the power button without needing to slide the unlock screen.

BEFORE = PowerKeyDoubleAction=disabled
AFTER = PowerKeyDoubleAction=tklock-unlock

Then I saved the file, then overwrote the one on the N9 via sftp. (I use tunnelier to ssh into my N9 over wireless network)
Then I rebooted the phone. Voila. You can now double tap the power button to unlock the phone immediately!

P.S. You can obviously change the PowerKeyShortAction to tklock-both instead if you want to unlock/lock with a single press. (I might actually try this as it’s much easier to unlock than double press. You can still get the lock screen by double tapping the screen anyways to quickly check for lockscreen notifications.)

UPDATE #1

I have now changed PowerKeyShortAction to tklock-both. This makes it unlock the N9 with a single press of the power button avoiding the need to slide altogether. There is a short delay however where it shows the lock screen for 1 second before it unlocks by itself. Maybe some will even like this as it lets you quickly see any notifications on the lock screen before proceeding to unlock automatically. I’m really liking this now. No need to use the PowerKeyDoubleAction anymore. (I’ve just left it as tklock-unlock as it is about 0.5 seconds quicker to unlock than single press unlock. =P) EDIT: After trying this single-tap unlock for like a day, I hated it. So I changed the single tap back to normal behavior. I just use the double-tap to unlock and that’s it.

 

PLEASE NOTE
– I will NOT be responsible for any mistakes that you did. I purposely didn’t even try giving step by step instructions to avoid such issue.
– There are many other things that you can do in this mce.ini but I have not tried making changes to them yet. So please don’t ask me. =P

21 thoughts on “Nokia N9 – Get extra functions by editing the mce.ini file”

  1. Interesting, thanks for this!
    As I still have to wait for my N9 until next Saturday, can you post the complete file? Or mail it to me, if you don’t want to publish it. Thanks!

    Thanks! Thumb up 1

    1. I highly recommend for you to backup and modify your own file.
      But I will try to attach the original/modified files to the post soon.

      Thanks! Thumb up 0

  2. Sure, I would edit my own file. But many out there, like me, have not received the N9 yet. Would be nice to study the options already now.

    Thanks! Thumb up 0

  3. sorry, but i cant buy it from my country, only from Au… I’m from Romania… If i send u money, can u buy it for me and send it?

    Thanks! Thumb up 0

  4. What about LED notification for mails?
    [LEDPatternNJoyRM696]

    PatternCommunicationCall=30;1;0;4000027f027f02ff02ff027f027f02ff02ff41ff0000
    PatternCommunicationIM=30;1;0;4000027f027f02ff02ff027f027f02ff02ff41ff0000
    PatternCommunicationSMS=30;1;0;4000027f027f02ff02ff027f027f02ff02ff41ff0000
    PatternCommunicationEmail=30;1;0;4000027f027f02ff02ff027f027f02ff02ff41ff0000
    PatternCommonNotification=30;1;0;4000027f027f02ff02ff027f027f02ff02ff41ff0000

    Could work?

    Thanks! Thumb up 0

  5. nice post!

    Can i hit you with another question? Can i turn off the device lock inside the mce.ini file? Ever since i created an mfe email account for my work server (which it turned out wouldn’t accept the N9), i haven’t been able to turn off the device lock. It won’t give me the options anymore in the device lock settings. I’ve hit up the nokia forums, found their solution is “reset device”. Obviously a lame solution. Seems there are few people with this problem, so if you can solve it, you’d be much admired.
    thx!

    Thanks! Thumb up 0

  6. Forgot to mention, i removed the mfe account, still no joy. I tried ‘non-provision’ option too, still no option to turn off device lock.

    Thanks! Thumb up 0

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