I need to modify the home screen icons' disposition and add new shortcuts, but I need to do it programmatically from a flashable ZIP through recovery.

I need this because I will have to do it on hundreds of devices (tablets).

Can anyone point me in the right direction where to look at? (which apk or xml file?)

  • 3
    Since you're looking to write a program to do what you want, this is very close to being off-topic here; Android programming questions should be asked on Stack Overflow. (Please read the FAQ.) However, being able to deploy multiple devices with the same homescreen layout is certainly of interest to other Enterprise users. So I think this question is okay here. I am concerned, though, that you've already pre-selected your solution.
    – ale
    Sep 24, 2012 at 13:01
  • Is using a 3rd-party home screen replacement/launcher app an acceptable solution?
    – Chahk
    Sep 24, 2012 at 13:39
  • Thanks Al, that sounded to me the quickest option, since i've already found how to modify the wallpaper through framework-res.apk...but i'm open to different ways to achieve this!
    – Hulud
    Sep 24, 2012 at 14:09
  • Chahk, if with trebuchet what i want to do is not possible, then yes, it might be a solution.
    – Hulud
    Sep 24, 2012 at 14:10
  • It must be possible, as most ROMs I see start out with a few icons on the home screen. Unfortunately, I don't know how to do it.
    – SaintWacko
    Sep 24, 2012 at 16:33

2 Answers 2


I think i found a way to do that: decompressing Launcher2.apk (trebuchet Launcher app) i found an interesting file named default_workspace.xml under /res/xml folder of the app.

<appwidget launcher:className="com.estrongs.android.taskmanager.widget.TmWidgetProvider" launcher:packageName="com.estrongs.android.taskmanager" launcher:screen="2" launcher:x="5" launcher:y="0" launcher:spanX="1" launcher:spanY="1" />
<favorite launcher:className="com.android.music.activitymanagement.TopLevelActivity" launcher:packageName="com.google.android.music" launcher:screen="2" launcher:x="5" launcher:y="2" />

with all the necessary to place widgets and icons on different workspaces and XY position. Hope it helps


If you get Nova Launcher (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.teslacoilsw.launcher&hl=en) you can backup and restore from the settings menu. Use this with Dropbox and you've got an easy end to end solution

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