Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Installing Adobe Digital Editions on Linux with Wine

UPDATE: I have not had time to address the download issues some people have had when trying to install ADE. However, see the comments on this post for some additional tips on where to find an ADE installer download that you can run inside Wine.
Unfortunately, Adobe does not provide a simple download link for the Windows version of Digital Editions, and so if you want to purchase a PDF or ePub e-book with Adobe ADEPT DRM protection, it is very difficult to get up and running on Linux even if you have Wine installed. Here's how I did it.
  1. Install Wine on your system. Most Linux distributions provide Wine as an optional install (e.g., sudo yum install wine from the command line on Fedora).
  2. You will need Gecko extensions available to run the iexplore.exe web browser that comes with Wine. Visit the Wine Wiki's Gecko page for information on how to install Gecko. Your Linux distribution may have a "wine-gecko" package. If it doesn't, then follow the simple instructions on the Wine Wiki.
  3. You will also need Adobe Flash installed on your Wine system, and so you should visit the Wine Wiki's Flash page to get the install_flash_player.exe download link. Download the exe and run it in Wine (e.g., wine install_flash_player.exe from the command line).
  4. Now, start the iexplore.exe browser bundled with Wine. After I ran Wine for the first time, it setup a .wine directory in my home directory (i.e., ~/.wine). I found the iexplore.exe in ~/.wine/drive_c/Program Files/Internet Explorer. Change to that directory and run iexplore.exe (e.g, wine iexplore.exe from the command line).
  5. Now you can visit the Digital Editions installer (which is written in Flash). From the Wine Internet Explorer, enter in the URL:
    That should startup a little installer. Follow the prompts to download and install Digital Editions. You will even be able to launch it from there.
    • The installer will install the single Digital Editions executable to ~/.wine/drive_c/Program Files (x86)/Adobe/Adobe Digital Editions as digitaleditions.exe.
    • You can run it again but executing that file through wine (e.g., wine digitaleditions.exe from the command line in that directory)
    • Alternatively, you can use the "Digital Editions" shortcuts that the installer probably placed on your desktop.
  6. Once Digital Editions is started, you should be able to drag-and-drop ACSM files you've downloaded from e-Book commerce sites (like Google Books), and it should download the Adept-DRM'd version of your media.
    • DRM'd books are stored in the My Digital Editions folder that will be created in your home directory.
    • If you want to put them elsewhere, you need to edit the symbolic links in ~/.wine/drive_c/users/USERNAME where USERNAME is your Linux username. The My Documents folder was symlinked to my home directory by default. I got rid of the symlink and created a real directory there instead, but you could point the symlink somewhere else if you'd rather. Regardless, the My Digital Editions folder will reside inside the My Documents folder (alongside a My Books folder, but I don't know what gets put in there... maybe non-DRM stuff you put into ADE?).
Once you have your DRM'd books, you should be able to transfer them onto devices that have also been authorized with your Adept key (e.g., a Sony Reader that has been authorized with the same account you used inside Digital Editions). I suppose it's possible to get the Digital Editions running inside Wine to notice when your reader is connected, but I haven't tried it (that might involve installing the Sony Reader Library software within Wine, and I received some ugly errors when I tried to do that (but YMMV)).


Thomas said...

thx for your guide; unfortunatly it does not work for me.
Theinstaller on the adobe page says "download failed" when I try to install ade.
Any ideas?

Anonymous said...

Hi all,

I've been struggling with this DRM issue for the past few weeks since purchasing a Sony Pocket Reader (PRS 350). Very difficult to come by these days as the plant in Japan was damaged in the tsunami and the product line has been temporarily discontinued.

I use an HP G61 laptop running Debian 5.03 (Lenny). Needless to say neither the Reader Setup software nor Adobe Digital Editions software want anything to do with my OS. If it weren't for DRM content, there would be very little problem, since connecting the device to my laptop opens a series of folders on what is essentially being seen as a USB storage device, and loading books is a simple matter of pasting them into the READER/database/media/books folder.

However, DRM content presents two dilemmas. The first is how to download the purchased DRM content to your computer when Digital Editions is so difficult to obtain as stand-alone and so difficult to install under linux.

Here's how I finally did it:
I purchased my first DRM content ebook from rm-ebook.com (https://www.rm-ebook.com/) and in the followup email they sent me a link to my control panel plus a password. Logging in took me to an Ebooks Download page listing my purchases. It is on this page that I discovered a link to "Adobe Digital Installer." That link allowed me to download an installer .exe file for Digital Editions.

I launched that .exe binary with wine , and it had no issues installing a version of Digital Editions on my HP, which in turn allowed me to "authorize my computer" using username and password previously set up with Adobe by filling out their account form.

Now I had an icon on my Desktop serving as a launcher for Digital Editions, and a folder called "My Digital Editions" in my home directory (i.e. linux home directory, not the .wine folders). In that folder was an import.log file and a manifext.xml file.

Now, when I went to download my DRM content ebook from whatever store (in my case Kobo.com), the .acsm file was my intermediary key to the actual book download. With Digital Editions still running under wine: Using GUI, not command line, I dragged the .acsm file into the "My Digital Editions" folder, and magically the download for the actual epub book initiated.

The ebook was now readable from within my Digital Editions reader software, but I am still at an impasse since I have not figured out how to authorize my actual Reader and hence it cannot read the DRM ebook.

Presumably when the Reader is attached to the computer via USB, Digital Editions is supposed to automatically detect it and offer to authorize the device. This does NOT happen, nor have I managed to get any device links in the .wine/drive_c folder to solve the issue.

Any help on that would be appreciated. I am very close to giving up entirely on any and all ebooks with DRM content. The Sony Reader, on the other hand is a praise-worthy device in my opinion. A joy to use, and with awesome battery life and readability in bright sunlight or shade, it is exactly the type of e-Reader I have been searching for.

Good luck all,

Ted said...

cabbie -- In theory, you should be able to get ADE from within Wine to recognize the reader. However, it's not necessarily straightforward.

I think most people get around this issue by removing the ADEPT DRM from their downloaded books. I'm not going to post links to sources of scripts that can do this for you (like the ineptepub and ineptpdf scripts from i-heart-cabbages), but they used to be widely available on the Internet. Once you have the PDF/EPUB, you can strip the ADEPT DRM and then transfer the PDF/EPUB to the device with a simple copy.

Anonymous said...


It's my understanding that Wine doesn't support USB out-of-the-box. I think it's necessary to rebuild Wine with patches and manually install drivers. See http://wiki.winehq.org/USB.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the guide. Download links are outdated, but equivalents were easy to find from adobe site.

Installing flash for wine, choose "flash for other browsers". Only 32 bit worked for me.

I was unable to instal ADE straight from Adobe site's instal badge even when the flash worked in wine IE, there was some connection problem no matter how many times I tried. There is a technote on adobe site which points to separate setup.exe which I downloaded. I installed this setup.exe through wine and got ADE working!

I fired up Opera, went to a local library's site and I downloaded the test book. After that drag'n drop the downloaded book to ADE and it fetched the book.

I connected my reader (Bookeen Cybook Odyssey) and transferred the book manually via USB to my reader. Works, now if I get wine to support USB...

I used the same Adobe ID in ADE as I have used for my reader, so I did not have any authorization issues. Odyssey can be authorized and Adobe ID created by using Bookeen's own book store with the reader.

Aravind S said...

You are the man, my friend! Finally managed to get this working to access ebooks in the online library that I subscribe to. I had earlier managed to install ADE on Wine, however the problem was that the download link was not getting enabled on the e-library site when using Chromium on Linux. Based on the logic on this blog, installed firefox 11 on wine, accessed the page, and voila, the download link was enabled. Now I've downloaded the acsm file, and the ebook is open!! Am using Firefox 11 and ADE 1.7.2 on Wine 1.3.15, on a Ubuntu 11.04 on Dell Vostro 131.