Downloading Adobe-protected books to a Nook using Linux (Shallow Thoughts)

Akkana's Musings on Open Source Computing, Science, and Nature.

Sat, 12 May 2012

Downloading Adobe-protected books to a Nook using Linux

University of Chicago Press has a Carl Zimmer book, A Planet of Viruses, as their free monthly e-book.

I know Zimmer is a good writer. but the ebook, despite being free, is encumbered with Adobe's version of DRM, which unlocks via a Windows or Mac program. I use Linux, and wanted to read the book on a Nook. Was I out of luck?

Happily, the instruction page they sent when I signed up for the book helpfully included a section for Linux users. Hooray, U. Chicago! It said Adobe Digital Editions will run under Wine, the Windows emulator. I'd been meaning to try that anyway, and a Carl Zimmer book seemed like the perfect excuse.

And overall, it worked pretty well, with only a few snags. Here are the steps I had to follow:

Authorizing a book using Adobe Digital Editions in Linux on Wine

Install wine (on Ubuntu, I used apt-get install wine).

Download the Adobe Digital Editions setup.exe

Run: wine setup.exe (this should install ADE inside your .wine directory)

Copy the file, e.g. URLLink.acsm, into .wine/drive_c/My\ Documents/ Don't bother trying to open it with ADE -- the program won't open anything except PDF and epub. Curiously, the only ways to open the file from ADE are to drag the file onto the ADE window or to pass it as a commandline argument:
wine start .wine/drive_c/My\ Documents/URLLink.acsm

Now ADE should download your book and display it. You can read it there, if you want. But you won't want to -- it's not a good reading interface.

Authorizing a device with Adobe Digital Editions under Wine

Now how do you get it into your ebook reader? ADE running under Wine doesn't recognize devices such as ebook readers. so nothing will be copied automatically. But you can copy it manually.

In theory, the drive letter should stay mapped, so you should be able to use it for opening future books. Just remember to mount your device to the same location before running ADE under wine.

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[ 10:03 May 12, 2012    More linux | permalink to this entry | comments ]
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