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How to Setup Adobe Digital Editions 1.7.2 with Kobo eReader on Linux


NOTE: A newer tutorial is available describing How to Setup Adobe Digital Editions 3.0.1 with Kobo eReader on Linux.

This tutorial describes how to install the Adobe Digital Editions software (ADE) version 1.7.2 using wine and setup your Kobo eReader, Kobo Touch, Kobo Mini, Kobo Glo, or Kobo Aura HD. Also covered is how to download an eBook from your local library and transfer it to your Kobo eReader.

These steps were documented using Kubuntu 12.04 which uses the K Desktop Environment (KDE). Tips are provided on how to use these instructions with other desktop environments.

Update 2016-11-30: Libraries which use to provide eBook lending services appear to no longer work with ADE 1.7.2. A newer version of ADE does work. See How to Setup Adobe Digital Editions 3.0.1 with Kobo eReader on Linux.


Sign Up for an Adobe Account

  1. Ensure you have an Adobe account.

    An Adobe account is required to use protected content with your Kobo eReader.

    If you do not have an Adobe account then sign up for an Adobe account at the following web page: My Adobe account.

Install Wine and Setup Kobo Drive Letter

  1. Install wine and add a permanent floppy drive letter mapping.

    See How to Setup Wine to Use Windows Applications with Kobo eReader on Linux.

Install Adobe Digital Editions and Authorize Computer

  1. Ensure that your Kobo eReader is not connected to your computer.

  2. Download and save the "digitaleditions_172.exe" file for Windows from this link (ADE 1.7.2).

    NOTE:   Why Use ADE 1.7.2?

    With Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) I recommend sticking with version 1.7.2 due to problems with opening books transferred from ADE 2.0.

  3. Open a terminal window.

    In KDE, select the menu option: K --> System --> Konsole (Terminal).

    TIP:   Opening a terminal in other desktop environments

    You can often open a terminal window using the following steps:

    a) Press Alt+F2 to open a run command prompt
    b) Enter "xterm" without the quotes

  4. Start the ADE install.

    Start the install with the following command:
        wine ~/Downloads/digitaleditions.exe
  5. Click Next in the Adobe Digital Editions Setup window.
    Adobe Digital Editions Setup window
  6. Click Install to begin the installation.
    ADE destination folder install prompt
  7. Click Close to complete the installation.
    ADE install completed window
  8. Click I Agree to accept the license agreement.
    ADE license agreement prompt
  9. Click Continue in the ADE Setup Assistent window.
    ADE Setup Assistant window
  10. Enter your Adobe ID (email address) and password and click Activate.
    ADE Authorize Computer prompt
  11. Click Finished. ADE is now installed and activated.
    ADE installation and activation finished

    TIP:   How to Deauthorize ADE on your Computer?

    If you ever need to deauthorize ADE on your computer, the key combination in ADE is Ctrl+Shift+D. This will bring up a dialog asking if you wish to deauthorize your computer.

  12. Close ADE window. ADE main window

Authorize Kobo eReader

  1. Connect your Kobo eReader.

    Plug your Kobo eReader into your computer using the USB cable, and ensure that it is mounted at /media/KOBOeReader.

  2. Start up ADE.

    In KDE, the menu option is: K --> Wine --> Programs --> Adobe --> Adobe Digital Editions --> Adobe Digital Editions.

    Alternatively you can double-click on the Adobe Digital Editions icon on the computer desktop.

    NOTE:   No Menu or Desktop Entry for Adobe Digital Editions?

    If there is no wine menu entry for Adobe Digital Editions, then logout and login.

  3. Click Authorize Device to authorize ADE on your Kobo eReader.
    ADE Device Setup Assistant window

    TIP:   How to Deauthorize ADE on your Kobo eReader?

    If you ever need to deauthorize ADE on your Kobo eReader, the key combination in ADE is Ctrl+Shift+E. This will bring up a dialog asking if you wish to deauthorize your Kobo eReader.

  4. Click Finished. ADE authorize device finished
  5. Your Kobo eReader is now authorized.
    ADE main window with Kobo eReader connected

Download Library Book and Transfer to Kobo eReader

Update 2016-11-30: Libraries which use to provide eBook lending services appear to no longer work with ADE 1.7.2. A newer version of ADE does work. See How to Setup Adobe Digital Editions 3.0.1 with Kobo eReader on Linux.

  1. Download Protected eBook (.ascm file).

    Login to your local library, select an eBook in .epub format, then download and save the .ascm file.

  2. Copy the .acsm file to ADE.

    Open a file manager and drag the .acsm file and drop it into the right-hand pane of the Adobe Digital Editions window.

    In this screen shot the file is named URLLink.acsm and stored by default in the ~/Downloads directory.

    KDE desktop with ADE and a file manager containing an ebook

  3. The eBook will download to your computer and display in ADE.

    Note that the eBook is not yet on your Kobo eReader.
    ADE with ebook displayed
  4. Click on the Library View icon in the upper left-hand corner of the ADE window.

    If All Items is not selected, then click on All Items.
    ADE library view with all items entry selected
  5. Click on the eBook icon in the right-hand pane and drag it and drop it on Kobo eReader.

    This will copy the eBook to your Kobo eReader.

  6. Close ADE and safely disconnect Kobo eReader.

    Close ADE, safely unmount your Kobo eReader using the file manager, and disconnect your eReader.

    You are now ready to enjoy reading your new library book on your Kobo eReader. :-)

TIP:   .acsm file association Broken or Missing?

A default installation of Adobe Digital Editions should set up a file association to handle the .acsm file type. When working properly the .acsm file association enables double-clicking on a .acsm file in a file manager which causes ADE to start up and load the eBook.

Following is how I accessed this .acsm file association information in KDE. Hopefully this will help those whose .acsm file association is either missing or broken.

In KDE start K -> Settings -> System Settings.
Under Common Appearance and Behavior double-click File Associations.
Enter .acsm as the file association.

If no .acsm association is listed, then you will need to create it.

On my computer .acsm is already set up so the following is information on my .acsm file association settings.

Under Known Types expand application and click on vnd.adobe.adept+xml.
Under Application Preference Order click on Adobe Digital Editions.
Click Edit and you should have the following property settings:

Note that {your-userid} has been used as a placeholder to represent your actual userid, similarly with {your-groupid}.

On General tab:

   Icon:         a picture of an open book
   Beside icon:  wine-extension-acsm

On Permissions tab:

   Owner:          Can Read & Write
   Group:          Can Read & Write
   Others:         Can Read
   Is executable: disabled
     User:  {your-userid}
     Group: {your-groupid}

On Application tab:

   Name:          Adobe Digital Editions
   Description:  <empty>
   Comment:      <empty>
   Command:      env WINEPREFIX="/home/{your-userid}/.wine" wine start /ProgIDOpen Adobe.ACSMessage %f
   Work path:    <empty>
   Supported file types
     Mimetype:     application/vnd.adobe.adept+xml
     Description:  Adobe Content Server Message

On Information tab:

  Type:        desktop configuration file
  Size:        249 B
  Characters: 241

On Preview tab this should result something similar to the following:

[Desktop Entry]
Name=Adobe Digital Editions
Exec=env WINEPREFIX="/home/{your-userid}/.wine" wine start /ProgIDOpen Adobe.ACSMessage %f

Thanks for this tip goes to Andrew Majosi. Thanks Andrew. :-)

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