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

Summary

This tutorial describes how to set up wine on GNU/Linux so you can install and use Windows applications with your Kobo eReader, Kobo Touch, Kobo Mini, Kobo Glo, or Kobo Aura HD.

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 or GNU/Linux distributions.

Contents

Install Wine

In the following steps we will install the wine application.

Wine is a free software application that enables Windows applications to run on GNU/Linux. The name wine is a recursive acronym for Wine Is Not an Emulator.

  1. Ensure your Kobo eReader is not plugged in to your computer.

    If you Kobo eReader is plugged in, then be sure to unmount or eject your Kobo eReader before unplugging the USB cable.
    If you are unsure how to do this then the safest way is to:
      Shutdown your computer,
      Unplug your Kobo eReader, and
      Start up your computer again.

  2. 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


  3. Start the wine install.

    In Debian and Kubuntu/Xubuntu/Ubuntu, start the wine installation by entering the following command:
        sudo apt-get install wine
        
    Provide your password when prompted, and enter "y" if prompted if you wish to proceed.

    TIP:   Install commands for other distributions

    For Fedora, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and CentOS use:

    su -c yum install wine

    For openSuse, and Suse Enterprise Linux use:

    sudo zypper install wine

    Wine install command in terminal window
  4. If prompted, acknowledge the End-User License Agreement (EULA).

    At the prompt use the Tab key to highlight <Ok> and press the Enter key.
    Prompt to acknowledge the End-User License Agreement
         (EULA)
  5. If prompted, accept the EULA license terms.

    At the prompt use the Tab key to highlight <Yes> and press the Enter key.
    Prompt to accept EULA license

Wine should now be installed on your computer.

Setup Kobo eReader Wine Drive Letter

In order to use Windows applications with your Kobo eReader on Linux, we need to set up a permanent floppy drive letter mapping in wine.

  1. Ensure your Kobo eReader is not plugged in to your computer.

    It should be still be disconnected from step 1 above.   ;-)

  2. Start the Configure Wine application.

    In KDE, select the menu option: K --> Wine --> Configure Wine

    TIP:   Starting Configure Wine in other desktop environments

    You can often start Configure Wine using the following steps:

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


  3. Select the Drives tab of the Wine configuration window.

    Click on the Drives tab.
    Drives tab selected in the Wine configuration window
  4. Add a drive letter for your Kobo eReader.

    Click on the Add... button.

    NOTE:   Already have /media/KOBOeReader Drive Mapping?

    If you already have a /media/KOBOeReader or /media/your-user-name/KOBOeReader drive mapping then skip this and the next step to add a drive letter. Only one drive mapping is needed for your Kobo eReader.


  5. Accept the next available drive letter.

    Click the OK button.
    Drive letter D: shown in Select Drive Letter window
    In this example the drive letter D: has been selected and will be used in the subsequent step.

  6. Select the first drive letter to be mapped to the KOBO eReader. For example, drive letter D:.

    Click on D:.
    Drive D: settings shown in Wine configuration window
  7. Set the path for the drive mapping.

    Click in the Path: text entry box and enter the following text.

    /media/KOBOeReader

    Note that upper and lower case is important!

    NOTE:   Different Kobo eReader mount point

    Some GNU/Linux distributions use a different mount point for the Kobo eReader.

    For example Ubuntu 14.04 uses the following:

    /media/your-user-name/KOBOeReader

    Be sure to use your distro specific mount point in place of /media/KOBOeReader in these instructions.


  8. Display the advanced settings in the Wine configuration window.

    Click the Show Advanced button.

  9. Set the type to floppy disk.

    Click on the Type: drop down list and select Floppy disk.
    Path and advanced type shown in Wine configuration window
  10. Accept the Wine configuration settings.

    Click the OK button.

Your wine installation is now ready to be used for Windows applications with your Kobo eReader on GNU/Linux.   :-)

Kobo eReader Wine Notes

While creating this tutorial I discovered some interrelations between wine and my Kobo eReader that might be useful to you.

  • Wine stores items such as the registry and C: drive contents under your home folder in the ~/.wine directory.
  • Wine menu entries and icons are stored under your home directory in the ~/.local/share/applications/wine and ~/.local/share/icons subdirectories.
  • To use windows applications with your Kobo eReader, the eReader must first be connected to your computer and mounted at /media/KOBOeReader before you start the application.
    Note that many file managers will automatically mount the Kobo eReader if you click on the /media/KOBOeReader directory in the file manager.
  • When I have my Kobo eReader connected and then start up a wine application, a new drive letter is mapped to /media/KOBOeReader. This new drive letter will not work with Windows applications because it is not of type Floppy disk. This is why I documented above how to create a permanent drive mapping with type Floppy disk. This permanent drive mapping must be the first /media/KOBOeReader drive mapping.

Installing Windows Applications

Two Windows applications commonly used with Kobo eReaders are the Kobo Desktop to setup and update your eReader, and Adobe Digital Editions to handle protected content with your eReader.

Install Kobo Desktop

Very briefly the instructions to install the Kobo Desktop are:

Download and save the Kobo Desktop for Windows KoboSetup.exe file, open a terminal window, and enter the following command:

    wine ~/Downloads/KoboSetup.exe

Install Adobe Digital Editions

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

Very briefly the instructions to install ADE 1.7.2 are:

Download and save the digitaleditions.exe file for Windows from this link, open a terminal window, and enter the following command:

    wine ~/Downloads/digitaleditions.exe

NOTE:   Windows Application not recognizing USB connected Kobo eReader?

A common cause is that there are additional drive letters in Wine that are mapped to /media/KOBOeReader but are not set to Type: Floppy disk.

To correct this problem, start the Configure Wine application using steps similar to those in the Setup Kobo eReader Wine Drive Letter section. For each drive letter that is already mapped to /media/KOBOeReader, ensure that the advanced setting Type: is set to Floppy disk. Be sure to click the Apply button.

Note that you might also need to close and then restart the Windows Application (for example, Kobo Desktop or Adobe Digital Editions) for your changes to be recognized.

Future Kobo eReader Tutorials

For anyone seeking more in-depth instructions, in future tutorials I plan to cover the following topics:

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