Ebook reading software on Linux

Since Amazon aren’t releasing a version of their Kindle software that runs natively on Linux, unfortunately we’re stuck with running the Windows version through Wine. Version 1.5.0 wouldn’t install or run properly on Ubuntu 10.10, but it does run on Ubuntu 11.04 using Wine 1.3; you may not want to upgrade it to a newer version in case Amazon break it again.

Much worse was getting the Adobe DRM-ed ‘Digital Editions’ ebook software to run on Linux, as not only do they not want to let you download the DRM-ed books if you’re not using a Mac or a Windows PC, but they also don’t want to let you download the software (‘Sorry, but your system does not meet the minimum system requirements’); once it’s installed it seems to work fine, but they do their best to prevent you from installing it.

Fortunately after all of that they give you a backdoor route to download it which doesn’t try to prevent you because you’re running Linux:

Can’t install Digital Editions

Not that I actually want to do so because it’s probably the worst ebook reading software I’ve used, but if you happen to run into DRM-ed ebooks and need to read them legally then it’s the only option.

Of course this is one of the reasons why DRM is evil and why I would never knowingly buy or sell an ebook which is crippled in that way. While DRM-free ebooks can be used with any software the reader chooses which supports that format, DRM by its nature requires restricting people to a limited subset of software and if it’s not available on your platform, well, sucks to be you.


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