Sunday, 21 June 2015

Fedora 22

Fedora is my preferred operating system for my workstation at work and for my desktop computer at home. When a new version of Fedora comes out, I have a strong preference to upgrade my existing installations rather than re-installing them. I’ve been doing this consistently and successfully since Fedora 10, so when I upgraded to Fedora 22 a couple of weeks ago, it was the twelfth successive upgrade that these machines have had.

Unfortunately, it was a rough ride this time. Neither upgrade went smoothly and I had to do considerably manual clean-up afterwards. And there’s still stuff that either isn’t working or is somehow eccentric on both machines.

BUT on the upside, I’ve just discovered that two Windows applications that I’ve long really wanted to get working on WINE under Fedora are now working: namely Adobe Digital Editions, and iTunes! Up to now, I’ve been running these in a Windows virtual machine with VirtualBox. Now, each is working in its own WINE bottle. Here's how I set them up (installers previously downloaded to ~/Downloads):

$ wget
$ chmod +x winetricks 
$ WINEPREFIX=~/.wine.ade WINEARCH='win32' wine 'wineboot'  
$ export WINEPREFIX=~/.wine.ade
$ ./winetricks -q msxml3 corefonts dotnet20
$ ./winetricks -q dotnet40
$ wine ~/Downloads/ADE_4.0_Installer.exe 
$ WINEPREFIX=~/.wine.itunes WINEARCH='win32' wine 'wineboot'
$ export WINEPREFIX=~/.wine.itunes
$ ./winetricks -q gdiplus
$ wine ~/Downloads/iTunesSetup_11_04_32-bit.exe

The WINE version presently on my system is wine-1.7.44-1.fc22.x86_64.

Note that in both cases, I went for the 32-bit versions of the apps. I was also a bit conservative with iTunes and went for a slightly older version (the most recent one that anyone had anything nice to say about on the WINE database).

After that, it was just a case of authorising these instances just the same way as you would on Windows or OSX.

As far as I can tell, Adobe Digital Editions is working absolutely perfectly.

I haven’t tested all iTunes functionality, but I can confirm that the main reason I wanted it (to sync upwards and downwards with the iCloud and iTunes Match) is working: I’ve successfully synced music in both directions now. It also plays music fine; actually, it's working better than my usual music player (Amarok) is at the moment! To my great surprise, even video playback is working. So far, the only thing that’s not is the iTunes store. Clicking on that crashes iTunes immediately. This is no big deal for me, since I’ve been doing my music purchases on my phone for many years now (since it’s also my primary music playback device). Update: I also tested whether iTunes could sync to my phone via USB. It can’t. So if this functionality is important to you, you need more experimentation. When iTunes launches, it displays an error message saying that it can’t read CDs, but this isn’t true: it reads and rips CDs just fine.

It’s a great feeling to be rid of the two biggest reasons I needed a Windows virtual machine on my system!

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