Windows Picasa in Linux

With the recent upgrade of my main computer from Slackware 11 to Slackware 12, I have also tried to update as much individual software as I can. I was pleased to see that Google had released a newer version of Google Earth in May of this year. But was equally disappointed to find out that the 2 year old version of Picasa I had been using was the same. I was really wanting to try out the new Picasa Web Albums.

Picasa up and runningWhile I enjoy using Picasa in Linux, it is not a native Linux application. It is kluged into Linux via Wine. This got me to thinking that I might be able to install Wine and get a recent Windows version of Picasa up and running. The only thing that concerned me was that I remember there was talk that the Wine install that Google built for its software was very modified and a standard install of Wine would probably not work.

I did some surfing around and found a nice tutorial on getting the current version of Picasa (2.7 build 28.3205,0) to play nicely with the current version of Wine (0.9.43).

This info is pulled off of a mailing list. The person who posted it said it was not original to him, but he did not know where he got it. If you know the original source of this, let me know. I will gladly give credit.

Let me step you through each part of the process. These steps were originally written for Ubuntu. I will leave them intact and comment under the steps if there are any changes.

The steps with commentary

1. I installed Picasa as usual (v2.2 for linux)

I installed the original version of Picasa for Linux. This is a truly enjoyable experience since it installs (somewhat) like a Windows program. While I am a dyed in the wool Linux user, there needs to be a standard way to install software. Google has done a good job with the installers for Google Earth and Picasa.

2. I started it up and scanned some folder containing photos

Just let it do it’s thing. For me this took no time at all since I had previously had Picasa running on my system, it found all the configurations and photos.

3. Shut down picasa AND the media detector

The media detector is the little Picasa logo that sits in the tray by the clock (on KDE). Right click it to choose the option of shutting it down.

4. Installed wine (apt-get install wine)

If you are using Slackware, then don’t use apt-get. It does not work here. I grabbed the latest version of Wine for Slackware 12 (even though the site is in Italian, the package was English). Install the package just like you normally would any other Slackware software package. If you don’t know how, there are tutorials for that too.

As a side note, and something that was confusing to me, there was no Wine configuration that I needed to do. Just keep plugging through the steps and you will get there.

5. Downloaded picasa 2.5 for windows (wget

Again, this is a step in Ubuntu (and other Debian based systems). Just go download the Windows .exe file from Picasa.

6. Installed it using wine (wine picasaweb-current-setup.exe)

This is done from the command line. cd to the directory where you downloaded the picasaweb-current-setup.exe file and issue this command: wine picasaweb-current-setup.exe

7. When asked if I want to run Picasa, I did so, then I shut down picasa AND the media detector (if running)

This will happen after Wine gets through with the install. The media detector ran for just a second and found only a few pictures. I became concerned at this point thinking that I was going to have to start all over getting the new Picasa set up with my pictures. But that problem is taken care of in the following steps.

7. Moved the old picasa installation (as root):
cd /opt/picasa/wine/drive_c/Program Files
mv Picasa2 Picasa22

Why this is also step 7, I don’t know. You enter the lines under step 7 into your console as root. Each line is done separately. The first line gets you into the directory where Picasa is stored and the second line moves the whole install into a different directory (so you don’t lose it). I believe this is the original Picasa install, not the one you just installed.

8. While in the same dir i copied the new installed Picasa 2.5:
cp -R home/USERNAME/.wine/drive_c/Program Files/Picasa2/ .

Just run the line of code at your command prompt. You will need to substitute your username where it says USERNAME. That period on the end is important. Don’t leave that off or it won’t work.

8. Then it just worked… Good luck!
I had big troubles getting the start up logo disappearing, this is why some steps are kind of awkward.

That was exactly my experience. It worked! Except…Picasa showing a closeup

The fallout (however minor)

I was not able to start it from the newly created desktop shortcut. When I did that, it was like I was starting the new version, but with no photos (like after the first step 7 above). But going to the command line (or ALT+F2) and typing in “picasa” (without quotes) started the program just fine.

My only issue now is with getting connected to the Web Albums (the reason I wanted to upgrade to begin with). I am getting the “Failed to connect to server. Please try again later.” error. This can be caused by a few of different issues. I think mine is tied to the fact that I am outside the US and their only Web Albums server is a US one.

Let me write that up as a separate issue in a later post.

5 thoughts on “Windows Picasa in Linux”

  1. I followed your steps using kubuntu gusty, everything worked up to step 6. I merley pasted in what you have here. the install seemed to be going great to a point, then the whole system froze. I rebooted and ran picassa and now have the new version and can upload whole albums. YAY


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