Installing Kindle on debian testing under wine

finally managed to get this working. I think things are complicated when target machine is 64 bit. I really was keen to get this running on my netbook, and Acer Aspire One.

The steps are a bit scrappy and gleaned from various blogs, but, basically what I did was:

Follow the steps in this blog to get wine installed on Debian Testing. i.e. (as root):

ARCH=`uname -m | sed -e s/x86_64/amd64/ -e s/i.86/i386/`
wget -r -A "*_$ARCH.deb"
sudo dpkg -i*.deb

then hop over to this blog, and follow most of the steps in that. Don’t need to install wine as we’ve already got that now, in theory, but cabextract definitely handy.

actually, thinking about it, the only steps I ended up using were these:

sh winetricks corefonts

I was getting closer all the time but still it crashed. Until I found this tip on the wineHQ website:

To work around the msvcp90 bugs, delete or rename ­this file:


Note that Wine will recreate that file every time you upgrade. To avoid this, make the directory read-only.

and now it works.

Full Circle

It feels like I’ve gone full circle. I started, some time ago, with slackware, installed from a couple of floppies. Then Redhat, Suse, Mandrake and Ubuntu. I’m sure there were others. But in and out of the distros there was always debian. I like Ubuntu but then after one particular upgrade I discovered that, overnight, the desktop had morphed into something gruesome. I could’ve tinkered and regressed. Instead I moved to Linux Mint. Then to Linux Mint Debian. And the LMDE chair was very comfy.

But recently I wanted to install Linux on a couple of clapped out old headless servers. They don’t have USB ports, at least, not bootable ones. They have floppy drives, and space-age CDROM drives. But LMDE is only available on DVDs. I’m sure there are ways of getting LMDE on a CDROM and doing a network install but I really can’t be arsed finding out. Why bother when I can just install debian?

So I installed Debian, and saw that it was good. Really easy. Then I installed it on another Clapped out PC, and that was easy too. Then I installed it on a laptop, and that wasn’t quite so easy. But still easy enough to be worth the effort. It is suggesting I use some abomination that calls itself Gnome 3 but I found it just as happy to use Xfce4 instead. It’s now being installed on an Acer Aspire One 753, and that is not without its problems. But not big problems. And I’ll have debian. It’s like putting on a big comfy pair of slippers.

Wireless not enabled automatically on Acer Aspire One

The first problem, or niggle really, is the wireless. When I boot the netbook wireless is not enabled automatically. It’s a simple matter to right-click the network manager applet and select Enable Wireless, then everything seems fine. Just annoying.

So of the the University of Google to find who else shares my pain. Before long I discover that this might be an Acer thing (none of my other PCs have this problem). Like many problems there’s often lots written and complex solutions. I don’t want complicated solutions, I just want the loose-wire solution. Press a button and it’s all lovely.

Sure enough, a post on the Linux Mint forums described exactly what I’m experiencing. There’s another forum post that describes one fix, but I ended up following the hints described in this thread.

Sometimes I like to understand what’s going on under the bonnet, sometimes I try and understand what’s going on, and sometimes I just copy and paste. Like so …

dougie@barra ~ $ rfkill list all
0: acer-wireless: Wireless LAN
    Soft blocked: yes
    Hard blocked: no
1: phy0: Wireless LAN
    Soft blocked: no
    Hard blocked: no
dougie@barra ~ $

and …

dougie@barra ~ $ sudo rmmod -f acer-wmi
dougie@barra ~ $ sudo rfkill unblock all
dougie@barra ~ $ rfkill list all
1: phy0: Wireless LAN
    Soft blocked: no
    Hard blocked: no
dougie@barra ~ $

As soon as I ran the rmmod line the wireless suddenly sprang into life.

The next trick is to get this to happen automatically on boot, which is pretty straightforwards. Just add the lines to the end of /etc/rc.local as explained in post 12 of this thread.

a Mint new Acer Aspire One 753

It was a last minute decision to go for a netbook instead of a laptop. The netbook has always appealed, its portability, its battery life. Trouble is, they’ve always seemed a bit rubbish. It was Mr Amazon doing his (“I see you’ve been looking at this, are you sure you don’t want that?) routine that made me suddenly consider going for the Acer Aspire One 753.

It was over a nice pint (pl. pints.) of Landlord at the last Nelug meeting that Richard assured me I’d be able to dual-boot Windows 7 with Linux Mint on this netbook. The bar was closing and the landlord decided that the netbook was the right decision and the clicky clicky thing was done.

So how do you dual boot Linux Mint with Windows 7 on a netbook? I hadn’t really thought this through. I was apprehensive because the netbook arrived with negligible documentation. There’s no CD/DVD, because there’s no CD drive. So what happens if you need to re-install/recover Windows 7? Dunno. Presumably there’s a mystery recovery partition on the hard-drive that is available via an inscrutable key-press on boot. Let’s hope I don’t nuke it trying to set-up a dual-boot Linux install.

So how do you install Linux Mint alongside Windows 7 on an Acer Aspire One 753? Turns out it’s pretty easy. I checked out a lot of websites but in the end the answer was pretty simple. There’s probably a few ways of doing it but I followed a post on the Linux Mint forums that pointed to Unetbootin, an inscrutable acronym that has netboot, usb and, er, me, or you, in there somewhere. It was an absolute breeze. I ran the executable on a Windows7 PC, shoved in a USB drive, and it did stuff. And then I had a bootable Linux USB drive that I put into the Netbook. Booting Linux Mint from that offered me the option of shrinking my Windows7 installation to make space for a side-by-side Linux install.

That was the scary bit. Watching my Windows being shrunk. Or not watching, as clicking on Continue (or whatever the button was), resulted in a Zero Feedback Situation. What the hell was it doing? Anything? No spinning egg-timers? No progress reports? It was all good though, even the slightly worrying disk-check that Windows7 was kinda keen on doing on reboot as it sensed something was up, and its domain over the netbook had been weakened.

So right now I have Windows7 and Linux Mint 10 dual-booting on the Acer Aspire One 753, and dead easy it was too.

There are a few niggles, that will need sorted in the days ahead. There’s the usual repository shenanigans that seems to go hand in hand with Linux Mint that seems to come and go and I’ve stopped worrying about. This sort of stuff …

Something wicked happened resolving '' (-5 - No address associated with hostname)
93% [Connecting to] [Connecting to]93% [Waiting for headers] [Connecting to] [Connecting to 

and this … maverick Release.gpg
  Something wicked happened resolving '' (-5 - No address associated with hostname)
99% [Connecting to] [Connecting to]                                                                                Ign

This sort of stuff seems to come and go. I get it on my other machines and the less I try to fix it and the more I try to ignore it in the hope that it will go away, the more it usually does.

There’s still a long way to go to get things the way I want but so far so good.

Next task is to figure out why it always boots up with wireless disabled. Windows 7 has it enabled by default.