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Monday, February 15, 2010

Spill the Wine install IrfanView in Debian

Sure I've tried Wine before. But never successfully.

I took the plunge recently, forking over $20 for the Bordeaux GUI front-end for Wine, the non-emulator that allows users of Linux (and Solaris and FreeBSD) to run Windows applications on their Unix-like computers.

I decided to use Bordeaux because its developers (or developer singular ... I'm not sure) promised that IrfanView 4.25 would run with it.

And I saw plenty of Wine users have trouble with Irfanview. Codeweavers, who I'd rather deal with than Bordeaux, doesn't make any promises in regard to Irfanview. Bordeaux does.

Why Irfanview? It's the best photo editor on any platform for my particular workflow at the L.A. Daily News. It's quick, batches well and lets me get to every part of the IPTC metadata I need to edit.

So getting it in Linux — in my case Debian Lenny — is a huge win.

I had problems but by sheer luck (Bordeaux's lack of documentation is astounding for something I paid actual money for) I was easily able to install Bordeaux and then use it to install IrfanView. It's almost too easy.

Getting the IrfanView plugins installed was another matter.

After the Bordeaux install, none of the Wine tools worked — either from the Bordeaux GUI or on the Linux command line.

I don't know how I thought of this (it's a bit above my FOSS geek-level pay grade), but I came up with the idea that I should install Debian's Wine packages over those installed by Bordeaux.

That did it. I could now use Bordeaux's tools to "run" Wine and all of its utilities. I was then able to install the IrfanView plugins from the .exe file I had previously downloaded from the IrfanView site.

I even found a PNG logo for IrfanView with which I added the app to my upper GNOME panel. (And yes, I'll be sending some cash along to IrfanView developer Irfan Skiljan very soon.)

What's the takeaway?

If you're running Debian Lenny, first install Bordeaux, then use Synaptic (or your favorite package-managing tool) to install Debian's own Wine package and dependencies.

I have a feeling that the Wine included in Bordeaux 2.0.0, which is Wine 1.1.36, doesn't work perfectly (or all that well) in Debian Lenny because it's too "new."

Lenny installs Wine 1.0.1-1. Thus far, I can say that with the Lenny Wine, everything works like it's supposed to.

I don't really have any other Windows apps I'm dying to run. Bordeaux offers easy GUI installs of the IE 6 and 7 browsers, a bunch of MS Office programs as well as a few versions of Photoshop up to CS2, I think (I imagine you need either a bona fide Photoshop disc or a product code) as well as the Steam gaming engine (barely know what that is, to tell you the truth). I really don't need any of that stuff.

But having IrfanView in Debian is a huge, huge win for my personal workflow.

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