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Old 01-24-2009, 06:11 PM   #1
chlorine
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Linux support?

Hello all,

I'm new to this site and finding lots of really useful informations!

However, there's one thing I haven't figured out (apologies if this is documented somewhere): I'm really considering buying an ebook reader using electronic ink, but I'm a linux user and I can't understand which readers work with a linux computer.

As far as I understand, many readers are recognized as usb storage devices when connected to a linux computer, which is fine by me. However, it seems to me that some readers won't be able to read a drm'ed book installed in such a way on the reader.
Does anybody have information on which reader I would be able to use? (By the way I live in France so that restricts the list of readers available to me)
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Old 01-24-2009, 06:13 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chlorine View Post
As far as I understand, many readers are recognized as usb storage devices when connected to a linux computer, which is fine by me. However, it seems to me that some readers won't be able to read a drm'ed book installed in such a way on the reader.
The short answer to this is buy a device which support Mobipocket format/DRM. Which means avoid Sony.

The long answer is, there are ways to remove the Mobipocket DRM and convert the ebook to a format Sony can read. These things run fine on Linux.

BOb

Last edited by pilotbob; 01-24-2009 at 07:34 PM.
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Old 01-24-2009, 07:15 PM   #3
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There is currently no DRMed ebook reading software for Desktop Linux. This matters because with the DRM from Adobe and MicroSoft you need a desktop "reader" to download the ebooks.

So your best bet, as pilotbob says, is to buy MobiPocket ebooks because they can be bought using any web browser. This does not necessarily limit you to a MOBI compatible EInk device, because MOBI DRM can be stripped, but there are several to choose from with MOBI support (Cybook, Hanlin, iLiad).

If you would like your Desktop PC to manage your ebooks, then Calibre will do this and it works on all Desktop OSs.
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Old 01-25-2009, 11:45 AM   #4
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I use a mac (And linux). I installed Calibre and some various python scripts such as ereader2html.py. Now I just purchase from Fictionwise in Ereader format and convert to HTML then calibre converts HTML to epub for reading on the device.

I do have a windows machine I keep the Sony software on just in case the offer a free book or two, but haven't used it in a long while.
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Old 01-25-2009, 02:02 PM   #5
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Thank you for these very useful answers.

One (last, I hope) question, if you can bear with me: I understand that if I'm willing to remove the drm from commercial ebooks I can do this for the mobipocket and ereader formats, and then read these books on any reading device (after converting).
Is this also true for, for instance, the epub format used by the sony devices? If not then it looks like mobipocket will be one of my main sources for ebooks, whichever devide I buy, so I'd better buy a device that natively supports it (the choice of a device supporting mobipocket is easy for me, since the Hanlin seems not to be sold in France and the Iliad/Digital reader are too large and too expensive for my purpose, this leaves me with the Cybook).
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Old 01-25-2009, 02:51 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chlorine View Post
One (last, I hope) question, if you can bear with me: I understand that if I'm willing to remove the drm from commercial ebooks I can do this for the mobipocket and ereader formats, and then read these books on any reading device (after converting).
Is this also true for, for instance, the epub format used by the sony devices?
A DRM-free ePub can be converted to MOBI (with the loss of some advanced formatting features) by Calibre. However, the DRM can't currently be stripped from Secure Adobe ePubs (and most ePubs you buy have DRM).

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(the choice of a device supporting mobipocket is easy for me, since the Hanlin seems not to be sold in France and the Iliad/Digital reader are too large and too expensive for my purpose, this leaves me with the Cybook).
The Cybook is a good choice, but you should be able to buy a BeBook (Hanlin V3) from France. The Cybook probably has better MOBI support than the BeBook, but the latter supports many more formats natively and can also run the Open Source OpenInkPot firmware (only DRM-free formats, but a hackable Linux-based project). OpenInkPot may eventually also be available for the Cybook.

See EZ Reader: Initial Impression for my review of the Hanlin V3.
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Old 01-26-2009, 01:52 PM   #7
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Thanks for your answer, wallcraft. I'll go for a device supporting mobipocket then.

The Hanlin indeed looks interesting, thanks for pointing out that it can be bought in France. However I think I'll still go for the Cybook, for two reasons. First, it looks like I would have to buy the Hanlin from overseas, and this worries me in case I have to apply the warranty.
And then, I think dictionary support is important for me (though it's hard to tell since this would be my first reader). It turns out that I bought recently an awesome english dictionary in mobipocket format, and I'd really like to be able to use it with my reader!

Thanks again everybody for the clear answers!
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Old 01-26-2009, 01:56 PM   #8
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Dictionary support on the CyBook works very well. I think you're making a good choice.
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