Thread: Touch Kobo with Linux
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Old 07-27-2011, 05:43 PM   #9
cutterjohn42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pistos View Post
Hi. I haven't gotten a Kobo Touch yet, but will be very soon (tomorrow). I am primarily a Linux user, and would like to know in what ways the Kobo device and Kobo software can be used with Linux. I have Windows available, but would like to use that only as a last resort.

I understand that you can move generic ePubs and PDFs and such to the KT by treating the KT as a generic USB Mass Storage device (please correct me if I heard wrong on that). Not to mention using the SD card to transfer things to and from the KT.

Is the desktop software required for purchased/DRMed books? Can the desktop software be run via Wine? (I tried to install it, and it gave an error about USB) Is the Linux desktop client runnable under non-Debian distros (in my case, Gentoo)? I've been able to install Adobe Digital Editions with Wine.

Can the firmware be upgraded without the desktop software?

Anything else I need to know about what can and can't be done with Kobo and Linux?
There's an officially unofficial linux version of the desktop app that gets updated every so often by a Kobo employee... You'll need it for the first update as I think that they ship with the very first 1.9 fw which AFAIK REQUIRED the app to update as wifi updates didn't work on that.

Yep, you can try to use it as a USB mass storage, I haven't tried with the Touch yet since it was borked with the Kobo WiFi which trained me to pull the SD card(well uSD in SD adapter, Touch uses uSD natively) and manually copy with my notebook's card reader.

...but the Touch ships with a basic web browser so you can use it to directly download epubs, etc. (supported formats by the Touch basically from what I understand) directly from a web page. Personally I load them into Calibre and then just turn on it's content sharing feature. The drawback is that there's no download progress indication so I just guess that if the cover shows up in my "home" screen that the dl is done. (Important to me as I generally run mine in airplane mode to conserve battery, and so want to turn on airplane mode as soon as it's finished downloading my book(s). Oddly the Kobo WiFi lacked a browser but had the Kobo store "app" which I'm sure was just a browser hard coded to go to their store.)

As to epub & DRM, yep and unprotected epub/pdf will be openable. Adobe DRM will open, but I think that you have to install those with their Adobe overdrive app thing which I've never tried under linux + wine(have no idea if they have a linux version either).

Kobo also has it's own epub DRM variant(opens in a different ereader app that currently has a few extra features v. the one used for Adobe DRM/unlocked epubs.). You can directly shop their Kobo store online through their "store" "app"(probably just the browser pushed to the store URL). Not sure if it directly download new purchases from there or not as the books that I've bought I just used a browser on my notebook. Anyways they'll still load onto the Touch when you "synch" it... I think that if you go to your account/library through a normal computer browser that you can control what gets sent at synchs etc. but I've never really looked as I don't have enough yet to care...

Back to the linux desktop app, isn't there something like alien which could translate a .deb to whatever that packaging format that Gentoo uses for binaries is? I got use to alien when I ran Yellow Dog Linux(PowerPC), it was RPM based and missed ALOT of packages most of which I could only find as .debs when I was lazy and didn't want to do the whole source compile from scratch.

[EDIT]
Oh, and BTW my experience with eInk and PDFs hasn't been all that great with complex PDFs... I'd take a sample to a store(on a uSD card, put the PDF in it's top level("root") directory) and see if you can get them to let you try it on one. If it's REALLY important to you to have good PDF you might want an Android(or other) LCD screen tablet...
[/EDIT]

Last edited by cutterjohn42; 07-27-2011 at 05:50 PM.
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