Using Adobe Digital Editions under Linux

A while ago Markus convinced me to finally get an e-book reader for traveling. And for a while I obsessed about getting epub files for it.

One of my sources was the City of Sydney library which provides epubs for downloads for certain periods of time. To ensure that books expire after the rental period, they use Adobe DRM or .acsm files (Adobe Content Server Message File).

To open one of those .acsm files you need to have Adobe Digital Editions installed on your pc or laptop. That in itself would not be such a big deal, if they would also provide a Linux version of the app. Not wanting to switch OS every time I borrow a book, I searched for options on how to open .acsm files under Linux.

Here is one solution that works for me know:

  • Install wine and mono (if you don’t already have it)
  • Find a version of the ADE 1.7.2 installer. You will need to google for it. This is the only version that seems to work under wine (or at least the only one I could get to work).
  • Install ADE using wine: wine ADE_1.7_Installer.exe
  • Run ADE (from installation dir): wine digitaleditions.exe
  • Then download the .acsm file
  • Drag it from a file browser into the open ADE window. This should trigger the download of the epub file.
  • Find the epub file in something like .wine/drive_c/windows/profiles/USER/Documents/My Digital Editions/

Now you can upload the epub file into your e-reader. It will keep the DRM in the process and expire loaned books from the library after the specified loan period.