Picasa for Linux

Google’s photo organizer, Picasa, makes it easy to find, edit, and share digital photos on your computer. Now you can harness the power of Picasa on your Linux machine. Linux release includes the same functionality as Picasa for Windows with the exception of just a few items.

So, how does it work? Picasa for Linux runs the current Windows version of Picasa using a carefully tested version of Wine, an open-source implementation of the Windows application-programming interface (API). Wine runs on top of the X Window System and Linux or Unix. But it’s not a Windows emulator; instead, it provides a Windows API middleware layer that enables Windows programs to run on Linux without the slowing effects of OS emulation or a virtual machine.

To allow Picasa to run well on Linux, Google made a few improvements to Wine. Some of the changes were Picasa-specific and simply added a bit of polish. (They probably won’t be of use to other applications, and may not be needed in future versions of Picasa, either.) None of the changes were proprietary to Google, and all have been contributed to the Wine project. The source for all the changes is available at http://code.google.com/wine.html.

System requirements:

  • Should work on any Linux system with Intel 386-compatible processor, glibc 2.3 or greater, and a working X11 display system. Optional: XVideo extension on your display driver (to view things full screen); having a newer kernel (>= 2.6.13) to get notified of file changes; having a new kernel and HAL to automatically detect new media insertion. Note: There are other variations — for example, setting screensavers and desktop backgrounds only works on certain Linux windowing environments.
  • Desktop Integration features require a current version of Gnome or KDE.
  • Camera detection and integration requires kernel >= 2.6.13, hal >= 0.56, and gnome-volume-manager or equivalent.

Languages: Available in US English. We hope to expand to more languages in a future release.

Install Picasa for Linux?

  1. Download the Picasa for Linux software. This will open the File Download screen.
  2. Install the downloaded package with your Linux distribution’s package manager. (We’ll show you how after the download starts.)
  3. Start Picasa by looking in your Linux distribution’s Graphics menu or, in some configurations, on your Desktop.

When you start Picasa, it will scan your computer and begin to automatically find and sort the photos it finds into folders, organized by name and date taken. For more information on Picasa’s features, please visit http://picasa.google.com

Installed it. Now how do I start it? On most Linux systems, you’ll see a Picasa menu entry in your menu; it will be under either ”Photography” or “Graphics.”

Picasa primarily supports the Free Desktop menu standards (see http://www.freedesktop.org); Linux environments that don’t support those standards won’t operate properly.

You can also always run Picasa from a command-line window. If you install as the root user (e.g. using a .rpm or .deb file), the command to type is picasa, /usr/bin/picasa, or /opt/picasa/bin/picasa, depending on how verbose you’re feeling at the moment.

If you install using the .bin file as a regular user, then the command will be:

These are default locations. The install target can be changed at installation time. However, the .deb or .rpm packages do not support installing to other locations.

If you use an unusual desktop environment, you’re welcome to place the Picasa menu link in your environment. A XDG compliant DESKTOP file along with an .xpm file with the icon are located in “picasa/desktop”.

Will Picasa support my camera?

Probably; see the list below. However, your system has to be fairly modern in order for Picasa to find it. You’ll need kernel >= 2.6.13, hal >= version 0.5.6 (and a running hald), and you’ll need to have the equivalent of gnome-volume-manager running (that is automatic in modern versions of Gnome and KDE).

If you leave the Picasa Media Detector running, when you plug in your camera, Picasa should automatically pop up and help you import the pictures. If you don’t, you should be able to start Picasa and select ‘Import’, and pick your camera from the list.

Below is a list of the cameras which have been tested. Since Wine is using the gphoto library, all the cameras listed on http://www.gphoto.org/proj/libgphoto2/support.php should behave the same way.

Passed the tests:

Canon 1D mk 2
Canon EOS 10D
Canon EOS 20D
Canon Powershot A520
Canon Powershot A70 and A80
Casio Exilim EX-Z40
FujiFil FinePix 1400Z
FujiFilm FinePix S7000
HP photoSmart 318
HP Photosmart R717
Kodak DX3900
Konica Dimage x31
Minolta Dimage S404
Nikon Coolpix 3100
Nikon Coolpix P2
Olympus C-700
Olympus FE-100
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LC20
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ3
Pentax Optio w3
Sony Cybershot DSC-S600
Sony DSC-P50
Toshiba PDR M70
Failed the tests:

AGFA ePhoto CL20
Toshiba PDR-M21

Picasa for Linux

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About Amol

I'm blogger, avid read, photographer and book lover. Reading a lot of good stuff and sharing it with the world are my passions.
This entry was posted in Google, Linux, Tricks and Tips. and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Picasa for Linux

  1. Tim says:

    Hey Amoal
    I was waiting for this picassa to be ported on linux. Thanks for this info now I am using picasa on Linux and living happily with it.
    Now I am complete Linux User.

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