Scrivener on Linux: native Linux version vs Windows version under Wine

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Pablo Novel
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Platform: Linux + Windows

Tue Feb 18, 2020 12:57 am Post

Hello everybody,

I have been interested in Scrivener for quite a while now. Since I don't use a Mac I wonder which would be the best option for me to start using Scrivener. Basically there are three options:
  1. Scrivener on Linux with native Linux version of Scivener
  2. Scrivener on Linux with Windows version of Scivener under Wine
  3. Scrivener on Windows

Point 3 does not strictly belong into this sub forum but is still an important option.

For the Scrivener users who have experience with all of these three variations: What would you recommend?

At first my plan was to use the Windows version on Windows. Thats straight forward unless I decide to buy a mac just for using Scrivener. But Windows 7 which was quite an accetable Windows OS is not supported anymore (well, I admit to still using it) and it is strongly recommended to change to Windows 10 which seems to be a pest in many aspects. So probably I'm not the only one who is thinking about using a Linux system. I do use it on a notebook so I know that it works quite well and fast.

For the Scrivener users who know only two or one off the options: what is your experience? What would you recommend?

I have been sticking to OpenSUSE Linux for a longer time - are there any issues together with Scrivener?
If yes, which Linux distribution would you recommend?

Regarding the native Linux version of scrivener: is it still being developed? How are its functions and abilities compared to the Windows- and the Mac- Version?

Thank you very much for help in advance!

Yours

Pablo

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devinganger
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Tue Feb 18, 2020 1:09 am Post

You need to do some more reading on the forums here. The native Linux version was discontinued a while ago. In order to use a modern version of Scrivener on Linux, you will need to use Wine.
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Devin L. Ganger, WA7DLG
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theswede
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Wed Feb 19, 2020 12:29 am Post

Pablo Novel wrote:For the Scrivener users who have experience with all of these three variations: What would you recommend?


I run Scrivener on Linux, both natively and under Wine, and used to run it on Windows and iOS. A long time ago I also ran it on Mac, but I no longer have a Mac.

My recommendation is... examine your use case first, and think about what you want to do with Scrivener. All three are viable options, in their own way, but they all have strengths and weaknesses.

I would say, if you run Scrivener on a Windows (or iOS, or Mac) system and want to interact with it on your Linux install (open projects shared over Dropbox or the like, for example), your only real choice on Linux is to run under Wine. That is not difficult, there are some prerequisites, but that is all very well documented in the forums here.

If you only want to run it on one machine, and have no plans to move files to other machines running other OS'es than Linux, you can pretty much take your pick. Trying out the AppImage is free and easy, and so is testing out the latest Scrivener 3 beta. You can try before you decide, and see which suits you better.

I have been sticking to OpenSUSE Linux for a longer time - are there any issues together with Scrivener?
If yes, which Linux distribution would you recommend?


For Wine, it doesn't much matter which distro you use. Just get a recent version of Wine and you're set. For the native Linux version, if you get the AppImage, it should run fine on pretty much any distro as well (although I doubt it works with musl - if you don't know what that means, you don't have to worry).

Regarding the native Linux version of scrivener: is it still being developed? How are its functions and abilities compared to the Windows- and the Mac- Version?


The native Linux version has not been developed for years now. It remains functional, and is just as good as Scrivener was a couple of years ago. I use it daily, in the form of the AppImage (the original installers are too old to install directly on a modern system), and it lets me do all I need to do - except save or open Scrivener projects which are compatible with Scrivener for iOS. It is also very light weight at under 65 megabytes. There are some bugs, but nothing of substance in the core functionality.

I have moved to pretty much exclusively use the native Linux version, due to the rather astonishing bloat of the Windows version. It just doesn't fit on my main travel writing system, a Chromebook converted to Linux. That means not having iOS compatibility, which hurts, but not having the Chromebook hurts more. Not being able to interoperate with Windows matters much less to me. That was only for the work computer, and documents I write there do not have to be opened on my personal systems. But that is my choice, based on my requirements. Writing tools are very personal things.

Welcome to the world of Scrivener!
Jesper Anderson SA5NEO
Computer scientist. Software engineer. Scifi writer. Scuba diver.

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KutWrite
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Fri Mar 20, 2020 11:35 pm Post

I had been running the native "beta" Linux version under Ubuntu/Cinnamon Mint 18.3. When I upgraded to Mint 19.3, Scrivener stopped working because it was looking for an older version of a library that had been upgraded.

I had run Scrivener with Ubuntu using PlayOnLinux & Wine, but didn't want to use PlayOnLinux again due to complications. It stopped letting me register when Scrivener changed verification companies. They now use a company called "Paddle," and believe me, I've been "paddled" since then!

So, this time I simply installed the latest Wine (using the Terminal - newer version than the installer). It worked fine, until... you guessed it... registration. The error code says it can't find the server (for Paddle). The "days left" counter keeps counting down, so I might lose the ability to use Scrivener. There are a couple of equivalent apps, but I'm hoping I/we can get this working.

Chitra at L & L support was nice, but they don't support LInux, blah blah blah. She directed me here.

She did suggest upgrading to dotNet 4.6.2, which I did (using Winetricks - there are forums telling how to do it). It mattered not. Chitra also quoted a forum poster from somewhere who used Wine 4.11 (older version). That didn't help either.

So, I'm now here looking for a way to be able to run Scrivener on the latest Cinnamon 19.3 and Wine. I thought I'd share this, maybe save someone a few steps.

I may reinstall Wine under a 32-bit rather than 64-bit Windows. The error message suggests Wine prefers that.

Good luck to all of us. My novel is almost done - I don't want to switch software mid-book!

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xiamenese
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Sat Mar 21, 2020 9:36 am Post

I have just installed Beta 42—no sooner had I done so than Beta 43 was announced!—on my Mac using Crossover 19. Crossover is available for Linux. Yes, it’s about $40 a year, but in my experience it works well.

Mark
The Scrivenato sometimes known as Mr X.
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MBP17" (late 2011) 10.13.6, 16GB RAM, 2TB SSID
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Scrivener, Scapple, Nisus Writer Pro, Bookends …