Easily Install Picasa 3.9 and Fix Login Issues In Ubuntu Linux

Picasa, an image management tool from Google (available for Windows and Mac), has a lot of cool features, such as incredibly simple photo sharing, facial recognition, and a great image viewer. Unfortunately, Google stopped releasing a version for Linux a couple versions ago. This isn’t a huge deal, as the Linux version was – in reality – nothing more than the Windows version bundled with Wine, a framework which allows many Windows users to run on Linux, using Linux libraries when possible and Windows libraries as necessary.

Unfortunately, version 3.9 (the latest version) has problems on Linux. Users can install it via Wine the regular way, but when asked to login, are unable, as the Login screen stays blank.

Blank Login Screen

What to do? Fortunately, the problem is a fairly simple one to solve. It occurs in the first place because Picasa is using OAuth to sign in, and needs a web browser to accomplish this. The solution? Install Internet Explorer 6.

Let’s first assume you don’t have Picasa installed. To install it, we’ll first want to add the Wine personal package archive (PPA) to our system, to ensure the latest version. So, open up the Terminal.

Launch Terminal

First, type sudo apt-add-repository ppa:ubuntu-wine/ppa to add the Wine PPA to your system’s software lists.

Add Wine PPA

Now type sudo apt-get update to update your system’s software lists, followed by sudo apt-get install wine1.3 winetricks to install Wine and Winetricks (which we’ll use to install Internet Explorer 6).

Update Software Lists

Install Wine and Winetricks

Note: As of March 7, the latest version of Wine is 1.4, not 1.3 as installed above. This is because the Ubuntu PPA currently only offers version 1.3, although the version in the PPA is actually the 6th release candidate for 1.4, so it should update eventually to the latest release.

Now you can install Picasa. Simply type wget http://dl.google.com/picasa/picasa39-setup.exe to download the installer.

Download Picasa Installer

Then use Wine to install it. Typing wine picasa39-setup.exe will take you through the process.

Install Picasa

You’ll go through the entire installation process just as you would in Windows.

Picasa Being Installed

If you would try to log into your account now, you would see the same blank screen as shown earlier. However, we can easily fix that, as mentioned, by installing Internet Explorer 6, which is why we downloaded Winetricks when we installed Wine. Type winetricks ie6 to start that process.

Install IE6

Just as when you installed Picasa, you’ll now have a chance to walk through the typical Internet Explorer installation.

IE6 Being Installed

Once installed, try to login again. You should see something like this.

Successful Login

Success! You should now be able to see that you are logged in by checking out the upper right corner of Picasa (or by attempting to use any of its features that require you to be logged in).

Logged Into Picasa

On one hand it’s too bad that it’s necessary to jump through hoops like this in order to get Picasa working on Linux, just as it’s unfortunate that Google doesn’t release an official Linux version (after version 3.0), even if it is just the Windows version bundled with Wine. Still, the fact that getting it working, and working as well as it does, is nice for sure.

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Comments [4]

  1. Rui Moreira says:

    Thanks. Simple and clean solution. You just saved my life.

  2. Rui Moreira says:

    After completing installation it says “Thank you for choosing Microsoft products” Hahaha

  3. Christian says:

    “winetricks ie6″ gives me:

    “This package does not work on a 64-bit installation”

    What now?

  4. David says:

    I get the following error on ‘wine picasa39-setup.exe’

    david@david-desktop-lm16 ~ $ wine picasa39-setup.exe
    fixme:wininet:InternetLockRequestFile STUB
    fixme:wininet:CommitUrlCacheEntryInternal entry already in cache – don’t know what to do!
    fixme:shell:SHAutoComplete stub
    wine: Unhandled page fault on write access to 0×00000034 at address 0x7bc4717b (thread 0028), starting debugger…
    err:seh:raise_exception Unhandled exception code c0000005 flags 0 addr 0x7bc493a0
    Any ideas?

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