Picasa 3.8 in Ubuntu 10.04

UPDATE Oct 13: Although I have yet to test extensively, I don’t see any reason why this shouldn’t also work with Ubuntu 10.10 (Maverick Meerkat). I have installed it on one machine and will test it out later. Check back for more updates.

Every once in a while I feel like I should put up a post to satisfy one of the random google searches that points at my website. Today I noticed a hit for “ubuntu optio 330gs”, and I think I can contribute to that discussion, since not only do I have a Pentax Optio 330GS that I’ve been using for 10 years, I’m also a long-time Ubuntu Linux user. So much so that I run a PVR on it, and that PVR has its own twitter account.

Of course the simple answer is that the Optio is USB-capable, that is, you could literally plug the USB cable into your computer’s USB port, and Ubuntu should recognize it and mount it. I lost my USB cable years ago so I don’t know if this actually works. The Optio 330GS uses Compact Flash memory, which is pretty slow compared to memory technologies out there these days, and almost as big as some cell phones on the market. I’ve been using a flash reader in my USB printer to download pictures. It’s slow but it works. I also don’t know if this would work with Ubuntu directly, it’s a Dell printer connected to a Windows PC. After I download the pics, I use Picasa to push the photos to my Ubuntu file server.

I’m thinking if you have either a Compact Flash reader or the camera’s USB cable, you should be able to cut out my printer/network step and download your photos to your Ubuntu computer directly, either by copying them manually or by using Picasa. And that’s what this post is really about, getting Picasa to run in Ubuntu. Once you have Picasa running, that should solve the rest of your problems.

First of all, you can go to the Picasa download site to download a version of Picasa that works in Ubuntu (it auto-detects your operating system), but it’s not the most up-to-date version. You should do it anyway, since that takes care of all the extra system configuration required to get it running, and I think installs wine on your computer as well (since that’s required for Picasa to run). Once you’ve done the install and verified that it works, go back to the Picasa website and download the installer for Picasa 3.8 for Windows XP. Use wine to run the installer, and install it into whatever directory Picasa installed to in the first place (probably the default directory). You should now have a fully-functional Picasa 3.8 install on your Ubuntu box!

That’s the very general instructions. If you want more detail, see Bernehjalt’s Blogg, which is where I read the instructions from when I first did it. He was using Ubuntu 9.10 to run Picasa 3.6 at the time – those were the newest versions at the time, but I’m running Picasa 3.8 on Ubuntu 10.04 right now and can tell you it definitely works just fine.

So, as long as your camera can connect the Ubuntu box, you should be able to get your pictures with the full functionality of Picasa 3.8!

About Greg Burrell

Greg is an accountant, cyclist and political observer living in Toronto, Canada with too many cats.
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