Installing Scrivener 3 on Linux

Would you care for some wine to get started?
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  (last mod.: 2021-04-23)

As I’m preparing for my first attempt at NaNoWriMo, I know I must have my writing software ready. I used Scrivener in the past and know it’s a solution I love to use. My only problem was: my mobility OS is Linux, which Scrivener doesn’t provide support for.

But that’s no longer a problem as Thomas Pletcher proved that the latest betas of Scrivener 3 work with Wine. Here’s how.

Installing wine #

To make Scrivener run on Linux, we’ll use Wine, a compatibilty layer for running Windows applications on POSIX systems.

Note: This tutorial was written for people who don’t know what Wine is and are probably installing it only to run Scrivener. If you have a more advanced knowledge, you may wish to use prefixes. Please do. I won’t here.

Now, to the flesh of it:

  1. We’ll need Wine, Winetricks and winbind. If those are available in your distribution’s repos (they are for Ubuntu), installing them can be achieved with this command: sudo apt install wine winetricks winbind

  2. The Wine installer in the Ubuntu repository has a slight defect: it doesn’t create an important symbolic link, meaning you’ll have to create yourself: sudo ln -s /usr/share/doc/wine/examples/wine.desktop /usr/share/applications/

Provisioning Wine #

Now that Wine is installed, you need to add the Windows components you will need to install and run Scrivener.

  1. Optional: winetricks dotnet corefonts will install Windows default fonts (e.g. Times New Roman). You may have already installed those from another source (e.g. sudo apt install ttf-mscorefonts-installer), in which case this is not required for you.
  2. winetricks win7 will install a Windows 7 architecture.
  3. winetricks dotnet48 will install .NET 4.8 (Scrivener needs at least .NET 4.6). Check the “restart now” when required. Don’t worry, you won’t have to reboot.
  4. winetricks speechsdk: the SpeechSDK is not listed as a requirement for Scrivener, but I couldn’t run it without it.

Installing Scrivener #

  1. You need to go and download Scrivener 3 (at the time of this writing, you can get the latest beta here).
  2. You should right-click your .exe file and open it with Wine Windows Program Loader (may be the default, but also may be under Open With).

That’s it! At the end of the installation, Wine should have created an entry for Scrivener in your start menu, and you should be able to run it. Don’t hesitate to give additional tips as comments.