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Google releases Picasa for Linux -- and 100+ Wine patches
Thursday May 25, 2006
By: Robin 'Roblimo' Miller
Picasa is a photo organizing and editing tool from Google that does most of what most people need to do with their digital pictures. Now Picasa, previously a Windows-only program, has binaries available for most popular GNU/Linux distributions. The Linux version of Picasa is still a beta release, but it's ready to handle photo storage, organizing, and light photo editing on your Linux computer.
Even if you don't want to use Picasa, Google's creation of the Linux version may help make your Linux computer more versatile. The Picasa Linux port is being made with Wine, and in the process more than 100 patches are being contributed back to the community.
Google spokesperson Chris DiBona says, "At the end of this, a lot of people will be able to use Wine who weren't able to before."
Google hired CodeWeavers to do much of the work needed to get Picasa to run on Linux with Wine, but long-time Wine community contributor Dan Kegel also helped; he works for Google.
According to DiBona, the Picasa Linux beta release currently lacks these features:
* CD Burning
* TiVo Export
* Support for languages other than English
* Hello™ instant picture chat
Picasa does not work with SELinux due to problems with camera recognition caused by SELinux's security features.
DiBona cautions all downloaders: "This is a beta version. We're expecting bugs." But he also says that, except for the features specifically noted as not working, this is a fully-functional program, ready for everyday use.
And again, even if you have no interest in Picasa, it looks like even those of us who haven't tried Wine in a while should start keeping an eye on it again. The Google-contributed code may mean a whole new level of functionality for anyone who must use "Windows-only" software but wants to run nothing but GNU/Linux on his or her PC.
Picasa is available here for these GNU/Linux distributions:
* Debian Sid and Etch
* Fedora Core 4 and 5
* Mandriva 2005 and 2006
* Red Hat (current versions)
* Linspire 5.0
* SUSE 9.3 and 10
* Ubuntu 5.x
Old news, I know. I'm just getting the conversation rolling again on here.