Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Picasa on Linux

Google have released a Linux version of Picasa, their rather good photo management software that has previously only been made available for Windows.
Packages are available for Debian, Ubuntu, RedHat, Fedora, SuSE and Mandriva Linuxes, and there’s also a standard binary for any other Linux distros. They are each about 24 MB, which includes Picasa itself plus a customised version of Wine and the Gecko Runtime Environment which are needed for it to run.
The FAQ gives full details about what this release is and isn’t – and it’s what is isn’t that is the most interesting. It’s not so much a port to Linux – it’s actually the Windows build with Wine wrapped around it – and it’s only partially open source. The Picasa binaries themselves are closed-source, but Wine isn’t and Google have made their patches available so that they can be implemented into the core version of Wine. There are also explanations about which features do and do not work, which is dependent on what distro you have, what desktop environment you use and what camera you own. And some features of the Windows version do not work at all under Linux, such as CD burning.
This, however, may well be the first step towards Google making more of their software available for Linux, as it looks like the work done for Picasa is part of a platform for its other applications. Hopefully we can now expect Google Earth to be ported. It may also mean that a Picasa build for Mac OS X may be forthcoming, which would be great as I’m not the biggest fan of iPhoto.
(Disclaimer: This site is part of Google Adsense Referrals, and I receive a small commission for referring new users to Picasa. But I wouldn’t take part if I thought Picasa sucked)

Comments are closed.