best option for running Scrivener on Mint 19?


I use Scrivener on Windows (plus IOS for occasional iPad use). I’m now switching my main operating system to Linux (Mint 19, XFCE). What would be my best (most stable and useable) option for running Scrivener - using the old Linux beta (if that’d work?), running the windows version under WINE, or installing the windows version into a Virtualbox? I’ll be setting up a Virtualbox for various Windows software I require for work, so could run Scrivener from there, if that’s the most reliable option - although I’d prefer to stay in the Linux environment as much as possible.

Thanks for any advice!


I haven’t tried Scrivener, but in general, I’ve had poor results with Wine except for programs specifically hand-tuned to run under Wine. I’d suggest a virtual machine with Windows if you can do it.

Heh, I’ll be the contrary voice. I’m using the windows version more often than the Linux one these days. I’m using wine-staging 3.18. I have no idea how well it runs on stock WINE or anything below that. (With WINE, you’re really better off using the most recent version, since new fixes and developments are made all the time.) The stable version isn’t best, in my experience.

Welcome to the wonderful world of Linux! :slight_smile:

I run Windows Scrivener on Wine. I have been doing so for many years now, with no problems. It is very stable, and has much less overhead than running a virtual machine. Stable Wine is fine for Scrivener, and also for lots of other productivity software. In some cases I find it more stable than a modern Windows, especially when running older Windows applications.

Just install Wine from the standard repo, it should work well enough. If you want you can add the Wine specific ppa with the stable release of Wine, but it will make very little difference. I use it because I am experimenting with bleeding edge features in other software, but Scrivener will run fine either way.

Good luck!

I’m pretty sure I know the answer to this already, but WINE is just OS emulation/linking/libraries, it’s not going to adjust for differing architectures, correct?

I couldn’t throw WINE on one of Raspberry Pi 3 devices and run Scrivener from there, I’m pretty sure. In fact, I’m not even sure WINE is ported to Raspbian…

You could if it’s been ported to the Pi, yes. (There’s an android port, for instance, but I haven’t checked it out.) I’m not sure if you could cross compile it or not.

I guess people have done it already: (Just the first linked I grabbed.)

Correct, you could not. Wine is an implementation of the Win32 and Win64 API’s, as well as the DirectX API. It does not emulate anything (Wine stands for “Wine is not (an) emulator”) and relies on the underlying CPU to run the actual binary.

This is how it achieves the speed it does (usually near-native, and in a few cases faster than Windows).

In order to run on a Pi or similar an actual emulator, like Qemu or similar, would need to be added. Some such approaches have been made, but none are very good yet.

So garpu linked to the ExaGear Desktop – what’s the problem with that, other than it not being free?

Some of the amateur radio community are using RPi3 devices to become instant hotspots and repeaters combined with a computer. Being able to run Windows programs (including Scrivener) would be a huge boon on that.

I’m on Linux Mint, too.
I run Scrivener2 via PlayOnLinux quite stable.
Yet I tried to install Scrivener3 and had no luck by now.


Hi Michelle,
I use Scrivener for linux on a Mint 19 Xfce and on Debian 9 Mate. I repacked the beta version and it is working smooth. <>.
I tried the Win version on a VM and I still prefer de linux version.

I can run the current Beta on Kubuntu 17.10 under Wine, and it does have a couple of issues:

  • input stops working correctly after a while (typing activates menus, like the alt key is being held down).
  • the program is slow to respond. Mind you, the Beta is sluggish under Windows 10, too, so this is not surprising.

But it does run.

Did you install libraries to get it working? And if yes, which?


Nope. Just ran it as is. Ran the Beta 10 installer under wine64, and it worked. I’ll see if I can post some details about available libraries.

Mind you, it’s under Kubuntu, so some of the QT libs may already be there. I believe winetricks is installed on that machine (it’s a laptop I use for travel), but I did nothing with it. The Beta was one of the very first programs I installed on it after upgrading to Kubuntu 17.10.

The strange issue with the keyboard, I still haven’t figured out. I’m about to replace the keyboard in that laptop, and that may stop that issue (the keyboard is old and may be gunky).

Just replaced the keyboard, checked the installed packages, and the installation.

Looks like I upgraded to 18.04.1 LTS from 17.10.

wine-stable, 3.0-1ubuntu1
playonlinux, 4.2.12-1 (but I don’t generally use it)
wine64-preloader, 3.0-1ubuntu1
wine32:i386, 3.0-1ubuntu1
wine64, 3.0-1ubuntu1
winetricks, 0.0+20180217-1 (didn’t use this)
fonts-wine, 3.0-1ubuntu1
q4wine, 1.3.6-2 (also didn’t use this)

Linux kernel 4.15.0-42 generic.

The startup stuff is pretty plain jane. Nothing special.

I tried installing the Scrivener beta for Linux under Linux Mint XFCE 19.1, and it installed OK as far as I know, but it never started up. No error message. It just never started. I’m running it in a virtual machine (VirtualBox). I have XFCE 19.1 AMD 64 Bit, running it with 4GB memory with no other programs or browsers open.
So if I run it in Wine it’s OK. There are several Wine versions in the repository. Wine 1.6, 1.6 64 bit, Wine Stable (3.0). Which one do I install? And do I run Play on Linux or what before installing Scrivener 1.9.9 which I’m using in Windows 7?

I want to know because next year we’re moving to Linux as soon as I get another drive and have someone install it and Linux for us(I guess an OEM install is what they call it, so I’m using VirtualBox to see what issues with alternative software.

Any help would be appreciated.
Thanks for your time. I’m a total newbie with Linux, which is why I’m choosing Mint :wink:
Maghdalena Logan

I’m currently using Scrivener for Windows on Linux Mint 19.1 using Crossover free trial on an elderly Laptop that was starting to choke on the last two versions of Win 10. I am trying to extend the life of that LT for another year or two so I can eventually get a Surface or Surface-like device. I believe Surface is the future of personal computing and not just for Windows users. I think Apple will have to eventually offer a device that lies somewhere between an iOS tablet and a Mac laptop.

I couldn’t get it to run using straight wine or PlayOnLinux. I have decided NOT to buy Crossover when the trial ends as it violates the idea that I don’t wanna spend any money on this Laptop. It works great, though Microsoft OneDrive and Linux have issues.

Instead, I have decided to continue to do the majority of my work on my Win 10 Desktop, and when I travel, to do my writing on the online version of MS Word, via Chromium browser. As yet, there isn’t a version of Edge available for Linux. The success others have had with straight wine and POL makes me think I might try again but with more patience attached!

BTW, the native Linux titles that are alternatives to Scrivener all have problems if you are used to Scrivener itself. They aren’t BAD, mind you, a few are downright clever (and L&L should investigate their offerings). But they all lack some key element of the Scrivener experience.

You know, this thought just occurred to me, if a complete Linux version of Scrivener just isn’t feasible. How about a Linux (or Android, I’m flexible) “companion” program? How about a low-cost word processor that can download not an entire project, but a subset of the project, maybe just the outline and which then can insert a document as new text into a special folder within the ‘Research area’ of Scrivener “proper”? The user would then be able to move it to any location he/she chooses.

This would have the benefit of having people not have to look at other applications that might have both Windows/Mac versions and a Linux /Android version. It might be a useful way to generate some modest sales, and prevent the loss of some users to other titles.

Essentially, you can do this already—at least I think you can/will be able to with v. 3 for Windows, you already can with v. 3 for Mac—using >File > Sync > with External Folder. I don’t use it personally, but if you download the Mac v.3 manual, that will tell you how it works.


I ran into the same situation. Any time that happens in Linux, try running the program in a terminal screen and it should give you errors (which allows you to correct them).

I’m running the Linux Scrivener beta 1.9.0 under Linux Mint 19.1 Cinnamon (now without issue). But I had to find and install the following files (The issue: Linux Mint 19.x — Ubuntu 18.04 — uses newer gstream and .png libraries, so you have to install the older ones, which are not in the current repositories).

Fortunately I saved the information in Simplenote, otherwise I would have already forgotten it. (I’m getting old and senile, Simplenote has become my brain)

You’ll need libpng12-0_1.2.54-1ubuntu1.1_amd64.deb, which is available for download at: … 0/download
(Look for the orange link Index of /ubuntu)

It’s a .deb package (from Ubuntu) so just right-click on it and install it from Gdebi Package Installer.

You’ll also need older versions of the gstreamer packages. I found this posted by someone named “Spurios” at this Github site:

You’ll need to open a terminal and copy and pate the following three lines (one at a time and hitting the ENTER after each cut and paste. (These both come from the French Ubuntu site.)

wget … _amd64.deb

wget … _amd64.deb

sudo dpkg -i libgstreamer*.deb

Since the last line is a “sudo” you’ll be asked for your password.

After doing this, Scrivener should work. I haven’t tried this with the older version of the Linux beta, or if with the 32 bit versions. But, since Linux Mint 19.x has won’t “end of life” until 2023, this should be a 4 year solution. (Understanding that there won’t be any upgrades to the Scrivener betas.)

I just started using Scrivener on my Linux box. I tried it before, thought it was too complicated, then came back and tried it again. Man, am I glad I did.

(EDIT: I didn’t realize these links would be clickable. I’m not sure if the ones that use wget will work, but they’ll definitely download. You can probably just use the Gdebi installer to install each of these as well, I don’t know — I just copied and pasted into the terminal.)

(EDIT2: It looks both of the wget links download the same file (one has an underscore where the other has a hyphen, otherwise they look identical). You probably only need one or the other.

rcentros, Thanks so much, not just what to do, but where to get it. It’s a little late now, but I"m going to try that out tomorrow.

As far as making notes, I totally get you. I don’t know where I"d be without my Tomboy Notes. As you’ve said SimpleNote, and Tomboy Notes (for me) are our brains, lol. Again, thanks so much. I just didn’t wnat to have to deal with using Wine/Play on Linux and/ or Crossover if I didn’t have to.

May the Penguin God(s) watch over you and thanks again. :wink: