Tutorial: Running Scrivener 3.1.5.1 under Linux w/Wine 64bit WITH activation

I originally posted this on my substack and linked it on Twitter/Bluesky/Reddit, and at the suggestion of @AmberV I am posting it here.

I have been using Scrivener since the 1.x days, I’ve purchased it on every platform. But I wanted to get my 2010 MacBook Pro running again. For reasons, it cannot be updated further, and I’ve installed Linux on it to squeeze a few more years of life out of it. In a quest, I installed Scrivener under Linux. And like many, I had hiccups getting it to run. However, I was able to solve the problem and do so repeatably. I’ve documented my steps with screenshots. Putting together a complete guide, something I have not seen for this problem,.

Instructions/screenshots are done using Kali Linux, however I have tested it under Debian and any Debian-based Linux Distro should be the same instructions.

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Thank you for taking the time to write these instructions up.

All the best with your own writing.

Doc from Australia.

Very useful. I have a second machine with fresh install of Fedora and Scrivener is working like a panzer!

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Unfortunately I’m getting a License manager ended message:

The License manager ended unexpectedly. Installing .NET v4.6.2 or higher and the latest critical and recommended Windows Updates will most likely resolve this issue

To me it appears as though it’s borking over some dotnet48 misconfigurement, but I followed the tute to the letter. And when that didn’t work, I fiddled. All to no avail so far.

I’ve tried it on three different versions of wine including wineHQs stable and development branches. What’s particualrly aggregious is that I have a working version using the same hardware and OS, but this one wants to play the fool.

edit to include the terminal window error message:

0178:fixme:actctx:parse_assembly_elem wrong version for assembly manifest: 2.0.14.0 / 1.0.0.0
0178:fixme:actctx:parse_manifest_buffer failed to parse manifest L"C:\Program Files\Scrivener3\paddle\PaddleSDK.dll"
0178:fixme:actctx:parse_assembly_elem wrong version for assembly manifest: 2.0.14.0 / 1.0.0.0
0178:fixme:actctx:parse_manifest_buffer failed to parse manifest L"C:\Program Files\Scrivener3\paddle\PaddleSDK.dll"
0178:err:module:fixup_imports_ilonly mscoree.dll not found, IL-only binary L"Paddle.exe" cannot be loaded
0178:err:module:loader_init Importing dlls for L"C:\Program Files\Scrivener3\paddle\Paddle.exe" failed, status c0000135

Edit 2 (hopefully the last):
I had to install an old copy of Scrivener-installer.exe (which I had archived) to pass the activation. I then upgraded to the latest version. Works fine.

I am following these instructions, and everything seems to install fine, no errors. But when I open scrivener, I get a black screen on the “Project Templates” page. Has anybody solve this problem? Thanks!

In all likelihood, you need to upgrade your version of wine. This post details how they fixed the same problem.

Cheers!

IMPORTANT NOTE FOR UBUNTU / UBUNTU-BASED DISTRO USERS!

This post by rdewalt saved my ability to run Scrivener in Linux, but there is an additional caveat we Ubuntu-based users need to know. The method in the article for installing Winetricks, which is necessary for the .net and activation to work, will not work for you because, for reasons only they know, Ubuntu automatically defaults to an older version of winetricks. You’ll need to install the most recent version using the steps found on this Mint forum (but it will works for all Ubuntu-based distros; I myself use popOS).

I know this has been a while since you posted this, but I got stuck for the longest time and found something you should add onto here.

The command to install Winetricks you listed here does not work for Ubuntu-based Linux distros because it installs an old version of winetricks that will not let the user get the .net framework going. I followed these steps from Mint, but it also worked for me on popOS.

https://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?t=361814

Hope this helps others!

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FWIW, if you get access to Flathub repos, you can install a more recent version of Wine. I haven’t tried to do that in Ubuntu, but it works fine in Debian, so there’s hope!

Instructions are here and easy enough that a noob like me can follow them: Debian Flathub Setup | Flathub