Miriam Ruiz
random thoughts on technology and life

{January 08, 2009}   Debian and Ubuntu packages for Calibre, an e-book converter and library management

Some weeks ago I bought myself an e-book reader, Sony Reader PRS 505. It is a really cool gadget, and as I usually read a lot of stuff in my computer, it is somehow an investment in my eyes. I decided on this one because the support for Linux is quite well, through the unofficial Free Software project Calibre.

Calibre is primarily an e-book cataloging program: it manages your e-book collection for you, and it is designed around the concept of the logical book (i.e. a single entry in the database that may correspond to ebooks in several formats). It also upports conversion from a dozen different ebook formats to LRF and EPUB. A graphical interface to the conversion software can be accessed easily by just clicking the “Convert E-books” button. A lot of input formats are supported: MOBI, LIT, PRC, EPUB, ODT, HTML, CBR, CBZ, RTF, TXT, PDF and LRS.

After some weeks of work, Martin Pitt and I have finished the packages for Debian and Ubuntu, which are right now waiting in the Debian NEW Queue. You can temporarily get them from here, compiled for Debian SID AMD64, but of course you can build them for your platform, or wait until they enter Debian.

José L. says:

Miry, thanks for the links and the work packaging Calibre. Because of this entry, I’ve fallen in love with this device as I don’t read more documents because I don’t want to destroy mi view. So, now I have some questions:

did you buy it in Spain?
how much does it cost?


Miry says:

Hi!! :)

Well, my brother bought it for me in the States (for about $ 260 to $ 270, I bought it here, if you’re interested), as it was by far much cheaper there, dollar-conversion factor included. In Spain, for what I’ve seen, the prices are below € 300 .

Asjastras says:

Hi Miriam!

Could you please post a little bit more about your experience with the Sony E-reader? I thought about to buy one but i have few doubts like:

* How does it work with linux?
* Is there any good nice website to buy ebooks (and use linux to load them on the device)?
* How is working the conversion from PDF or other very popular formats for ebooks on the net?

Thanks, and enjoy the reading!

José L. says:

Hi, Miriam, testing the calibre packages you provided, there’s a missing dependency you should add:

BTW, I’ve already ordered a PRS-700 sony e-reader: you’re guilty if I don’t enjoy the experience ;)

José L.

Un mes con mi libro electrónico at Bitácora de José L. Redrejo says:

[...] unos meses, gracias a un comentario de Miriam Ruiz sobre un libro electrónico, comencé a interesarme por el tema. Descubrí un mundo increíble, [...]

Dom says:

Dear Miry,

First of all, thank you for uploading calibre to Debian as I discovered it just by accident while looking at new packages in sid… and I like it very very much! ;)

However, I’d like to ask if there are plans to upload the latest, what seems to be stable release, v0.5.4. Maybe to experimental before the version from sid goes to testing? Since I don’t have any Debian package maintaining experience please excuse my rumblings if they’re superfluous…

Miry says:

Yup Dom, I plan to upload the latest version as soon as I can :)

Dom says:

Great! Thanks again! I’m filling it up with my ebooks collection right now but I’m afraid this might just be more fun than actually reading them ;)

Paul says:

I cannot find any debian package for Calibre. The Ubuntu package depends on python version higher than is currently available for Debian. Anyway, is there any chance that it will become available again for Debian Lenny?
Would be great :-)

Thanks n advance

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