For me, necessary programs include Dropbox, Skype, TweetDeck and proprietary codecs. It took me the better part of my Memorial Day evening, but I’ve managed to get all those things working with a little help from the web. Let’s take a look.
1. How To Install Dropbox on Meego
Dropbox, to me, is the netbook killer app. Files I change on my desktop are automatically transferred to my netbook, making my netbook the perfect portable supplement to my desktop. What could be better?
MeeGo, however, does not include a simple way to install Dropbox. Getting it working is a bit of a challenge, but not impossible.
To start go to the Dropbox Linux download page and grab the Fedora x86 package. Then open up your Terminal (click “Applications” on the tray, then “System Tools,” then “Terminal.”) Type “cd Downloads” followed by “Enter” to change directories to the Downloads folder, and then type
“sudo yum localinstall nautilus-dropbox-0.6.2-1.fedora.i386.rpm”
(making sure, of course, that the version number in the command matches the version number of the file you’ve downloaded.) Just like that you’ve installed Dropbox.
You can open Dropbox whenever you want, and for most people it will work.
If you attempt to move the folder your Dropbox is located in, however, you’ll find that Dropbox crashes instantly. I did, and so did Bry who wrote about this struggle on Monday.
I eventually found a solution, however. Open the “.dropbox-dist” folder in your home foler (in Nautilus press Ctrl+H to reveal the hidden folders.) Simply delete the file “libdbus-glib-1.so.2“ and you’ll find changing the location of your Dropbox now works perfectly.
Want to know why this works? Find an explanation here but be warned: it’s geeky stuff.
There’s one more thing you should do, or you’ll find that yum will stop working. Open up your Terminal again, then type “cd /etc/yum.repos.d/” followed by “sudo rm dropbox.repo“. This will remove the Dropbox repo automatically added when you installed Dropbox, which does not work on MeeGo.
2. How To Install Skype on Meego
I don’t have to get into the awesomeness of Skype; it’s been explained here before. Getting Skype working on MeeGo isn’t as easy on MeeGo as other distributions, but it can work — this post on the MeeGo forums explains everything.
Basically what you need to do is head over to the Skype Linux download page and install from the command line as explained in the Dropbox section above: “sudo yum localinstall skype-126.96.36.199-fc10.i586.rpm –nogpgcheck”
Note the added word, “–nogpgcheck“. The installation will not work without this, as Skype is not signed.
3. How To Get Adobe Air Apps Working on MeeGo
Try to install an Adobe Air app in MeeGo and you’ll quickly learn that the browser-based installation does not work. There is a way to get this working, but it’s a little bit of a hack. Go to the Adobe Air download page, then click “Download.” You’ll find the .bin file in your Download folder. Right-click it, then click “Properties.” In the “Permissions” tab click “Allow executing this file as a program.”
Open up the Terminal, then type “cd Downloads” and hit enter. Then type “./AdobeAIRInstaller.bin” to start the installation process.
Once you get this working you’ll notice that simple going to the Tweetdeck or the Times Reader website won’t work for installation; you’ll get find the following sad-face:
There’s a workaround: you need to download the .air files directly and install them using the Adobe Air Program Installer found in “Accessories” in the programs menu. Finding these direct .air downloads can be challenging, but not impossible. TweetDeck is here and Times Reader is here, and some Google-fu can probably help you find any other app you’re looking for.
After doing all this, I found that Flash no longer works in Chrome. There’s a simple fix for this: uninstall and re-install flash. Open a terminal and type “sudo yum remove flash-plugin” and hit enter. When this process is done type “sudo yum install flash-plugin” to re-install flash. You’ll find everything works after doing this.
4. How To Install Proprietary Codecs on Meego
I personally don’t use my netbook for much media, but if you do you’re going to want proprietary codecs. I tried to make everything in this guide as simple as possible, but there’s no easy way that I’ve found to set up MeeGo with proprietary codecs. You’ll find instructions for compiling all the codecs you could ever want at the MeeGo forums.
These instructions obviously aren’t for the faint of heart, but they work. If MeeGo is worth it to you than check them out and work your way through them, but I can’t find an easier way to explain to you how to get started.
None of these things are nearly so hard to do on other netbook systems, such as Ubuntu (which has pre-made packages for all these things) or Jolicloud (which allows for one-click installation of Adobe Air, Dropbox and Skype and also includes all codecs by default.) MeeGo, however, has a cool user interface and is very speedy. For now it’s possible to get MeeGo working with everything by using the guide above, but a much simpler solution would be a third-party repository containing all of these things.
If anyone reading this has the know-how to build such a repository I’d love to see that happen, and will be sure to give you exposure if you do so. If you’ve got any other things you’d like to see working on MeeGo I’d love to hear what they are in the comment below. I’d also love to hear about any help you need with the steps, or any easier methods you’d like to point out.
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