UPDATE: The wine-based linux Kindle Cloud Reader file that I used to have is now no longer current, and I don’t have the newer file. However, if you want to read Kindle material on your Linux computer, the browser-based Kindle Cloud Reader is better. Use that!

And it is time. The Kindle Reader now works in Linux, under wine (which stands for “wine is not emulator”). Details follow.

You need to install the 1.3.xx version of wine, the development release, which may involve going to the wine site and following instructions to add the development repository. Who wants the stable version of a Windows (not a) Emulator anyway? If it was stable, it wouldn’t really be (not) emulating Windows, would it?

Then, grab the latest version of the Kindle reader from Amazon. Then install it. Then read books and stuff.

Reading books that are already on my computer works.

Going to “shop in the store” does not work from within the software.. you are sent to the store via the browser window, which is probably a merciful act because it gets you away from that awful Windows-designed software.

Syncing and downloading books on my account works.

The windows part of the software, the fonts, overall design, etc. suck but that is because it is a windows app. The reading of the book part works quite nicely. I like it.

Good going Wine. This makes me want to buy Crossover, becasue buying Crossover is a way to help fund the wine project.


  1. #1 Aleks
    January 9, 2011

    I tried using kindle under wine couple months back. I recall the install went ok, but I wasn’t thrilled with the look of the app. For free books Google books seems more accessible in Linux.

    If you own Kindle give Calibre a try in Linux (http://calibre-ebook.com/)

  2. #2 Winston
    January 9, 2011


  3. #3 cfeagans
    January 9, 2011

    I second that on Calibre. I’ve been using for my Kindle over a year now and it’s great. I even have it set to gather some of my favorite science blogs for reading on the go. It puts the articles in a nice little magazine format for me.

    I think I read on my Kindle every day… I’ve always had a ton of ebooks and articles in PDF and Calibre converts them almost seamlessly.

  4. #4 Susan
    January 9, 2011

    Is Calibre better than the demo on the Calibre site? Because that demo is an excellent example of bull puckey.

  5. #5 gwen
    January 9, 2011

    I have a Nook, which I absolutely love. I downloaded Calibre a while ago, but I have never used it. I like the Nook better than the Kindle, but Amazon has more reading choices. I did no know I could set it up to gather all of the blogs I read everyday!

  6. #6 sinned34
    January 10, 2011

    Does WINE do Fallout yet? No? Then Windows is still superior to Linux (no matter how much that pains me to say.)
    Also, Calibre has been working on Windows (Vista) for my wife’s Sony EReader for over a year now.
    I hate Linux. But only because it still doesn’t work as well as Windows for gaming. Maybe someday, but not today. Or probably ever.
    That said, I’m glad we have Linux running our website at work. Is it possible to have a love affair with software that treats you like shit in other aspects of your life? I guess so. Linux and Windows is apparently equivalent in that regard.

  7. #7 Confuzled
    January 10, 2011

    What am I missing here? I’ve got two Kindle’s (second generation though) and they both work fine in Linux. I just plug them in and they’re recognised immediately. Why do you need WINE? Is this a first generation Kindle issue? I’m confused.

    I also recommend Calibre. It’s great for converting to your ebook format and the Fetch News for RSS feeds is great.

  8. #8 Argon
    January 10, 2011

    B&N’s ereader software works in WINE. Unfortunately, I still haven’t managed to get Adobe’s Digital Editions software to work under Ubuntu and so I’m still using Windows for downloading some DRM’d epubs (e.g. Border’s Kobo epub store). After the ADE epubs are downloaded Ubuntu can handle the rest just fine.

    Calibre is OK for some conversions but it can be hit-or-miss. I’d really like to see a true WYSIWYG epub editor.

    PS – Has anyone noticed that many purchased epub books contain typos and mistakes that aren’t found in the print editions? I’ve also found duplicated sections of text in some epubs. I wonder if publishers do a good job proofreading converted books.

  9. #9 RSG
    January 10, 2011

    I haven’t tried the Kindle, but my Nook works great under Linux, and a Linux version of the software is available. Calibre also works well in Linux, and it’s convenient for getting feeds and sending them and ebooks to the device. I haven’t even considered using wine.

    There are lots of typos in the ebooks I’ve downloaded, rather obviously from the OCR software. I don’t think anyone does a full proofread of the books, they just scan them, run the OCR software, and send them out the door.

  10. #10 TRW
    January 12, 2011

    Confuzled– it’s not the Kindle itself that’s being referred to– it’s the e-reader software for PC’s that hasn’t been made for Linux yet.

  11. #11 Lane Lester
    January 14, 2011

    I’ve searched every way I know on Amazon.com, and I can’t find the PC reader software. Have they pulled it?

  12. #12 wyatt
    January 14, 2011
  13. #13 Lane Lester
    January 15, 2011

    Thanks for the link! Guess I’m not as good a searcher as I thought I was.

  14. #14 Lane Lester
    January 15, 2011

    Thank you for this post. I added the WINE PPA repository for Ubuntu with Synaptic, and then I could install WINE 1.3. I “purchased” a free Kindle book. When I clicked add to Kindle for PC, Firefox gave me an error, but the Kindle software picked it up anyway.

  15. #15 Charlie
    February 1, 2011

    This question might be too basic. I can get Kindle to work in Wine. But where are the ebooks stored on my computer? I want find them so that I can convert them into pdf. Thank you.

  16. #16 Greg Laden
    February 1, 2011

    Maybe search for directories or files create at the time you know some were downloaded?

  17. #17 Charlie
    February 1, 2011

    Thanks, Greg. I found it. Now I need to sort out the Topaz thing. Calibre can’t convert the file into pdf because of the Topaz thing.

  18. #18 DuWayne
    February 2, 2011

    I would just like to mention (mostly because I am really geeked) that I just got a Velocity Micro Cruz tablet. I installed the Kindle app (because I have several from “for PC”) and it totally rocks – especially as it also functions with several other reader apps, or simply reads the formats. The native android app selection through the Cruz kind of sucks, but it automatically connects to a couple of free app collections and in theory can connect to the official android store.

    This was possible because when I checked my bag at the student bookstore, the person just tossed my bag on the floor. This broke open my waterbottle and doused my netbook, which they subsequently compensated me for. The netbook still works, but has waterspots in the screen.

    Anyhow, to get back on topic(ish)…I actually used my dual boot windows for the Kindle app, as well as my media player. I really didn’t care for having to do that, but it worked and worked in color (though I have sadly noted that the # of picture books on Kindle has dropped for some reason – can’t even get the ones I already have anymore). I tried Kindle on Wine quite some time ago and had no luck.

    As an amusing aside, my tablet has problems connecting to Windows. I know this will come as a shock to some – especially Greg, but it connects seamlessly to Ubuntu.

  19. #19 Chameleon
    February 3, 2011

    @sinned34: Fallout 1, 2, 3 and Vegas have worked fine in WINE on Linux for quite some time.

    Don’t hate Linux because major game developers choose to not target a viable platform. Hate the developers.

  20. #20 Samantha
    February 18, 2011

    The application will run when you first load it up, but you shouldn’t be able to see any text. Once this happens, immediately shut the application down and run the ‘configure wine’ screen on the wine HQ software.

    Once you are there, add the kindle reader to the program as an application and have it set to run in windows 98 mode. There are other methods that you can use, but this method worked immediately for me. But if you run into any problems, then I recommend you try other modes.

    Thanks for sharing.
    I am looking forward for your future blogs.

  21. #21 Sue
    February 19, 2011

    I cannot install this and I installed WINE and downloaded the Kindle for PC app and this is what I get:

    The file ‘/tmp/KindleForPC-installer.exe’ is not marked as executable. If this was downloaded or copied form an untrusted source, it may be dangerous to run. For more details, read about the executable bit.

    How do I fix this? I am extremely new to Linux (as in December 2010) and know absolutely nothing about it except my computer works a lot faster in Linux.

    Thanks in advance for any helpful suggestions you may have.


    Thank you so much.

  22. #22 Greg Laden
    February 19, 2011

    Try right clicking on the file and going to properties, and clicking “allow executing file as a program”

    Or use chmod to change the permission on the file from the command line. Go to command line, navigate to the diretory with the file, then type in sudo chmod -x filename (it will ask for your password)

    When chmod does not work it does not tell you it did not work (often) (i.e., if you leave off sudo, you won’t get an error message)

  23. #23 Cynthia Eliason
    March 30, 2011

    I’m having the same problem; the file is not executable. I’ve tried changing it from the gui permissions box, which didn’t work, and from the command line, which also didn’t work. I’m still getting the same error message. Any ideas?

  24. #24 Jerry Amundson
    March 30, 2011

    Currently on Fedora, it’s so easy even I can do it. 🙂
    yum install wine
    Open file manager to the download where KindleForPC-installer.exe is, then right click, open with Wine…

  25. #25 Samson J. Loo
    April 11, 2011

    I have installed WINE and Kindle for PC but my problem is figuring out how to launch Kindle. I checked the /usr/bin but I do not see Kindle listed. Any suggestions are appreciated.

  26. #26 Greg Laden
    April 11, 2011

    Wine should have put an icon on your desktop or there should be a way in Gnome to go wine — Programs — Kindle.

    Or, something like:

    env WINEPREFIX=”/home/YOUR_USERNAME/.wine” wine C:\\Program\ Files\\Amazon\\Kindle\ For\ PC\\KindleForPC.exe

  27. #27 Samson J. Loo
    April 12, 2011

    Hey Greg,

    I am using Ubuntu Netboot 10.10 so I am not sure if that makes a difference. There is a shortcut, but for some reason it doesn’t launch. I marked it safe in terms of an executable, but that didn’t work. So that’s progress!

  28. #28 Greg Laden
    April 12, 2011

    Well, at least nothing happened, instead of something bad.

    If you have the most current (development version) wine and the most current Kindle app, it should work. I don’t think the fact that it is netbook should matter. If you try launching from a command line, does anything get returned at all?

  29. #29 Greg Laden
    April 12, 2011

    Maybe this (substitute your home directoy name as needed):

    env WINEPREFIX=”/home/HOMEDIRECTORY/.wine” wine C:\\windows\\command\\start.exe /Unix /home/HOMEDIRECTORY/.wine/dosdevices/c:/windows/profiles/HOMEDIRECTORY/Start\ Menu/Programs/Amazon/Amazon\ Kindle\ For\ PC/Kindle\ For\ PC.lnk

  30. #30 Jacob
    June 7, 2011

    Thanks! This worked great. No more virtual machine to read my kindle stuff! On Ubuntu, all I needed to do was install the Beta package from the Software Center. Thanks a bunch!

  31. #31 Buggsy2
    July 15, 2011

    Using the latest Kindle for PC download doesn’t work for me, but using the older version of Kindle (link given in prior post) does work.

  32. #32 The Computer Doctor
    July 22, 2011

    @Argon and anyone else who wanted to know how to use Adobe Digital Editions in Linux, I wrote an article and posted a video at my website at
    The company I work for has stopped using both products mentioned in the article, and I’m not a big fan of ADE, but it does work.