September 14, 2012

Notes On Running Calibre On A Server

Calibre is a great tool, especially for converting between ebook formats. Here are some notes for getting it to run on a headless server.
  • The binary installer off the website works fine — ignore warnings about completion and desktop integration failing.
  • The installer will always pollute /usr/bin regardless of the installation directly you choose.
  • You will need the following libraries for mobi conversion:
    • libxi6
    • libxrandr2
    • libxfixes3
    • libxcursor1
  • If you get this message
    • SVG rasterizer unavailable, SVG will not be converted
    • You will need to install xvfb and use xvfb-run, like so:
xvfb-run ebook-convert blah.epub blah.mobi

Cheers,
Steve

Nook vs Kindle

Definitely the Kindle. Amazon offers an amazing service, especially their personal document service's email feature. That is simply divine. Furthermore, Amazon isn't nearly so annoying to use as a non-US citizen. I don't have to use a trick credit card or proxies to purchase ebooks. Amazon just sells them to me, easy peasy.

Disclaimer: I have a first generation Nook and a Kindle Touch. My comments above are however entirely based on the services provided, not the devices themselves. So this is probably more appropriate as Barnes and Noble vs Amazon.

Cheers,
Steve