Monday, January 12, 2009

Installing Twirl on Linux

I'd read somewhere installing Adobe Air and Twirl on linux was a real pain. I looked into it about a month ago, but the instructions at Adobe were not trivial. It was still marked as 'Beta' at that point, so it seemed reasonable, but I didn't want to spend the time at it then.

I tried gtwitter and gwibber since, but gtwitter is only twitter, and gwibber has an (upstream) webkit bug currently on Hardy that makes it unusable. gwibber does seem like the way to go on linux going forward, but I'll wait for an update there before I mess with that again.

Which brings us back to Twirl. Installing it now is pretty painless. Unfortunately it's not via a .deb, so it takes it outside the apt updates system, but it does have it's own updating system, so at least it's not completely orphaned. Personally I think any internet facing application has to have an active update system before I'm interested. The biggest security threats all seem to come from this quarter currently.

Just visit the twirl site. The big 'install now' button doesn't work, but just below it is the 'manual install' link. Download the Air installer, chmod +x it, and run it. It prompts for admin rights properly, and installs painlessly. Then visit the Twirl site again, and at the top of the page click on 'linux users use this installer.' It installs like a regular Adobe Air program, except it prompts to place the program in /opt which I thought was nice touch.

Incidentally, if you install the regular Twirl app instead of the linux version, it still works, but it doesn't dock in the panel correctly. (Ask me how I know :-)

So, all in all, it's pretty cool. It's not the click-n-drool operation it is in XP or OSX, but it's not kernel hacking either, and the program itself runs and looks exactly the same as it does elsewhere. I bet the final little niggles will get worked out eventually too. A big thumbs up to Adobe for supporting linux users as first class citizens these days - It's their support that makes it easy for me to feel comfortable recommending Air programs and avoiding things like Silverlight like the plague.

1 comment:

  1. Hello Brother...
    I think this tip realy great!
    Direct, short, functional...
    I followed all that steps, finished the installation of the necessary packages and I'm using Twirl too.

    Sorry for my mistakes, about english, 'cause I'm brazilian... rs... and Thanks for your help man!
    From: Brazil!