Scrivener for Windows… and Linux?

David | Nov 25, 2010 min read

There are some interesting things going on at Literature & Latte. First, they’ve released a Windows Beta version of their unique and popular writing software Scrivener, which isn’t really news. However, what doesn’t seem well-known yet is that on their message boards, a group of folks is playing with an unofficial version for Linux.

If you’re really interested in using Scrivener, I urge you to sign up for the Windows Beta and try it out. Use Wine if you’re Linux only. Also, see the Linux user thread on L&L’s forum. Sign up; help out. Finally, be aware that I do not give any files directly in this post. I only link to files on L&L’s forums.

This’ll get you started, then once you’re up and running head back to L&L’s message board for updates.


I’m going to preface everything here with a quote from L&L’s Blog, 13 Sept. 2010:

​10. Syncing for iPad, iPhone and Working Externally

There’s been a minor furor over my announcement that we currently don’t have any immediate plans for an iPad version, although an iPad version isn’t ruled out altogether in the long-term (other platforms that Scrivener won’t be coming to any time soon include Google Android, Linux and Commodore 64). But even without a dedicated app, Scrivener 2.0 provides some great ways for you to take your Scrivener documents with you for editing on an iPad or iPhone.(Emphasis mine).

This is all very unofficial. I use Ubuntu 10.10, i386 on my laptop and AMD64 on my desktop, but this information should apply to other distros as well.

Manual (i386 & AMD64)

See the Announcements on the Windows Bug Hunt forum for the latest Beta release. As of this writing, it’s 1.3. Download the .zip file for Linux. I assume your download goes to ~/Download.

sudo unzip -d /tmp ~/Download/ sudo
mv /tmp/LinuxScrivenerBeta3/LiteratureAndLatte /usr/local sudo ldd
/usr/local/LiteratureAndLatte/bin/Scrivener sudo chmod 755
/usr/local/LiteratureAndLatte/bin/Scrivener sudo rm -r /tmp/LinuxScrivenerBeta3


Randywallace has provided packages on the forum. The latest are available here. He provides deb, rpm, and tgz.

Spell Checking

Spell checking worked for some but not others.


Make sure you have the libaspell and libaspell-devpackages installed. That’s it.


Not so easy. It appearsthat Scrivener can’t use the 64-bit aspell libraries. But, it also seems that Opera had a similar issue on Ubuntu. Based on the Ubuntu help for Opera, I did the following:

Install libaspell and libaspell-dev from the repositories. This’ll put the AMD64 versions on your system.

Download the i386 versions of libaspell and libaspell-dev. If you’re not using Maverick, search for your release @ Again, I assume you downloaded to ~/Downloads.

cd ~/Downloads dpkg -x libaspell15_0.60.6-4ubuntu1_i386.deb
./libaspell dpkg -x libaspell-dev_0.60.6-4ubuntu1_i386.deb ./libaspell-dev

You have a choice now. You can install to Scrivener’s lib directory:

sudo cp -d ./libaspell/usr/lib/libaspell*
/usr/local/LiteratureAndLatte/lib/ sudo cp -d ./libaspell-dev/usr/lib/libaspell*

Or you can install to /usr/lib32 (which is what I did):

sudo cp -d ./libaspell/usr/lib/libaspell*/usr/lib32/
sudo cp -d ./libaspell-dev/usr/lib/libaspell*/usr/lib32/

In either /usr/lib32 or /usr/local/LiteratureAndLatte/lib, you should wind up with:

-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 936 2010-11-24 16:19
/usr/lib32/ lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 19 2010-11-24 16:19
/usr/lib32/ -> lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 19
2010-11-24 16:18 /usr/lib32/ -> -rw-r--r-- 1
root root 603852 2010-11-24 16:18 /usr/lib32/

My original forum post is here.

Install the Tutorial

The Linux zip file is provided without the Tutorial project. Here’s how you can add it.This requires an install of the Windows Beta, either in Wine or on Windows box:

  1. In the Windows install, go to:C:\Program Files\Scrivener
  2. In that directory, you’ll find a folder called:Tutorial.scriv
  3. Copy that entire folder to the bin directory of your Linux Scrivener install. This might be /usr/local/LiteratureAndLatte/bin or /opt/scrivener_beta/bin depending on if you installed from scratch or used one of the packages from @randywallace.
  4. Make sure theTutorial.scrivdirectory and all its files/subdirectories are owned by root: chown -R root:root Tutorial.scriv
  5. Start Scrivener, go toHelp -> Open Tutorial, and choose a place to save the Tutorial project.

Tutorial.scrivis not distributed in the Linux zip. I assume there’s a good reason, so do the above at your own risk.

Well, that’s it for now. Enjoy!

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