Friday, 14 September 2012

Bitcasa and Linux

Bitcasa is not a name of a lot of people have heard of, they may have heard of DropBox, Google Drive and SkyDrive but not the former, It's a shame really as on the face of it this seems to be an amazingly good cloud service.

For a start you get unlimited storage and at the moment it's free, you can either do a DropBox thing where files are made available to multiple computers and the copies are kept up to date, you can make a folder with unlimited space and stream data from this and finally you can just create a backup of stuff. The unlimited space folder does not store any data on the local machine and moves it to the Bitcasa servers so you have to rely on them to keep it safe.

The downfall is that the only Linux client available so far is for 64 bit versions of Ubuntu. As my little server is 32 bit PCLinuxOS this is a bit of a problem, so I put my thinking hat on and came up with what could be a solution.

First off my reason for wanting unlimited storage is as follows, the most precious part of my computer system is my data, this is the stuff that if lost would not be replaceable. I upload pictures to Facebook and Google+ for additional safe keeping and so that I can access them everywhere but my music, my ebooks and other stuff are at the moment on 2 hard drives and my laptop. This makes me vulnerable if someone should break in and nick the lot of them.

So on with the tale of how I got it working, load up the package manager and install winetricks, this will install wine and a front end utility for managing it. Once it's fully installed, you will need to install IE7 and then the Windows Bitcasa client, I have some screenshots below which show you what to do.

First off, load up the package manager.

 Then search for winetricks.

 Right click on on it and select Mark for Installation.

It will want to install some extra bits, this is OK.

 Click on apply.

And give it time to do it's business.

Once it's all finished, closed down the package manager and run Winetricks.

 Click on Select the default wineprefix and OK.

 Then install a Windows dll or component.

 Look down the list and select IE7 and click on OK.

 Just click OK here, this appears to be working round the stupid run once thing that IE does.

And now it's just like installing IE on a Windows machine.

Get rid of the tick from this box as some of the updates can cause problems and then click on next.

 At the end, click on restart, it won't reboot the computer just the Wine session.

 It will then pop up IE, just close this and any other screens and click OK here and close all the Winetricks windows down.

 Once that's all completed, go to www, and download the Windows client, then right click on the file and select Open with Wine Program Loader.

Then just install it as if it was a normal Windows application.

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You won't be able to add folders from Dolphin or any other Linux file manage as the integration isn't that good, but click on add on the left hand side.

 Then click on the cloud in the middle of the screen and a Windows file manager will open up asking you to select a folder to add to Bitcasa.

And that seems to be it, I'm currently backing up files at the moment and it's been running for 2 days without any error messages. I've also tried this in Ubuntu and Linux Mint and it seems to work there too.

Until there's a proper Linux client out this to me seems to be the best way forward.
As a matter of interest, I tested this out in Crossover a while back and it wasn't very happy, but that may have changed by now.

Try it but make sure you don't really on this as your only source of data storage, as the platform is still in beta and using Wine is probably not supported at all.