Installing Balsamiq Mockups, Adobe Air, and Alien on Fedora 15
Having worked with Balsamiq Mockups on a Macintosh, I decided it was time to set it up on my linux box running Fedora 15. If only installing software on Fedora could be as quick and easy as on a Mac. Here's a brief overview of what I came across/discovered:
- In order to use Balsamiq Mockups, you'll need Adobe Air (for which Adobe recently discontinued Linux support).
- Unfortunately, the default linux distribution of Mockups is in a Debian format, which Red Hat's Fedora is not readily configured to install. Hence you'll need Alien to convert from a Debian installation source package to an RPM source package.
- Naturally, as with any Linux software, there are several dependencies required.
Thus after piecing together some outdated DIY posts and forum entries, I figured it was time to consolidate my findings and post it here. Instructions are geared for all audiences- Linux noob to experienced power users. In the code blocks below, user-specific implementation variables are denoted in BOLD RED CAPS. Miscellaneous comments are in italicized blue.
INSTALLING ADOBE AIR ON FEDORA
- Open a terminal window and switch to the root account. (You'll be prompted for the root password):
- Then (if you haven't already), add the Adobe repository to Yum. Note the repository may have changed since the post. Just google "yum Adobe repository" for the latest one:
- Install dependencies for Adobe Air:
yum install ld-linux.so.2 gtk2-devel.i686 libdbus-glib-1.so.2 libhal.so.1 rpm- devel.i686 libXt.so.6 gnome-keyring-devel.i686 libDCOP.so.4 libxml2-devel.i686 nss-devel.i686 libxslt.i686 xterm libgnome-keyring.i686
- Install Adobe Air:
yum install adobeair
Adobe Air should now appear in your Applications! * If you are looking to install on Fedora 16, check out this post: http://www.zealfortechnology.com/2011/11/install-adobe-air-fedora-16.html
INSTALLING ALIEN ON FEDORA
Alien requires that the Perl Build/Make Module be installed. Since it doesn't by default get installed with Fedora, you'll need to install it.
- Thus, open a terminal window and switch to the root account (as explained in the first section above entitled INSTALLING ADOBE AIR ON FEDORA). Then:
yum install perl-Module-Build
- Next, you'll need to download the Alien tarball of source files. As of this post, the latest version was 8.86. Be sure to download the ".tar.gz" format, since the instructions below walk you through using that file type. Also, note where you save the file (usually it defaults to "Downloads" in your home directory) You can download the latest release from:
- After downloading, the alien_version.tar.gz file, switch back to your terminal and as the root account, change directories to where you saved the tarball. If saved in the default location of "Downloads", in your home directory, the command should resemble:
- Now extract the tarball. (Note I used the wildcard character to avoid typing the whole filename, this should work for you as well unless you have multiple files starting with the same character string):
tar -xzf alien*.tar.gz
- Next, change into the extracted "alien" directory:
- Now you need to prepare your MakeFile to build the application from the source code for your computer configuration:
- Next you'll want to configure it to install to a common location rather than in your personal directory:
- Finally, you'll want to build the application:
su -c 'make PREFIX=/usr install'
- After this is done, you can confirm that it installed properly by running:
- This will display the user manual for alien. To exit the manual, input:
You should now be back at the command line of the terminal/console.
Alien has successfully been installed!
INSTALLING BALSAMIQ MOCKUPS ON FEDORA
In order to install Balsamiq Mockups, be sure you have complete the installation and configuration steps in the above two sections.
- Download the appropriate version (32 bit or 64 bit) of Mockups for your Linux distribution from their Download page on the website. You might have to use the direct download links below the animated download graphic. Be sure to note where the file is saved (usually it defaults to "Downloads" in your home directory).
- Again, open a terminal window and switch to root user (as explained in the first section above entitled INSTALLING ADOBE AIR ON FEDORA)
Then, after downloading, the MockupsForDesktop##bit.deb file, switch back to your terminal and as the root account, change directories to where you saved the tarball. If saved in the default location of "Downloads", in your home directory, the command should resemble:
- Now convert the .deb file to an .rpm file using alien (Note I used the wildcard character to avoid typing the whole filename, this should work for you as well unless you have multiple files starting with the same character string):
alien -r Mockups*.deb
- Now that its been converted, let's install the rpm package:
rpm -ivh balsamiq*.rpm
- Let's run it for the first time (Note, if you haven't already run Adobe Air for something else, you'll be prompted with it's standard license agreement when you start Mockups):
/opt/Balsamiq\ Mockups/bin/Balsamiq\ Mockups
If Balsamiq Mockups is running, you've succesfully configured and installed it on Fedora! Now let's make sure it installed with the correct permissions.
- Switch back from the root user to your own account in the terminal by typing:
- Try starting Balsamiq Mockups again using:
/opt/Balsamiq\ Mockups/bin/Balsamiq\ Mockups
This time it should start right up, with no licensing agreement for Adobe Air.
Congratulations, you've installed Balsamiq Mockups on Fedora!
TASKS YOU MAY WANT TO DO AFTER INSTALLING BALSAMIQ MOCKUPS
- Add a launcher shortcut
To add a launcher shortcut for it, just use the last command above. The icons to associate with it can be found in the "/opt/Balsamiq Mockups/share/icons" folder.
- Add additional control libraries
In order to have your own set of universal controls/symbols, you'll need to do two things first:
Create a config file for Balsamiq indicating the default documents folder.
Setup the proper folder hierarchy in which to save the control and symbol BMML files.
To create the config file, follow the instructions provided here: http://support.balsamiq.com/customer/portal/articles/111759
Then you'll need to create a "Balsamiq Mockups" and "assets" folder in your "home/Documents" directory. All said and done, your folder structure should resemble:
Now, you can save your own controls or install more controls/add-ons from Mockups To Go (https://mockupstogo.mybalsamiq.com/projects) within this newly created folder. All controls appear under "ACCOUNT ASSETS" when viewing the Symbol Library.
Finally, some credits!
- Thanks to Callum who provided the most helpful instructions to get Balsamiq running on a non debian Linux distro! His original post can be found here at: http://community.balsamiq.com/balsamiq/topics/how_to_install_mockups_on_fedora_14_x64
- Thanks also to pmod on StackOverflow who helped me resolve the last of my dependency issues with Perl to get this working!