Users have lobbied for a Linux version of EssentialPIM almost from its debut. In the absence of one, many have improvised with various levels of success. We asked Axel, one of these Linux users, to share his experience. This is his story.

For some time now I have tried to write this guest post about running EssentialPIM for Windows (WinEPIM) under Linux.

To be honest, it has not been quite easy.

As there is no native EPIM version for Linux, the problem is that you can run WinEPIM under Linux but some functions do not work. At least that has been my experience. That’s why writing such an article, for me, was a mixture of enthusiasm on one hand, and disappointment on the other. Depending on which was stronger, I rewrote this article several times.

It is obvious that Astonsoft had to concentrate on developing EPIM for Windows, the most widespread operating system (OS). Rewriting the code for a completely different OS, such as Linux, would need a huge amount of resources. This is why the EPIM team repeatedly responds to requests for a Linux version that it would cost too much.

Nevertheless, there are many Linux users (and I am one) who, for some reason, don’t use Windows anymore and try to make WinEPIM run under Linux on their desktops.

Most of them use WINE to install and run Windows software from there. As I am by no means a Linux expert, I can’t say whether there are other possibilities, but as far as I know, WINE is used most.

My experience using Ubuntu Linux is that WinEPIM runs fairly well with almost no problems, but it has limitations. More problems may exist, depending on which derivative you use. I can only describe the main problems I encountered. I have not been able to

     1. Print;
     2. Use the mail module;
     3. Get messages for new versions;
     4. Sync notes to a smartphone.

I have also found that WinEPIM sometimes is unable to close and you have to restart the system.

There are workarounds for some of these. For example, I resolved the sync issue by excluding notes (I really don’t need my notes on my smartphone). And I could also work around getting notifications for new versions by waiting for mail from Astonsoft, then download it from the homepage and install it manually via WINE.

Other issues seem to be because WinEPIM needs an Internet Explorer/Edge engine or at least some Windows DLLs to run completely. In my case, installing Internet Explorer version 8 via WINETRICKS could solve my printing issue. Some functions may require Internet Explorer version 10 or newer.

But the possibilities WINE offers seem to be restricted, so I never got WinEPIM running 100% under Ubuntu Linux.

For me, however, this is enough. I mainly use Android-EPIM (AEPIM) on my tablet. I have WinEPIM primarily as my sync-center to have identical data on my smartphone. But AEPIM will connect to EPIM cloud in the near future, so I won’t need WinEPIM to sync devices anymore. Which leaves me with the second reason why I have WinEPIM — I want to learn what it’s all about!

At present I am thinking about getting an old notebook, to install Windows7 and WinEPIM on it. This says something about EPIM’s importance in my IT life because two years ago I decided not to use Windows anymore (after using it for over 30 years) and this is the kind of decision I usually don’t go back on.

Coming back again to the development of a “native EPIM-Linux-version,” not having one is an economic decision. Maybe “WINE-compatibility” would be a possible way to have WinEPIM fully usable under Linux. But again, WinEPIM would depend on a third-party software and would not have control, not to speak of the resources needed.

So, part of the community wants to have EPIM on Linux desktops. So do I. However, having been part of a software development team for nearly 20 years earlier in my life, I know that sometimes a software manufacturer has to make decisions in keeping with their original goal. Maybe that’s the reason EPIM will continue to concentrate on the two main Operating Systems in today’s private user world, Windows and Android.

This is my experience. Have you tried EPIM under Linux? Leave a comment and let us know how it goes.

Axel has worked in information technology and lives in Bavaria, Germany.