Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Logging in into Picasa 3.9 under Linux

A few years ago I showed my father Picasa under Linux, he liked it and started to use it to upload his photos, and has been using it for almost 6 years, even Google discontinued Picasa for Linux at version 3.0 (Picasa is at 3.9 now).

Unfortunately a few weeks ago seems Google decided to kill support for old APIs in the server side and Picasa 3.0 for Linux was giving back an error when trying to upload an image ("Could not find POST url" or similar). I suggested to wait to see if they would come back, but it seems they haven't and so i've had to fix it for him.

Since he's heavily invested in Picasa I've had to install Picasa for windows under wine to make it work. It has not been trivial to get to work so I'll share it here for others that committed the error of trusting privative software and services.

The story is this: Installing picasa 3.9 for windows under wine is pretty easy (next, next, next). The problem is once you are running it, being able to log in. First problem is that the webview using for login doesn't even show. Most of the interwebs suggest installing ie8 using winetricks to solve that and it indeed solves the problem of the webview not showing, but still i can't log in (interestingly the webview will tell you if you wrote the password wrong).

At this point i was stuck for a few hours, even found some dude that claimed he had installed Google Chrome Frame for Internet Explorer and that had fixed for him. But not for me.

After a few hours, I stopped trusting the internet and started to think. I have a windows installation laying around, and i can log in from there, and once logged in Picasa does not ask for the password again, so it must be storing something no?

So I made a copy of the Program Files folder and compared it after loggin in, folders where exactly the same. So it was not stored there, which makes sense since log in is per user not per machine. Next i tried in that weird Personal Folder (Windows $HOME) but could not find any change either. Last chance was the registry, i used http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/reg_file_from_application.html and saw that when logging in, Picasa writes a few entries in HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Google\Picasa\Picasa2\Preferences namely GoogleOAuth, GoogleOAuthEmail, GoogleOAuthServices and GoogleOAuthVersion, so I copied these over to the wine installation (with "wine regedit") and now my father can run Picasa just fine again.

Lessons learned:
* Non Free Software will eventually come back and hit you, if possible don't use it for stuff that is critical to you
* Think about your problem, sometimes is easier than just googling random instructions from the internet.


Anonymous said...

Man, you save my life! THANK YOU!!!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot!! Great job

Anonymous said...

Brilliant. Works perfectly. Thanks a lot.

Michael Pienaar said...

Thank you so much TSDegeo. This is an excellent, working solution to a problem I have been troubleshooting for over a month without success. I have lost a lot of valuable time and hair deleting the .wine folder several times and reinstalling all my applications including Picasa and the dreaded IE8, which I had suspected, naturally, to be the main culprit for Picasa's login issues. Bravo!!

I would like to add that, after importing the picassa2 preferences registry values from a windows version, I had to test various combinations of DLL override settings for both *iexplore.exe and *wininet, in the wine configurations dialogue. On my system I need to set the DLL overrides in as follows for Picasa web features to work properly: so, in the libraries tab, set *iexplore.exe (native), and *wininet (native, builtin). I cannot say weather this would work on all systems, but that is the only combination that is working for me.

mikooh said...

Brilliant! This finally made Picasa working!

I had the idea before once but couldn't fine any registry entries in my XP installation, obviously I was not logged in or so?

Now it worked directly at first try.


Anonymous said...

Thank you so much TSDegeo,

Your blog describe hopefully exactly whats happend and why I'm not able to login into my linux-wine-picasa-3.0

Unfortunately I have to say, I'm a pure
unix/linux guy since 25 years and I have
not any windows system to copy some REG

with wine regedit there are no GoogleOAuth field at the given path.

please, are there any hints, what to do, to re-active my picasa.

I have 400 albums at picasaweb and its
a PITA to handle them via browser since
summer ....

many thanks in advance

Unknown said...

You saved my day! Looking for this for so long ... THANK YOU!

Anonymous said...

Hi, this is a great posting.. Can you post the types of entries and the values of the registry settings that need to be copied over?

i.e., OAuth - DWORD - 1, OAuthVer - STRING - 3.999, etc.

Thank you!

Unknown said...

Fantastic - it actually works. Now why did Google have to make it so obscure

Anonymous said...

Thank You! Now running the latest version on my Linux machine with full google support!

Anonymous said...

I get a message that 'regscanner' is a virus. Any comment??

Anonymous said...

thank you it worked. but i also had to upgrade picasa to the very latest version.

Anonymous said...

I'm having trouble figuring out how to add this information, Can you give more of a step by step instructions (I'm a newbie)

Unknown said...

Newbie here, never mind I figured it out.
Thanks a million!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations for the trick, very clever!
The only solution I found working for Picasa 3.9 on Linux 64 bits.

Bill Miller said...

Thanks! This is the only solution I found that worked.

Unknown said...

You're a star, many thanks

Max Power said...

Worked like a charm for me! I failed to get the Winetricks IE6 options to work but this worked straight away.

Max Power said...

As of yesterday, my login on picasa stopped working and the entries were deleted from my registry. I re-added them twice and they worked for a few minutes, after which the entries were again deleted from my registry. I suspect Google made an OAuth change or something that is causing this. Oh well, I instead just export my albums and manually upload them to google photos.