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Jan
12

Getting started with Scribus

by Sukrit Dhandhania

If you have worked in the desktop publishing business or used some of the commercial desktop publishing tools such as QuarkXpress or Adobe InDesign, you must know how easy they made your work. They are also quite expensive. Depending upon how deep your pockets run, it is unlikely that too many small organisations and especially individuals can afford these software packages. That’s where Scribus steps in to save the day. Scribus is an open source application for desktop publishing. The Scribus Project was started in 2001 and has gained great popularity, support, and won several awards since its inception. The fact that it is available for just about every operating system is just one of the features that sets it apart from its commercial competitors. Let’s take a look at how to set it up and make it work…

Advisor:Sukrit Dhandhania
Sukrit Dhandhania

Sukrit has spent over seven years working with several organisations and helped them adopt GNU/Linux and other free and open source tools.

Resources:
Scribus
Little CMS Colour management engine (optional, but recommended)
Adobe Acrobat Reader (optional, but recommended)

If you have worked in the desktop publishing business or used some of the commercial desktop publishing tools such as QuarkXpress or Adobe InDesign, you must know how easy they made your work. They are also quite expensive. Depending upon how deep your pockets run, it is unlikely that too many small organisations and especially individuals can afford these software packages. That’s where Scribus steps in to save the day. Scribus is an open source application for desktop publishing. The Scribus Project was started in 2001 and has gained great popularity, support, and won several awards since its inception. The fact that it is available for just about every operating system is just one of the features that sets it apart from its commercial competitors. Let’s take a look at how to set it up and make it work…

01     Getting Scribus
Scribus is available for several operating systems such as Windows, Mac and Linux. There are a number of ways by which you can get Scribus. You can either download a ready-to-install binary version of a stable release for your operating system, or you can download and compile the latest build, referred to as the ‘nightly build’. It is recommended that you use the second option. Download the latest version you want from here.

02    Installing bleeding edge Scribus the simple way
A simple way of installing Scribus on Linux is using your distro’s package manager. Use YUM for Red Hat Linux or Fedora machines, and apt-get for Ubuntu or Debian. On our Ubuntu machine we ran the command:

# sudo apt-get install scribus

Note that using such a method for installing Scribus will get you a recent stable release, not the cutting edge development version.

03    Installing Scribus the harder way
Note: This method is only for the brave.
The second method consists of downloading the latest development version of the Scribus code and compiling it. First, get the latest code using the following command. In the command shown below we’re getting the latest development version of Scribus 1.3.5:

# svn co svn://scribus.info/Scribus/branches/Version135

Once the download completes, create a directory called builddir and get into it:

# mkdir builddir
# cd builddir

Now you need to run the cmake command and prepare it for installation. Run the following, replacing /home/username/scribusinstall/ with the path of where you want Scribus to
be installed:

# /usr/bin/cmake ../Scribus -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX:PATH=/home/username/scribusinstall/

The final step is to run a make and then to install Scribus:

# make && make install

If all went well, you should now have Scribus installed and ready for use. In case you encountered problems during any of the commands you issued, or want more options, feel free to go through the Scribus source installation document.

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