I'd like to remove the DRM protection from a couple of my eBooks, just for PERSONAL USE (since they are locked, I cannot read them). They are protected by the Adobe ADE DRM.

On the Internet there are many ways to get the result, but most of them are outdated. Is there a simple and effective one?

  • 1
    The "are questions or answers like this okay" was discussed some time ago on meta here: meta.askubuntu.com/questions/2971/… . The question doesn't make itself out of bounds. On the other hand, it is a software recommendation question, so you might be getting downvotes for that reason instead. Some people frown on software recommendation questions. Commented May 6, 2014 at 21:23

4 Answers 4


This is the simplest way that I have found:

  1. Install Adobe Digital Editions using winetricks
    winetricks adobe_diged
  2. Download and install ePUBee within the same wine prefix used by Adobe Digital Editions
    $ cd ~/Downloads
    $ wget http://download.epubee.com/ePUBeeePUBDRMRemoval.exe
    $ WINEPREFIX=~/.local/share/wineprefixes/adobe_diged/ wine ePUBeeePUBDRMRemoval.exe
  3. Start Adobe Digital Editions and login to your adobe account
  4. Add your DRM'ed books and wait until they are readable (decrypted)
  5. Run ePUBee. It should automatically decrypt any files added to Adobe Digital Editions to
    ~/.local/share/wineprefixes/adobe_diged/drive_c/users/${USER}/Application\ Data/decrypt/
  6. Use Calibre or your favorite ePUB management tool to get the ePUB's onto your reader
  • 3
    Is this method still working, now that ADE 1.7 no longer functions correctly with the download servers? I would hope so as this seems much more easier than my answer.
    – Rewarp
    Commented Sep 5, 2016 at 21:54
  • 1
    step 5 didnt worked for me, so I used, the key in ~/.local/share/wineprefixes/adobe_diged/drive_c/users/${USER}/Application Data/magic_keys in the plugin DeDRM in calibre.
    – Ferroao
    Commented Jun 22, 2018 at 3:19

The simple answer is no. There is a convoluted process to getting the DRM stripped from your ebooks, but it is possible.

You will need to install calibre, and get the DRM removal plug-in separately. To get your keys from Adobe into the Calibre ebook reader, you will need to install the Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) with Wine.

Follow the instructions in the DRM removal plugin to get it working.

Update 1: ADE 1.7 no longer works properly in Wine. Attempts to download ebooks into it inevitably fail. Only version 2.0.1 works with this method of removing DRMs, and it is still quite difficult to get it set up properly in Wine.

Update 2: The DeDRM tools linked in here are even more straightforward for use if you legally own an ebook device. My books bought or owned on the Kobo and Amazon ebook stores can be quite trivially processed with the plugins included in the DeDRM packages linked in my original answer, as they rely on the device ID for DRM removal. No more installation of ADE required. The downloaded files include steps specific for your device.

  • thanks rewarp. Actually, I tried this way, but I cannot install ADE 3.0 nor 2.0 using the Ubuntu 14.04 repos for wine. any ideas?
    – ed0
    Commented May 6, 2014 at 8:39
  • It appears ADE is finicky about the platform it is installed on (you will need to use a 32 bit prefix) plus getting a few Windows dlls installed as well. It appears Adobe is still rather keen in ignoring the existence of the Linux community as a whole. appdb.winehq.org/objectManager.php?sClass=version&iId=30159
    – Rewarp
    Commented May 7, 2014 at 8:17
  • 3
    I managed to get ADE working by installing version 1.7 of ADE. It just isn't worth the trouble getting the 2.0 and 3.0 versions working.
    – Rewarp
    Commented May 8, 2014 at 20:18
  • 2
    This worked for me: winetricks adobe_diged. It installs ADE 1.7.2 into WINEPREFIX ~/.local/share/wineprefixes/adobe_diged
    – bmaupin
    Commented Oct 23, 2014 at 13:50
  • @bmaupin and don't forget sudo apt-get install winetricks first :)
    – BenB
    Commented Aug 26, 2016 at 20:37

The other answers no longer work (or did for me). Unfortunately getting it to work is convoluted and will use +5GB of space. However, this is what I did to get it working. I hope I included all the steps. It installs ADE 2.0.1

Note: wine1.7 and the version in repo for winetricks failed for installing dotdeb (required for ADE 2.0.1) so I installed the latest winetricks and wine

  • Winetricks repo - winetricks
    • I used whereis winetricks to find it and moved the downloaded winetricks to that location (for example /usr/bin/winetricks)
  • Wine2.0 - guide
    • Remove your current version of wine prior to installing the new version
    • sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ricotz/unstable
    • sudo apt-get update && sudo apt install wine-stable

Installing ADE 2.0.1

I used this guide (partially replicated here)

Files to download Steps
  • WINEPREFIX=~/.adewine WINEARCH=win32 wineboot
  • export WINEPREFIX=$HOME/.adewine/
  • winetricks -q windowscodecs && winetricks -q corefonts
  • wine ~/Downloads/dotnetfx35setup.exe # Will take awhile
  • wine ~/Downloads/ADE_2.0_Installer.exe

At this point, you should open ADE and login to authorize it to allow calibre to gain your key later on.

WINEPREFIX=$HOME/.adewine/ wine ~/.adewine/drive_c/Program\ Files/Adobe/Adobe\ Digital\ Editions\ 2.0/DigitalEditions.exe

Install Python and Pycrypto for Calibre

The script for removing drm with calibre recommends python2.7 but python2.6 seems to work. For me, there was a bug where wine cannot find python.exe and has a error of

wine: cannot find L"C:\\windows\\system32\\python.exe"

I worked around that by linking it.

Install python26
  • export WINEPREFIX=$HOME/.adewine/
  • winetricks python26
  • cd ~/.adewine/drive_c/windows/system32 && ln -s ../../Python26/python.exe ./; cd -
Install Pycrypto

Install calibre and drm plugin

Install calibre
  • sudo apt-get install calibre

    Install DeDRM calibre plugin
  • Download DeDRM_tools from this repo

  • Extract the DeDRM_calibre_plugin directory inside the zipfile to anywhere
  • Open Calibre and go into: Preferences -> Plugins -> Load Plugin from file -> Choose DeDRM_plugin.zip from the directory you extracted too.

Configure DRM Plugin

  • In plugins (from before) search for drm or DeDRM
  • Select Customize plugin -> Adobe Digital Editions ebooks
  • In WINEPREFIX put in /home/YOURUSERNAME/.adewine # Replace YOURUSERNAME with your username :)
  • Select the Green Plus sign and give the key a name


  • Download a book to ADE by opening the .ascm file (or dragging into it). You can open ADE by running WINEPREFIX=$HOME/.adewine/ wine DigitalEditions.exe

  • Run Calibre and add a book from ~/Documents/My Digital Editions/bookname.epub

  • Worked for me on Ubuntu 18.04 but not for Ubuntu 19.04 with Wine 4. DotNet refused to install with you must use "turn windows features on or off" in the control panel to install or configure microsoft .net framwork 3.5 sp1.
    – nachtigall
    Commented Jan 6, 2020 at 15:11
  • With setting winecfg to Windows XP in Applications tab (instead of Windows 7) DotNet installed. ADE also installed but when starting then there was an Error: The entry point method could not be loaded due to Could not load file or assembly 'PresentationFramework, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=31bf3856ad364e35' or one of its dependencies. assembly:PresentationFramework, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=31bf3856ad364e35 type:<unknown type> member:<none>. I gave up. Luckily, it worked with Lutris, so I added a new answer based on the above.
    – nachtigall
    Commented Jan 6, 2020 at 15:11
  • Success with ADE 4.5, Python 3.4 from msi 32-bit installer, PyCrypto 2.6.1 from wheel, and DeDRM 7.2
    – redfish
    Commented May 4, 2021 at 2:57
  • Checking back here. I now use a Windows 10 Virtual machine with ADE 2.0.1 installed. This lets me consistently download the epub. I then take the encrypted epub and drag onto Calibre in Ubuntu which "dedrm's" it and go from there.
    – Miati
    Commented Jul 4, 2022 at 4:22

Miati's answer and the guide worked for me with Ubuntu 18.04. But on a new Laptop with 19.10 and Wine 4, I could not get it working despite trying for hours.

I think it is because Adobe Digital Editions 2.0.1 and DotNet 3.5 require 32 bit Windows XP, I am not sure but it is altogether very complicated setup...

But then I found another way which is even way easier and much faster: Use Lutris for installing Adobe Digital Editions (in short: ADE)!

Step by step:

  1. Install Lutris: https://lutris.net/downloads/
  2. Install ADE 2.0.1 using Lutris by a mere mouse click: https://lutris.net/games/adobe-digital-editions/ (this will automatically install all the dependencies like dotnet 3.5, corefonts, windows codecs and so on – such a relief)
  3. Start and open your first *.acsm file from your library or similar. ADE will ask you to register (this is how your key will be created
  4. Install Python 2.7 (for PyCrypto in the next step) within the WINEPREFIX that Lutris created for the ADE application:
    1. Download from https://www.python.org/downloads/release/python-2717/
    2. Install with WINEPREFIX=/home/YOUR_USERNAME/Games/adobe-digital-editions wine start Downloads/python-2.7.17.msi Here /home/YOUR_USERNAME/Games/adobe-digital-editions is the WINEPREFIX created by Lutris. Change YOUR_USERNAME to your username.
  5. Install PyCrypto:
    1. Download from http://www.voidspace.org.uk/python/modules.shtml#pycrypto
    2. Install with WINEPREFIX=/home/YOUR_USERNAME/Games/adobe-digital-editions wine Downloads/pycrypto-2.6.win32-py2.7.exe Again change YOUR_USERNAME to your username.

That's it. As for setting up Calibre and the DeDRM plugin use Miati's answer.

As time passes always keep an eye at the Wine AppDB for ADE 2.0.1. That's how I found out about using Lutris.

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