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Solar Fire

This is a recent version of Solar Fire.

Application Details:

Version: 8.03
License: Retail
URL: http://www.alabe.com/
Votes: 0
Latest Rating: Gold
Latest Wine Version Tested: 1.7.19

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Test Results

Old test results
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Selected Test Results

What works

Solar Fire 8.0.3 generally works very well within Wine. All calculations seem to be accurate. I tested the software on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS 32-bit with the Unity desktop. The font solution below provides a comprehensive fix for the font difficulties that have led to a less than optimal installation of Solar Fire on Linux in the past. Implementing this font fix ensures that program is quite stable and most functions, including the planetarium and ephemeris generator work perfectly.

What does not

The main limitation of this installation of Solar Fire is that more recent versions of  Wine (1.7.19) cause the program to crash when the Animate Chart function is used. This does not happen with Wine 1.4.1. 

The other function that doesn't seem to work is the ability to export charts as jpgs or gifs. Charts and pages can be exported as pdfs however. The graphic ephemeris function only displayed in a small window that could not be resized. However, it was usable and displayed the ephemeris correctly. This is an aesthetic issue that may be related to the Unity desktop.

Workarounds

What was not tested

Printing functions.

Hardware tested

Graphics:

  • GPU:
  • Driver:

Additional Comments

Please see the 'how-to' section below for the font fix for Solar Fire 8. This fix supersedes all other attempts to find a solution to the font problems in installing Solar Fire on Linux within Wine. This font fix has been tested in Wine 1.4.1 and Wine 1.7.19 and it works in both versions.

selected in Test Results table below
Operating systemTest dateWine versionInstalls?Runs?Used
Workaround?
RatingSubmitter
CurrentUbuntu 14.04 "Trusty" i386 (+ variants like Kubuntu)May 29 20141.7.19Yes Yes GoldEd 
ShowLinux Mint 14 "Nadia"May 11 20141.4.1Yes Yes GoldEd 

Known Bugs

Bug # Description Status Resolution Other apps affected

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HowTo / Notes

Font Solution
Font solutions

One of the difficulties with running SF on Linux has been a long-standing problem with one of the fonts. You can see the history of attempts to deal with this difficulty on the Solar Fire page here. Unfortunately these solutions have only been partial. The complete solution is to use a progam called Font Forge (downloadable from your repository) to change the Windows font, Etsans3.fon in the case of SF8, to a font compatible with Linux. This is easily done by opening the .fon font in Font Forge and using the Generate Font command to convert the font using the Win Fon format.

Run Font forge. Open the font file Etsans3.fon. Within Font Forge you can then go to File->Open and from the file browser follow these steps: .wine->drive_c->windows->Fonts. Choose Etsans3.fon. When the .fon font is open in Font Forge go to File->Generate Fonts... and choose this option from the right-hand box below the font name - Win Fon. Click Save back to the Fonts folder. 


You can find the relevant font in your .wine folder. You will have to show hidden folders. From within your file manager the easiest way to do this is to us CTRL-H. Open the .wine folder and find drive_c. Open this folder and go to the windows folder. Open the windows folder and find the Fonts folder. In this folder you will find three fonts relevant to the SF8 installation: EtAst1.ttf, Etsym3.tff and Etsans3.fon. The .ttf fonts work fine with Wine and Linux. However, you have to convert the Windows format .fon font as per the instructions above. When converted you should check that the font is present in the fonts folder. You may overwrite Etsans3.fon with the regenerated font. However I recommend the more conservative option of renaming Etsans3.fon before converting so that you can reaccess it if you ever need it. You may want to call it something like orig_Etsans3.fon.

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