Dreamspark is Microsoft’s name for providing discounts to educational and research institutions, like schools and universities. At my institution (and I don’t know how many others), we have access to Windows, Word, etc… through onthehub.com. As a big open-source fan, I usually run Ubuntu on my laptop and desktop, but occasionally need to use Windows-only applications for work. My usual solution to this is to use VMWare or Virtualbox to run Windows without having the mess of dual-booting.
Unfortunately for me, onthehub uses a “Secure Download Manager” (SDM) to download the ISO needed to install Windows. And that SDM will only run on Windows or Mac. Now, I could just hvae gone to a Windows-using colleague and have them download it for me, but, well, I’m stubborn. In the hopes of helping someone else (or just me) out, here’s what you have to do to download Windows Dreamspark from onthehub.
This only works if you are already able and authorised to download Windows from such a service. It doesn’t get you a pirate or illegally-shared copy of Windows, it only allows you to run the service’s download-management software on Ubuntu.
1) ‘Buy’ the software you want from the store. You should end up at a page entitled “Get Your Software in 4 Easy Steps” (heh heh) that looks a bit like this:
I used to have a complicated method here, using User-Agent Switcher in Firefox to trick the site into thinking you’re on a windows platform.Thanks to JO, who found a much simpler way to perform this step.What you need to do is just change the link — mine is
http://e5.onthehub.com/Static/Installers/SDM.pkg to http://e5.onthehub.com/Static/Installers/SDM_EN.msi If your link is different, just change the last part.
Now we can use WINE to allow us to run this Window-only file. WINE is a software package that allows
most many some windows applications to run on Linux. Get it through
apt-get install wine
But, we want to use IE6 as our browser in WINE — the SDM just works with this and not with IE9. So, also get the winetricks package
apt-get install winetricks
Then, setup wine.
Now, install the SDM.
wine msiexec /i SDM.msi
Click through the installer. I suggest changing the install directory to C:\SDM\ or something similar
Now you need to get the .sdx file from onthehub.com (the second download link you’re given). Save it. The file is named something like 100001234.sdx.
Now, we put it all together with
wine ~/.wine32/drive_c/SDM/e-academy\ Inc/SecureDownloadManager/SecureDownloadManager.exe 100001234.sdx
Remember to change the name of the sdx file and the path to the executable, if necessary.
The SDM should then “just work” and download your .iso. Congratulations!
Updated February 27th 2013 with corrections, thanks to Benjamin
Updated June 21th 2013 with a small correction, merci à
deguipi, and thanks to Francesco
Updated December 8th 2013 with a better method to get the SDM, thanks to JO.