Running Mendeley 0.9.8 on Fedora 14 (x86_64)

Mendeley is a combination of a desktop application and a website which helps you manage, share and discover both content and contacts in research.

The Desktop version offers automatic extraction of document details, management of your papers with full text search, sharing and synchronization, among other features. The website provides an online backup of your library, a variety of statistics about your research behavior, a research network and a recommendation engine for papers that might interest you.

When I discover this application I thought it was awesome and wanted to use it for my own research needs. However, every time I tried to install it on my fedora (first fedora 13 and now fedora 14) I was presented with some problem: sometimes I couldn’t even start the application because Mendeley was unable to load libssl, although the library was packed with Mendeley Desktop for Generic Linux. When I was finally able to fix the problem linking the version of  libssl installed in the system, the application wouldn’t start due to a compatibility problem between the system’s libssl and the Qt libraries packed with Mendeley so I had to download the latest Qt for my system and remove the packed libraries in order to finally run application. However, there was another problem, I could explore my local library and add new papers but couldn’t synch that information with my account on the website… and it was like that for a long time, until today, when I decided to look for a solution again and this time I found it.

All the problems mentioned before can be avoided using the Qt libraries packed with the application and replacing libssl with an older version from Fedora 11. Klaas, the author of this solution, gives a set of steps to download the right libssl and replace the files in Mendeley Desktop directory:

[codesyntax lang=”bash”]

# Download openssl-0.9.8 and extract the files from the RPM
mkdir -p /tmp/openssl
cd /tmp/openssl
rpm2cpio openssl-0.9.8k-1.fc11.x86_64.rpm | cpio -idmv

# cd to Mendeley Desktop directory. The one you extracted the files to...
cd mendeleydesktopdir/lib

# Fix symbolic links
rm -rf
mv /tmp/openssl/usr/lib64/* .
ln -s
rm -rf /tmp/openssl


After applying the previous snippet Mendeley Desktop can be started executing ./bin/mendeleydesktop.

I will try to write a post with steps to properly install the application with menu entries and desktop shortcuts.

The original thread where this solution was published can be seen at Mendeley’s UserVoice page.