Ruminations on the Digital Realm

Jan Stedehouder

Focus: GnomeSword2

If you have a KDE-based program for Bible study, there is -no doubt- a Gnome counterpart for it as well. Indeed, next to BibleTime you have GnomeSword2. The default install of GnomeSword comes with the King James bible, Matthew Henry’s and Naves Dictionary.

The default screen has a five pane layout with the library to the left and then the Bible translation you use (top left) with the possibility for a standard view or parallel view, the commentary (top right), the dictionary (bottom right) and a preview pane (bottom left). The top two screens synchronize instantly and automatically. The interface is a lot cleaner than BibleTime’s, but that is no doubt due to the difference in interface philosophies. The options are just more visible with BibleTime. One nice possibility in GnomeSword is the use of Tabs, which means you can open various sets of Bible translations and commentaries at the same time without cluttering your screen.

To install additional translations and commentaries you need to open the Module Manager and select each item separately. BibleTime allowed you to choose either the language set as a whole or just separate publications. With GnomeSword this is much more tedious. Gnomesword also uses the Crosswire remote server for the modules. The programs suffers therefore from the same problem as BibleTime: it uses abbreviations known to the incrowd.

Personally I would like both programs to improve somewhat and taking the best from the both of them. BibleTime is somewhat more flexible and makes it easier to install larger subsets of modules. GnomeSword2 has a cleaner and somewhat faster interface. Both should focus more on making Bible study more attractive by at least using the full names of the publications and skip the abbreviations.

Tags: Ubuntu, GnomeSword


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2 thoughts on “Focus: GnomeSword2

  1. pashabear on said:

    I installed BibleTime to my MintLinux system (2.2 – Bianca), but haven’t been able to get GnomeSword to install. I get the following error:

    The following packages have unmet dependencies:
    gnomesword: Depends: libsword5c2a (>= 1.5.8-7) but it is not installable
    E: Broken packages

    And when I try and install libsword5c2a, here’s what it tells me:

    Package libsword5c2a is not available, but is referred to by another package.
    This may mean that the package is missing, has been obsoleted, or
    is only available from another source
    However, the following packages replace it:
    E: Package libsword5c2a has no installation candidate

    I’m wondering if the “libsword6” package was installed by BibleTime, and that’s what’s interfering?

  2. I am not really the “under the hood”-guy ;-), but I did a little research. I have tried out BibleTime under Feisty Fawn and GnoneSword2 under Dapper, so that might account for the difference. In theory both should be happy living on the same system. The strange thing is, there is no mention yet of a libsword6 package on the Sourceforge page of BibleTime ( The GnomeSword page ( refers back to that page.
    Linux Mint is not the same as Ubuntu (though it uses the same repositories as I understand it), but if you could install BibleTime on it, it should be able to handle GnomeSword2. I would recommend trying out the tarball ( Depending on how much you have installed already you might get some dependency issues. At least you need to install “make” and “GCC” via Synaptic in order to build software from a tarball.

    [Update] I tried to install GnomeSword2 on my Feisty Fawn box and it worked without so much as a glitch. This version uses the Apostle’s Bible instead of the King James version. What positively surprised me was the fact that it also found all the modules I installed with BibleTime and added it to the bookshelf. This doesn’t solve your problem of course, but it does show that there is nothing to stop BibleTime and GnomeSword to co-exist and even cooperate on the same box. It could be specific for Linux Mint. One thing that is always useful is to run a complete update via Synaptic in order to make sure the whole system is up to date. However, if you have BibleTime installed that should take care of all GnomeSword dependencies.

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