You may heard of the extended Free PlayBook offer from BlackBerry. If not, basically if you upload an app, no matter in which language you write or have written your app, they will offer you a free PlayBook when your app gets approved. So I wanted to take the chance and grab one of these, even though it's not an Android tablet :)

So I took an old little game I wrote a year ago and struggled myself through the progress of signing, testing and uploading. In every single step was something really annoying but I just describe the testing part. I'm running Ubuntu and I wanted to test my little app on the simulator before I upload it to know if it actually runs. Unfortunately the didn't provide the resources for Linux, but there is a little workaround to get them anyway. The first thing you need is the VMWare Player. When the download is finished make it executable with the following command.

chmod 777 /path/to/VMWare-Player-bundle-file

After that you can execute it with

sudo /path/to/VMWare-Player-bundle-file

Then go through the installing progress. Shouldn't be too hard.

The next step is a little bit harder and requires more time (and probably nerves) On the main page is just the Windows and Mac version, of the PlayBook 2.0 simulator. After searching the developer site I found the resources of the PlayBook for all platforms. Unfortunately after installing and running I noticed, that this is a old version. It's 1.0.8 :(

But there's a way to get the files for your favorite operating system. What you need is another pc (or if you're lucky you installed Windows on your pc too) and download the file for this platform. So if you have access to a Windows pc download the exe from here and execute it. This will just execute a bunch of files to a directory you specified. Take this files on an usb stick, go back to your Ubuntu pc and copy them to /home/name/VMWare/BlackBerryPlayBookSimulator2 (or any other place) Then open VMWare and press "Open a Virtual Machine" browse to the directory and open the vmx file. The last thing you have to do is to set up eclipse to run your app (Window > Preferences > BlackBerry > BlackBerry Tools SDK and click on "Add..."), but this part is documented enough here.

I hope it works for you and if not don't hesitate to leave a comment.