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[Linux] Install and run Windows programs on Linux with Wine

wine1 [1]Even the most independent of Windows user needs to use Windows software at one point or another. Yesterday we covered PlayOnLinux [2], which helps you use Windows games on Linux. Today it is the turn of Wine, a program that allows users to run Windows software on Linux. It’s a Microsoft Windows compatibility layer for Linux, Mac OS X, BSD, and Solaris.


Main Functionality

Wine is a Microsoft Windows compatibility layer for Linux. In simply terms, it allows users to install and run Windows software on Linux.

Wine is actually available on Mac OS X, BSD, and Solaris, too. However, we specifically looked at the Linux version for this review.




wine2 [3]If you’re big into Linux, there’s a good chance most of your program selections are covered. You’re most likely more comfortable with most of the applications that Linux has to offer, and only seldom use Windows software in Wine. That is the way I am. I do not use Wine for anything but games, and applications that only work with Windows. I don’t use Wine to install things like Microsoft office because I use Google Docs, I don’t use Wine to install Photoshop because I prefer Gimp. The list can go on and on, but what I do use Wine for, is video games.

I know that Wine can be used for literally any sort of Windows software, and it does an amazing job at it, but my experience is largely with Windows video games. I usually have no problem installing any one of my old video games. I also seldom install Windows software that I need and can’t find a better, more native Linux version. These are tools that I really need that I can’t get on Linux like SonyVegas Pro 12, or Adobe After Effects etc. I usually don’t try to scour the internet for free Windows tools when there’s probably a better Linux tool.

Most people think that Wine turns their Linux machine into a Windows+ Linux machine. If that’s what you’re installing wine for, you might as well just install Windows. Wine is a wonderful tool for Linux users who have to live in a world where sometimes Linux gets neglected. It gives us a bit more of an option.

My favorite feature that Wine has to offer is the fact that you can run anything in literally any version of Windows. Winecfg allows you to switch all the way from Window 2.0 to Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008. This makes backwards compatibility for your old Windows stuff AMAZING. I’ve had a copy of a game I bought in 99 work better in Wine than several versions of Windows.

Wine really doesn’t have any major things to dislike outside of the fact that some updates to wine (may or may not) ruin the way applications work. This is rare and doesn’t happen, but it can, and when it does, it can be rather annoying. It’s nothing that a downgrade can’t accomplish, but it’s still something that needs to be addressed.

All in all, Wine is a must have if you’re a gamer, or even just a regular Linux user that wants to run some Windows software on your Linux machine. This is a program that you can’t afford to not install. Wine has its uses, and in a world where Windows is still dominating the Destkop PC market, it is an invaluable tool.


If you’re a gamer looking to install Windows games, grab PlayOnLinux [2]. If you’re just a regular guy looking to install Windows programs on your Linux machine, grab Wine. Wine has been around since 1993, and always been a lifeline for Linux users; it is the best tool for the job at hand. Do yourself a favor and download it right away.

Price: Free

Version reviewed: 1.4.1

Supported OS: Any Linux distro, BSD, Mac OS X, Solaris

Supported software repositories: Any Linux distro’s repository

Download size: Unknown

Is it portable? No

Wine homepage [4]