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computing: software: Linux/Windows: WINE


WINE is an acronym for WINE Is Not an Emulator. It is a FOSS program which provides a Windows API so that Windows programs can run under Linux. (This is consistent with some definitions of the word "emulator", despite the acronym.)

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How To

is the GUI-based configuration applet for WINE; it is generally not set up in a KDE menu, so you have to run it from the console.
wine program_filename[.ext] parameters
runs a program in WINE. When WINE is installed, it will usually configure the window manager (KDE, Nautilus...) to recognize Windows programs and execute them with WINE, but if you run it from a console you will see any error or warning messages coming from WINE.

Apparent Shortcomings

  • WINE has no Start menu, so there is no easy way to run installed programs.
  • Attempting to run .exe files with WINE often causes WINE to do nothing and exit with no error message (even when running in a terminal).
  • WINE desperately needs something equivalent to Windows Explorer, so you can at least verify that the WINE environment is working properly.
  • WINE cannot be "restarted", so many installation routines which require you to "restart your computer" cannot be completed (including installation of MSIE)

User Notes


These are problems I have run into trying to use WINE on two different systems.

On one system, nothing will run; this appears to be because no drives are configured. However, when you run wineconfig and attempt to create some, an error message on the console says "unable to define devicename of 'C:', targetpath of '/'" (using the autodetected value "/" for C:'s path, but I tried one or two others and got the same results). On exiting and reloading winecfg, any values which were created are lost (so apparently they are not being saved).

On the other system, things seem to run more or less properly, but the Program Manager (progman.exe, which seems to be one user-friendly way of invoking applications - "wine progman" to start it) has a character limitation in its "Execute" dialog which is too short for most programs stored in the general format "c:\program files\nameofapp\nameofapp.exe" or longer. (It is still possible to run such programs from the console, but this severely limits the usefulness of progman.)

2006-09-08 Adding a user to the group "dip" seemed to enable WINE to access the sound system one time when it complained that it could not (on Ubuntu Dapper). This could have been a fluke, however, and I have not confirmed it. Used usermod to make the group assignment.

/MS Office 97 Pro won't install under WINE 0.90; see Image:2007-03-10 WINE and MS Office 97.crop.png.