Monday 15 August 2011

How to Install (Some) Windows Applications in Linux.

Ubuntu and other versions of Linux have great software for almost anything you could want to do, but sometimes there is a Windows application that is irreplaceable to you. That’s where Wine can come in. Wine is not a traditional emulator, or an emulator at all, but a compatibility layer. It allows you to run some Windows applications in Linux, BSD, Solaris, and Mac OS X. What separates it from an emulator is that it doesn’t require the full resources of running Windows, nor does it require a license from Microsoft.

Wine is available in the Ubuntu Software Center for Ubuntu users, or available on Wine’s Web site, and you can download it from either of those sources. Some applications require you to enable certain drivers. This can be very easy using Configure Wine. For example, Spotify requires the OSS Driver to be enabled. To do this, open the application Configure Wine > Audio tab > click the OSS Driver checkbox.

In some Linux distros, Ubuntu-based ones particularly, .exe files, the Windows installer standard, are not marked as executable for the system, and you will see this message:

This will happen for all .exe files and has a very easy fix. Simply right click the file > Properties > Permissions tab > click the checkbox Allow executing file as program. Once the file is marked as executable, right click it and say Open With Windows Program Loader and go through the installer and it will set up just fine.

Be prepared to experience some bugs. These applications are not designed for Linux and you will encounter problems. I recommend you make sure you’re comfortable with these problems before you pay a hefty price for any of them, and again this only works with some Windows applications — not all of them. There is a list available.

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