How To Run Windows Applications In Non-Windows Platforms

Sitting behind a mac or a Linux and missing your favourite indie titles? Or you’re just tired of rebooting for a simple task to be done? Well, there’s a program called “Wine” that does this job for you. Have a look.Wine

Wine, No kidding

Yes “Wine”, recursive acronym for WINE Is Not Emulator. No hallucination or alcohol here. At the first look it might seem a bit awkward to run an executable of one operating system in another but, in this case it’s possible. Technically, it’s an emulator. But, a look at the level of integration it provides with your host operating system, give the devs the bragging rights! Wine allows your windows applications run in your Linux or Mac just like a native app with complete drag and drop and clipboard support. It can be called as a compatibility layer for executing Windows applications on several POSIX-compliant operating systems, such as Linux, Mac OSX, & BSD. Wine achieves this by translating Windows API calls into POSIX calls on-the-fly, eliminating the performance and memory penalties at the same time allows for clean desktop integration.

Why use Wine?

Well, each of us know all know that Microsoft Office shall never be coming to Linux. Such goes for a lots of other apps. And also the awesomeness of the POSIX world is a thing, once felt, you wouldn’t want to miss. But, since these don’t play well together in one such super system, WINE comes to rescue. There are, albeit, other options, such as dual booting and virtualisation. But consider each of them. How justifiable is it to reboot every time you want to open a simple word processor? And the virtual machine, which is itself a separate “machine”, running in complete isolation, comes with all its bizarre configuration headaches and drivers for all sorts!

Now here’s how to install Wine in your operating systems.

Linux Users:

Though we cannot provide installation instructions for your dog’s disrto for the number of Linux distros are annoyingly huge. Please try to understand. We have only included instructions for the most widely used distributions.

Ubuntu, and other derived distros.
  1. Add the WINE PPA to Software sources. Type the following command in a shell :

    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-wine/ppa

  2. Refresh apt package metadata by running this command:

    sudo apt-get update

  3. Install wine by typing:

    sudo apt-get install wine


    Alternatively, you can add the PPA through the software sources menu and install it through the package manager.

Debian and other Debian based distros.

Debian uses its own package manager and repositories to do installation stuff. Simply fire-up:

sudo apt-get install wine

Alternatively you can install wine from your favourite package manager.

Red Hat EL, Fedora, CentOS and OpenSUSE

These operating systems use “yum” as their package manager and host wine in their software repositories. To install just fire up a shell and type:

    sudo yum install wine.

For other distros, head over to the WINE Downloads Page to know more. And for distros not listed (Arch Linux etc…), you can browse your distro’s software repositories for wine and get it from there.

Apple Mac Users:

Unfortunately, there’s no pre-build official binary package available for wine available yet. Though there are some third-party builds available. To know more head over to the official WINE wiki for MacOSX.

Now that you have installed WINE, there is yet some more (little) configuration to do before you start running your apps. Though most of the apps run out-of-the-box, some don’t. Checkout the WINE post-install how-to for more details.

That’s it. You’re now ready to enjoy all your favourite windows games and apps on your favourite operating system. Stay tuned for more updates on latest software technologies.

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