Are you looking to switch to Linux but don’t want to lose your favorite Windows apps? Now you can get the best of both worlds. Linux knows how to work with most flavors of Windows software, and with a few tweaks, it can launch almost anything you attack it.
If you are not interested in dual booting (having both systems on your computer) or just want to experiment with Linux’s ability to run Windows software, this article will give you a good overview of what you need to know.
Wine is an open source compatibility layer that allows users to run Windows applications right from their Linux desktop.
Wine currently has thousands of winehq.org/” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>fully supported applications running. Wine is very easy to use.
Please note: if a program requires a license key to run legally on Windows, you must have a license key for the program or application in order to legally run it through Wine.
We will be using Ubuntu for this tutorial. However, the installation for other Linux distributions should be very similar.
How to install Wine on Ubuntu Linux via GUI
You can find Wine in your Ubuntu Software Center. However, the default version may not be the most recent.
To avoid installing an old version of Wine, you need to add the winehq.org/Download” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>official Wine repository You can use the command line or graphical user interface (GUI) to add it to your system. Following are the steps to follow when using the GUI method.
Enter the software in the Applications menu.
The next step is to click on “Software and Updates”, then the “Other Software” tab and select “Add”. In the APT String section, add the following and click Add Source.
ppa: ubuntu wine / ppa
Enter your sudo password, which is the same password you set when you installed Ubuntu. This is usually the same one that you used to log in.
Click “Authentication” and then “Close”.
You will then be prompted to restart and open the Software Center. Search for Wine and click Install. Wait for the installation to complete.
Install via Command Line
Installation via the command line can be done in just a few steps.
First download the wine repository key and add it to your system.
Then add the PPA to the package lists. The PPA you need to use may differ depending on which version of Linux you are using. For Ubuntu 18.04, you need bionic.
sudo apt-add-repository ‘deb https://dl.winehq.org/wine-builds/ubuntu/ bionic main’ sudo apt update pre>
Then, to install win, run the following command:
sudo apt install –install-recommends winehq-stable
After completing this command, the installation is complete. You can open the Wine program.
If at the last step of the installation, you get a message that it cannot find the correct Wine packages or the wrong architecture, enable the 32-bit add-on libraries by running the following command. Then try installing again.
sudo dpkg –add-architecture i386
Select your Windows app
As mentioned above, Wine has a database of approximately 24,000 known applications. You can find this database on the WineHQ website.
They are sorted or ranked by how well they work when running in Wine, and are as follows:
- Platinum: Works without issue
- Gold: Special configuration required
- Silver: Some minor issues have been reported.
- Bronze: Significant Issues Affecting Usage
- Garbage: Doesn’t Run at All in Wine
Let’s show you how to use a Platinum app.
Click Browse Applications on the left sidebar in the Application Database.
Enter the name of the application you are looking for in the Name field. We’re going to select the Platinum rating and search for Notepad ++.
Take a look at the screenshot below where you can see the search results.
When you click on Notepad ++, you will see a description of the application, a list of available versions (if there is more than one) and how compatible it is with the Wine version.
After selecting the version of the app you want to download, click on it. In this case, we will choose version 7.x. Please note in the screenshot below that you are provided with an interactive download link.
How to download and use an app with Wine
Select the version you want to install. This is usually the latest version. In this case, it is version 7.7.1. Once downloaded, the app is saved in the Downloads folder by default.
Locate the file (this will be a zipped file), right-click it and select “Extract Here” from the menu options.
After extracting the files, find the notepad ++. Exe. Right-click it and select “Open with Windows Wine Loader”.
After you open the file, you can use the Windows Notepad ++ application on your Linux computer.
Since Wine does not always run the latest Windows applications, and some are slow, you might want to consider using CrossOver.
Use CrossOver In Ubuntu Distribution
CrossOver is a commercial product from CodeWeavers It costs $ 41.97 and has a fully functional 14-day free trial. It is based on Wine as described above.
CrossOver has advanced functionality that:
- Adds configuration tools;
- Modifies the Wine source code;
- Applies compatibility fixes
Compared to Wine, CrossOver is more user-friendly, more automated and provides technical support.
To start a free trial, go to CodeWeavers, select your Linux distribution and enter your name and email address.
There are many Linux distributions available. The default package management system or software installation tool will depend on the type of Linux you are using.
You should install CrossOver from the appropriate .DEB or .RPM file using the default installer for your system. For Ubuntu, you need the .DEB format.
In most cases, all you need to do is download the CrossOver installation package and double click on it. Be sure to select the appropriate package, 32-bit or 64-bit.
Double-clicking the downloaded file will open the Ubuntu Software Center (the default package manager).
Click Install and enter your root or sudo password when prompted to authenticate.
Close the Ubuntu Software Center after the installation is complete.
The CrossOver menu items in the Utility Desktop Manager in Ubuntu are alphabetical by name. Typing text in CrossOver won’t help. You will need to bring up the installer menu. Enter install in the search box.
You will have to manually search for CrossOver menu items. To learn more about the various CrossOver menu items, read the FAQ.
Remember to select “Always update” during the installation process to ensure that the installer is up to date. You are now ready to install and use Windows applications on your Ubuntu Linux computer.
Installing Windows with CrossOver
After the installation is complete, CrossOver will start automatically. You will see only one button. It says Install Windows Software.
When you press the button, you will need to follow three steps. In the first step, find the application you want in the database.
If the desired application is in the database, you will benefit from custom configurations already loaded and tested and your application will work fine. If the installer is not present on your system, you can let CrossOver download it for you.
If you want to install and use an application that is not in the database, enter it in the first step and then select “Select Installer” in the second.
Step three involves choosing a bottle. Bottles are uniquely configured application containers. The different bottle options in Crossover provide different compatibility for different Windows versions.
Then you will see a summary screen. Click Install to start installing the selected application.
After installing the Windows apps you want to use, a new bottle with the same name is created. Click on the button with the bottles. Then click Run Command.
You should now be able to find executables in installed applications under “c:”.
Once you select the executable you want to run, you can do so by creating a launcher for it, or by running it directly.
You can find the launcher in the Programs section next to Run Command. You can also see the bottle-specific customization tool in the screenshot below.
If you click on Wine Configuration, this will allow you to set new configurations for any selected bottle. This can be useful when you want to launch a specific application that is not working as expected.
For more information on configurations and advice on overriding libraries visit winehq.org