How To Run Windows Programs On Linux Ubuntu – Part 1

Gerald writes:
I installed Ubuntu on a desktop computer with little trouble, I’m using Win XP on the same computer 90% of the time. If it would run more XP programs I’d continue using it instead of XP. I guess I do have a question, where can the program Wine which you mentioned be obtained. It may be all that I need to make better use of Ubuntu.

Folks who have changed their operating system from Windows to the Linux platform are probably missing some of the Windows applications and games that were important to them. Although Linux provides an ample amount of applications that substitute almost all Windows software, it’s still quite hard to overlook some of Windows games and applications that were used and enjoyed on a regular basis by a long-term Windows users. Fortunately, Linux has invented a simple solution for it, Wine.

Wine is a free and open-source software application that  allows applications designed for Microsoft Windows to run on Linux operating systems. It can be also termed as a translation layer capable of running Windows applications.

Advantages of using Wine

Wine comes with some advantages and benefits such as:

  • Using Wine enables you to take advantage of Unix strong points such as stability, flexibility and remote administration, while using your favorite Windows application.

  • Wine makes it possible to call Windows application from scripts which fall under Unix’s features.

  • Wine lets you connect Windows application remotely.

  • Wine is an open source software and thus you can customize its features according to your needs.

How to install Wine on Ubuntu

While searching for instruction of installing wine application over the Web, you’d find a lot of complicated guides that features installing Wine through Ubuntu terminal, that can be quite hard to understand and implement for a not-so-savvy computer user. So lets try the simplest of all Wine installation:

  1. Go to through your browser or open up “Software-center” from applications.

  2. Search for ‘Wine” through the search Bar.

  3. Find “Microsfoft Windows Compatibility Layer”

  4. Click on install and you are done.

Four easy steps and you have Wine installed on your Ubuntu. Wine has two versions, stable and beta. Stable version are highly tested ones. On the other hand, beta versions are used to run newer applications but are tested less so you might experience some issues with beta version. Some applications only work on the beta version, so download keep that in mind when choosing which version to use.

In part 2, we’ll look at the process of running an application using Wine.

~ Nelson Gomez

6 thoughts on “How To Run Windows Programs On Linux Ubuntu – Part 1

  1. Great information as I prepare to move some of the people I support to Linux this could be a great help.

    One point though your comment:

    •Wine is an open source software and thus you can customize its features according to your needs.

    is a little over the top. There are lots of proprietary software products that let you customize their features and some open source software that does not.

  2. Thanks for a prompt response to my question. I’m looking forward to Part two, and a chance to put Wine to use.

  3. I’d love to know how the person asking the question managed to install Ubuntu on his computer, while still keeping Windows XP? I thought that Windows XP had to be uninstalled, before installing Ubunta.

    1. When you install Ubuntu on a computer that already has an OS installed on it the Ubuntu install process asks you if you want to leave the other OS on there and if so it then sets up a dual boot for you. I did this with a computer I used for testing and demos it had Windows 8.1 on it and I left that and installed Ubuntu.

      Most folks may not do this but I then went into Ubuntu and modified the dual boot config files so that Windows 8 was the default boot, I also told it to beep when the dual boot menu comes up, and I increased the delay from I think 5 seconds to 10 seconds. Both of the last 2 were because I was frequently doing something on another computer I was working on while I was booting this one and it kept going past the menu before I noticed it was even there.

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