New wine and new bottles this month for linux users to run windows applications



Well, one of the big items in the last span in linux news has been related to WINE… (Wine Is Not an Emulator). WINE of course in the context of linux is a layer of compatibility to allow Windows applications to run under linux without a virtual machine such as vmware or one of the various “run windows on linux” solutions like win4lin or qemu, etc.


There were two main announcements recently on the WINE front. The first is that the wine project officially released 0.9 of the gpl’d wine. This officially moves wine into a “beta” state (some joke that this is greek for doesn’t work…) Really this is great news for people needing windows applications under linux (or in the future under Mac on x86). Prior to this wine was in an alpha state which basically meant there were some structural issues with the code which as time progressed could drastically change. The result was programs would work under one release and break miserably under a newer release of wine. Now that they’re in beta, the expectation is that there will be more consistency between releases (hopefully in the realm of more consistent improvements.)

The same day, codeweavers announced the release of version 5.0 of their Crossover Office product, which is essentially the gpl wine + support and a nice installer. In fact, CodeWeavers is really responsible I think for the great strides wine is making as they fund much of the development at this point. With 5.0 comes support for most of Microsoft Office 2003 (Outlook will be supported in a future release.) They’ve also implemented an install concept called “bottles” which have some interesting possibilities. (Moving an install of a windows app between machines for instance, or isolating a problematic application, or installing several versions of an app side by side… internet explorer 5.0, 5.5, 6.0.)

It seems the major rewrite has made a difference in the workability of applications I have installed under Crossover office, for instance Google’s Picasa 2 now seems to work fully for my use of it. I seem to recall seeing someone mention a printing bug, that application wouldn’t start under the last revision of Crossover Office.

Another thing I’ve noticed is that wine applications seem to load a bit quicker now. (Internet Explorer used to be painfully slow loading under CXOffice 4, it seems somewhat improved now.)

In the other branch of wine development, transgaming is preparing release of their version 5 (scheduled for early November) of cedaga (formerly winex). Unfortunately transgaming has not been as forthcoming in porting their work back to the main wine project which has probably led to quite a bit of duplication of effort. (There is a pretty good foundation of directx work in the gpl wine these days.)

I’m wondering if it’s out today as their site seems unresponsive. I thought the 8th was their target date though.

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