Running Windows Applications in Linux another look at Wine

Recently I did a post on the release of version 5 of Crossover Office which is a commercially supported variation of the wine project. In fact, it’s very similar, the only exceptions I know of are the neater installer for software and paid support. Anyway, I’ve got a project I’ve been working on that I’ve used cxoffice quite a bit in to run a particular application that isn’t directly available on linux (there are alternatives but none that work exactly the same way… more on that in a future post…) Anyway, it got me thinking and I visited the wine site and found that 0.9.1 has now been released. I checked the wine version on my desktop and decided to upgrade to the newest plain vanilla wine release and see how well it does….

Ok, the application I was running is UltraVNC which is a variation on the VNC software that I talked about not too long ago. Yes there ARE VNC clients for many operating systems, including linux (tightvnc has been a favorite for a good while), but there was one compatibility problem I faced with other variations which I’ll explain at some point in the future…. Anyway, the vncviewer.exe from Ultravnc seemed to work find under cxoffice wine without any installation… ( start… run… /home/username/cxoffice/bin/wine /path/to/vncviewer.exe) I was able to use it to connect to another machine with no problem and even start it in “listen” mode with no problem. It seemed good, if a bit slow.

When I started trying to run it with plain vanilla wine I ran into a message like this…

wine vncviewer.exe -listen
err:wave:OSS_WaveOutInit open(/dev/mixer2) failed (No such file or directory)
err:wave:OSS_WaveOutInit open(/dev/mixer3) failed (No such file or directory)
err:wave:OSS_WaveInInit open(/dev/mixer2) failed (No such file or directory)
err:wave:OSS_WaveInInit open(/dev/mixer3) failed (No such file or directory)
X Error of failed request: BadMatch (invalid parameter attributes)
Major opcode of failed request: 1 (X_CreateWindow)
Serial number of failed request: 13
Current serial number in output stream: 14

Now, for the why’s and wherefore’s…. I’ve had a variety of sound configuration changes on the system including as many as three sound mixers, but currently don’t… so I tried linking the mixers 2 and 3 to the first mixer ln -s mixer mixer2 and ln -s mixer mixer3… I still got the following…

X Error of failed request: BadMatch (invalid parameter attributes)
Major opcode of failed request: 1 (X_CreateWindow)
Serial number of failed request: 13
Current serial number in output stream: 14

I had vague memories that the last time I had visited vanilla wine I had similar problems and after browsing my /home/username/.wine folder tried renaming my config file (which didn’t solve the issue), I finally renamed /home/username/.wine to /home/username/.wineold

Tried again ( start run, wine /path/to/vncviewer.exe )and (very quickly) up popped the vncviewer… I say very quickly because compared to cxoffice wine it is fairly quick at opening. (~4 seconds with plain vanilla wine, ~12 seconds with cxoffice.) Now to be fair I have a LOT of stuff installed in cxoffice (most in the default profile) and I suspect it has to load the registry when starting. Also, cxoffice by default is themed more nicely to match the desktop than vanilla wine, I suspect I may be able to control this in /home/username/.wine/config but I don’t recall where right off…

Anyway, in listen mode, the responsiveness for putting an icon in the system tray is more notable, again in vanilla wine’s favor. Although I can run it in listen mode under cxoffice wine, I don’t consistently get the tray icon for many minutes. With “stock” wine, it’s there within 3 to 4 seconds and is fairly responsive to right clicks, and even an information bubble on mouseover. (One thing I haven’t seen is a way to dismiss the right click menu without actually clicking on an item.)

Some other notes, winecfg (the utility that ships with “stock” wine for configuring your wine environment has made great strides since last I saw it.)

Other resources for getting started with wine are at frankscorner as well as the winehq site listed above.

There are other good resources too though… One such is WineTools and to describe them I’ll borrow from the main page….

WineTools is a menu driven installer for installing about 90 Windows programs under the x86 (Athlon or Intel PC) processor architecture with the Linux operating system using Wine.

Simply put, it’s the nice installer that vanilla wine lacks…

You should keep in mind that to install some components you need to have a valid Windows License, so be sure to carefully read terms…

There’s also the Sidenet Wine Configuration Utility which also makes it easy to install programs into a wine/linux environment.

Also, if you’re goal is to install Internet Explorer under linux (web designer’s for instance, or for those websites that are afraid of other browsers…) There’s IE’s 4 linux which is a batch script to install several versions of Internet Explorer… in fact here’s a summary…

You don’t need to click on anything to install IE6, IE5.5 and IE5 – with FlashPlayer 8


Of course, they go on to suggest using Firefox to use the web. I must say that having an install of IE is necessary because of the unexpected ways it renders, you can have perfect looking CSS and get wierd results, so it’s still necessary to spot check with multiple browsers. In fact, I’m, using ies4linux right now to see how well it does.

Anyway… hope that’s enough wine info to tide you over with.

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