Wine-Doors the future of Windows software installing on Linux



I just came across this article about wine-doors which sounds VERY promising. Of course, let me set the stage. Wine is a windows compatibility api for linux. The goal of wine is to allow windows applications to run on top of a linux system without modification (of the original windows version.) There are codeweavers wine (a commercial version that drives most of the development – and is known for easier installs of software.), the main open source wine and cedaga (aimed towards games 3d directx implementation.)


Codeweavers product line (mostly crossover office in my use) makes it fairly easy to install a given application by having you choose which (supported) app to install, or to install an unsupported application. There have been configuration tools for the freely available wine for some time, but none have been quite as easy to use as the crossover products. (I just recently ran an ie4linux scripted install of ie6 which was quite nice.) Anyway….

Wine Doors is really a GREAT idea. They have the concept of using it as a windows program installer which isn’t anything terribly new, but… let me let their “about” blurb get us a bit further…

Wine doors is an application designed to assist users in obtaining, installing, uninstalling and working around the caveats associated with wine applications. Although wine doors is intended to be a replacement for winetools it is not limited to release cycles for the applications available to install, instead a web service will be provided, this web service will serve XML Pack Lists and Application Packs as well as various other resources.

Using a web service to connect users to applications means the service can be community managed thus splitting application installation and configuration from the user interface used to install the applications.

What’s nice is that they’re using xml lists of the applications (and any tweaks that need to be custom made for those applications…) and that it can be community developed. (Or IT developed within a business.) So, if there’s a special custom Windows app that you use in your industry and it’s possible to get it to run in wine with about 10 little tweaks to the settings…. One person can customize the “Application Pack” and make it easier for EVERYONE to install. Nice.

It looks as though the project doesn’t quite have their main functionality set, they’re hoping to release rpm and deb packages soon. Currently it’s only available as a source download (with svn username/password) and there might be limited functionality from what I see browsing the site (haven’t tried it yet firsthand though). This has great potential to be THE free frontend for managing wine though. It can also be integrated neatly with winehq’s existing application database. I see great potential with this.

Currently – no downloads of source are available without an svn login. They’re limiting access at the moment due to bandwidth (although I saw that they just moved servers so maybe that will be changing soon.) Keep an eye on that project if you’re interested in wine/linux.

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