Running Windows Applications on Linux
I’ve been using Linux on the desktop for about 6 years or so now. In that time I’ve found many applications that I would have a hard time doing without if I had to leave linux and move back to Windows. The same is true of course, of Windows applications. There are many Windows applications that are essential for day to day work. For these Windows applications there are two ways to make use of them under Linux. The first is via virtualization where you have a Windows install within a virtual machine. That Windows system then runs like an application on your Linux desktop.
I’ve spent quite a bit of time working with Virtualization on Linux. The first approach I used was something called Win4Lin, but more recently I’ve made use of QEmu and VMWare.
Read more about Virtualization here.
The other approach to running Windows applications on linux is through the use of a compatibility layer called WINE. WINE stands for Wine is Not an Emulator, and is a reminder that it does not emulate Windows, but creates a compatibility layer so that Windows applications can run on Linux.
Wine is making great strides almost each and every month towards being more and more compatible with applications designed for Windows. Given the nature of your “must have” applications it could be that they already run via Wine, or it could talk a small contribution to focus programming work on finishing the work of making your software run on Linux via Wine.
I have had good success running windows applications on linux using wine including some SEO Software (now if there were only ways to run Mac software on linux….