Wine – Windows Applications on Linux with WINE – Wine Is Not an Emulator
Wine is a Windows compatibility layer for Linux and many other compatible operating systems such as the BSD based operating systems. (I’ve seen Wine implementations for Mac OS X as well.)
WINE is a popular way to run some Windows applications on a Linux based system.
The major implementations of wine are as follows:
Wine – this is THE official site of the Wine project.
Codweavers Crossover Office – Codeweavers sells a supported version of Wine and have a set list of supported applications. One of the great things about Codeweavers is that they support development of the official branch of wine and also provide support to end users for the applications they say works with their release. In many ways this is a win-win situation for all involved. In addition to that Codweavers has a nice installer that makes installing Windows applications easier as well.
Transgaming Cedega (and Cider) Cedega is the name of their roll up of Wine for Linux and Cider is their version for Apple. Transgaming has geared their version of Wine more towards gaming and making things such as 3d acceleration (directx compatibility) and copy protection work to support popular gaming titles. One of the biggest complaints is that they do not support the main open source Wine development as much as they could. The nature of some of their work with copy protection has required that to remain closed source (as I understand.)
I have used all three implementations of wine and each has it’s strengths. In the early years of my linux use I stuck with Crossover and Cedaga (Cedega – I always mispell it.) At that time it was known as winex. I ran all my games through Winex – LucasArts titles and Age of Empires mostly. I used Codeweavers Crossover Wine for my old version of Microsoft Office, “just in case” but as OpenOffice has matured I haven’t made use of that in ages.
These days I find that the stock release of Wine has matured enough that most things I need to use just work. For example, currently I run the following Windows applications using the main “stock” release of Wine: Finale Allegro, Free Monitor for Google, PaRaMeter, Adwords editor, Rosetta Stone (I forget the version – it was a demo cd), Good Keywords, Before You Know it 3.5 lite, irfanview 3.7, languages of the world, xenu, itunes, tvants, quicktime player. I seem to have had either really good luck lately, or wine has REALLY progressed because about 75% of the downloads I’ve been steered to that were Windows applications have just worked (nine out of ten), or just needed a dll download (1 out of 10.)
Now, if you have an application that you really NEED to work it’s possible to invest in the development of Wine to make that happen whether it be directly through the stock release of Wine or Codeweavers. If it’s something that is already in Codeweavers list of supported applications they will help you get it working so it may be worth going the paid support route. I’ve purchased from Codeweavers and been really impressed with the polish of their product and the support they provide for Wine.