Linux for Starters

Linux for Starters: Your Guide to Linux – Wine – Part 21

This is a series that offers a gentle introduction to Linux for newcomers.

Part 20 of this series explored VirtualBox, virtualisation software that lets you run operating systems (including Windows) as a guest operating system. With VirtualBox you can therefore run Windows software on a Linux machine. There is another, and very different way, of running native Windows software. It’s called Wine.

Wine (originally an acronym for “Wine Is Not an Emulator”) is a free and open-source compatibility layer that aims to allow computer programs developed for Microsoft Windows to run on Unix-like operating systems including Linux.

The goal of Wine is to implement the Windows APIs fully or partially that are required by programs that the users of Wine wish to run on top of a Unix-like system. This is exceptionally difficult. The software has been in development for 28 years.

Wine lets you run many thousands of Windows programs with varying degrees of success. Software that runs well include Microsoft Office, Adobe Photoshop, and many games such as World of Warcraft, StarCraft, and Team Fortress 2.

If you install Wine from the official Ubuntu repositories you’ll get an old version of Wine. Instead, follow these steps:

We need to enable 32 bit architecture as we’re running 64 bit Ubuntu.

$ sudo dpkg --add-architecture i386

Download and add the repository key with the commands:

$ wget -nc
$ sudo apt-key add winehq.key

Next, we need to add the project’s repository.

$ sudo add-apt-repository 'deb hirsute main'

Press ENTER to continue.

Now update our system with the command:

$ sudo apt update

We’ll install the stable branch of Wine with the command:

$ sudo apt install --install-recommends winehq-stable

There’s also a development branch and a staging branch, but we recommend you start with the stable branch.

Page 2 – Install and run Windows software

Pages in this article:
Page 1 – Install Wine
Page 2 – Install and run Windows software

All articles in this series:

Linux For Starters: Your Guide to Linux
Part 1What is Linux? Why use Linux? What do I need?
Part 2Choose a Linux distribution meeting your specific needs and requirements.
Part 3Make a bootable Ubuntu USB stick in Windows.
Part 4We show you how to install Ubuntu 21.04 on your hard disk.
Part 5Things to do after installing Ubuntu.
Part 6Navigating your way around the Desktop.
Part 7Updating the system, install new software.
Part 8Open source replacements for proprietary Windows desktop software.
Part 9Get started with the power and flexibility of the terminal.
Part 10We cover the basics of files and permissions.
Part 11Getting help from your system.
Part 12Learn all about the file system.
Part 13Manipulating files from the shell.
Part 14Maintain your system with these simple tips.
Part 15Managing users on your system.
Part 16Explore different desktops to GNOME 3.
Part 17Gaming on Linux.
Part 18Protect your privacy with this guide.
Part 19Access the Windows desktop from Linux using a remote desktop client.
Part 20Set up a virtual machine running Ubuntu as the host and openSUSE as the guest.
Part 21Wine lets you run Windows programs on Linux without emulation.
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One comment

  1. Wine is pretty good for games like Fallout, Gothic, EVE Online and StarCraft II. Those are the games I’ve tried. For general applications, Wine still needs a lot of work.

    The reason why Wine struggles is that it’s trying to hit a constantly moving target.

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