Using Wine on Ubuntu

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What is Wine?
Wine is a program that offers a compatibility layer allowing Linux users to run some Windows-native applications inside of Linux. Wine is not the ideal. Ideally, you should find native Linux applications. You can use Ubuntu's software package manager to search for easily installable native Linux apps, or you can explore OSalt or Linux App Finder to find alternatives for specific Windows programs.

Not all Windows applications run in Wine. And some that do require extra configuration in order to work. You may want to consult the Wine HQ app database to see if the Windows application you're thinking of installing through Wine will work well with Wine or not. Platinum-rated applications will work with no extra configuration. The example on this page is a platinum-rated application.

Installing Wine
The installation of Wine is the same as for most software. If you don't know how to install Linux-native software in Ubuntu, you should find out first. The package you want to install is called simply wine.

Using Wine
If you're on Ubuntu 12.04 or 11.10, using Wine is quite simple.

Once you have Wine installed and your setup.exe file downloaded, just right-click the setup.exe file and select Open With Wine Windows Program Loader

You'll then see the installer start up.

If you're on Ubuntu 11.04 or before, you'll have to do a few things first.

Right-click the setup.exe for the Windows program you want to install. In this example, it's from the Sumatra PDF website, and the installer file is called SumatraPDF-1.0.1-install.exe.

Right-click on the installer and, in the context menu that appears, select Properties.

If you try to open it directly with Wine right now, you'll get a warning about how the file is not set to be executable yet.

Under Permissions make sure Allow executing file as program is checked (or ticked).

Under Open With, select Wine Windows Program Loader

Then click Close

Double-click the .exe installer file.

Do the usual next-next-next you'd normally do with a Windows program installer.

Theoretically, your program should be available in Applications > Wine > Programs. For some reason, in this case, it wasn't, so you can go to Applications > Wine > Browse C: Drive

There you can find the launcher for your program and double-click it (strangely, this one you don't have to manually mark as executable).

Now the program has launched!

Please note
I purposely used Sumatra PDF as an example, because it is a platinum-rated Windows application, and this is just an orientation to the basics of how to use Wine. If you are planning to install a Windows program that is gold-rated, silver-rated, or bronze-rated, be prepared to do some extra configuration, and try to look for a Wine tutorial specific to that application. Or, better yet, find a native Linux alternative instead of using a Windows program.

Last updated 04/29/12 09:47

If you have suggestions or corrections for these tutorials, please post in this Ubuntu Forums thread or leave a comment on my blog.

I will not give help to people posting in the above places. If you require technical support, start a support thread on the Ubuntu Forums. That is the appropriate place to ask for help.