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Anybody tried WINE?

Just reading an article on WINE (WINE Is Not an Emulator - it's a copy of the Win32 api for Linux.)

From what I can see, users are able to run quite complex apps like Office on their Linux boxes.

Anybody here tried it?  It is good enough to use day to day, or buggy?  Is this going to cause a headache for Microsoft?

Ged Byrne
Friday, July 4, 2003

Yes, I run programs with it all the time.  I have even run Windows games like "Unreal", complete with sound, although the thing I most commonly run is a Windows backgammon program called "Jellyfish".

Basically, it intercepts the Windows API calls and passes them on to the equivalent calls under X-Windows, etc.  Hence it is not an emulator, nor a "copy" of the Windows API, but rather a translator of the Windows API.

David Basil Wildgoose
Friday, July 4, 2003

Yes, I try Wine all the time. Sometimes it helps get her clothes off and sometimes it doesn't.

Clutch Cargo
Friday, July 4, 2003

Mr Wildgoose,

Thanks for the extra information.  I was wondering how they did it.

Ged Byrne
Friday, July 4, 2003

I am also using wine and even got Counterstrike running.
CS is using OpenGL, but there are also two commerical derivates of wine, which empower you to use Direct X (winex) and to run MS Office and IE (crosswire).

Mariano Kamp
Friday, July 4, 2003

I have used it.

I find it quite handy when I am running Knoppix, (run from CD distro) and demonstrating how far linux has come to naysayers.

Works quite well for a lot of the apps I have run.

Friday, July 4, 2003

CD Booting operating systems: how cool is that.

Here in the Windows world you can't even play a computer game of CD without first installing some of it to your PC.

Over in the Linux world that can run the whole OS of CD if they want.

I've just obtained Morphix.  Will this do me, or is knoppix the one to go for?

Ged Byrne
Friday, July 4, 2003

The requirement of installing first has more to do with the fact that games have a lot of artwork and reading from CDs is slow, rather than any requirement on the OS's side

Mike McNertney
Friday, July 4, 2003

I use WINE to run a critical Windows program (the Lightwave render client) on Linux. It works quite well, but it took a lot of tweaking and playing with different WINE versions to get there.

WINE is hit-or-miss depending on what application you are trying to run. Straight Win32 programs tend to run really well. Programs that use more complex features, like internationalization, COM, DirectX, etc, run into bugs more often.

There are a few commercial vendors who fully support WINE for particular applications (e.g. CrossOver for MS Office, and Transgaming for certain games). If you have another program you'd like to run, try it on the latest version of WINE. If it works, great, otherwise wait 6 months and try again...

BTW the DirectX support in WINE is really an OpenGL translation layer; it doesn't talk to the graphics card directly like Windows' DirectX, instead it uses OpenGL to produce (mostly) the same results.

Dan Maas
Friday, July 4, 2003


I've never been convinced by the installation argument.  Playstations have always been able to cope with just Memory and CD.

I realise it isn't any technical fault, I think it comes down to a lazy attitude from the developers.  It would only take a small effort to make a game playable from CD.

If you can run an OS from CD, you can run anything.

Since I'm still a Windows User, I'm just glad that Linux is around now to shake up the Windows world.

Ged Byrne
Saturday, July 5, 2003

When first trying Knoppix 3.1 I could not believe my eyes that our main software ran on Linux using WINE. Installation, database support, complex graphical stuff, it just worked. And it felt as fast as on Windows. The only problem I noticed was toolbar icons looking ugly.

However, Knoppix 3.2 gives no joy. A nasty access violation stops the fun. I guess making that last 5% work is even more difficult for WINE.

By the way, Knoppix makes a great Windows rescue CD. Why settle for less if you can get a rescue CD with a full Operating System including network support.

Anyone longing to see what Linux with KDE looks like, but did not feel like messing up their Windows desktop computer (like me), try Knoppix. It boots right from CD and installs into memory.

Jan Derk
Saturday, July 5, 2003

Have any developers used wine to port code from Windows to Linux? My understanding of Wine is - there are libraries you can link against that emulate the Win32 API.

In theory (and I have not checked this at all) you could then have the same source base for Win32 and for Linux. This would be useful for those of us that believe code should be portable to different platforms :)

Bill Rayer
Saturday, July 5, 2003

Coral used the Wine libraries to port Word Perfect to Linux. Beasically, it was just the Window's version recompiled for Linux.

Monday, July 7, 2003

Ged... You're right, it's certainly possible to make a PC game playable from the CD.  I think it is partly an attitude difference between PCs and consoles that developed over time, possibly due to the PC having traditionally slow distributable media (floppies, then CDs).  With the presence of a much faster storage (hard disk), it makes a lot of sense to do the install first.  It also has the advantage that you don't necessarily need to keep the CDs around of various games and swap them out all the time.

I think there might be some other problems with trying to do this as well.  Console games vary greatly in how bad their load times are.  I have a feeling it would, in general, be worse for PC games.  This is because PC games can't target fixed hardware.  They tend to have several versions of the art that may need to be loaded, and they can't count on a specific amount of memory when tweaking their loading scheme.  They can't even count on the speed of the CD drive (which might be important to your loading scheme if you are trying to hide the loads so there aren't huge pauses)

Overall I'm sure it would be possible, but probably a bit more difficult to do well than it is on consoles.  I'd not really thought about it much before... to tell you the truth I sort of prefer the "install" paradigm, with the massive hard drives we have these days.

Mike McNertney
Monday, July 7, 2003

RocketJeff - that's quite significant. It would mean if you code against the Win32 API and avoid DLLs that are not included in Wine, you can fairly easily produce a Linux version. It *can't* be that easy - or is it?

Lingo for Linux, here we come!

Bill Rayer
Monday, July 7, 2003


I can understand the convenience of installing to harddrive for the developers.

It is, however, very annoying for the player.

I find very few games have a playing life of over a month.  Aftr that they are never played again.

After a while the program start menu is full of games (and even more annoying) playable demos that are years own and won't uninstall properly.  Very annoying.

Still, it's not so bad now with XP and separate logins.  I get to keep my profile nice and clean now.

Ged Byrne
Tuesday, July 8, 2003

There are some projects aimed to use win32 dlls under linux. I don't know how they solved endianess problems, but on my PC it was working.

Wednesday, July 9, 2003

Tapiwa--I've been a big fan of Knoppix for quite a while. A couple weeks ago I tried WINE for the first time. With the most recent Knoppix, I couldn't get my one test app, MS's Freecell, to run. (Source file was under w2k, if that matters.) Does that work for you? If not, what apps have you used under WINE? I tried that one (figuring it was a pretty simple app) and, seeing it fail, went no further.

Thursday, July 10, 2003

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