Jan Leow's Press Blog


Using Linux WINE to Run Windows Apps

Although I have been playing around with Linux for a long time, I have not really tried using WINE to run Windows programs. With the news abuzz about Windows 10 ver 22H2 end of service life by 14th October, 2024, my old 2nd and 3rd generation Intel PC would no longer be supported. I was wondering whether I could run some of my stuff in Linux using wine. It seems that many have been able to run Windows productivity software and games in their Linux box. So this was a good opportunity to give this Linux Wine a go.

Most info that I found used the apt install method via the terminal. I suppose this is the most universal way to install wine. The below terminal command would install both wine and winetricks:

sudo apt-get install wine winetricks -y

In my case, I decided to use the Synaptic Package Manager. The package to install is the wine-installer (what else?). In the package description, it said this will install the stable version of WINE from WINEHQ along with all the related and required libraries for it to work properly.

Synaptic Package Manager to install Linux Wine
Synaptic Package Manager to install Linux Wine

From what I could see, it would also install both the 32bit and 64bit binaries as well too. Sounds good to me, and thus I used this for installing the wine packages.

After installing wine, it is time to try it out. Notepad++ is used by most articles as the first app to try. It is simple software so it should not encounter any issues. Head on to notepad-plus-plus.org to download the latest version.

Place a copy of the notepad++.exe software in the home/Downloads folder so you can find it easily.

As for installing it, so far I couldn’t find a way to install from the normal linux file explorer. So open the terminal screen and do it by command line instead.

To find the exe file, type:

cd ~/Downloads

To install using wine, type:

wine npp.x.x.x.Installer.x64.exe

Replace the x.x.x with the appropriate version. I am installing the 64bit version as I am using a 64 bit linux distro.

During the installation you may see a lot of warnings and error messages. Hey, as long as the app works I don’t really care so much. I guess it is part of using linux. Even during the boot up process I see lots of warnings and error messages! Haha!

After completing the installation, it is time to run notepad++. Navigate your way to the linux menu and start up the software. If you allowed the installer to include the desktop shortcut, you could start it from there too. Notepad++ should run without any problem as it is simple program.

Linux menu, wine menu
Linux menu, wine menu

Next for me to try was the Foxit PDF reader version 10. I liked this version better than the newer ones. Following back the same procedure, just type the following in the terminal in the same Downloads folder:

wine FoxitReader1011.exe

As usual, a bunch of error messages showed up. As long as the software worked, it should be alright.

Feeling a bit more ambitious, I tried installing the Brother Printer & Scan software. Unfortunately it didn’t work. I also tried Rufus, a windows ISO image to USB maker for linux. The software ran, but would not detect the USB ports, thus I could not install any live ISO into any USB drive. I also tried HWMonitor, a windows hardware monitoring tool. This too didn’t work. And the paint net program from getpaint.net would not install either. Paint net is simpler to use compared with gimp and I found it to be useful in Windows.

Brother iPrintScan software installing
Trying to install Brother iPrintScan software

To increase the wine functionality, I also installed PlayOnLinux and Lutris. These software sits on top of wine to run windows software and especially windows games. It was supposed to install needed DLL libraries if it was needed. I tried running the old Diablo II Lord of Destruction, but I couldn’t get it to work.

I think more tinkering would be needed to get the windows software that I liked to work using wine. After all, many linux users managed to get their windows software and games to work somehow.

Anyway, in conclusion to my brief experimentation, I think it is not that easy to run just any windows software using wine. If I needed to do something in linux as in windows, it’s possible that I could try to find an appropriate linux equivalent of the windows software. After all, there is such a vast amount of software available, I am sure I could find something.

On the other hand, some Windows software were really nice to use and there weren’t any Linux equivalents. In that case, I would really like to try running it in linux using wine.

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