Running Windows Programs from Linux
Today you can run many Windows software from Linux native using Wine or one of the many virtualization tools such as VMWare.

There are so many new developments regarding how to apply Wine to run Windows programs on Linux that we are now updating this entire page contents. In the mean time you may find it beneficial to visit: and for Wine help.

Many readers also found it helpful to first review our introductory article: Windows to Linux: A Hand Holding Guide.

This page is brought you by the folks at Really Linux.

For those with dual boot systems, this simple introductory article shows you a way to run a few of your basic Windows programs from Linux. But there is much more and so please come back to re-read the revised article. This Tip is Rated Intermediate.

Free Tool for running Windows Programs in Linux called WINE
WINE is available for free download from the project website you can access by clicking here. (For Windows users, you should make sure to get in your download the three files needed for running WINE properly: winerpm, updated wine.conf, user.dat file.)

A lot of work and many hours of effort have paid off, and Linux users actually can download and install a free emulator that runs many Windows programs without any issue under Linux.

In some cases, you do still need Windows installed on the same machine, since otherwise, there is no way to "install" your Windows software that sometimes may require a specific Windows install utility to run. Currently WINE is tuned for Windows98 and Windows 2000 programs.


Wine Example
If you've followed the very first step above and downloaded and installed WINE on your Linux machine, then you are ready to try running a Windows program from Linux.

Notice that this is just a very brief sample of how Wine can be used to run a basic Windows application. Details will be provided in our updated Wine page.

  1. Check to see that the WINE program is truly installed by typing the command: locate wine You should see a list of files with WINE.
  2. Be sure you have properly mounted your Windows drive. If you don't know how then click here for brief help.
  3. Edit the file /etc/wine.conf by changing the line under [Drive C] to read exactly: Path=/mnt/win
  4. Save the edited wine.conf file and then make sure you also copy the file user.dat to your Windows directory c:/windows/profiles/
  5. If you plan on running a game or other program that uses your midi then Linux midi-sequencer needs to be installed
  6. Now type: cd "/mnt/win/Program Files/Accessories" then type: wine ./calc.exe
  7. This will run Windows Calculator on your Linux! You can load any other programs by using similar commands, adjusting for directory names and file names as needed.

A few tips. First of all disregard all of the detailed error information that may be displayed while you run Wine. Only on occasion do these error messages help you troubleshoot why a program does not run under WINE.

Second, many programs will not run properly under WINE unless your LINUX has been configured for sound and graphics. There are lots of details to this we can not explain breifly here. You can contact us or read up on details from your Linux installation guide.

Finally, remember that you need to type the commands exactly as they appear, for instance when using long directory names you need to have begin and end " marks. When you try to run a program you should include the leading ./ infront of the executable program name.


WINE Doesn't Run What You Need
There are times when the application you wish to use requires more specific graphical or environment controls. Although Wine is very capable with most applications, and the internet has a lot of good Wine resources, you may find the need to choose one of the other products that either run Linux as a virtual machine, or create an emulation mode for running your application. We recommend you review the following:VMWare and also Win4Lin websites. These companies have made a lot of progress for folks like you!


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