How to run windows applications and programs on linux using Wine, Crossover & Playonlinux

Playonlinux

Crossover mac windows

Wine, Crossover, Linux

If you are running linux as your operating systems, you can use and rely on free open source softwares almost for all the purposes. Some examples are Openoffice which is popular software provided by Sun microsystems and is compatible with MS office. However there are certain applications on windows that are so popular that finding substitute for them is very difficult.

In this hub i will explain, how to install and run programs designed for windows such as MS office on linux. There are basically two ways in which you can do it by using..

  • Wine (free software)
  • Crossover (proprieatary, non free software)
  • Playonlinux (free software)

A windows application utilises the DLLs (Dynamic Link Libraries) provided by the windows operating system. To run the same application on mac or Linux, it needs the program to use some native DLLs provided as well as substituted DLLs. The above metioned packages provide the native as well as substituted DLLs to do so.

WINE -- This is an acronym which satnds for Wine Is Not Emulator. This is an Open source project which has won many prizes in Google Summer Code Contest. Unlike popular belief it is not Emulator and so it does Wine does slow down the speed of programs. Wine can be freely downloaded from its website (search for Wine on google). It can be easily downloaded and installed on Ubuntu Linux from synaptic package manager. Once installed all the '.exe' can b made to open with wine. The current stable version is 1.2.2 capable of running games and other popular windows softwares. It can also fully support MS office 2003.

The settings can be changed which can change the font size textures and other details concerned with th software.

Crossover -- It is proprietary software provided by Codeweavers based on Wine and can run windows softwares both on mac as well as Linux. Crossover provided much more functionality than wine. You can run many application such as latest Internet Explorer and MS Office 2007 using this package. Many unsupported applications can also be made to run using without any issue using this package. Since Crossover is based on free software Wine, a part of the revenue is donated to wine project for its development when you buy any product of crossover.

Crossover is available in three versions.

  1. Crossover Linux
  2. Crossover Mac
  3. Crossover Games.

The first two are self explanatory. Crossover Games are used to run popular windows games on Linux without any issue. You can run games such as GTA 3, San Andreas and GTA 4 on Linux. See the website for list of supported games. The greatest advantage of running games of Linux is that Linux kernel utilizes very less resources leaving most of the resources for the game itself.

PlayonLinux-- Playonlinux is the front end of wine. Like Crossover it also utilses the DLLs of Wine and is based on this software. It is free to download and install. Ubuntu users can download and install easily from synaptic manager. Just remeber to include 'third party softare' in software sources in update manager. It also supports wide variety of games and applications with minimal or no issue such as GTA sries, Doom 3 , half life , MS office, Dreamweaver, Photoshop etc.

Speed-- As already mentioned the above softwares are based on Wine which is not a emulator so there is unnoticeable or no change in speed of execution of the programs.

Negative Impact. With these applications it has become easy to run windows applications on mac and Linux. It reduces the cost by spending money on development of software targeted at windows only. However the major drawback of this is that, it discourages the development of softwares on non windows platform.


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