A little WINE with that Linux

By Martin Jansen, Owner of Jansen-PCINFO

WINE stands for “Wine Is Not an Emulator,”  rather it is a compatibility layer that allows the running of Windows applications in other operating systems.  Since I am running Linux Mint, I will focus on adding WINE to my system.

Now running Windows apps is not strictly necessary because the selection of apps in the Software Manager is vast.  Many apps will do the same thing or better than the Windows apps with a bit of learning.  But, sometimes we have exclusive paid for Windows apps that we want to use without running Windows 10 or 11. Or, we have Windows apps that we are familiar with and enjoy using.

There are two ways to do this within Linux Mint: 1) Use a Virtual Machine like Oracle’s VirtualBox with a full version of Windows or 2) take a few steps to run the latest stable version of WINE.

In order to add the latest version of WINE to my Linux Mint Cinnamon “Una” 20.3 system, I followed the directions listed here.  This covers mostly Debian based desktop operating systems.  If you have a different version of Linux, you may have to look up directions on the internet.  The latest stable version at this writing is 6.02.  Do not use older versions like those available in a Software Manager or other sources.

Verify the version of WINE in use by typing wine –version in an open Terminal.

WINE 6.02 does not seem to use bottles like older versions of WINE and like CodeWeaver’s Crossover Linux.   Bottles were used to separate apps by operating system, but often apps had different requirements not installed in the bottles.  The result was often an app that would not run.

During the installation of WINE 6.02 Mono and Gecko installers set up an environment where common apps can be installed.  This includes .NET and HTML based apps.

Once WINE is installed, type winecfg into a Terminal to view the graphical wine configuration panel.

Installation of Windows apps is accomplished by using the file manager and navigating to the Windows executable or .msi file.  Right click and and select Open With Wine Windows Program Loader.   Follow the steps of loading the Windows application just as you would in Windows.  Once installed, the icon to launch the app will appear on the desktop.

I have installed several freeware apps like Irfanview and Notepad++.  My paid Windows apps include PDF Editor 5.5 and ScanScore Ensemble.

Finally, I can run some Windows apps without using Windows.