Wine and Virtualisation

[Due to some weird technical difficulty when trying to install Wine on my computer, the one that I use to browse the web, I have decided to only give you an imageless overview of the subject matter this time, and get back to the topic of virtualisalion on this blog some time in the future.]

Let's say you're very satisfied with your new Linux, the way it works, the look and feel of it, and you certainly want to use it more. There may, however, be one or two favourite applications that you don't seem to be able to find a replacement for. Your favourite games don't have a Linux version, you can't run the dictionaries and encyclopaedias that you've bought on a CD/DVD on your new system or perhaps you've found out too late that your printer doesn't come with Linux-compatible drivers?

Feeling sad? Disappointed even? Let's have some wine. :-)

Wine is an application layer that let's you run programs built for the most commonly used operating system in personal computing these days and that do not have a Linux equivalent. This way you can use anything from simple .exe files to the more complex office applications, such as accounting software, like an embedded application on your Linux system.

You can get Wine from the software repositories, either with the Synaptic package manager or in the command line:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install wine*

There are other possibilities you can use, of course. CrossOver is another, paid-for alternative to Wine, developed by Codeweavers. It has been praised as a superior alternative to Wine by its users.

If Wine doesn't do the trick for you or if you happen to have more incompatible applications, you may consider the dual-boot mode, which I didn't recommend to first-time users, since it is not really my favourite method. Switching between systems is not ideal, it almost feels like having two computers.

Mac users may be familiar with the program called Parallels, which is not free, and if I remember well, I didn't really find much use of it, as the second OS seemed rather slow. Or was it that I was running it on a laptop with only 4 GB of memory? Either way, like I said earlier in this series, there are always multiple options in the world of open source. I will explore other methods of virtualisation on this blog later on.

At any rate, it is always useful to have more than one computer, each with a different operating system and/or designated for a different purpose, i.e. one for work and one for games, for instance.

copy left Johanka Piskovská, 2020