Ubuntu Tips: How To Use Windows Applications in Linux Desktop Distributions

by Ramesh Natarajan on August 21, 2009

Question: How to run Windows applications in Ubuntu or any other Linux desktop distribution ?

Answer: Install wine project, which will enable you to use Windows applications in Linux systems.

What is Wine ?

Using Wine you can execute Windows application like Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint etc., in your Linux.  Currently, 12,000+ Windows applications can run in Ubuntu with Wine.

How To Install Wine in Ubuntu ?

Wine is a pretty big package which may take some time for the installation to complete, especially if you are on a slower internet connection.

$ sudo apt-get install wine

How to Install Your Favorite Windows Application ?

You can install Wine using one of the following two methods.

Method 1: Default Installation

Search and download the wine compatible Windows application from WineHQ website.

  1. Go to winehq.org
  2. Select AppDB in the top menu
  3. Select the Browse Apps in the left side bar

Locate and download the required application. Double click on that downloaded application, which should let you use the application. If it gives any one of the following error messages, go to Method 2 to install it again.

  • Unable to find volume for extraction
  • Permission denied

Every application has a rating available to it.  For example, if it has Platinum rating, you should not have any issues with the default installation. Maintainer Ratings definition gives information about all available ratings.

Method 2: Install Using Winetricks

Install cabextract: Cabextract is required by winetricks.

$ sudo apt-get install cabextract

Install winetricks: Download the latest winetricks.

$ wget http://winezeug.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/winetricks

Launch winetricks as shown below. The following example will install Microsoft Internet Explorer on Linux.

$ sh winetricks ie6

The following images shows Microsoft Internet Explorer browser on Ubuntu Laptop.

Fig: Microsoft Internet Explorer Browser on Ubuntu Laptop

Fig: Microsoft Internet Explorer Browser on Ubuntu Laptop

Winetricks Usage

Following will give you a graphical interface that will walk you through step-by-step in installing a Windows application.

$ sh winetricks

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