Running Windows programs on Linux with Wine


Wine is either included with all major distributions or you can easily retrieve it from a repository. If you prefer to install the latest version of Wine, follow the steps in the "Installing Wine 1.0 on openSUSE" box.

On openSUSE 10.2, 10.3, and 11.0, launch YaST and select Software Management in the Software dialog. Then, type wine in the search box and click Search. In the list of results on the right side, check the wine entry, and confirm your selection by clicking Apply (or Accept in openSUSE 11.0).

Installing Wine 1.0 on openSUSE

Many of the major distributions continue to work with the older Wine versions. Kubuntu includes 0.9.59, openSUSE 11.0 uses version 0.9.64, and openSUSE 10.3 and 10.2 use versions 0.9.44 and 0.9.24, respectively. See your distribution's documentation for more installation help.

To install a brand new version of Wine on openSUSE, select Software | Software Repositories in YaST on openSUSE 11.0, and click Add. Then, check Community Repositories, go to the Next screen, select openSUSE BuildService – Wine CVS Packages, and click OK. YaST will now parse the package list for the new source. If an Import Public GnuPG Key window appears, choose Import. If necessary, close the current window (Finish) and you can then go to Software | Software Management to install Wine 1.0.


Wine does not integrate with the start menu on openSUSE. To launch Wine, press Alt+F2, type winecfg in the text box, and click – depending on the desktop you use – Launch or Run.

Winecfg will then go on to create a hidden .wine directory below your home directory. The software uses this directory to store the basic configuration, which you can see in Figure 2. Do not modify anything here right now, but click Cancel to close the tool.

Figure 2: This window shows you the current Wine settings.

Installing a Windows Program

To take Wine for a test run, download the WinRAR packer [2], then open your distro's file manager. In the file manager, look for the installer for the Windows application: It will typically be setup.exe, or autorun.exe. In WinRAR's case, the name is fairly cryptic: wrar371.exe (Figure 3). Simply click the file with the mouse. On openSUSE, you should now see the window shown in Figure 4. Type wine in the input box, and click OK.

Figure 3: The installation file for the WinRAR packer.
Figure 4: On openSUSE, this window appears when you click on a Windows program.

Wine takes over in the background and launches the Windows program. Just follow the normal steps to install the program. I talk about Windows drive letters in the next section, but for now, confirm the default installation directory suggested by the application (Figure 5). If the installer asks you to reboot Windows, press Alt+F2, type wineboot, and click Run. This tells Wine to simulate a Windows reboot. Figure 6 shows how a Windows program looks running in Wine. If Wine does not launch the Windows program, check out the "Dead as a Dodo" box.

Figure 5: Installing WinRAR on openSUSE 11.0.
Figure 6: The Windows application WinRAR running on openSUSE.

If the installation program creates one or multiple entries in the start menu, some distros place them below Wine. If so, you can use the entries as a convenient method for launching the Windows program. However, with openSUSE, you will need to search your disk for the Windows programs you install.

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