March 27, 2018

Running Windows Apps on Linux

Back in the mid 90s and early 00s, Linux, being a fledgling operating system, suffered from a severe lack of useful applications. This issue was especially critical in the world of business ─ where Windows desktop applications could make or break productivity. To overcome this weakness, a compatibility layer called WINE was created. The name originally stood for Wine Is Not an Emulator (because everyone mistook the tool for a Windows emulator). The name is now simply Wine.

Effectively, what Wine did was to allow Windows applications to run on the Linux platform. It wasn’t perfect, and the supported apps were limited. If you wanted Notepad, Calculator, you were good to go.

But then something interesting happened. Over time more and more applications were supported until Wine became a must-have tool for many users and businesses (and especially Linux gamers). To date there are thousands of fully supported applications that now run on Wine (check out the application database for a full list) and that list is ever growing. Granted most of the Wine work is focused on games, but you’ll still find a healthy list of productivity apps available.

You might think, because of the complexity of bringing such a tool to life, that Wine would be complicated to install and use. That assumption would be incorrect. In fact, the developers of Wine have gone out of their way to make the compatibility layer as user-friendly as possible. What exactly does that mean? To make this easier, let’s walk through the process of installing Wine on a Debian-Based Linux Distribution.


  1. Open Linux Terminal Console.

  2. Add the PPA via command:
    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-wine/ppa
    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:wine/wine-builds

  3. For 64-bit system, run command to enable 32 bit architecture:
    sudo dpkg --add-architecture i386

  4. Update package cache and install wine1.8:
    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get install wine1.8 winetricks
    sudo apt-get install --install-recommends winehq-devel

  5. Finally you may run below command to initialize your wine configuration.

After the installation, you will be able to run any Windows Executable Program using Wine.

If you need any other assistance, read WINE WIKI.