How to run Windows applications on Linux via WineHQ

Running Windows applications on your Ubuntu Linux box is very possible. WineHQ app for Linux makes this possible by forming a compatible layer between the Windows and Linux interfaces. Note: Some applications can still be installed from the Ubuntu software center but not all Windows applications. In this article, we shall discuss “How to run Windows applications on Linux via WineHQ”. Please see WSL: What is Windows Subsystem for Linux, How to uninstall an application using PowerShell Script, and How to start an application automatically on Mac.

To run Windows games or software, you’ll need to download the files for them as you would on Windows. Some may have specific installation instructions, so be sure to check for an entry in the Wine application database first.

Is WineHQ free?

Wine is a free and open-source compatibility layer that aims to allow computer programs developed for Microsoft Windows to run on Unix-like operating systems.

Wine also provides a software library, known as Winelib, against which developers can compile Windows applications to help port them to the Unix-like system. Here are some guides that might interest you: How to install and configure JIRA on Linux, what is Wine HQ: How to get WineHQ, and Install WineHQ on Linux to run windows applications.

Approximately half of Wine’s source code is written by volunteers, with the remaining effort sponsored by commercial interests, especially CodeWeavers, which sells a supported version of Wine. Please see How to clean packages laying around in Linux, and how to Set Two-Factor Authentication for SSH in Linux. As of April 24th, 2020, WineHQ version, 5.7 was released. Below are what is new in the release.

  • Wine Mono engine updated to 5.0.0, with upstream WPF support.
  • More progress on the WineD3D Vulkan backend.
  • Beginnings of a USB device driver.
  • Support for building with Clang in MSVC mode.
  • Built-in modules no longer depend on libwine.
  • Support for configuring Windows version from the command line.
    Various bug fixes.

For further releases of Wine, please visit the WineHQ documentation website to learn more.

How does WineHQ work?

Instead of simulating internal Windows logic like a virtual machine or emulator, Wine translates Windows API calls into POSIX calls on the fly, eliminating the performance and memory penalties of other methods and allowing you to cleanly integrate Windows applications into your desktop.

How do I get WineHQ?

To get Wine, visit the following link. For Wine HQ installation on Ubuntu. Also, see how to run Windows applications on Linux.

WineHQ Application Database (AppDB): Here you can get information on application compatibility with Wine. An example is Notepad ++ which is compatible with WineHQ.

Search the database for an application to see ratings, comments, tips, guides, and tweaks stated by other users. Note: Platinum-rated applications run perfectly, with no tweaks required, while garbage-rated applications don’t run at all.

Installing Windows Applications

Windows files are installed on the “C” drive. As this doesn’t exist on Linux, Wine creates a folder (usually /home/your-username/.wine/drive_c) to act as the “C” drive for your Windows software.

This is where you will have to locate any installed software or games. This is probably going to be found in the “Program Files” or “Program Files (x86) folders. Once you’ve located your software, you can run it the same way you ran the installer. See Example two below.

wine example-installer.exe

Example 1:

Once WineHQ is installed, you can download an application’s EXE or MSI (Microsoft Installer) file and double-click on it, just like you would if you were using Windows — to run it with Wine.

Next, you will have to access the Downloads folder where the application downloaded was saved to as shown below.

Next, right-click on the installer and select Open with Another application

This will open the application installer interface as shown below. Here, you can now work through the entire installation process.

The installation of notepad ++ is relatively easy and straight forward as shown below.

Now that the installation is complete, you can now launch Notepad ++

Example 2:

Sometimes, you might encounter issues with the above example.  In this case, you will have to run the application from the terminal to see the related errors. Run the following command and replace the path with your application path.

wine /path/to/application.exe

If it is an MSI file, the following command below should be used instead.

wine msiexec /i /path/to/installer.msi

Registry & File System: Some applications require registry tweaks to work properly. You’ll often find information about which registry entries to modify on the application database. Execute the “regedit” command from a terminal to access Wine’s registry editor. For more on regedit, see the following articles.

– How to search through the Windows registry
– How to display Windows system information via the Windows registry.
– What is Registry Editor and how to access the registry hives, and
– Install Synaptic Package Manager: How to install, remove, and upgrade packages in Ubuntu Linux.

If you found this article useful on How to run Windows applications on Linux via WineHQ. Please let me know in the comment section if you have any questions.

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