Application to run windows on linux

6 Best ways to run Windows programs on Linux or MacOS

We always desire to run Windows programs on Linux operating systems such as Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Fedora and more. It is because of a wide range of Windows applications that are not available for Linux Distros. It is another reason why people refrain themselves to switch from Windows to Linux OS.

Although there are so many alternative programs of Windows applications with identical functionality available for Linux such GIMP as an alternative to Photoshop, still, there are quite a lot of old & new-fashioned Windows applications with no open source alternatives.

However, if you are not a big fan of Windows OS and want to learn Linux curves without compromising or giving up your crucial Windows applications then there are few best ways to run Windows applications on Linux, which is obviously a thing a Linux operating system user should know about.

Trivia: One thing is to be noted that recently, the Microsoft has announced that they are about to integrate full-blown Linux kernel to Windows 10 which means in future you don’t need to be switched to Linux from Windows 10 for learning the Linux apps or commands. However, for Windows 7, it still would not be possible.

How to Run Windows EXE files on Linux such as Ubuntu

Wine for Linux

WineHQ is the best way to run Windows programs on Linux operating systems. It a cross-platform application which is available for Linux (Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, OpenSUSE, Slackware), MacOS, FreeBSD and Android OS. Wine is an acronym that stands for Wine Is Not an Emulator, in lieu of being an emulator, it is a free and open-source compatibility layer that uses API conversion technology layer to runs Windows applications on a variety of POSIX-compliant operating systems such as Linux, Mac OSX, and BSD.

As said, it uses API conversion technology, thus, it makes a Linux-compatible function corresponding to Windows to call a DLL to run a Windows program. Wine release is completely open source and is distributed free of charge. (Based on LGPL release: GNU Wide General Public License). What we think that the true meaning of Wine should be the abbreviation of Windows Environment- WinE.

Well! now we know that Wine is not a Windows emulator so, it doesn’t run any kind of virtual machine or emulator to run Windows application which makes it more efficient and gives good integration capability with Linux OS.

Wine fully supports binary loading of Windows executables (.exe and DLL). Wine has a very robust and powerful built-in debugger that, in addition to supporting standard debugging features, is also customizable for debugging Windows binaries running on Linux. It is one of the best tools to run Windows software indeed, there are a lot of uncertainties when installing and running Windows applications in Wine, and sooner or later. So, there is no surety that all Windows applications will work on Linux using Wine, few glitches in some high-end applications are always there.

You can run MS-office, Final Fantasy X, Adobe Photoshop CS6, Battlefield (game), Media Monkey player and several other games and programs. Here is the Link to see Windows application compatible database to Wine for Linux.

Download WineHQ for Linux

Play on Linux

Playonlinux is a nice alternative to WineHQ for Linux to run Windows apps on Linux. It is also free and open source program, thus, we don’t need to buy any kind of license to use Play on Linux. There are numerous apps and games of Windows that are supported by it.

To run windows program it uses a Wine compatibility layer and provides a graphical user interface at the front for user convenience. PlayonLinux has been written in Python language and it provides wrapper shell scripts to specify the configuration of Wine for any particular software.

Apart from Linux, it can be used on MacOS and FreeBSD to run programs like Adobe Acrobat Reader DC, Microsoft Office 2016, Age Of Empires III, Assassin’s Creed Revelations and more. However, there is no surety that it will run the one too which you want to be on Linux. Thus, see the complete PlayOn Linux Windows app supported list- here.

Besides PlayonLinux, it also offers PlayonMac to run windows apps on MacOS.

Crossover for Linux, MacOS & ChromeOS

Crossover is a best alternative to WineHQ and PlayOnLinux to run Windows app on Linux, MacOS and ChromeOS. However, unfortunately, it is not an open source program and users have to shell out some to use it. The crossover developed by CodeWeavers under a proprietary license to make Linux and Mac OS X operating systems Windows program compatible.

Crossover is an x86 compatible PC system software that requires at least 200 MB of free disk space for its own installation and space for installing Windows applications. It officially supports Ubuntu, Mint, Fedora, Debian and Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) Linux operating systems.

Besides Linux, you can download it from Google Play store on your ChromeOS running Notebook.

With CrossOver Mac, we can launch Windows applications directly from the dock, seamlessly integrate with your Mac and Linux system functions for cross-platform copy-and-paste and file interworking.

Well! being a paid software its support to run windows programs on Linux or MacOS will also be good. One year license cost of Crossover is $15.95 USD.

It easily installs and runs some Windows software some of them are: Microsoft office 2016, Enterprise Architect, World Warcraft, Adobe Dreamweaver, Adobe Photoshop 7.0/CS4, and more. See the Crossover Windows application compatibility Database.

No doubt, the CrossOver is really a strong contender in this list, however, still, if you are looking for CrossOver free & best alternative then Wine and PlayOnLinux always come in mind, first.

Download free trial of 14 days of CrossOver.

[alert-announce] Few other important apps need to know for running Windows apps on Linux or MacOS [/alert-announce]

Q4Wine- Qt GUI for Wine

Q4Wine is a Qt GUI for the Wine compatibility layer. Means the work of this tool is to provide an easy to use graphical user interface to manage Wine prefixes and its installed applications. Q4Wine is available for on Linux, FreeBSD and OS X platforms.

It features Qt colour theme into wine colours settings; work with different wine versions at the same time; control wine process; Autostart icons support; extract icons from PE files (.exe .dll); and more…

Wineskin for Mac

Wineskin is a tool to run Windows programs but only for Mac OS X. It is a porting tool that ports Windows application to normal Mac apps and works as a wrapper around the Windows software. It is free to use and currently works on OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, OS X 10.7 Lion, OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, OS X 10.9 Mavericks and OS X 10.10 Yosemite.


Winebottler is another tool that dedicated to run Windows-based programs on MacOS only. It builds using the open source tool Wine and it works as packager which ports the Windows application by packaging them to MacOS compatible. For example, some audio player is only meant for Windows, then you can use WineBottler to pack it for MacOS.

It is a very handy tool which with one click uses a script to configure, download and install Windows EXE app for MacOS. However, it is true for each and every application, as every software has its own shortcomings.


How To Run Windows Applications On Linux [Beginners Guide]

As you’re here, I’m going to assume that you’re a Linux user. And every once in a while, you find yourself asking: can I run windows applications on Linux?.

Answer to that question is yes. Yes, you can run Windows applications in Linux. Here are some of the ways for running Windows programs with Linux :

Both of them works just fine. But they are somewhat resource hungry.

If you only need to use a small Windows application, installing Windows on a separate HDD partition or as a Virtual Machine is not efficient. Moreover, Virtual Machine can’t utilize the total power of your machine. So, what is the solution?

No worries, there is another way to use Windows software on Linux. It’s called Wine. If you aren’t yet familiar with it or you are a beginner in the world of Linux, this article is for you.

In this beginner’s guide, I’ll show you what is Wine and how to use it to run Windows software on Linux. I have used Ubuntu here as Ubuntu is one of the best Linux distros for beginners, but any other Linux distribution will have more or less same steps (except for the commands in Arch or Fedora based distros).

Using Wine to run Windows programs in Linux

Wine stands for Wine Is Not an Emulator. And WINE is actually an acronym for that. And as previously stated, it’s not even a virtual machine.

Rather it is a compatibility layer for running Windows applications on UNIX-like or POSIX-compliant operating systems (e.g. Linux, Mac, BSD). While a virtual machine or emulator simulates internal Windows logic, Wine translates those Windows logic to native UNIX/POSIX-complaint logic.

In simple and non-technical words, Wine converts internal Windows commands to commands your Linux system can natively understand.

Читайте также:  Application to run windows on linux

Installing Wine

There are various ways to install Wine on your system. As this is a beginners’ guide, I’ll describe the most straightforward one here.

Almost all the Linux distros come with Wine in their package repository. Most of the time the latest stable version of Wine is available via package repository. Installing Wine on Ubuntu is as easy as firing up a terminal and running these commands:

However, if you are using an 64bit installation of Ubuntu, you will need to run these additional commands:

This will add 32bit architecture support on your distro which will benefit you in installing specific software. If you don’t know whether you have a 32bit installation or 64bit, check this article: 32bit or 64bit Ubuntu?

What Windows applications are Supported by Wine?

There is a large number of Windows applications that are currently fully supported by Wine. They will run without any hassle.

However, new Windows applications are being developed every day. Many of them wouldn’t function as we want on Wine. But the development pace of Wine is also rapid, support for new applications is being added all the time.

And there is a dedicated database for keeping track of just that.

Wine Application Database has almost 24,000 applications rated with different status depending upon how well that applications run in Wine. If you want to quickly check the rating of the application you want to use in Wine, you can take a look there. Here are the meaning of those ratings:

  • Platinum: These applications install and run flawlessly in out-of-the-box Wine.
  • Gold: These applications work flawlessly with some special configuration.
  • Silver: Applications with minor issues are tagged as Silver.
  • Bronze: The Bronze ones have major issues that seriously affect usage.
  • Garbage: These simply won’t run on Wine.

Reviews, Installation Procedure, which Wine version it was tested against and various useful data are also available for each application here.

Of course, Wine Application Database is mostly user-generated data, so you are always welcome to try running an application with a different version of Wine and share your result with rest of the community.

Finding an Application in Wine Application Database

Let’s see how we can find an application in Wine Application Database.

Go to Wine Application Database. Click Browse Apps from the left sidebar.

Finding an App in Wine AppDB

» data-medium-file=»×144.png» data-large-file=»» src=»» alt=»Finding an App in Wine AppDB» data-lazy-src=»″ srcset=»data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAIAAAAAAAP///yH5BAEAAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAIBRAA7″> Finding an App in Wine AppDB

Write the name of the application you want to find in the Name field.

Wine AppDB name filter

» data-medium-file=»×113.png» data-large-file=»» width=»900″ height=»340″ src=»» alt=»Wine AppDB name filter» data-lazy-srcset=» 900w,×113.png 300w,×290.png 768w» data-lazy-sizes=»(max-width: 900px) 100vw, 900px» data-lazy-src=»″ srcset=»data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAIAAAAAAAP///yH5BAEAAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAIBRAA7″> Wine AppDB name filter

Click on the link to the application from the search result.

You’ll see a description of the application. There will be a list of various versions with their compatibility rating with a specific Wine version.

Wine AppDB Application page

» data-medium-file=»×145.png» data-large-file=»×493.png» width=»1024″ height=»493″ src=»×493.png» alt=»Wine AppDB Application page» data-lazy-srcset=»×493.png 1024w,×145.png 300w,×370.png 768w, 1102w» data-lazy-sizes=»(max-width: 1024px) 100vw, 1024px» data-lazy-src=»×493.png?is-pending-load=1″ srcset=»data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAIAAAAAAAP///yH5BAEAAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAIBRAA7″> Wine AppDB Application page

Let’s click on the latest version link.

This is the main page you need to check. There will be detailed information about that specific version.

Detailed Information about Application

» data-medium-file=»×213.png» data-large-file=»×725.png» width=»1024″ height=»725″ src=»×725.png» alt=»Detailed Information about Application» data-lazy-srcset=»×725.png 1024w,×213.png 300w,×544.png 768w, 1111w» data-lazy-sizes=»(max-width: 1024px) 100vw, 1024px» data-lazy-src=»×725.png?is-pending-load=1″ srcset=»data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAIAAAAAAAP///yH5BAEAAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAIBRAA7″> Detailed Information about Application

You’ll get an idea of what will work and what will not. Also, the installation procedure will be included here if any additional tasks are needed for installation.

Getting Started with Wine

Before we go on installing and running applications in Wine, we should have clear idea about a few things and about how to configure Wine for usage:


Windows applications need a C: drive. Wine uses a virtual C: drive for this purpose. The directory of this virtual C: drive is called wineprefix. First of all, we need to create a wineprefix. For doing that, fire up a terminal and enter this command:

This will create a wineprefix and open the configuration window for Wine. You can change the configuration options if you want or let it be as is for time being and close it. Now, you can locate the virtual C: drive at

WinePrefix C: Drive

» data-medium-file=»×207.png» data-large-file=»» width=»800″ height=»552″ src=»» alt=»WinePrefix C: Drive» data-lazy-srcset=» 800w,×207.png 300w,×530.png 768w» data-lazy-sizes=»(max-width: 800px) 100vw, 800px» data-lazy-src=»″ srcset=»data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAIAAAAAAAP///yH5BAEAAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAIBRAA7″> WinePrefix C: Drive

The general rule is to install each new application into a fresh wineprefix. We can create and maintain multiple wineprefix manually. But that task would seem rather tedious for the beginners. So, we will skip that part for now. But, later I’m going to show the way for doing that part with ease.

Installing an Application with Wine

Installing a supported application in Wine is generally as easy as double-clicking on the installation file. However, we are now going to see a step-by-step guide for installing 7-zip on Wine.

First of all, check for 7-zip rating on Wine Application Database. It has Platinum rating, so we are good to go. Open Wine configuration ( winecfg ) and set the Windows Version to Windows 7.

» data-medium-file=»×300.png» data-large-file=»» width=»412″ height=»475″ src=»» alt=»Wine Windows 7″ data-lazy-srcset=» 412w,×300.png 260w,×346.png 300w» data-lazy-sizes=»(max-width: 412px) 100vw, 412px» data-lazy-src=»″ srcset=»data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAIAAAAAAAP///yH5BAEAAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAIBRAA7″> Wine Windows 7

Right-click on the 7-zip installation file and select Open With Wine Windows Program Loader.

7-zip Installation File

» data-medium-file=»×207.png» data-large-file=»» src=»» alt=»7-zip Installation File» data-lazy-src=»″ srcset=»data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAIAAAAAAAP///yH5BAEAAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAIBRAA7″> 7-zip Installation File

See that destination folder path? 7-zip installation has recognized the virtual C: drive from wineprefix.

7zip Setup Directory on Wine

» data-medium-file=»×210.png» data-large-file=»» width=»302″ height=»211″ src=»» alt=»7zip Setup Directory on Wine» data-lazy-srcset=» 302w,×210.png 300w» data-lazy-sizes=»(max-width: 302px) 100vw, 302px» data-lazy-src=»″ srcset=»data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAIAAAAAAAP///yH5BAEAAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAIBRAA7″> 7-zip Setup Directory on Wine

Finish the installation and go to the installation directory [ $HOME/.wine/drive_c/Program Files/7-zip/ ] from the file browser.

Right-click on 7zFM.exe and go to Properties > Open With.

Set Default .exe Loader

» data-medium-file=»×223.png» data-large-file=»» width=»620″ height=»461″ src=»» alt=»Set Default .exe Loader» data-lazy-srcset=» 620w,×223.png 300w» data-lazy-sizes=»(max-width: 620px) 100vw, 620px» data-lazy-src=»″ srcset=»data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAIAAAAAAAP///yH5BAEAAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAIBRAA7″> Set Default .exe Loader

Select Wine Windows Program Loader and close the window. Double-click on 7zFM.exe.

» data-image-caption data-medium-file=»×198.png» data-large-file=»» width=»594″ height=»392″ src=»» alt=»7-zip running with Wine» data-lazy-srcset=» 594w,×198.png 300w» data-lazy-sizes=»(max-width: 594px) 100vw, 594px» data-lazy-src=»″ srcset=»data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAIAAAAAAAP///yH5BAEAAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAIBRAA7″> 7-zip running with Wine

And there you go! For creating a shortcut on your desktop, right click on the file.

Creating 7-zip shortcut

» data-medium-file=»×207.png» data-large-file=»» width=»802″ height=»553″ src=»» alt=»Creating 7-zip shortcut» data-lazy-srcset=» 802w,×207.png 300w,×530.png 768w» data-lazy-sizes=»(max-width: 802px) 100vw, 802px» data-lazy-src=»″ srcset=»data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAIAAAAAAAP///yH5BAEAAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAIBRAA7″> Creating 7-zip shortcut

Now move the Link to Desktop.

Move shortcut to Desktop

» data-medium-file=»×236.png» data-large-file=»» width=»801″ height=»629″ src=»» alt=»Move shortcut to Desktop» data-lazy-srcset=» 801w,×236.png 300w,×603.png 768w» data-lazy-sizes=»(max-width: 801px) 100vw, 801px» data-lazy-src=»″ srcset=»data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAIAAAAAAAP///yH5BAEAAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAIBRAA7″> Move shortcut to Desktop

Now, you can run 7-zip just from your desktop. All you have to do is double-click on the icon.

Run 7zip from desktop

» data-medium-file=»×225.png» data-large-file=»» width=»800″ height=»600″ src=»» alt=»Run 7zip from desktop» data-lazy-srcset=» 800w,×225.png 300w,×576.png 768w» data-lazy-sizes=»(max-width: 800px) 100vw, 800px» data-lazy-src=»″ srcset=»data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAIAAAAAAAP///yH5BAEAAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAIBRAA7″> Run 7-zip from desktop

If you want to access your files on Linux, they are generally located in Z: Drive.

Linux directory in Z: drive

» data-medium-file=»×198.png» data-large-file=»» width=»594″ height=»392″ src=»» alt=»Linux directory in Z: drive» data-lazy-srcset=» 594w,×198.png 300w» data-lazy-sizes=»(max-width: 594px) 100vw, 594px» data-lazy-src=»″ srcset=»data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAIAAAAAAAP///yH5BAEAAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAIBRAA7″> Linux directory in Z: drive

You can use the 7-zip just as you would use it on Windows – for extracting and creating archives and such.

Let’s make things (a lot) Easier

You might have noticed that, at Wine Application Database, with every version of application review a specific Wine version is mentioned.

It is because of the rapid development rate of Wine. Though an application runs with the current version of Wine, it might not run with a future version, because of the changes made.

Also, I’ve mentioned about installing each application in its own fresh wineprefix. So that, an application has no chance of interfering with another. And doing all these manually, usually from the terminal, is time-consuming, tiresome and at times, confusing.

PlayOnLinux is here to rescue. It provides a nice interface for doing all these things easily. For installing PlayOnLinux on Ubuntu, simply run this command:

» data-medium-file=»×218.png» data-large-file=»» width=»611″ height=»444″ src=»» alt=»PlayOnLinux interface» data-lazy-srcset=» 611w,×218.png 300w» data-lazy-sizes=»(max-width: 611px) 100vw, 611px» data-lazy-src=»″ srcset=»data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAIAAAAAAAP///yH5BAEAAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAIBRAA7″> PlayOnLinux interface

You can easily perform every task related to Wine with PlayOnLinux from a beautiful and intuitive graphical interface:

  • Installing & Uninstalling applications.
  • Creating, Updating & Removing wineprefixes.
  • Maintain Wine of different architecture and versions.
  • Run & Create shortcut for installed applications.
  • And so on…

But still, you will need to check Wine Application Database for reviews, installation procedures and such.

Advantages of using Wine

When it comes to running Windows applications on Linux system, Wine provides many advantages over using emulators or virtual machines.

  • Performance: Wine is immune to the performance loss that otherwise occurs while emulating.
  • Native Experience: There is no need to open Wine before running a Windows application. Exactly how Wine works will be more clear from this quote from official site,

Wine can be thought of as a Windows emulator in much the same way that Windows Vista can be thought of as a Windows XP emulator: both allow you to run the same applications by translating system calls in much the same way. Setting Wine to mimic Windows XP is not much different from setting Vista to launch an application in XP compatibility mode.

Wine Derivatives

There are quite a number of projects for running Windows applications on other platforms, based on Wine:

  • CrossOver: CrossOver is a developed by the company named CodeWeavers. It is directly based on Wine with a few tweaks and proprietary add-ons. In fact, CodeWeavers employs a large portion of Wine developers. Unlike the rapid releases of Wine, CrossOver releases are more stable. The one and major downside is that Crossover is not free.
  • PlayOnLinux: PlayOnLinux is completely based on Wine. And provides easier route for installing and managing application with Wine. PlayOnLinux is free.
    It is also available for Mac as PlayOnMac.
  • ReactOS: ReactOS is an entirely different open-source operating system for running Windows applications. It reuses a considerable amount of codes from Wine. However, this is a project under development for more than a decade and I won’t recommend it.

Additional Tips on using Wine


This is another important part of using Wine. Winetricks is a helper script to download and install various redistributable runtime libraries needed to run some applications in Wine. These may include replacements for components of Wine using closed source libraries. Winetricks comes with Wine installation on Ubuntu.

For starting winetricks, run this command:

» data-image-caption data-medium-file=»×269.png» data-large-file=»» width=»537″ height=»481″ src=»» alt=»Winetricks» data-lazy-srcset=» 537w,×269.png 300w» data-lazy-sizes=»(max-width: 537px) 100vw, 537px» data-lazy-src=»″ srcset=»data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAIAAAAAAAP///yH5BAEAAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAIBRAA7″> Winetricks

There are many options for helping you with various tasks.

Installing an Application with Winetricks

If you Install an app from winetricks, it will be installed in a separate wineprefix. Let’s install VLC:

Winetricks – Install an app

» data-medium-file=»×268.png» data-large-file=»» width=»471″ height=»421″ src=»» alt=»Winetricks — Install an app» data-lazy-srcset=» 471w,×268.png 300w» data-lazy-sizes=»(max-width: 471px) 100vw, 471px» data-lazy-src=»″ srcset=»data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAIAAAAAAAP///yH5BAEAAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAIBRAA7″> Winetricks – Install an app

Winetricks – Install VLC

» data-medium-file=»×288.png» data-large-file=»» width=»531″ height=»510″ src=»» alt=»Winetricks — Install VLC» data-lazy-srcset=» 531w,×288.png 300w» data-lazy-sizes=»(max-width: 531px) 100vw, 531px» data-lazy-src=»″ srcset=»data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAIAAAAAAAP///yH5BAEAAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAIBRAA7″> Winetricks – Install VLC

It will then begin to download the VLC installation files. And then guide you through the rest of the process. It’s pretty simple.

Install Windows DLL or components and others

You can select a wineprefix from winetricks and install various libraries and components required by the application you want to run and also perform other operations.

» data-image-caption data-medium-file=»×267.png» data-large-file=»» width=»522″ height=»464″ src=»» alt=»Winetricks Scripts» data-lazy-srcset=» 522w,×267.png 300w» data-lazy-sizes=»(max-width: 522px) 100vw, 522px» data-lazy-src=»″ srcset=»data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAIAAAAAAAP///yH5BAEAAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAIBRAA7″> Winetricks Scripts

Winetricks Libraries & Components

N.B.: If using winetricks seems complicated to you, it’s perfectly okay. I feel the same way too. I always use PlayOnLinux for this reason. PlayOnLinux can do everything you might need to do from winetricks.

For more information you can check Wine FAQ and Documentation.

I hope you find this complete beginner’s guide to using Wine in Linux helpful. Now you can run Windows programs in Linux without installing a virtual machine or dual booting.

Let us know if you have any questions or opinion in the comment section below.

Munif is studying Electronics & Telecommunication Engineering. He loves Open Source and uses Ubuntu as his primary OS. Technology aside, Munif is a TV Series freak and sometimes tries to do some creative writing.


Поделиться с друзьями