A little wine with your Linux?

Wine is the software that runs in Linux which, in turn runs Windows programs. I have experimented and I could not believe how incredibly well it worked. At the time, I was able to achieve greater stability and performance, and an easier install, for Microsoft Office and Endnote on my Linux computer than on a comparable Windows computer. The down side in that case was that I had to run an older version of Office than currently (at that time) available. Also, the increase in reliability and performance was almost certainly in the system itself. The Linux computer simply worked (as they tend to do ) and the Windows computer was simply screwy (as they tend to be). Also, from a broader perspective, Wine was limited in what it could run. I could use Word and Excel and integrate Endnote with Word and so on, but I could not run Sim City (for example) . Ideally, a “windows emulator” (and I put that in quotes because Wine is not exactly a windows emulator) should be able to run anything windows can run. On your Linux box. Backwards and wearing high heels.

Well, after fifteen years of Mucking around and slowly improving, Wine has some interesting news…

… Version 1.0 is coming out!!!!

If all goes well, Alexandre Julliard, Wine’s lead developer, says that Wine 1.0 should appear on June 20, two weeks after the program’s fifteenth birthday. While at this point there are about 1,300 Windows applications that will install and run on Wine to some degree, only four sets of Windows applications — Photoshop CS2, PowerPoint Viewer 97 and 2003, Word Viewer 97 and 2003, and Excel Viewer 97 and 2003 — are considered critical for the 1.0 release.

Why is it taking so long?

Jeremy White is CEO of Wine’s commercial sibling, CodeWeavers, creators of Crossover Linux and Mac, programs that make it easy to use Wine on Linux and Mac OS X. White says, “I think people don’t realize just how very hard Wine is. We’re completely recreating Windows from the ground up. Microsoft, with their tens of thousands of employees, has a hard time shipping a new release of Windows that is backwards compatible *cough* Vista *cough*. So imagine then, instead, a scrappy band of volunteers replicating that work with a fraction of the people.”

Despite these handicaps, over the years Wine has made it possible for Linux users to run popular Windows applications on their PCs. For instance, the core Microsoft Office 97, XP, and 2003 applications and Internet Explorer 6 have long worked without a hitch on Linux.

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Wine Headquarters is HERE

Comments

  1. #1 Richard
    June 16, 2008

    Wine is great – and really helps transition. I use XP and ubuntu and I was using word through wine a lot. But Open Office is really coming along and works great and is ver compatible with word 2003.

    The one thing that I haven’t been able to get working is the equation editor in word using wine.

    Also the other biggy for many windows users is Itunes….

  2. #2 JanieBelle
    June 16, 2008

    I ditched MS Office last year for Open Office.

    I am so much happier.

    (Open source iz da bomb. I just have to get up the nerve to switch to Linux…)

  3. #3 Kevin H
    June 16, 2008

    Thanks for bringing this to my attention. How’s your experience with Endnote and wine? do you use Endnote X, and can you get cite-while-you-write to work? If you can, can you only get it working with MS Office also through wine, or will openoffice.org work seamlessly as well.

    Endnote compatibility is pretty much the biggest thing keeping me from using Linux everywhere.

  4. #4 Barry
    June 16, 2008

    I use Wine for Lotus Notes and Palm Desktop. Never had much luck with Office: I’ve been tempted to use CrossOver to help, but Open Office is making it decreasingly important.

  5. #5 Greg Laden
    June 16, 2008

    Crossover is the way to go if you want to use Wine and are not a total *nix geekoid.

    Keven: My reason forusing Wine to begin with was to use Endnote and Word. It worked great. You can’t use the most current versions, but you can us not too old versions.

    But eventually I gave up on the Endnote and I use a different system now.

  6. #6 Kevin H
    June 16, 2008

    thanks for the update. I only have access to the most recent version of Endnote, and I it, or atleast a fully read/write compatible alternative so I can share refs with my advisor. Oh well, looks like I’ll continue dual booting for awhile. Thanks for the reply.

  7. #7 Greg Laden
    June 16, 2008

    Kevin, don’t take my word for it! The current version of endnote may well work now with crosstalk. My experimentation was a couple of years ago and I have not tested it.

    Also, sharing refs with your advisor does not require the same software at all. All software packages worth a damn in ref management export to a small number of identical formats.

    Finally, your advisor obviously needs to change to Linux.

  8. #8 David Rinck
    June 16, 2008

    For those wanting to try out Linux, check out Wubi. It comes packaged with Ubuntu. You simply install Ubuntu like you would any application (albeit a 20 gig application). You can choose Windows or Ubuntu when you reboot.

  9. #9 Kevin H
    June 16, 2008

    it’s true, there are general formats, but there is that issue of the professorial inertia. I could probably get away with writing to an endnote compatible format so that he could open it, but trying to force him to export in a particular format will probably lead to grumbling, so native endnote reading is probably needed….

    We use Linux for all of our data analysis, but XP for stimulus presentation and office stuff.

    I’ll give the newest versions of wine+endnote a try and report back…

  10. #10 clinteas
    June 17, 2008

    I am running XP in a virtual machine through virtualbox on Ubuntu Linux,doesnt faze me if wine can run something or not,because its just your normal XP running,and it does Sim City or anything else,and of course Office XP 2007…

  11. #11 Andrew
    June 17, 2008

    clinteas: Kewl