WINE stands for, alternately, WINE Is Not An Emulator or WINdows Emulator. It acts as a wrapper over win32 system calls on i386 platforms, allowing win32 apps to run on X Window / Linux systems.


In Gentoo, this can be done simply by doing sudo emerge wine. On other systems, it's more complex:

  • Get the source code with the following commands:

    $ export 
    $ cvs login 
    Password: cvs 
    $ cvs -z3 co wine 
  • Compile:

    Go into the new wine/ directory and run tools/wineinstall. This compiles WINE. Follow the onscreen instructions.

  • Configure:

    The default configuration file usually has some problems, prime amongst them the CDROM and floppy paths. Edit your ~/.wine/config file to correct them. I recommend adding a drive linking to / as well.

  • Invocation:

    This is the simplest part: Simply run wine program.exe. Note that you can use either a UNIX path or a virtual windows path.

Does it work?

On the whole, yes. There are many bugs, though. For example, Starcraft runs in single-player mode only. Multi-player locks up. Also, wine is incomplete, and therefore has many bugs. Generally, older software works best, and Microsoft software worst. Games typically have the worst performance, due to wine's poor support for DirectX.