How to install Windows programs in Linux using Wine

This somewhat brief tutorial will guide you in installing Wine, and then using it to install Windows applications. Though the steps and screenshots are specific to Ubuntu Linux, they will be very similar for most Linux/*nix distributions.

Think of Wine as a compatibility layer for running Windows programs. Wine does not require Microsoft Windows, as it is a completely free alternative implementation of the Windows API consisting of 100% non-Microsoft code. Wine is not a Windows emulator (hence the name, Wine Is Not an Emulator).

Before you get started, you may want to check and confirm that the Windows program you want to install is in fact supported by Wine. Visit the Wine Application Database for a list of all the programs known to work in Wine, and at what level (fully supported, needs some tweaking, etc). Some of the more common/popular programs that are known to work include: Diablo II, Rollercoaster Tycoon 2, World of Warcraft 2.0.x, Day of Defeat, Counter-Strike, Call of Duty 2, Prey (do you see a common theme here? Lots of games!). But don’t worry, it’s not just games that are supported.

  1. If you have the Synaptic Package Manger installed, use it to install Wine. For help using the Synaptic Package Manger, please see this tutorial. If you don’t use Synaptic, there are up to date Wine packages available here for many operating systems.

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  3. After you’ve successfully installed Wine, launch it by selecting Wine File

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  5. And then the Wine File Browser will open.

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  7. Navigate to the Windows program or program installer, and double-click it. In the example below I’ll be installing Homesite+, the only HTML editor that I’ve ever loved – and it’s not available for OS X or Linux (natively).

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  9. The installation Wizard will launch, and the setup continues as it would in Windows.

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  11. Once the installation has completed, use the Wine File Browser to navigate to the program and double-click it. Hint: by default, most Windows programs install on a “C:” drive – use the Wine File Browser to locate your new “C:” drive (see screenshot below).

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  13. Ta-da! The Windows version of Homesite+ is now up and running – in Linux.

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43 thoughts on “How to install Windows programs in Linux using Wine”

  1. One more piece of information requested. My system is severely infected with Virut, Virut-AN and few other viruses. Problem is that due to presence of one Siemens software, for which the only available license has already been transferred to the Hard Disk and the license floppy has gone unreadable due to age. This means I cannot format my hard disk. Now I have downloaded a standalone Virut cleaner. Can I run it with the help of WINE after booting from Ubuntu so that I can clean my HDD?

  2. Dear Friends,
    I am just 3days old into Linux. I am running Ubuntu and want to install Wine. However, when I click on a package name in the repository, it says something like some dependency error showing that some other Ubuntu is to be installed. I am trying to download the wine from WineHQ web-site.
    Can you please help me?

  3. i dont have these options above?? the only option for my ubuntu/wine is configure. wine is an application…… maybe im running an older version of ubuntu?? HELP

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  5. Instead of starting Wine File by running the “winefile” command in a terminal, the easiest way is simply RIGHT-clicking any .EXE file you have downloaded and then choose “Open with Wine Windows Program Loader”

  6. Thanks for the help.

    I’m running Ubuntu Jaunty. I’m getting Wine in my Applications list, but I don’t get Winefile. I have to open that in a terminal. Anyone know how to get Winefile in my Applications > Wine list? Thanks for the help!

  7. WOW! This is great! I use Linux on my laptop becuase it’s very very very old. And that pretty much all it will run. I tried to install Windows 7 on it but there’s only 256mb of RAM. Anyways… I’m going away next week and I need to use Microsoft office for work and all I have is Linux. Now I can run office And other software I need When I go.

    I’m a PC!

  8. Can anyone tell why when I try to install itunes 9.0 all it did was give me the quicktime application even when using wine can anyone help me?

  9. NOOO…
    I use GameMaker to program and make .exe games (click&play) in Windows, and it won’t work with wine… I’m currently at a orphanage, and the kids love my newest game, but they have Linux (duh XP)


  10. sir
    plz tell me how can i install wine on linux version 5 i have p4 computer

    when i am installing ./configure it it showing this porblem

    use –without-X-
    tell me what i do??
    with regard yash

  11. hey would this work on fedora10 if any one else uses fedora please use my email to replay and tell me how it works.

    P.S. i got linix fedora so i could put it on a older pc that i bought that didnt come with boot disk. i like it so far :)

  12. sir
    i m having problem ……i have installed wine using the sudo apt-get install wine command …… is showing directly in applications………but clicking on application->wine->Browse C:\ drive does not lead to the browsing window …what should i do ………pls help


  13. why i cant install windows games in my ubuntu even using wine??
    some of the game file is not appear on my screen????…. please somebody help me…
    i realy miz my windows games….

  14. i think this wine could help me alot but my problem now is; there was a password on my pc and i could not enter in the just a newbe in linux and i really want to know about linux..could someone help me how to solve my problem..plss..just email me…tnx alot

  15. I’m trying to install a game that comes on 5 cds. The first cd works great, but I can’t get the installer to realize that the second cd is in my second drive and ready to go.

    I’ve tried putting the second cd in the same drive, but can’t because the computer sees it as in use.

    One site suggested that I copy all 5 cds to my computer and run the installer from there, but that didn’t work for me, either.

    Thank you!

  16. Anyone out there successfully running Autoroute Express in Wine (Ideally under Ubuntu Hardy)?

    I have not tried running Wine yet as I’m still a Linux newbie.

    Thanks in anticipation.

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    can anyone pleaaaaassssssee tell me the exact method to install wine….mail me on my email

  19. Thank you very much for your most helpful guide to setting up Wine on an Ubuntu system. I don’t know how newbies like me could manage without the help of experts like you. I am most grateful, as I could not use the Windows program I could find to do what I wanted without your advice.

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  23. Nuvolablues,

    No. Except that sometimes you get frustrated trying to get Windows programs to work in Wine. That and it can stop people from trying to find an open source alternative to whatever Windows program they’re trying to install. But overall, Wine is great.

  24. Thanks for this. I never knew about Wine’s File Manager. It is very handy for a Linux noob like me. By the way, for those not on Ubuntu (I’m using Mepis) who didn’t get a Wine File Menu shortcut, you can start Wine File by running winefile in a terminal.

    I am installing Counter-strike Source: Source and Day of Defeat as we speak.

    Wine Rocks.

  25. Thank you! I don’t have to boot into Windows to play Prey anymore! Hmmm maybe now I can just delete my Windows partition….

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