Why do people even bother using Wine?

Here’s a simple question from someone still learning the ropes with Linux:

Why do people even bother using Wine?

I had a couple of Windows software packages that I missed when I switched to Ubuntu. Wine seemed to be the solution. But I had difficulty installing it, and I had even more difficulty when I tried to add Bottles to it. And I just could not get it to run any of my Windows software. So, after spending hours on it and adding dozens (or perhaps hundreds) of files to my system, I gave up on it.

Only after that did I find a much easier solution: Dual Booting. I started from scratch, put Windows 10 on my computer, and then put on a fresh install of Ubuntu. Now I use Ubuntu as my main OS and only use Windows offline to run my old software. And I can now run that old software without any hitches or headaches.

But I am still curious. Are there any advantages to using Wine?

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The very idea of dual booting fills me with horror… never…

I use Wine all the time, but I barely even notice, as its SteamPlay and Proton doing all the heavy lifting for me…

I have recently used Wine to install Autodesk Sketchbook Pro - and it installs and works flawlessly… My 2nd time doing exactly that - previously did it successfully on Ubuntu 20.04, just did it the other day on Fedora 35… TOO EASY!

You also missed one option - running a Windows instance as a VM and then installing that software you can’t divorce yourself form, in that Windows VM…

VirtualBox is free…

If you’re running a later version of Gnome (e.g. Fedora 35, Ubuntu 22), Gnome Boxes is a no brainer for building and deploying KVM vm’s…

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That is your specific case and probably not the only one. However, there is also the other side of things. There are thousands of people around the world playing games on a Wine derivative, without any issues whatsoever.

This was also a pre-cursor to the Steam Deck, which offers playing a big amount of games on an Arch Linux derivative using the technology noted above, which is based on Wine.

This is the reason, why people bother using Wine.

Many people could ask you the following question:

How do you dual boot without using Windows?

There are tons of people who switch to Linux and want to get rid of Windows altogether. They do not want to dual boot. They do not want to have that one piece of software holding them back from switching a 100% to Linux. People want to use Linux. Not the thing they want to escape from. Not even a little bit. Not at all.

I know a couple of people personally who have switched a 100% to Linux. Without Wine, Proton, etc. this would not be possible.

If you want to find such people, look around this forum. This forum is is bursting at the seams when it comes to people who want to or have switched a 100% to Linux. These people need sometimes Wine based products, too.

You had a bad experience with wine and no wonder since there are litterally 100’s of webpages that tell you to do this or that and they don’t work on your setup. I use wine for just one program that has no option on linux that does what I need. I use Playonlinux and for me it works well. If I were going to use windows I would not dual boot it but run it in a virtual machine and have done that in the past.
That way I don’t have to reboot to run a few programs.
But to each there own. Wine can be made to work on most distros but takes effort and you have to weed out what works and what does not.

This describes me having to continue to use X11 because those lazy sods over at Symless have been sitting on their hands for the LAST EIGHT YEARS, when they said that “Wayland is on our radar”, I can’t use Wayland, because I NEED Synergy, and that’s the ONLY roadblock, stopping me going 100% Wayland… I’m all set to buy an AMD GPU too, so I can dump NVidia…

On my Lenovo E495 running Fedora 35, I can “feel” the difference between having it hobbled with X11, and flying with Wayland, but no, I HAVE to NOT use Wayland - thanks Symless you useless b@stards… If Barrier get to Wayland support first - I’ll be dumping Synergy (which I paid for a Pro Licence for!)…

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You did it the right way.
Dual booting with Windows and Linux is OK if you put Windows in first, then add Linux.
You have to be careful if you upgrade Windows … some Windows upgrades will overwrite the grub bootloader . Its not a big issue, just be aware of it. If it happens all you need to do is reinstall grub. A rescue disc ( eg System Rescue CD) is handy for that.
Otherwise you should have no problems. You can update/upgrade Linux with no issues.

There are a couple of other approaches that other posts did not mention

  • if you have 2 disks, put Windows on a separate disk from Linux. Then you can upgrade Windows without problems. Put grub on the Linux disk
  • Put Windows on a bootable USB drive… if you only use it occasionally that will be fine
  • 2 separate computers.

I dont use Wine, but if I needed Windows I would use a USB drive or Gnome Boxes


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Your best solution, if you cannot live without Windows, is to put Linux on a VM, not Windows. Some
programs will just not run on a Windows VM or even from a USB install. You can really have the best
of both Linux and Windows, without it being a complicated mess.

Thanks, all! For dual booting I followed the instructions on this website:

But I did put the two systems on different drives.

Previously I followed instructions for Wine from a different site. I had several errors and hiccups. I should have found a better source.

I also found a source for installing a VM, but it was over my head. And there was no mention of Gnome Boxes on it.

So, I learned something new today. That info will probably help me out later – I have two computers. The other is 100% Linux.

Yeah, I have no intention of updating the Windows I am using. My plan is to keep the Windows OS offline. I’ll only turn it on when I want to use that old software.

Here’s another question:
Is using a VM easier than using Wine?

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From experience, if you push wine on Linux, it will break your system.

Good on you, very sensible

And, thanks for identifying the tutorial.
It is interesting. Some people follow tutorials and get in a dreadful mess… others like you just breeze thru it…
I think it comes down to being prepared to learn a bit before leaping in.

Regards Neville

Ive been lucky overall. Only needed wine one time and the application didnt work with it - moved on. Im just stubborn - if it doesnt work on linux - I might need it but I just wont use it anyway HAHA

[except for autocad where my contract purchased a laptop for me to use when I need it ]

You install Gnome boxes as a package . So you use apt in Ubuntu or Debian. You need to be running Gnome as your DTE… not sure how Gnome Boxes would mix with other DTE’s

Thanks! I found Gnome Boxes in the Ubuntu Software folder. I haven’t installed it yet, but I’ve made a note of it for future reference.

Works fine in XFCE, Mate, KDE.

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Nowadays Wine does not give any problems installing it on Ubuntu.
type in terminal: sudo apt install wine
that will take some time to download and install wine, so you can download your **.exe file with Windows program from the internet
once download is finished, move that W.program to a separate folder (this is optional but for easy of working)
look for the W.program and in its folder right click and choose the option Open in Terminal
in that terminal you type: wine **.exe ( , where ** is the name of the program)
wine will run and install the W.program.

I use wine on a regular basis and never had issue or problem. Currently using it for dreamweaver for web page design. For a client installed mint 19 (32 bit) with wine as she had a old program that would only run on Windows xp.
Windows, with all its problems, updates, virus issues … no way for me.
Wine is a great product they do offer a paid for version that covers even more but never needed it

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I had to look up this Synergy nonsense.
OK I see what it does for you . Shares keyboard and mouse across computers.
I thought any app that worked with X11 would automatically work with Wayland? Am I wrong there?
If the interface has changed every packet that uses gui will have to be updated. No wonder it is taking a while.

Yes there is nothing wrong with Wine… just another way of doing things.
I think your virus point is a good one. I suppose Wine is an effective sandbox for Windows.
Another approach would be to do all internet work with Linux, and only use Windows for local stuff.

My understanding is, that Wayland runs an X11 sub-system, which is supposed to be able to run apps without Wayland support. However, that’s not really running it on Wayland, but on that X11 part of Wayland.

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Wine works well here I use playonlinux because it allows me to choose the wine version I need.
Some programs work better on older versions of wine some on newer versions. As for Wayland not all linux programs have been updated to be able to run on wayland yet. So I avoid it for now.