back to article 1,076 developers, 15 years, one open-source Wine

After 15 years of development, a running battle with Microsoft and persistent doubts about its viability, the first proper version of Wine - a middleware tool to run Windows applications on Unix-like operating systems - has finally arrived. Wine 1.0, the work of a staggering 1,076 programmers, has been released under the GNU …

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all I want...

is to be able to run FS2004 on my linux box then I can dump my one and only windows box completely...

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Just in Time for Vista!

Au Contrare: The timing is exactly perfect. With Wine one can postpone the Vista shaft indefinitely AND even run Half Life 2 on the Linux box. This is good.

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The Time HAS NOT passed.

Personally, until there is an even balance in the OS market, the time for a innovator as such will never pass.

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Gates Horns

Surely all the Vista frustrations

are at least one reason why Wine could continue to be a viable offering. Even with the extension of Windows XP availability, Vista has just been one massive PR disaster for Microsoft that I'm sure has lots of people searching out MS alternatives and stop-gaps.

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Go

Wine is needed

Third-party apps pose a real headache to me in trying to bring people over to Linux. With XP not being sold for much longer and Vista the only next step... Since nothing works with Vista anyway, at least with Wine I have a chance...

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Cygwin is supported

Cygwin is in their appdb list, thank god. I mean, what good is MSWindows without cygwin?

Chas.

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Linux

WINE still a Good Thing

I use it for the few "Windows-only" apps that for whatever reason, haven't been ported to Linux yet. The apps I use are of limited general interest (an excellent, no-cost, PSPICE simulator, provided by Linear Technology, and a freeware RF path modeling program), but are written only for Windows.

While I could easily replace WINE with a virtual machine, running Windows, that would require me to obtain a licensed copy of Windows. WINE is a far simpler solution, and one that works well for most apps, and doesn't require a license.

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Mo

Hmm

It's a fantastic achievement, and all praise is due to the Wine team, but they themselves will be (and have been) the first to admit that 1.0 is by no means “complete”.

Also, what on earth is “OS/X”? Some skunkworks project at IBM? Perhaps the fruits of the Apple-IBM collaboration which at the very least saw OS/2 running on top of the Mach microkernel?

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Past?

Like hell it has. As an It manager for a small business who is just starting to roll out Ubuntu Linux machines in his environment, Wine has allowed me to use some outdated but necessary Windows applications. We're saving money on OSs and maintaining application homogeneity. What more could I ask for? Wait, the next version of Wine would be nice. Nuff said.

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Still useful

As a replacement for Windows, Wine is not going to cut it. Especially in a business environment, but as a means of getting a few fairly basic Windows programs and some older games to run.. It is invaluable. It's one of the first apps I install when I upgrade to a new version of Fedora, and has served me well so far. Each release gets better.

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Not so sure "its time has passed"

I've been moving off Windows gradually at home and work -- to Mac OSX, Linux and some Solaris x86 -- but there are still occasional applications that I've purchased that are Windows-only, such as Enterprise Architect ... or WinZip (for files using their AES-256 encryption).

I'm sure others have Windows apps they'd like to be able to run once in a while if needed.

I personally don't much mind paying for VMware or Parallels (under US$100) to run various OSes in -- an ability I find useful for several reasons -- but I do find it objectionable to pay over US$100 per computer for Windows XP if I only need it to run two applications once in a while.

That is, there's nothing in Windows (file system, Windows Explorer, or other built-in programs) that I need, it's merely a platform for apps that haven't yet made the leap to portability or web services.

Postulating for the purposes of discussion that Wine 1.0 will run the apps I need: is there a better choice out there ?

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Still Wine-ing

I tried Wine 5 years ago, 4 years ago, 3 years ago, 2 years ago, 1 year ago, 0 years ago, and it still only is good for Office 97 and partly Office 2000.

So I gave up and started using Staroffice / Openoffice.

If any other IT project threatened to take 15 years it would have been canned countless years ago!

Admrable to see such endurance in one's spare time, but I could have cut my grass at least 480 times in that period.

Wish they would have put all their efforts into making OpenOffice better, and making a better Open Source equivalent to Outlook than Evolution.

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Too little, too late

I've always regarded Wine as something of a running joke - freetards like to bring it up as proof of the obsolescence of Windows, neglecting to mention that any app that is remotely complex or unusual will likely run with major glitches, or require hours of research and effort to make run at all.

It might be fun for hackers, but for anyone who wants to do real work it's simply not worth the bother.

You're much better off using VMWare Workstation or Virtualbox. VM Workstation, as of version 6.5 (now in beta) can integrate guest operating system windows directly onto the host, so in most respects it's like running them natively.

And unlike Wine, it hasn't taken them 15 years to reach stability.

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Wine is very useful in the gaming world

Both CrossOver and TransGaming Cider are based on Wine, and thanks to them, many more games are playable on Mac and Linux now. While it would be nice if game developers would actually learn to write cross-platform code to begin with (which would require reversing a LOT of inertia), this is a reasonable short-term concession while the games companies come to realize that there are lots of users who aren't on Windows.

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One for the Records

Wow! 15 years huh. That's impressive.

Looks like FireFox isn't the only new record holder this week. Wine has now set a new record for poor project management and extended timelines. We need to identify the leaders of the Wine "community" and move them into public sector work - they'd fit right in.

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Linux

Don't forget cloud computing...

The true cross-platform app of the future.

Besides, hasn't the world moved on to virtualisation? It sucked 15 years ago, but now modern computers can finally do a good job of it. The only real users of Wine 1.0 may end up being the 1,076 penguinistas who made it.

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Linux

Genunie what?

So Microsoft's Windows Genuine Advantage tool directly checks for Wine (and bails out with a generic error message, I hope they have more proof), would this be any different if you were running mono or moonlight which are microsoft backed projects?

Anyway what products would you want that are Genunie Advantage protected if you aren't on a windows box?

Windows Defender

Microsoft Private Folder

Windows Media Player 11, hmm bloat ware

I'll stick with the originals

Playstation yes Xbox no

Flash yes Silverlight no

Google yes live search no

Internet yes MSN network no

Pdf yes Xps no

It's not all bad though, I like .Net.

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@TheBloke

I use both VMWare Player and Wine on my Ubuntu'd Thinkpad T60p.

Costs aside (VM Workstation+XP is not cheap) Wine still has its place.

My XP VMWare image takes at least a minute to start up and achieve proper speeds. Once running, apps under VMWare are nice and quick.

Apps under Wine start immediately, but run a little slower.

Choice is good.

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Paris Hilton

"Windows masterwork completed, finally"

Really? Masterwork?

Why is it version 1.0 if it's a masterwork?

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Its time has not passed

After all, there are tons of PC gamers who are sick of M$ and then switch to Linux (it's my opinion that Windows is only good for the latest computer games these days), and for a handful they require extra tweaking but for the most part Wine works. Hopefully in the future game developers will start using open languages and release them for open systems, but at the time, it's not happening so much.

I've been happy with Wine for a long time. It's run the apps I've told it to run, though I tend to stay away from the beefy DirectX-heavy stuff. Now I shall go and grab the update.

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Coat

Linux on a desktop what's that...

I'm sorry but when did anything related to running linux on desktop become relevant. You'd be mad to run WINE on a server.

Commence the WhINEing...

Mines the one with the flame retardant lining.

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Typical of open source

No demand means no profit motive. No profit motive means lax development done in people's spare time over a couple hundred pints. Or, in the case of the 15-year-olds involved, candy and cola.

I'll bet the code is one huge mess. A big pile of spaghetti buried underneath dirty diapers inside a landfill that's got happy-feely open-source buzzword flowers growing on top.

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Whining about Wine?!

What's with the dissing of the Wine project contributing programmers? Wine moved the Linux desktop forward as a viable option to those with old Windows apps, even if it didn't always work as easily as Linuxheads promised. It even added to the ability of people to move to Intel Macs. Even Windows users got benefits, since it helped the movement that put the heat on the MonSter. Diversity in the marketplace is a good thing.

All hail Wine, from this long time user. Congratulations to all the developers for being a key part of the revolution

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J
Linux

If...

To add to the general chorus: time not past!

If you have an unused copy of Windows around in a drawer, sure, you could say there's little need for Wine. VM and all that works much better. But as people noted above, it is a waste money (and unnecessary soul tainting) if all you do is run something every once in a blue moon. So Wine, if it works with your favourite app, is a great answer.

That said, I did have conflicting results with Wine over the years. For some apps it would be flawless, for others some small glitch would show up, for others still it would be unusable (e.g. menu bar absent). Anyway, for the odd unknown app out there I sometimes use, it has worked well enough that I haven't used Windows for more than 5 minutes at a time in some 8 years...

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Joke

Vista emulation

A quick look at the kernel options suggests that Vista emulation is possible. Try:

mem=128M maxcpus=1 no387 agp=off

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Anonymous Coward

@TheBloke

"...any app that is remotely complex or unusual will... require hours of research and effort to make run at all."

They don't mention that because they think it's normal...

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It's good for me

I dual booted my Windows machine at work a few days ago. Now I'm wondering why I bothered keeping Windows at all.

Oh yeah, Araneae.

Oh look, Wine.

Sorted.

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re: Typical of open source

Yes, but what about Wine?

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One very good reason to use Wine

I use Wine to run Cygwin.

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Jon

Better than native

I've used wine for some time.

For some applications it's better than trying to run the app on a native windows platform. The example I can think of specifically was the Enterasys Roamabout management platform - this was hideously slow and unreliable on windows natively, under wine it was slightly less hideously slow and a great deal more reliable.

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Linux

Nice, but a bit late for Vista

Vista was the last nail in the coffin for me.

I will happily admit that the corpse of Windows is actually stumbling around outside and somehow managing to avoid the torch wielding villagers, and it could bump into Dr Frankenstein any time (but he'll need to amputate the DRM and the bloatware)

Wine is great for those handful of really good Windows applications that you can't quite find a Linux/Mac replacement for, but that market is shrinking.

The only large chunk left that Wine doesn't usefully support is a wide range of games. But better games are coming out for Wii, PS-3 and Xbox. Once you can get a proper FPS control system on a console (i.e. keyboard and mouse, which is the only reason I kick the butts of my console-based friends at anything), I'll be formatting the hard drive...

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Heart

Life support for old apps

IMHO, Wine's real benefit is that it allows you to run ancient Win3.1 apps that Microsoft hasn't supported since Win98. Some of these apps are actually best of breed, as later versions sucked like a Hoover on steroids, have caught bad cases of featuritis and bloat.

Examples:

Lotus 1-2-3 Release 5 (still the best spreadsheet!)

FontMonster

I'll be interested to see if Wine 1.0 has fixed the bugs I found in it when running Pegasus 3.12.

If Wine can actually run these programs hiccup-free, then at long last I see a migration path that doesn't involve any MS software at all.

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Alien

A week of weeks

Wow. Wine 1.0. I remember having trouble running flash on an early 0.8(?) version over a decade ago. And Firefox taking 8 million downloads in a day. How far we have come....

I'm just waiting for a 1.0 release of GNU Hurd now. Then I will know hell has frozen over and there is swine in the sky... that or I'm hallucinating (again). Whowuddathunkit....

(Aliens, 'cos BillH would've liked it)

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Gates Horns

Wine is excellent

I have found it often runs heavy number crunch stuff faster than in windows, Games like HL2, Guildwars run straight out of the box.

It may crash now and then and will even allow virus' to infect the windows files, so you get the full windows experience for a lot less cost.

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Long Live Wine

"It was certainly a good idea 15 years ago, but its time may well have passed.®"

With applications like Parallels Desktop and VMware's Fusion doing pretty well i'd say there must be some demand for thei application.

All they need to do is carry on making it better and better then when they can (maybe) XP it will be a seamless transition to run ALL windows apps from within Unix, no one will want vista or Windows 7 and Microsoft will slowly wither and die.

This is my Utopian dream

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Happy

Mmm nice

I like Wine.. who wants some?

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Alert

Matt Mc

Could you elaborate on what you mean by

"Since nothing works with Vista anyway, at least with Wine I have a chance"

I use vista, and I use it for producing music. I havnt found anything that wont work with vista yet...

And trust me when I say, setting up a pc as studio/mixing hardware, its very important everything works.

The only thing that wont work 100% is sony's sound forge, and thats only until I install .net.. you going to install .net on wine then I take it???

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Heart

At last!

I really hope Planescape:Torment now works properly on my EEE!

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IT Angle

Excellent work

Wine is not just software it's also a body of knowledge as to how Windows actually works. They may know more than Microsoft having had to study things that microsoft have forgotten.

The knowledge can be sliced and diced in different way to make different products. For example the knowledge (I could call it Technology since thats the correct term for technical knowledge) could be used to run important Windows applications on machines far more powerful than anything Windows actually runs on.

I think Windows developers who prefer to develop for Windows should test their own programs under Wine rather than let someone else figue out the problems. It would not take too much work if you regularly tested on Wine during development. That way with very little effort your program would be cross compatable without having to write in Java or recompile source.

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Linux

That's not the point ;)

It doesn't matter if WINE is imperfect, albeit pretty darn good.

Strategically, what matters is that it removes a Windows advantage. A bit of history - windows is windows compatible, and has steadily leveraged its compatibility back from the days when Windows 3.1 was MS-DOS compatible. There were superior OS's available then (OS/2 etc, or the friendlier Macintosh), but none brought good MS-DOS compatibility along with them. So Microsoft grew its critical mass along with an acceptable, if inferior in many respects, OS.

WINE gives the possibility of a well-put together OSS-OS ;) like a linux distro, with a great set of OSS tools AND with 95% windows compatibility... and free. That is going to be part of some small but successful companies cost and productivity advantage. And the more that is the case, the closer they come to a critical mass situation. So WINE is pretty important in that case.

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Joke

@I use Wine to run Cygwin

That's nothing, I use CygWin to run Wine to run CygWin to run...

***STACK OVERFLOW ERROR***

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@Daniel Hall

I second that. I use my Vista box and a mixture of Reason and Sony Acid, running through an M-Audio interface.

Runs like a charm. Only ever crapped out once, and that was down to a faulty SATA cable!

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Linux

Bless everyone who ever worked on Wine or even just tried to

BLESS YOU Wine developers and every programmer who ever worked on it. Even those who may not have gotten your code accepted THANK YOU! Bless you all. Bless everyone who contributes from now until forever.

I must use some 3D software that has no open source Linux equivalent yet. Wine solved the problem.

Thank you. ^__^

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Paris Hilton

WINE tastes great

WINE doesn't need to run every Windwoes program - it only needs to run enough of them to tip the balance.

High-end gamers will be left out in the cold for a little while, but that will change. Other than that, there are few Windwoes programs that the average user won't find better substitutes for in the *nix world. WINE will simply make weaning themselves of Bill's Bloatware easier.

I use it to run Irfanview and Autostitch, and they both run better under WINE than they do under Windwoes.

Paris, 'cos she undoubtedly enjoys a nice glass of WINE.

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Paris Hilton

Relax! Its nice they did that!

Guys, relax a little. I haven't tried Wine yet, this is a nice reminder. I have 5 screens going to 4 linux boxes and 1 windows box. Other than testing our software what would I ever want to run on windows? Only stuff from my past: Paint Shop Pro 6 (the sweet spot), Ecco (sadly demised), Terragen (Port it to Linux morons!), Pov Ray (Linux Gui sucks), Portal . Hmmm will Portal work? Wouldn't that be nice? Maybe Myst (the 3D version). Otherwise, it doesn't matter. All my real work, programming, OpenOffice, Freemind, is on Linux. Compiz Fusion (I'm still on Dapper Drake) gives me 4 screens of mischief. If Wine 1.0 works, I can pitch my stinking commie Lenovo box and turn it to the light! If not, well, It's just another 200 watts and 1.5 square feet under my desk. I think we need a rasta icon so that we relax more! Wait! NO!

Paris, because she relaxes!

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@Detritus Emeritus

Well then, hahahah, you can download the code and have a look!

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IT Angle

Cygwin on Wine??

Two people have said this, with every indication of being serious.

What can you do in Cygwin that you can't do in native Linux? Am I missing something?

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Used to eb a bit ropey.

The very latest version shipping with Ubuntu 8, allows me to finally play my Gamehouse, Reflexive and my kids edu games straight through my Linux box. Some older kids games refused to work under XP, it's too modern, even with Win98 compat mode set, but Wine allows them to work perfectly, no graphic of sound glitches.

All you doubters, shut up, until you actually try the latest version. Just 'cos it won't run BioShock or Crysis, so what? It's not designed for that, it's designed as support layer to allow slightly older desktop apps to run, but if the latest desktop apps and games stick to the bog standard Win32 API, as quite a few do, then it runs them fine.

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Linux

@Daniel Hall

Wine Is Not an Emulator. You do not _install_ anything on wine.

also, i suggest you google 'mono project'.

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Anonymous Coward

@ Daniel Hall

I think the 'chance' Matt Mc is referring to is his chance of converting everyone he knows to Linux. Evidently he can't just leave people that aren't using it the hell alone. Like most Linux people, sadly, if this site's comments are anything to go by. It's like that sketch I heard about ages ago where someone always says, "You don't wanna do that, you wanna do THIS!" Where this is whatever he's doing. Genuine offer of help to improve the lives of others? Busybodying? Desperate attempt to vindicate himself by converting others? You decide! Still, at least he's realised it's 'people' and not 'my mates'.

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