back to article CodeWeavers pours Wine for the masses

CodeWeavers has released a new version of its CrossOver Wine-enabling utility that allows you to run Windows apps on Macs or Linux boxes without needing to install Windows. Well, not all Windows apps, but a respectable chunk of them. CrossOver was first released for Linux in 2002, then for the Mac in 2007. The latest version – …

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E 2
FAIL

Speaking as a member of the Linux cognescenti

WINE is just about the most confusing emulation scheme I've dealt with... the M$ C: drive is located in exactly which .directory? WINE is in no way, shape, or form ready for the non-geeks.

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But have you tried this new version they're talking about?

They admit that it wasn't simple to use, that's one of the things they say that they've addressed in this update.

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Stop

read this

From http://www.winehq.org/download/: "CrossOver is a polished version of Wine provided by CodeWeavers. CrossOver makes it easier to use Wine and CodeWeavers provides excellent technical support to its users. All purchases of CrossOver are used to directly fund the developers working on Wine. So CrossOver is both a great way to get support in using Wine and to support the Wine Project. CodeWeavers provides fully functional trial versions of CrossOver."

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Yeah but ..

WINE may be confusing but CrossOver isn't. I've used it on my Mac and Linux boxes for several things and it's pretty simple to use. For example locating your C: drive directory is as easy as clicking the "Open C: drive in Finder" button - hardly difficult.

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Anonymous Coward

Cognescenti?

It's in the ~/.wine directory by default. You've obviously got "Show hidden files" disabled in your file manager. If you are using Crossover your Wine directories are probably all under ~/.bottles/ .

Crossover is not just Wine. It provides an user friendly interface to Wine so you can easily install and manage windows programs.

I certainly agree that plain Wine is not ready for ordinary users, but seeing as Crossover is the Wine Project's major sponsor, I don't think it's in their interests for it to be. Their habit of not accepting perfectly good patches until one of the core contributors is ready to rewrite it to their liking is another reason.

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Troll

WINE

Wine Is Not an Emulator

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Silver badge
FAIL

Crossover/Impersonator...

IS NOT WINE. It USES WINE and makes it more user-friendly.

WINE is not ready for the masses. Crossover almost was. Impersonator just may be.

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Anonymous Coward

Cognoscenti means "them what know"

so I'm not sure E 2 qualifies if he can't find ~/.wine/drive_c or click on Applications->Wine->Browse C: Drive

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Lotus Notes

Why bother with a Windows version of Notes running under a windows emulator when you can run the Notes native client on both Linux and Mac instead.

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I can't speak for everyone but

I imagine that it may be usefull for software that's not cross platform licenced. Wether it's cheaper and easyer just to buy a mac licence for the sofware or not isn't up to me however.

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Because some dolt has bought a windows only add-on

A lot of programs which have a proper linux version end up being run under wine because someone has bought an "essential" add-on which runs only under windows.

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Lotus Notes

When they started supporting notes it didn't have cross platform versions...

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Silver badge
Paris Hilton

@ the walrus

Yes, but he was asking about Lotus Notes, not "software that's not cross platform." Lotus Notes is cross-platform, I know a number of people using it on both windows and mac. Not as many using it on linux, but it is there.

The interviewee asked the question "but we're taking some of them off, like Lotus Notes. I hate to say it, but who cares about Lotus Notes anymore?" who DOES care about running Lotus Notes in wine? None of the Lotus Notes users I know, all of them can run it just fine natively.

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FAIL

Then you're doing it wrong!

I use Lotus Notes on Linux every day - I've done this for 2 years. It just works. You install the debs on Ubuntu and there it is. In my experience it is more reliable than the Windows version.

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Go

Notes

Particularly these days as Notes is essentially running on top of Eclipse, which runs just fine *everywhere*.

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Notes?

Fixed this for you:

"Why bother with Notes"

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Dirty Donkey +1

Wine has come a long way since the early days and CodeWeavers is the reason why it's continuously improving. Install a windows application and you get a nice menu item in your desktop environment, who needs to know where C: is?

Transgaming tried making Wine easier to use for gamers but it never really caught on. Perhaps CodeWeavers will have more luck with a generic 'user-friendly' Wine, even though I wonder what they'll do with applications that need a few tweaks or a patched Wine.

The problem with making Wine easier is that less technical peeps will expect their Windows applications to run without problems: when that doesn't happen they'll balk at having to edit a configuration file manually and quickly run back to Windows, blaming Linux/OS X and Wine/CodeWeavers because they can't run their precious archaic Win32-application.

Can only wish CodeWeavers luck though!

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Silver badge

The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

"The problem with making Wine easier is that less technical peeps will expect their Windows applications to run without problems"

You could say the same about windows. Yes, even now, with windows 7 that nearly always "just works". Sometimes it's *only* just... :D

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Is .NET supported?

I 've run quite a few things through Wine quite well. Unfortunately I recently tried something that needed the .NET runtime and that failed to install. Time to give CrossOver a try, I guess.

One nice thing about Wine is the ability to run stuff that may be infected with impunity.

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Bronze badge

Some .NET works

.NET 2.0 installs and works most of the time. Anything later doesn't.

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Anonymous Coward

"Wine is the ability to run stuff that may be infected with impunity."

Don't be so sure. The virus will have access to any areas that Wine allows. I can't remember if the home folder is shared by default or not, but at the end of the day you are going to end up sharing some folders otherwise your Windows apps will just be firewalled off from your files in a way that renders them useless. The virus will have access to the internet too.

It's not going to brick your Linux install but certain payloads might activate and do real damage.

Wine was not designed to be, nor is it, a secure environment under which you can test suspicious executables.

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Unhappy

Nice idea, and yet...

Great! I thought, I'll be able to run MS Project on my Mac.

I look up their app list:

MS Project 2010 - not tested

MS Project 2007 - Silver support.

OK, so it's buggy. "What exactly doesn't work?" I think. Bug list - empty, list of tickets, a few things pending. No description of what does and doesn't work.

"No thanks".

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Anonymous Coward

re: MS Project 2010 - not tested

So install Wine and test it - surely a more productive use of your time than posting negative comments on a web forum.

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For the non-geeks

I've got several non-geek Mac clients using Crossover and they have no problem at all with Version 9.

One runs a sizeable Access Database on his iMac. The others are mostly running Bridge programs.

I use here to test whether a Windows app will run OK for clients who are switching from PC to Mac. So far I've not had a problem.

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Anonymous Coward

Virtual machine

is the thing now, isn't it?

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Anonymous Coward

re: Virtual machine

Fine if you've got the Windows licenses, but Wine dispenses with that need and also integrates apps into your desktop as if they were native.

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Anonymous Coward

To be honest

I hadn't realised that Wine dispenses with the need for MS licences of any kind.

Virtual box, though, has more integration than one might expect. I was comparing sound quality by swapping from virtual Windows player to native Linux player --- just at the move of one window to another.

I've just sold myself Virtual Box: it's my new toy... doesn't mean Wine is bad --- but I think that VM will run some stuff for me that Wine wouldn't, and I do have an XP licence or two.

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Anonymous Coward

Proof of the Pudding...

I just set up an XP Virtual machine in my Linux environment, and it seems to run very nicely. I think I'm going to much prefer it over a reboot, for those occasional necessary visits to MS-land.

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Yes, but no, but yes

I hate to sound like little Britain's character here, but Wine does not quite dispense with the need for a windows license.

The core MSFT TrueType fonts are available only as a part of a Windows license. No license - no right to use them. While there are now more ttf fonts than 5 years back in order for a lot of the Microsofty things to look properly you still need good old MSFT Times and MSFT Courier.

On top of that the licenses for a lot of applications are formulated so that their licenses are legal only when used on a legal windows copy.

So it is yes, but no, but yes

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Anonymous Coward

re: MSFT TrueType fonts license

I do actually own some Windows licenses that I'm not using (95B,98,NT4 - those were the days) - do I need to install one of them on this machine or is it just enough to have them in a cupboard somewhere? :-) Actually I'm inclined to stick one in VirtualBox just for fun, if only I can find them ...

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Anonymous Coward

their licenses are legal only when used on a legal windows copy.

Damn... I really should read those EULAs before clicking on 'I Agree'.

Does this apply to stuff like MS Office?

Would it be legal, just for instance, to say, you can only run our product on our OS?

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WTF?

Website

Do they.... have they... Are they using an image of a transvestite as a metaphor for "CrossOver, Impersonator" on their official website.

http://www.codeweavers.com/products/impersonator/

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Maybe

Hard to tell at that size but certainly looks interesting...

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And your point is?

At least someone in a corporation PR department out there has some sense of humour still remaining which has not been eradicated by PC conformance. A round of applause to whoever put up the campaign.

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Linux

Wine As A Migration Tool (Windows2Linux)

Many commercial computer users still feel they cannot live without MS Office. Wine can integrate Linux and MS Office and ease the transition.

Wine&Linux are the safest way of executing the bug-ridden Microsoft and Adobe applications, as these applications can be locked into a sandbox using Linux Security Modules.

https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/wine/+bug/137560

For example, a company/organization with secrets to protect (say an aircraft engine manufacturer dealing with a certain powerful nation in asia), could create custom AppArmor profiles to allow their executives safely view word documents coming in from the Big, Bad Internez.

And no, this is not hypothetical, Booz-Allen Hamilton (big in the NSA/CIA/DHS business), RR (engines), the German government and Chinese dissidents have been attacked with hostile PDFs or Word docs in the past.

A picture of a Vigilant Penguin.

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Linux

Wine

Improves greatly over time :)

And trust me this one does get better and better.

I'm sure that sooner more than later (couple of years) wine will become a game changer.

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Silver badge

Lost me at

"Obviously, in the Linux crowd, we still have plenty of geeks out there, but we do have to recognize that certainly in the Mac marketplace there are a lot of people that need that ease of use."

Ease of use isn't about being patronising towards one group or another, it's about designing something properly. If you think it's acceptable to make interfaces more complicated than they need to be just because you have a technical audience then you've failed to grasp even the most basic concepts of human computer interaction.

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Anonymous Coward

re: more complicated than they need to be

It's not about that, just that with Wine you have to sort out any dependencies for yourself - you may recall having to do exactly the same with Windows if you don't have a required VB runtime or similar. Winetricks is a script that installs the common ones for you, but it can't hope to cover every eventuality, so CodeWeavers have decided to make custom install scripts for a number of popular apps that makes installation pretty much a single-click affair.

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Dirty Donkey?!

Shit, I'd buy it if it was called Dirty Donkey. Ages of endless amusement as it gradually topped my Wakoopa most-used software list.

Nice to see a C level talking plain English too for once...

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Silver badge

Is it of any practical use yet?

Whenever I look at it, the only apps it runs reliably are apps for which there is already a more reliable native alternative.

Looking at the apps with gold support, I see a load of truetype fonts. You don't need an emulator to use those. You can use them natively using freetype on linux, or on a Mac because truetype is actually developed originally for the Mac.

I see Office 97 and Office 2000. You can argue about whether or not OpenOffice/Libre Office is better than Office 2010 or not, but it is definitely ahead of the 10 year old Office 2000.

Flash Player 7. Flash is available natively on both Linux and Mac, and you can get later versions than v7.

There's the office viewers. You don't need them if you have OpenOffice on your machine.

There's a few other things that are only useful to help other apps to run.

And that's it.

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Coat

A valiant effort...

... but ultimately, I'm not sure I could recommend this for our daily office use.

We've got an even mix of Mac & Windows & a few Linux boxen in the office. We're a print / digital company, so pretty much all applications across the spectrum are used.

I can't really think of anything we haven't got covered natively. We've got office for both platforms, creative suite for both, project management is either web based or cross platform etc.

I'm not entirely sure what the target market is for Crossover.

I've tried gaming on Mac, but it was easier to just dual boot with boot camp and play games at native speed.

Then there's virtualisation - at work, windows 7 is my primary platform and on my second monitor, I have an Unbunu VM in Virtualbox which provides my LAMP stack.

I'm not knocking it - I've dabbled with Wine and Codeweaver products a fair bit over the years, but always find it lacking. I'd rather put up with the minor frustration of dual booting or VM's and get native application support.

I guess it's kinda ironic, as I suspect I *could* be the target market, considering I use Mac, Windows & Linux on a more or less even basis. Then again, I'm technically minded, so installing VM's or dual booting isn't an issue.

Perhaps, for helping a less technical user run an old copy of office or whatever on a Mac or Linux box, it's well worth it? - or maybe even running old windows games? hrmm...

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Parshall, hmmm, name seems familiar

In addition to being the COO of Codeweavers, Jon Parshall is one of the authors of the book "Shattered Sword", which is one of the best books written about the Battle of Midway.

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Linux

RE: `put on those Windows 'costumes'`

I must ask, do they look like `clowns`???

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Marry me

"I hate to say it, but who cares about Lotus Notes anymore?"

I want to have this man's children.

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Linux

re : Are they using an image of a transvestite ?

No

http://www.codeweavers.com/about/people/jschmid

She says ..My husband, Chris with Pencil, is awesome.

So unless you are still more awesome with your pencil ..you may well be out of luck ;-)

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