Wine is an emulator to run Windows programs on Linux. Wrong: Wine is not an emulator (“Wine” is an acronym for “Wine is not an emulator”), but a compatibility layer to run Windows programs on unixoid systems like Linux or OS-X.
Ideally, this means that if you have Windows programs such as Microsoft Office or Adobe Photoshop, you can start them directly on your Linux desktop with the help of Wine. In practice, this may or may not work with or without problems. To learn more one should visit an application database maintained by the Wine developers. A rule of thumb is: The newer the program (version), the worse the chances.
Generally helpful is the simple but useful installation tool winetricks. It sets up programs and downloads missing libraries. This way, some stubborn applications can be persuaded to start after all.
Then there is PlayOnLinux, a real GUI for Wine, which allows a more comfortable installation, configuration and uninstallation of Windows applications under Linux. With the help of prefixes, programs can also be assigned to different Wine versions – for example, to run games that don’t work (anymore) in a newer version of Wine. However, PlayOnLinux is – contrary to what the name suggests – no longer just focused on games.
How to install Wine
Wine can be installed easily from Ubuntu’s Universe repository:
sudo apt update && sudo apt install wine
However, the latest version is offered directly on the homepage of the Wine-Projekt – including their own package archives, which are recommended for staying up to date wirh Wine:
wget https://dl.winehq.org/wine-builds/Release.key sudo apt-key add Release.key sudo apt-add-repository 'https://dl.winehq.org/wine-builds/ubuntu/'
Wine is still using a 32 bit architecture; you might need to install 32 bit support on 64 bit systems:
sudo dpkg --add-architecture i386
Je nach Vorliebe lassen sich zudem installieren:
sudo apt install winetricks sudo apt install playonlinux
Alternatives to Wine
Using Wine can become a real fiddly job, even if you play (wine)tricks or try to get help from PlayOnLinux. There is also a commercial version of Wine under the name Crossover, which works out of the box with several popular Windows programs and has dedicated support. However, if you want to start Office, Adobe and Co. under Linux, you should check whether virtualization (for example with VirtualBox) is not the better option. Bear in mind that you need a separate Windows license for this – not for Wine or Crossover.