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Wine Open Source Operating Systems Software Unix Windows Linux

Ask Slashdot: What Are Your Greatest Successes and Weaknesses With Wine (Software)? 252

wjcofkc writes: As a distraction, I decided to get the video-editing software Filmora up and running on my Ubuntu box. After some tinkering, I was able to get it installed, only to have the first stage vaporize on launch. This got me reflecting on my many hits and misses with Wine (software) over the years. Before ditching private employment, my last job was with a software company. They were pretty open minded when I came marching in with my System76 laptop, and totally cool with me using Linux as my daily driver after quickly getting the Windows version of their software up and running without a hitch. They had me write extensive documentation on the process. It was only two or three paragraphs, but I consider that another Wine win since to that end I scored points at work. Past that, open source filled in the blanks. That was the only time I ever actually needed (arguably) for it to work. Truth be told, I mostly tinker around with it a couple times a year just to see what does and does not run. Wine has been around for quite awhile now, and while it will never be perfect, the project is not without merit. So Slashdot community, what have been your greatest successes and failures with Wine over the years?
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Ask Slashdot: What Are Your Greatest Successes and Weaknesses With Wine (Software)?

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  • by iggymanz ( 596061 ) on Wednesday November 22, 2017 @05:46PM (#55606983)

    if you're running windows wares you "lost the battle already", just run actual windows in a VM and your windows wares will run wonderfully.

    • by wjcofkc ( 964165 )
      For that matter the Windows Linux Subsystem is pretty slick.
    • And my laptop will burn through battery at brutal rates, all to be able to run a simple piece of software required to get my work done.

      Thanks but no thanks. I'll keep running it in Wine, where it hardly eats any CPU and uses very little RAM, and for that matter runs faster than it does in Windows.

    • Sorry I didn't realise the choice of OS was a battle.

  • by Seven Spirals ( 4924941 ) on Wednesday November 22, 2017 @05:47PM (#55606993)
    Works GREAT: MS Office 2003, Total Commander, WinRAR, Photoshop 6, RegEx Buddy

    Broken Badly and I wish they weren't: Skype, Fractal Painter, Newer Photoshop CS, just about all WWW browsers, and newer Outlook

    Most of the time, one is simply backed into a corner when turning to Wine. I hate using it, but it's better than booting into Windows.
    • You do know web browsers run natively and using WINE makes no sense right?
      • by fgouget ( 925644 )

        You do know web browsers run natively and using WINE makes no sense right?

        Right. If your life is limited to Slashdot and Facebook then yes, using Wine makes no sense. But for people who have a real job or hobby that depends on a Windows application, when Wine works it is much more practical than having to reboot or install a virtual machine.

      • IE and Edge don't run naively. They don't work decently under Wine either though.

    • Broken Badly and I wish they weren't: Skype,

      Microsoft have a Skype client for Linux.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      I found SmartGit works well, but Visual Studio and apps that use its shell like Atmel Studio tend to fail under WINE.

      Kind of surprised that Linux doesn't have really a great, free graphical Git client and a similarly excellent IDE. Stuff like Eclipse is okay, but especially when it comes to sell well supported platforms like embedded it tends to fall far short. You can sort of bodge it all together with scripts and external apps, but why make an already tricky job even harder?

      Oh, and QQ International works

    • by iTrawl ( 4142459 )

      As far as Skype is concerned, run the native Preview [skype.com]. It's pretty good.

  • alpha stage game (Score:3, Interesting)

    by GarretSidzaka ( 1417217 ) on Wednesday November 22, 2017 @05:50PM (#55607013)

    I got a recent strategy pc game to run fine (albeit slowly). Heres the catch: i was an early alpha tester and the game didnt even have textures yet. The game developer was shocked when i told him it worked

  • "Success" (Score:4, Informative)

    by ilsaloving ( 1534307 ) on Wednesday November 22, 2017 @06:00PM (#55607103)

    My greatest success was giving up and just using a full windows VM under Parallels.

    Fiddling with wine is fine when you're living alone with nothing better to do. But when you have stuff you need to get done, the last thing you have time for is fiddling around with esoteric settings and figuring out why your particular version of a DLL won't work just so you can get your chosen app running.

    • by tepples ( 727027 )

      I guess it's a matter of whether your employer is willing to expense $200 for Windows [microsoft.com] and $80 for Parallels Desktop.

      • I guess it's a matter of whether your employer is willing to expense $200 for Windows and $80 for Parallels Desktop.

        If the alternative is to spend even one or two days total dicking around with Wine, it's money well-spent. Of course, I would ideally find an alternative to running Windows software, but we all know that's not always feasible.

        • by tepples ( 727027 )

          I guess the extent to which $280 is worth it depends on the exchange rate between your country's currency and the United States dollar.

  • "They had me write extensive documentation on the process. It was only two or three paragraphs, ..."

    Perhaps something is missing here - but, in most contexts, "two or three paragraphs" is nowhere near "extensive" documentation. That's more along the lines of "better than nothing".

    • by dfsmith ( 960400 )
      Extensive does not mean "lots". It means far-reaching---you can write something extensive in one sentence. e.g., "A communications disruption could mean only one thing: invasion." (See also, fake news, Last Jedi.)
  • by Creedo ( 548980 ) on Wednesday November 22, 2017 @06:05PM (#55607163) Journal
    I played World of Warcraft from vanilla to MoP under the default Wine that was rolled out with Debian. Never had a problem. Well, aside from the problems caused by too much time sunk into WoW....
  • by BeerCat ( 685972 ) on Wednesday November 22, 2017 @06:08PM (#55607187) Homepage

    iTunes 7 (which was about the newest version that would work with my netbook) worked fine, as it was the only way to play my FairPlay DRM'd stuff.

    as another poster said, everything else was native alternatives (LibreOffice, GIMP) or native browser

  • by whoever57 ( 658626 ) on Wednesday November 22, 2017 @06:10PM (#55607205) Journal

    I have a 16-bit program (originally run under Windows 3.0) which I believe the only way to run now is under Wine.

  • Two words.

  • Successes?
    I have never accomplished to get anything working with Wine. Not even with hours upon hours of manual, help pages, forum, etc. reading.
    What a horrible piece of forever-incomplete, always unstable, butt-ugly malware it is.

    • by green1 ( 322787 )

      That's because wine only supports applications that already have dozens of better native Linux alternatives. If you want to run something that only runs under Windows and has no Linux equivalent it is almost guaranteed not to work. E.g. they only reason I've ever wanted it was to run proprietary software designed to update proprietary hardware over USB. But wine mysteriously thinks that it's 1995 still and doesn't bother with USB support.

    • Amen. Never got WINE to run anything much reliably despite hours wasted farting about with it. Got bored and bought Parallels to run XP on the Mac (which it does very well) - since I don't use Win7 anymore I might try that. But I'm too old to have the time to spend frigging around with perpetually-alpha software.

      I'm not a gamer (apart from the Myst/Riven etc., universe), so apart from Paint Shop Pro, I don't have much reason to.

      Linux now has good equivalents for almost anything I use on Windows and if

  • by Zombie Ryushu ( 803103 ) on Wednesday November 22, 2017 @06:21PM (#55607285)

    I could list a bunch of other stories, of games and fun stuff, but Ages ago, just before I graduated with a Bachelors Degree, in the far off year of 2008, I had to take this Statistics Course that was unrelated to my Major. It was like one of those Dangling Gen-Ed courses. It was done completely online and it absolutely required Internet Explorer 6.x

    You could NOT do the tests on anything else. So I had a Dell Ubuntu Laptop that Ran I think it was Hardy Heron, that had a Wine Isolated Prefix that ran IE6 just for this site. This course was a miserable slog of difficulty, and it required alot of studying and concentration, and then, came the day, of the online Final Exam which had to be Proctored by a Certified Disabilities Coordinator for my case.

    I get in the Computer lab, they all run XP... and they all run Internet Explorer 7. Not one system will load the site to take the exam. I brought my laptop with me, and the Disabilies Coordinator contacted the Professor and gave the OK for me to bot up my Linux Laptop, plug it into the Ethernet Jack, and take the exam... I made a B. But had I not had my Wine capable laptop running Linux and IE6, I'd have failed that exam, and likely the class.

    The next semester, the entire IE6 application that was made on was redone in Flash and suddenly worked in FireFox with the Linux Flash NPAPI module.

  • by tlambert ( 566799 ) on Wednesday November 22, 2017 @06:33PM (#55607363)

    WINE has always lived in the Bizarro Universe.

    This is because they always counted the number of API calls they succeed in handling, and then the one they failed at was "just that one".

    So you always had "((N-1)/N * 100)% of calls worked!".

    To get you over that hump, you've always had to to go with a commercial version of WINE, like CrossOver, where they don't ever shove the final fixes back into the actual WINE code -- despite the GPL.

    If the WINE guys are diligent, and go over the published GPL'ed code, and bring the changes back, that's fine, but... there's always this huge latency.

    So from day one, they lied with statistics, and when something started running, then hey, that was great, but not everything was going to run.

    Today, it's more disappointing, since unless you run older Windows programs, from older versions of Windows, things are back to broken.

    • by fgouget ( 925644 ) on Wednesday November 22, 2017 @08:57PM (#55608153)

      This is because they always counted the number of API calls they succeed in handling, and then the one they failed at was "just that one".

      So you always had "((N-1)/N * 100)% of calls worked!".

      I have never seen that claim made by any Wine developer. Source please.

      To get you over that hump, you've always had to to go with a commercial version of WINE, like CrossOver, where they don't ever shove the final fixes back into the actual WINE code -- despite the GPL.

      That's a lie:

      $ git log origin/master | grep Author: | head -n 10
      Author: Nikolay Sivov <nsivov at codeweavers.com>
      Author: Jacek Caban <jacek at codeweavers.com>
      Author: Jacek Caban <jacek at codeweavers.com>
      Author: Jacek Caban <jacek at codeweavers.com>
      Author: Jactry Zeng <jzeng at codeweavers.com>
      Author: Huw Davies <huw at codeweavers.com>
      Author: Fabian Maurer <dark.shadow4 at web.de>
      Author: Vincent Povirk <vincent at codeweavers.com>
      Author: Aric Stewart <aric at codeweavers.com>
      Author: Nikolay Sivov <nsivov at codeweavers.com>

      10 commits, 9 by CodeWeavers developpers. So much for CodeWeavers never sending back patches!

      CodeWeavers commits fixes and improvements to Wine first. The benefit of using CrossOver is that it is more up-to-date than Wine Stable, but still goes through a phase of testing and stabilization before it gets into the users hands so it is less buggy than the Wine nightlies.

      Also Wine is LGPL, not GPL. Not that it makes any difference in this case.

      • I see you have the git repo there. Are you a codeweavers person or a wine person? I'd love some help getting UnrealEd 3 working properly. It's the only thing I miss from my windows days. The response on the wine bugtracker wasn't at all helpful, even though I gave all the requested info and Running With Scissors offered free copies of Postal 2 to anybody willing to help. One guy took a free copy and we never heard another word from him. This show-stopping bug [winehq.org] has been open for over 3 years and is still mark

  • Learning to not care about the OS and going with the one that gives me the largest ecosystem of quality software.

    • by guruevi ( 827432 )

      I agree, I've been running Linux exclusively since the mid-to-late 90s for home use and I've never needed Wine for anything.

  • by ClickOnThis ( 137803 ) on Wednesday November 22, 2017 @06:57PM (#55607533) Journal

    Success: Questrade IQ Edge (Canadian broker)

    Weakness: Fidelity Active Trader Pro (US broker)

    Details:

    Questrade IQ Edge works quite well under Wine, although it freezes if I try to minimize its window.

    Fidelity Active Trader Pro almost finishes starting up, but fails at the last moment with an unhelpful error message. Funny thing is, Fidelity uses Crossover (a Wine derivative) to run Active Trader Pro on Macs. I'm wondering whether it's worth buying the Linux version of Crossover.

    • by fgouget ( 925644 )

      Note that CrossOver has a free trial version [codeweavers.com]. So the simplest way to figure out whether it's worth it would be to try it out.

    • by green1 ( 322787 )

      And the only reason you had any need for IQ edge was because their online platform ran Silverlight for who knows what reason. Silverlight?!?! There's no getting THAT to work on Linux!

      Luckily the online platform now works on real computers and I haven't used IQ edge since.

      I also wouldn't call IQ edge a full "success". About every 3rd time you open the app it will fail to run because you need to update it first (I've never seen any app that needed so frequent updates, especially with no noticable changes ever

      • And the only reason you had any need for IQ edge was because their online platform ran Silverlight for who knows what reason. Silverlight?!?! There's no getting THAT to work on Linux!

        Lately I have had no problems in linux with either IQ Edge or their website (aside from some network access problems due to my ISP that took awhile to straighten out.) I'm not sure what your Silverlight issue is.

        Luckily the online platform now works on real computers and I haven't used IQ edge since.

        Please define what a "real computer" is?

        I also wouldn't call IQ edge a full "success". About every 3rd time you open the app it will fail to run because you need to update it first (I've never seen any app that needed so frequent updates, especially with no noticable changes ever) , and while on Windows you can basically click the update button on the popup, wait a minute, and be running the new version, on Linux under wine you have to manually go to their website, find and download the update manually, unzip it, manually copy the files in to the correct locations, and then relaunch the app.

        I have had success using wine staging [wine-staging.com] which is a more cutting-edge release of wine. As for IQ Edge updates, there have been a few this year, but the number hasn't been excessive. And when the updates happen, I have found that my Wine/Linux system (Ubuntu 16.04

  • Skyrim (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Tapewolf ( 1639955 ) on Wednesday November 22, 2017 @07:00PM (#55607559)

    I think what impressed me most was Skyrim working pretty much out-of-the box. It needed a little prodding to set the amount of VRAM up correctly, but apart from that it Just Worked. It was the first game where I'd not even bothered trying to run it via Windows at all.

    Windows hobbled on for a bit longer, occasionally curling up into a ball because I dared to put two PCIe cards in back in slightly different slots, or add a new disk for the ZFS array to use. Then, when it finally self-destructed entirely, I realised that I didn't need it anymore because all the windows games I had were working well enough under WINE. Last year I was persuaded to try Wolfenstein: New Order, and Old Blood - again, they worked out of the box which was impressive. Not sure I'll be so lucky with New Colossus.

    Games aside, it's also been very handy for running an ancient version of SONAR I've been using since about 2002. That also had the advantage of allowing me to keep using a USB MIDI interface which Windows 7 had no support for.

    Biggest disappointment was Fallout 4, which did not work out of the box and still isn't working as far as I know, though it's getting very close. FO3 and New Vegas are working happily though, even as it gets more and more difficult to run them under Windows itself.

    Obviously your mileage may vary. If you have more space and more money to throw at hardware than I do, getting a second machine - or indeed a games console - would achieve the same results with less hassle, and less cat-fighting over the boot block than a dual-boot system. Faffing around with PCIe passthroughs to get a virtual windows instance is another possible approach, but I'd have to buy another licence for an operating system I actively dislike. Besides SONAR, all my day-to-day software is linux-based, so for me, Wine is a really good way of stringing it all together.

    • by tepples ( 727027 )

      If you have more space and more money to throw at hardware than I do, getting a second machine - or indeed a games console - would achieve the same results with less hassle

      Windows might be the better option because the console won't run game mods.

  • All because Bluecat IPAM requires the Silverlight crap, and I was sick of firing up a VM or VDI *just* to adjust permissions on a DNS or IP record

  • by Snotnose ( 212196 ) on Wednesday November 22, 2017 @07:38PM (#55607785)
    It was '01 or so, last time I worked strictly on a *nix box (an x86 running Linux). I was writing device drivers at the time (PCI, 802.11, and a completely new one for the chip we were making). Could have used 3-4 Windows tools, none of them worked under Wine. FWIW I was also the sysadmin for our network of Linux boxes.

    That job ended in '03 (startup ran out of money), and little did I know it would be the last time I'd work in a *nix environment. Why? Cygwin. I could run Windows, get all the Windows programs, and still use the *nix command line tools for software development. Turns out, unless you're writing device drivers (or something I've never written), you can get by just fine with cygwin.

    I'm about to change my Win10 box to Linux. Why? Not telemetry. Not because games have become "good enough" under Linux. No. I'm sick and tired of closing my laptop for dinner, opening it up an hour later, only to find the goddamned thing has rebooted. Fuck that shit. I hate the telemetry, not a fan of the Win10 UI, like my games. But FFS, it sucks when I can't count on opening a laptop and going back to what I was doing when I closed it.

    Random rebooting. 3 words. Fuck That Shit.
    • I recently switched back to Linux after many years away. No regrets at all.
    • by short ( 66530 )
      I have this problem of random sudden reboots with my Lenovo X220 notebook running Linux. I believe it is due to its hardware/firmwares. And sure I use the notebook only as a thin terminal for a beefy rack server so in the end it does not matter much.
    • by tsa ( 15680 )

      What I also hate is when I start Win10 up and I have to wait 15 minutes because the bloody thing is updating itself. Why can't it do that in the background, or at least let me choose when I f*** want it to update??

    • No. I'm sick and tired of closing my laptop for dinner, opening it up an hour later, only to find the goddamned thing has rebooted

      If you can't even RTFM and get the most basic of Windows settings right you're not going to be happy with Linux.

  • Back when Wine was alpha grade software, I had a copy of Red Hat's branded WABI installed on my Slackware system. I launched Wine to run the progman.exe file in the WABI Windows environment and it loaded up the whole Windows 3 desktop.

    It was pretty cool.

  • The 1996 Penguin Hutchinson Encyclopedia Library (PHRL96). I keep that running in a Wine-managed desktop window more or less constantly; I've tried on-line encyclopedias like Artha and Panlexicon and even Wordnet, and the thesaurus in PHRL96 is still the best one I own. Also: Half-Life. The original. Recently re-played it, and it works wonderfully.
  • by Ungrounded Lightning ( 62228 ) on Wednesday November 22, 2017 @08:42PM (#55608079) Journal

    Dialog Semiconductor's Production Line Tool (a GUI-driven BLE chip programming tool) was not available to run under Linux - or anything but Windows 7, 7-pro, 8, or 8.1 - all now made of unobtanium.

    It would run (kinda) on wine with mono and a real Microsoft .NET install. But some important GUI components didn't render correctly, so necessary operator feedback fields were not readable, making it unusable.

    (When our 7-Pro machine goes belly-up the lab is toast.)

  • I don't understand why no government has invested in Wine.

    The NSA intercepts and modifies Cisco routers, introduces vulnerabilities in security standards, does not hesitate to intercept Google's cross-datacenter traffic, forces US ISPs to install black boxes for monitoring, and pulls all kinds of other stunts. But despite Microsoft being in the same jurisdiction as the NSA and possibly subject to various secret orders, most countries just happily depend on Windows, going so far as using it in their armies

  • Having used wine since the 90s, it was still quite a milestone for me at least that I was able to buy Diablo 3 on release day, install and play it in wine without problems, I played that game all the way to the end. Platinum. Bravo Wine devs, Bravo.

  • Works flawlessly in Wine, and is still better than Audacity. Hell, Cool Edit from 1998 is better than Audacity.

    Other Wine wins:
    Half Life 1 (pre Steam)
    UltraVNC viewer (better than remmina)
    Keil uVision, except for debugging.

  • Works like a charm.

    Other than that, I tend to avoid Wine and also don't really need it these days.

  • My greatest success is that I do not need it. The one program, I need to run on Windows once a year I use an old laptop. I have also configured it that I can connect remotely to it.
    I could use a VM, but having a remotely accessible box is much easier.

    With the prices that hardware are, having a dedicated machine that you connect to remotely is so much easier.

  • The windows XP laptop of my parents was becoming almost unusable because of slowness. I wanted to migrate them to a small desktop with ubuntu. Like old people, they receive many powerpoint documents. The perfect working of powerpoint viewer with wine was a condition sine qua none for my plan. It is working perfectly since 2013.
  • When i started working, they still used Lotus Notes as a mail server in the late 90's. Ofcourse there was no native Linux client, but it worked perfectly in wine.
    At home, also around that period, or maybe a little later, i used a product from codeweavers to enable windows only browser plugins. It was a sad period on the internet when a lot of sites used plugins that were not available on Linux, worked fine using the codeweavers wine browser implementation (although, a bit high on CPU usage).

    Other than that,

  • I found a copy of the virus that was used to exfiltrate data from Sony Entertainment's computers and then wipe them (supposedly the virus was developed by North Koreans, in response to the movie The Interview, but actually, my own forensics suggest that the authors were South Korean). In the process of studying the virus, I must have accidentally double-clicked on the executable in Nautilus when I was trying to drag it to move it into another directory. For whatever stupid reason, Nautilus is set up to run
  • I review free adventure games for Adventure Gamers [adventuregamers.com] each month. Many of them are made in Adventure Game Studio [adventureg...udio.co.uk]. These run perfectly in wine on the Mac. I hardly ever have to reboot into Windows to be able to play a free adventure game.

  • From Win3/NT I've run almost every version of windows in a dual boot manner. Many programs I use are an install once, move many.
    I created a separate directory for them off of the C: Drive, and installed them there.

    Now with Linux Mint I can go to that programs directory, right click on the executable, and run with wine. It works very well for me.

    My only loss is PowerPro http://powerpro.cresadu.com/ [cresadu.com] it's so integrated into Windows it's a waste of time trying to get it to work.

  • Success: I have been running Amazon's Kindle for PC under Wine for years. This (plus Calibre) allows me to put Kindle ebooks on my non-Kindle e-ink device. If I had an installable licensed copy of MSWindows and a PC that would run it under a VM, I would do that, but Kindle runs under Wine on my 10-year-old Thinkpad.

    Failure: I have never trusted Wine enough to run Turbotax on it.

  • Getting direct X working and running the game was cool!

    Make sure you have the right drivers for your graphics card under linux!

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