We're not talking about the expensive and tasty beverage; we're talking about an open source application that, in basic terms, creates an area within Linux where Windows applications can - usually - be run.
WINE actually acts as a translation layer, or a program loader, that attempts to run Windows applications natively, as opposed to running them on an emulator which chews up valuable system resources. Many people are actually under the false assumption that WINE stands for Windows Emulator. This couldn't be further from the truth, and in fact WINE is a recursive acronym that literally means Wine Is Not an Emulator.
WINE is in constant development, with dedicated programmers as well as enthusiasts constantly making revisions and contributing to the program. In fact, WINE is still considered to be "in development" and therefore makes no promises that someone will be successful with every Windows program that they try to run on Linux using WINE. Nevertheless, WINE is used by thousands to port their favorite or indispensable Windows programs to Linux, and most meet with success. Learn about WINE, programs it has been able to run, and much more on WINE's official website. Some of the programs that WINE has been able to run are:
- Guild Wars (all versions)
- Photoshop CS3
- MS Office Installer
For those interested in gaming on Linux, Cedega Gaming Service uses a modified version of WINE and works to find solutions to running popular games on Linux. Hundreds of games are supported, but the service requires a membership fee. Some of the games Cedega promises it can run are:
- Left 4 Dead
- World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King
- Neverwinter Nights 2