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One Fine Wine

written by: KateG•edited by: J. F. Amprimoz•updated: 9/18/2008
4

You can't drink it, but this Wine can still help you have a great Saturday night.

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    If you are looking for a Windows system emulator for your Linux computer than you are out of luck here. Keep on moving because Wine Is Not an Emulator, as a matter of fact that is exactly what Wine stands for. Just in case you were unsure, they made it easy to remember.

    Which leaves you with one big question, what exactly is Wine? Well, the best way to think of Wine is as a Linux to Windows and Windows to Linux translator, like the kind that you might find on the floor of the United Nations, only inside your machine.

    I know this sounds a like a circuitous route to running a Windows program on your Linux box, but in the end the translation approach has 1 major advantage over the emulation approach. That is program size. Emulating a second operating system is a resource consuming endeavor, and translation cuts down on resource cost.

    Wine can be a great way to run a program you would otherwise not be able to run. If, you have the right program in mind. For now Wine has a heavy focus on video games for your PC and graphics programs.

    If you are unsure about how your program will run you can check out the list of the programs that are supported by Wine. Each of the programs has a rating that tells you how compatible the program is with the Wine translator. A platinum rating is a perfect run with no flaws. As program ratings go down on the scale of precious metals so does your chances of perfect operation. That’s not to say that a bronze rated program will not run, but expect to use any advanced features.

    Using the program

    The basics of installing and running Wine are not that complex and you should have no problems with it whether you are running a relatively simple or very complex Linux interface on your machine.

    Just Wine

    Overall Wine supports an impressive number of programs if you consider that it was made by volunteer developers and the actual process of figuring out what code, if any will work for a specific program is largely a game of try it out and see. This is mainly because many times the program code is protected, so it can not be viewed. Until recently all of the Microsoft code was also off limits to the Wine developers. That being said, while Wine may not meet all of your needs, it can be a powerful tool in your program running arsenal, so don’t blow it off just because you can't use it as a one stop shop for all of your needs. When combined with other tools, such as the well known crossover software applications, you will find that most, if not al,l of the programs that you want will be within your reach. Wine may need to age a few more years before you can use it by itself, but it is a solid place to begin.

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    Images

    Installing Wine