Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 5th May 2009 22:04 UTC
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu Many Linux users have experience with Wine, the application compatibility layer which allows some Windows programs to run on UNIX-like machines. During Ubuntu's Open Week event, Mark Shuttleworth was asked about Wine, and how important he believes it is for the success of Ubuntu.
Thread beginning with comment 361967
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
Why WINE is great
by KugelKurt on Wed 6th May 2009 00:32 UTC
KugelKurt
Member since:
2005-07-06

WINE's has two very important benefits: Psychological and actual compatibility.

I've seen it happen: It's relatively easy to convince people to use Linux when you can just say to them: "If you don't like the Linux apps, you can just run the Windows ones and still be immune to Windows viruses."
It doesn't often really matter if that statement is actually true (neither do all apps run with WINE nor does Linux have 100% immunity against online attacks), because usually normal people are just fine with the Linux native apps.

WINE also enables actual compatibility. Even if Thom does not believe it, some games and other Win apps do run better on Linux with WINE. My desktop PC has a Radeon 9200LE graphics card, but AMD doesn't offer any Vista drivers for it, even though Half Life runs just fine with that GPU.
OTOH there is a quite good FOSS Linux driver for that GPU. Linux+WINE enabled me to play Half Life without the need to buy new hardware.
Even without that special case, I'm happy that I have WINE installed. Just like Windows sometimes breaks compatibility with new releases, old closed-source Linux apps can be a problem, too. In both cases WINE offers a solution: Just run the the app's old Windows version under Linux. That results in the benefit of a current OS (less security risks) without the burden of running the old OS in a VM.

Reply Score: 8