WINE

Wine enables Linux, Mac, FreeBSD, and Solaris users to run Windows applications without a copy of Microsoft Windows. Wine is free software under constant development. Other platforms may benefit as well.

Wine lets you run Windows software on other operating systems. With Wine, you can install and run these applications just like you would in Windows.

Wine is still under active development. Not every program works yet, however there are already several million peopleusing Wine to run their software.

Open Source and User Driven

Wine will always be free software. Approximately half of Wine’s source code is written by volunteers. The rest is sponsored by commercial interests, especially Codeweavers who sell a supported version of Wine.

Wine is heavily reliant on its user community. User tests fill the Application Database to track how well programs work, and all the answers in the forums come from volunteers.

Why Wine is so important

A lot of people in popular discussion forums keep thinking that Wine is “the last thing that Linux needs” or that it is “not important”. Wine list some info here that is supposed to thoroughly defeat these and other claims.

Supply divesification
Large homogeneous populations are a risk to society
Any Windows replacement must run Windows applications
Chicken-and-egg problem for Linux on the desktop

(Click on the “+” sign for more information)

Wine benefits

Last but not least, Wine can provide benefits over Windows right now:

  • Wine makes it possible to take advantage of all the Unix strong points (stability, flexibility, remote administration) while still using the Windows applications you depend on.
  • Unix has always made it possible to write powerful scripts. Wine makes it possible to call Windows applications from scripts that can also leverage the Unix environment to its full extent.
  • Wine makes it possible to access Windows applications remotely, even if they are a few thousand miles away.
  • Wine makes it economical to use thin clients: simply install Wine on a Linux server, and voila, you can access these Windows applications from any X terminal.
  • Wine can also be used to make existing Windows applications available on the Web by using VNC and its Java client.
  • Wine is Open Source Software, so you can extend it to suit your needs or have one of many companies do it for you.

More information can be found on the WineHQ Website.

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