back to article Linux game-time refined with latest Wine

Wine, the project that lets Linux users run Windows apps within Linux, has released a major update that fixes a number of bugs and includes 64-bit support. Wine 1.2 includes a new set of icons, a number of fixes for video rendering – improving Windows gaming – and better font anti-aliasing and handling of desktop link files. …

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  1. Rob Beard
    Thumb Up

    Wine & CrossOver

    I think the work that the Wine team is great, for those folks who are interested in moving to Linux but do have one or two apps which they need which do work under Wine, they could possibly get rid of Windows.

    Sure there is the argument that rather than use Windows apps on Linux we should be developing Linux equivalents but not everyone who uses Linux is a developer, I'm certainly not.

    I also think that the issue with things like Photoshop CS5 is that it's an expensive app and a lot of Open Source developers do this development in their spare time and quite possibly some of them might not have access to Photoshop etc. I think this is where things like Codeweavers come in with their CrossOver programs (which don't just benefit Linux users but also Mac users too). CrossOver can afford the apps like Photoshop which developers can then get working in Wine and CrossOver and then release the fixes back to the Wine community.

    I'd say having used the new version of Wine for a couple of days, it's working pretty well (it allows me to use LogMeIn on the Windows build Firefox as it crashes on Ubuntu 64-Bit in both Firefox and Chrome). I also like the new icons too.

    Rob

    1. Nuke
      Headmaster

      @Rob Beard

      >>>> Sure there is the argument that rather than use Windows apps on Linux we should be developing Linux equivalents but not everyone who uses Linux is a developer, I'm certainly not.

      You're Missing the Point. I wasn't hoping that you will write a Linux version of Photoshop. I am hoping Adobe will.

      If enough people are using Linux then Adobe might realise they are losing potential sales of Photoshop. So they might then port Photoshop to Linux.

      However, if Photoshop can run on Linux under Wine, they might not see the point. They can respond to requests for a Linux version by saying "Just use Wine".

      Ditto games, and all the other "must have" apps that keep people on Windows.

      Still it is better that people run stuff under Wine on Linux (if they must) rather than on Windows.

  2. Bruce Rowe

    Cynic

    We've been waiting for Wine support for the *current* QuickBooks and UPS programs for years.

    That's all that is keeping Windows in this office.

    1. JEDIDIAH
      Linux

      Meh. Emulate the entire machine.

      > We've been waiting for Wine support for the *current* QuickBooks and UPS programs for years.

      >

      > That's all that is keeping Windows in this office.

      >

      a) There is (or at least was) a web version of Quickbooks.

      b) I successfully had Quickbooks running in wine a LONG time ago.

      That said, stuff like vmware and virtualbox do a much better at this problem of "running that last kill Windows app". You can just emulate and run and entire environment. You even get some direct hardware support if you need it (AnyDVD).

      MSO and CS5 really are not terribly compelling in the "why I can't give up Windows' department.

    2. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Sage will not port their software until you switch to thyme

      http://paythyme.com/FAQ/

      Royal Mail's website covered in broken eye-candy, but it does work with firefox.

  3. Bruce Rowe

    Cynic

    We've been waiting for Wine support for the *current* QuickBooks and UPS Worldship programs for years.

    That's all that is keeping Windows in this office.

  4. Kerberos

    What?

    "But given that Photoshop CS2 is over five years old, and looking a bit long in the tooth at this point, it's probably not high on the list of things Linux users are missing. In fact, Photoshop CS2 has little that you won't find in native Linux apps like GIMP or Inkscape."

    Do you know anything about Photoshop? As Gimp isn't even up to 5.0 level let along CS2. Even basic, basic stuff like layer groups, layer effects and a usable type tool are missing.

    1. Martin Owens

      And

      Er Inkscape, ok so it's vector but I don't think you have any right to complain, I don't see a link to your massive investment in Gimp code or financials.

      Lots of geedy freetards complaining a lot about features they're too cheap to pay to have made.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Flame

        You have no idea what you are talking about

        Be serious. I will pass your total lack of understanding graphics tools. I will try instead to point out a different thing: if I pay i.e. GIMP developers USD 2000 (the price of the CS5 Suite), will they be able to make it functionally the same as CS5?

        Of course not. So, that investment would have been lost as I would have end up being no better, still needing to shell out USD 2000 for CS5 Suite, right? So where's the logic to your argument, where's the benefit? Paying for these features to appear in GIMP would cost me (or any other single person) far more, than paying Adobe. I am no freetard, but I am not a multimillionaire.

        But, since you are so free with words like "massive investment", maybe you are. Have you, yourself, contributed?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      OK

      Clearly the down voters have never worked in artwork, or for that matter any sector where the CS apps are required. If they had they would appreciate how truly useless the GIMP is, and how it just doesn't compare to Photoshop.

      Adobe have positioned themselves exceptionally well, Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign have no competition since the buyout of Macromedia and the demise of Quark and Quantel. MMMM.... does that smell like an anti-trust investigation?

  5. RW
    Alert

    The real appeal is games

    I beg your pardon!

    In this household, Wine has value because it keeps alive ancient Win3.1 and Win95/98 versions of programs that have never been bested in terms of interface design. Saying this may cause the collective Register readership to piss themselves laughing, but Lotus 1-2-3 (a Win3.1 version) remains my preferred spreadsheet because of its straightforwardness and ease of use. No version of Excel nor later version of Lotus is as good, and OpenOffice isn't either.

    The real question is what Linux versions Wine 2.1 will run under.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      I used 1-2-3

      On my old 8086 with 512KB of RAM.

      On good days I could get a screenful of cells filled before the thing crapped out of memory.

      Then Excel came along and I could get 4 screens of cells filled before running into memory issues.

      Never looked at 1-2-3 since.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Jewel

        Excel is the jewel in the crown of MS Office.

        No... it *is* the crown. Word, on the other hand, is garbage, and probably my most hated program of all time.

        I've just taken a new look at Open Office: Write is worse than Word!

        (Someone will ask what justification I have for this: it is the program making up its mind about stuff, Microsoft fashion: you formatted this, that means change that as well. Brilliant. In the 1% of times that I actually wanted the damn thing to change more than the one thing, crap in the other 99%).

        These days, I'm just a home user... but still OO is not going to make happy. Personally.

        I've still changed to Linux.

        I might *just* though, make one final investment in W7 but keep my Office 2000 a it is.

  6. MordEth
    Linux

    Correction

    Both the first page of the article and the URL ("/wine_2_1_review/") are incorrect, and to be even more precise than the second page, it's actually Wine 1.2-rc5 (the fifth release candidate of Wine 1.2).

    Otherwise, great article and thanks for keeping us posted on WINE development.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Porting

    If I understand correctly, Wine also has a porting function.

    If Linux becomes mature enough (in the public eye) to grab the attentions of the Windows software authors of these big packages, then perhaps we will get porting and testing by them instead of this piecemeal effort we get at the moment from volunteers.

    I for one applaud the efforts of the Wine guys.

  8. Steven Noonan
    FAIL

    Wine Version?

    To the OP: I think you mean Wine 1.2. Not 2.1.

  9. noodle heimer

    Visio?

    I haven't run across a linux app that can read and create visio diagrams.

    Am I missing something? If I'm not, an update to this piece specifically addressing Visio would be of interest, since Open Office doesn't read visios (or at least the variant I use doesn't.)

    Similar questions apply to Project.

    1. Fuzzysteve

      Project replacement

      http://openproj.org/openproj

      Not sure if it has all the features of Project. but it'll open the files at least.

      Yet to see anything that'll open a Visio file. There's plenty of diagramming software out there, but not that'll do Visio

      1. Peter Simpson 1
        Jobs Horns

        Reads, doesn't write

        OpenProj will let me read MS Project files, but it doesn't work very well at all at writing changes out in MS Project format. If they can fix the output export to MS Project file format, the authors would have a good competitor to Microsoft's overpriced product.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Go

      Dia!

      Visio? Dia.

      http://live.gnome.org/Dia

      1. Matthew 17

        won't read visio files

        Nothing will, except visio, it's the only reason I have to keep a windows box.

        1. Peter Simpson 1
          Jobs Horns

          Eccch, Visio

          Another annoying MS app that barely succeeds at its job. The user interface is terrible, and even contradicts MS's standards for user interaction. I doubt the product has been touched since they bought it, except to obfuscate the file format to prevent anyone from building a competing product. It's way past time for Visio to be replaced by a good cross-platform vector drawing tool.

  10. Kwac

    WINE 2.1?

    I was surprised to read "Wine 2.1 includes a new set of icons."

    Later you (correctly) report on WINE 1.2

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Adobe Bridge

    Adobe Bridge on CS2 crashed on a regular basis on Windows, so it's not really a data point to say that it crashes under Wine.

  12. zenkaon
    Pint

    Games...

    ...Get a console, job done.

    I got fed up upgrading my graphics card and CPU all the time and just shelled out for a PS3 and Wii, which is probably cheaper in the long run than a decent CPU+GPU package.

    I'm all in favour of wine development, but like the author struggle to think of anything I could use it for......What do people actually use wine for (Photoshop and games aside) on a day-to-day basis?

    Re photoshop - Shouldn't the people in the coloured pencil room all be using macs anyways??

    Beer, because it's better than wine

    1. Goat Jam
      Thumb Down

      Consoles

      PAH!

      Not so great if you like RTS games. Likewise most sorts of "building" games (Railroads, RCT, SimCity etc)

      Then there are FPS games. Yes, I know the younguns seem to like the console controls with the autoaim crap but I simply can't stand it.

      Nope, IMHO consoles suck. Big time.

    2. Rattus Rattus

      Get a console? Pfft!

      Wash your mouth out! Consoles are crap and their controllers are worse. I prefer to game at my desk, with a mouse and keyboard. And I like to play games that have a bit more complexity to them than the average console "action" tripe.

      Therefore games are the one thing that keeps a Windows box in my house.

    3. Greg J Preece

      Orrrrrr have both?

      I do get a little tired of this argument sometimes. Console gamers will bang on about PCs being harder to keep up with, PC gamers will ridicule consoles for having crappy controls and (sometimes) dumbed-down versions of their own games. And of course, both camps are right.

      So stuff it! I go where the games are. Time Crisis/God of War/Burnout games are on the Sony machines, so I have those. FPS/RPG/Strategy games are on both, but play better on the PC, so I have one of those too. Some consoles have exclusives I want to play, so I'll get those too.

      I don't really care about the platform, so long as it's not totally crap (*cough* early-gen 360 *cough*). I just play the damn games and enjoy myself. I play a lot of games, so I have a lot of systems.

      I have Linux, so I wanna play games on it.

      See where I'm going with this? Quit the blah-blah and get on with the games.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The year THIS YEAR

    The year of the Linux Desktop

    C/w Duke Nuke'm forever

    1. Frumious Bandersnatch
      Joke

      duke nukem forever

      I'm afraid that the Linux version is a bit deprioritised at the moment. We're busy getting the GNU HURD version done first...

  14. Adrian Esdaile
    Unhappy

    ...except if you're a REAL architect

    "it's getting increasingly difficult to find Windows apps that lack a Linux counterpart."

    Except for modern BIM-based CAD software. Us real architects (we do those big solid things you all rely on - you know, buildings?) are still left way out in the dark when it comes to running Linux.

    Wine for CAD - don't make me laugh!

    "Users should re-write their own apps....." yeah, see, I design BUILDINGS, I don't code in C# funny enough. I shouldn't have to - the same as C# coders don't need to know building safety codes, how to deal with annoying councils, how to design something that doesn't fall down, become a laughing stock or the worst of all, fail to make money for the developer.

    Hmmph. We're stuck with Windows - even the poor buggers who use Apple hardware and use Mac-based CAD STILL need to have Windows installed if they want to be able to send anything to their engineers - EVERY engineering firm uses Windows. Or Catia if they are stupefyingly rich; and even then it won't run on Linux!

    Boo, hiss, how come they've invested so much in getting games to run, yet ignore what is likely quite a sizeable market?

    1. scub
      Happy

      CAD

      CAD bores the tits out of me, I much prefer games :)

      Seriously tho` Wine is a miraculous thing IMHO, be thankful of its existence.

      Try and worry less about the platform and more about the best tool for the job.

      There is a saying if it don't work for you

      "You got it for free, you should thank them for wasting your time"

      I use XP here BTW, not much wrong with it I reckon, Nothing wrong with Linux either. Between you and me, I`ve given more Money to Linux distro ppl than microsoft ;oP

    2. gerryg
      Linux

      Do as they do for the Linux kernel

      Red Hat, Novell, Intel, IBM, Oracle (etc) all contribute to the Linux kernel, and thus get the kernel they want and then carry on competing elsewhere in the value chain.

      Assuming that Architects compete on their cleverness in building design, not their CAD abilities, you could all collaborate to design/fund the development of the CAD programmes you really want and have in run on Linux based systems with no more licence fees.

      Just a thought

      1. Penguin herder
        Boffin

        Bullseye!!!

        "...all contribute to the Linux kernel, and thus get the kernel they want and then carry on competing elsewhere in the value chain"

        - that is exactly how open source works best!

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The building I rely on...

      was built in 1886. It will still be standing long after the efforts being nailed up across the road from it are dust.

      No idea what it was designed on - some sort of early typewriter one presumes....

    4. John Sanders
      Linux

      My friend

      I have been saying the same for years and years. Still no single version of AutoCAD runs flawless, just having something ancient like AutoCAD 2000/2002, working flawless should be fine for me and I know the same for many people.

      Heck, even having Office 2003 running flawlessly could be a great achievement.

      The problem with wine is that many of the apps it runs, do indeed run with many small defects that render the apps useless.

      On the positive, It is improving a huge lot and very quickly, many not-so-well-known apps lately run in wine like a dream.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "how to design something that doesn't fall down"

      "how to design something that doesn't fall down"

      most c# developers need to know how to do that

      ba-dum tsh

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Boffin

      CAD for Linux

      They're getting there. There's already a working mostly-stable CAD application for Linux called FreeCAD. I used it to design a custom tray for my entertainment kit a while back. Yeah, it doesn't have a lot of the features AutoCAD has yet, but it does look to be a promising project.

      1. Holtsmark
        Linux

        Chasing the wrong program

        Sadly, the moment FreeCAD approaches AutoCAD capabilities, the developers will discover that most engineering (Not Architecture) is performed in parametric modellers like SolidEdge, SolidWorks or (Ugh!) Pro-Engineer. (Or CATIA, if big wealthy Aerospace or Automotive companies are involved)

        I never touched AutoCad again after I started working with these. In my experience, ONLY architects still work in AutoCAD. ..And I do design stuff that is slightly more complex than a custom tray...

        The penguin? ..because I actually have a fully parametric solid model of him laying around somewhere on my HD.

        1. Irné Barnard

          Not totally true!

          Not exactly ... in my experience (being an Architect) we there's a trend in architecture to use BIM (Revit) and all the construction engineering firms (structural, civil, HVAC, plumbing, etc.) still live in the CAD world.

          Well, I say "all" ... all those I came into contact with did. Except some structurals which used MicroStation instead. But isn't that also a CAD?

      2. Keris

        "Mostly stable"

        Yes, that describes far too many FLOSS applications. I use Linux by preference for most things, but when it comes to things like graphics and music there are no usable alternatives to Windows and Mac proprietary software. The GIMP is nowhere near as usable as Photoshop (I can't say that it doesn't have the abilities, but I do know that many artists and graphic designers haven't been able to find them).

        When it comes to composing and scoring music the FLOSS applications are, to be honest, rubbish. One of the major ones refused to run at all on my Ubuntu installation, claiming that "the kernel tick rate is too slow". No indication at all of what a user was supposed to do about that, or what tick rate it might find acceptable (1000Hz? 1MHz?) or even what the current rate was. I'm used to rebuilding Linux kernels but even I had no idea what to do about it (and the next upgrade would have meant modifying anf rebuilding the kernel yet again). Another one looked 'promising' -- but crashed every few minutes.

        I even posted on a FLOSS list offering 600 pounds (the cost of Sibelius, arguably the best music scoring package anywhere) for something with the functionality and stability of Noteworthy (usable shareware at around $75). No takers. And I'm not surprised, because to actually do an application like that properly takes thousands of man-hours, proper design with intereaction with the potential customers (not just the geeks who code it), and so needs to sell thousands of copies for cash to recoup the costs.

        So -- I use Windows (XP Pro) for the applications which actually get the job done. I don't have a few million pounds (or even several thousand) to throw at someone to write it for me, and certainly don't have the time to write it myself. I advise people whose job involves graphics to do the same.

    7. Greg J Preece

      Learn to read

      "Increasingly difficult"

      Does not mean

      "Completely impossible"

      D-d-d-d-duh.

  15. Trevor_Pott Gold badge
    Joke

    Usefull, productive, informative and otherwise awesome.

    This thread will be it.

  16. DrXym Silver badge

    Wine has huge gaming potential

    Steam has just launched on the Mac and is soon to do so on Linux. I would be hopeful that when it does appear it uses some commercial variant of Wine to provide game emulation. Then Steam can sell native games alongside carefully selected and tested Windows games and the experience is fairly seamless. Lots of Mac games are just Win32 ports running against a commercial Wine based layer called Transgaming Cider.

    Games pose some extra challenges but eliminate some others. The Win32 is a rats nest of APIs but games typically don't use many of them. What they do use is DirectX apis so the emulation for that has to be perfect and performance is critical. Linux uses OpenGL and has different input and audio APIs, so DirectX commands must all be translated.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      This is a bit wrong

      There are more and more Windows games that are done in OpenGL now, that's why Valve were able to port things relatively easily to Mac. I very much doubt that they have any intention to run middleware to get things to run on Linux, and that they are far more likely to use OpenGL and some other proprietary libraries for audio + input, etc.

      The problem is that there is, for the forseeable future, going to be far more games written for Windows, simply because DirectX is actually pretty good. OpenGL has caught up significantly, but I still don't enjoy it as much. I also know that at least one pretty big games developer is making moves towards Managed DirectX, which just locks them in further, but with the possibility of essentially supporting 3 platforms (new Windows phones, Xbox + desktops) with very little effort, it's entirely understandable.

      Oh and I'm technically a Windows fanboi.

      1. DrXym Silver badge

        Mac ports

        It is as much a pain in the ass to native port a game to the Mac as it ever was. So companies use tools like Transgaming Cider to wrap the Windows binary with minimal changes and execute it natively on the Mac. The game is still written to DirectX apis but the graphics / audio API calls are mapped onto the Mac equivalents.

        Not every game is done this way but a substantial number are. EA and Ubisoft use cider extensively for example.

  17. Old Painless
    Gates Horns

    Everything else is just a toy...

    ...it does go to show how far the world has moved on in the last 5 years - I only have Windows on one machine now, and it is only ever used to play civ or l4d.Now L4d and counterstrike work perfectly on my main machine using Crossover, i literally have no use for Windows. I've got no intention of buying windows vista/7/whatever in the future - I wonder how many people are doing the same?I've been supporting windows at work for 10 years, but I think XP is the end of the road for windows as far as I'm concerned - I've never seen windows 7 and could no more support it than any other civilian....talk about the retraining costs of moving to Linux sounds a bit hollow now doesn't it?

  18. Giles Jones Gold badge

    Linux commercial software

    There's so little marketshare on the desktop it's no wonder Linux based OSes have no commercial software.

    There were rumours of Adobe porting Photoshop and other things to Linux and I don't think that ever happened.

  19. Frozen Ghost

    Why does every program on Linux have to be community developed?

    It's simply unrealistic to think that every program could be replaced with a community/open source alternative if only people would try harder. Some programs are extremely complex yet are used by very few people or firms who require a high level of support - writing new versions of these, while a noble endeavour, would be a waste of the limited development resources which exist.

    If Wine got good enough it might have an even better effect on Linux, that developers like Adobe would see it as an easy way to make Linux versions of their programs with only a little outlay to make it play nice with Wine.

  20. M Gale

    Rants

    "OpenOffice covers this ground quite nicely and will even apparently be getting the Microsoft-style "Ribbon" interface in an upcoming update."

    Oh god please no.

    At least give me an option to turn it off and have a usable UI please, OO.o team.

    "Meh. Emulate the entire machine."

    Congratulations. Now you've paid the Microsoft tax to run Windows at half the speed.

    "I got fed up upgrading my graphics card and CPU all the time and just shelled out for a PS3 and Wii, which is probably cheaper in the long run than a decent CPU+GPU package."

    Someone with sense! And they got downvoted for it. What a surprise.

    I used to give a crap about PC games. However, they started becoming as expensive as console games. Plus the endless upgrade treadmill. Plus the endlessly increasingly intrusive and offensive DRM shite.. if I want a locked down toy I'll buy a locked down toy, thank you very fucking much. Take Steam, EA Downloader, Ubisoft shit, and shove it up your arse sideways. My DS works just fine!

    As for EvE and WoW, well I like games that don't require I make them a career choice to get anywhere. Grind is not my middle name.

    1. C 2
      Go

      Well said!

      I don't think I could have stated ANY of those things better!!

      Cheers!

      C

    2. CD001

      ye-es

      I can just see X3 Terran Conflict running on a PS3 (not that it's been console-ported for obvious reasons) - as it is, on the PC, I generally use, mouse, keyboard AND joystick.

      There's nothing wrong with consoles so long as you don't play sims (except racing sims), RTS, strategy games or FPSs (can't stand the aiming on a console). Since my games collection largely consists of games like X3, Civ and Total War, that's consoles out of the window.

      Having said that though - rumour has it they MIGHT actually release GT5 on the PS3 this year and it seems that there's a PS3 version of Twisted Metal on the way (announced at E3) :D THAT'S what consoles are for! Beer, pizza and daft arsed split-screen shooty car games on enormous TVs with a few mates :) Even better with a home theatre system!

      Personally I don't see what the big fuss is about paying £100 for Windows 7 Pro when you're quite happy to spend two to three times that amount on a single graphics card! I think the GFX card in my PC cost more than my PS3 *shrugs*

      1. M Gale

        Heh, X3

        Oh don't get me wrong. I still have X2 from back in the days when you didn't need to install malware to use it. Even have the official no-DRM patch to completely remove the CD check. I've got M2s coming out of my earholes at the moment with a set of save files that have been built up over the last year or so. Currently saving up for a second carrier + fighter fleet. When I finally hit Omicron Lyrae for the final quest mission, those Kha'ak are going to shit bricks. I think a little grind is okay if you can pause the game and come back later when you can be bothered. Or just hide about 300km above the ecliptic with time compression on full while you get a cup of tea and your trade empire does its thing.

        However, I won't buy PC games these days, mostly because of the DRM and the price (and, err, the need for Windows). And if you didn't read my original post, I specifically mentioned the upgrade treadmill. I'm not willing to pay £300 for a graphics card and if I was, I'd expect it to last (a lot) longer than 12 months before upping the detail on a game anything past "low" makes things play like a flickbook.

        See I play computer games to have fun, not as a career. If I'm lucky, I may end up with a career making them though. Plus £100 not spent on Windows 7 Crippled Edition is £100 spent on something more worthwhile. Like, oh I don't know, maybe this lovely little airframe/EDF/ESC combo:

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0x2mbEVqJW4

        No DRM, and you get change left over for beer!

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    I've found Wine obsolete for me for a different reason

    That reason being that one can simply install, for free, Virtual Box and simply run Windows within a Virtual Box VM. I realize Virtual Box is limited to Windows, Linux, Macintosh and OpenSolaris hosts, but does anyone use "UNIX" these days that isn't Linux? (i.e. Ubuntu, Debian, openSUSE, SUSE Linux, Fedora, Mandriva, Red Hat Enterprise, or Turbolinux) Virtual Box does allow guest operating systems including but not limited to Windows (NT 4.0, 2000, XP, Server 2003, Vista, Windows 7), DOS/Windows 3.x, Linux (2.4 and 2.6), Solaris and OpenSolaris, and OpenBSD.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Pint

    +1 for VMware? (esp for Win3.1 and related apps)

    VMware has Linux essentials under the hood (albeit with its own display driver, which may or may not be up to hardcore CAD/gaming status yet, I don't know). So I join with the gentleman earlier who recommends trying VMware player (it's free) where Wine doesn't help.

    This must surely be especially the case with Win3.1-era stuff which dates back to a time before Windows Genuine Advantage moaned at you every time you sneeze into your PC's innards. Just recreate that PC system disk in a VMware environment (there are tools to import the *existing* system as a VMware image; I haven't used them but in principle they should make this trivial).

    Would be nice to see the experiments from the article performed with a widely available (for free) virtualisation product, such as VMware player (the licence for virtualbox is too restrictive and its future with Oracle is unclear).

    Wine is a lovely idea (as was FX!32 which took NT/x86 Win32 apps and recompiled them on the fly to NT/Alpha Win32 apps) but its area of applicability is limited and its potential usefulness is decreasing over time, just like NT/Alpha's did.

    On the other hand, virtualisation is increasingly attractive as time goes by.

    [not a VMware employee/shareholder/etc, don't even like the stuff much for server virtualisation, but for odd corners where Linux desktops don't quite cut the mustard yet, it seems like it's worth a look]

  23. Skymonrie
    Linux

    Why rant?

    Personally, I am in love with all that WINE is and truly appreciate all the development that has gone in to it as a project and support; if any WINE developers are reading this, I salute you with a flagon of mead :p

    It's true that not all apps run under WINE and that's fair enough to be honest, WINE is quite simply a a Windows abstraction layer for FREE created by people in their SPARE TIME. I made the switch to Linux a while back and have actually found better programs available for web development than the Windows equivalents I was using.

    For those complaining about this app not working or that, try actually digging around the net some, most likely you are just missing a .dll or needs a tweak. In the majority of cases the program is loaded with such shitty "anti hack" software it would be nigh on impossible. Shame on your complaints to the WINE people, take it to the software company if it really means that much to you and see what kind of response they give you...It will certainly be different to the welcoming stance taken by most OSS peops

    With regards to performance, the funny part is, the only thing I use WINE for, World of Warcraft actually runs better! While on Windows, I would get at least 4 crashes a day, files would go corrupt and performance was ok. On Linux, everything has been absolutely amazing after a little tweaking.

    Good to see some Linux news hitting TheReg :D

  24. viet 1

    Wine geatest appeal...

    From my point of view, wine is great for companies using it from the start to rig a linux version without investing too much in two different branches of a single product. A single codebase, tested against both windows and a wine snapshot, snapshot shipped with the product as a linux package, is a friendly way to acknowledge linux users without diverting too much ressources toward a small market.

    As a stand alone application, wine is not too stellar. Better use a true emulator like qemu and slap a real (paid) windows in it. Works great.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Go

    wxWidgets, GTK, Qt, Juce, OO GUI Lib, XUL, FOX, FLTK, Review needed

    ..because that is the *real* cure for the Windows disease. There was an article about Juce some time ago, but especially wxWidgets now improved greatly.

    A comparison would be greatly appreciated !

    This is the result of quick googleing:

    http://freshmeat.net/articles/gui-toolkits-for-the-x-window-system

  26. Bryce Prewitt

    GIMP != Photoshop

    You see, your argument falls terribly, terribly flat here as GIMP has the single worst user interface of any program ever.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Badgers

      That's odd...

      Lotus Notes usually gets that accolade.

      1. Holtsmark
        Grenade

        Blender

        Nope,

        Blender 3d is a clear winner in this field

  27. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Not very familiar with both sides of the fence

    It REALLY gets old when Linux fanbois claim that Linux programs are near the quality of Windows or even Mac programs. Not even close. Photoshop is so far ahead, it is not even funny. Same with Office 2010, Autocad, and many others.

    I teach Linux at a major university. I run various distros as well. What the author could also propose is to run VMWare Workstation on Linux so you NEVER have to dual boot. This way, your desktop stays up and you can reboot your Windows VM as many times as you want while your machine stays up. This app also supports accelerated graphics but since I am not into games, I do not know how well they will run.

    Now, lets look at Linux from a newbie perspective:

    1) Which distro should I pick? Over 100 variants

    2) Which interface? KDE? GNOME? shell only?

    3) Which apps will work on this distro? Can I get Oracle to run when Oracle only supports a few distros on say Mint Linux or Ubuntu or whatever?

    4) I want to run an IM server, how do I even begin to research? (BTW, I recently had to do this, and Google would come up primarily with two year+ web sites and not too current of information. I had used Wildfire before, which is now Openfire but do I want to support XMPP? SIP? Yahoo chat? Google Chat?). You would not believe how many spinoffs of Openfire are out there, with many no longer in current development. Searching the repository for key words is not that effective either.

    If you REALLY want Linux to take off

    1) Have a handful of distros

    2) Standardize on ONE interface based off X-Windows - pick one and go with it

    3) Ideally, have the distros released with the same kernel version

    Development is a REAL pain for various Linux distros as I have done this. So is coding wrappers to get freakin wireless cards to work that do not have Linux drivers/support.

    Kernel changes have had major impacts on VMWare, especially regarding disk performance and even corruption due to ultimately bugs in the kernel.

    Linux has some great purposes as a supercomputer O/S targeted at CUSTOM built apps or as a server, especially for mail and such. It runs WELL on a mainframe too! However, the LACK of standardization and too many choices is really holding back Linux.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Linux

      Ever heard...

      of the 80/20 rule? Except, these days, it's more like the 95/5 rule.

      Sure, there's the odd person who actually uses some of the very advanced and esoteric functionality - but here in the real world...

    2. scub
      Happy

      KDE

      I love KDE, can You guys make that the standard x-whatever thingy? :)

      Gnome looks like its been up somebody's arse

    3. M Gale

      You teach Linux? Really?

      Then I guess you know already that it doesn't matter what desktop environment the user chooses. Applications written for Gnome tend to work in KDE as well, and vice versa. Any halfway-competent distribution just grabs whatever dependencies it needs.

      Even with that kitchen-sink approach, you're still probably going to end up with less than half of the bloat of your average Windows 7 install, so why not just install all the common window manager libraries and let the users and developers both have whatever they enjoy using the most?

      As for which apps will work on what distro, well I can only speak for the occasional commercial game that is released "for Linux". I can assure you that Epic and Id's products have worked on every distribution I've tried them on. That said, I haven't tried installing Doom 3 on a Belkin router yet. Your mileage may vary.

      IM server, what? I think if you're wanting to run an IM server, you're already getting way into techie territory and beyond what 99.9% of users will want to do. If it takes a little minor fiddling with a config file, so what? And would you not have the bewildering array of IM protocols under any operating system?

      Standardising on one interface means you will piss off everyone who doesn't like that interface. Good luck getting a successful distribution going that supports Gnome but not KDE, or KDE but not Gnome. And getting every distribution to use the same kernel version? Did you not read that allegorical tale of the cathedral and the bazaar? Yeah, good luck.

      So far, so yawn. You've come up with the same tired old arguments that were incorrect five years ago and even more incorrect now. Linux's biggest problem as a domestic OS is simply that old catch 22. No market = no developers = no market. Everything else is sorted, drivers included. Even that old wifi chestnut is fading fast, and any problems there are probably as much to do with the same catch 22 as anything else.

      So yes. Written on my Ubuntu laptop. It's quite nice actually. And not shit-brown either. I know how to change background colours.

    4. Tom King 2
      FAIL

      Diversity

      Just have a look at genetic diversity.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetic_diversity

      Much the same can be applied to the FLOSS environment and the, oh horror!!, choices people have.

  28. lucmars

    counterpart apps aren't enough

    Don't forget the usage. You don't work the same way with PS than with Gimp and it's not a matter of plateform of course, eg. Freehand versus Illustrator.

    Even if an app is ported to your plateform you may need something like Wine just to avoid the reworking of your docs.

  29. Defiant
    Gates Halo

    LMAO

    Nice to see the linux geeks still wont to emulate Windows ;)

    1. C 2
      FAIL

      W.I.N.E.

      Wine Is Not an Emulator.

      It is a set of APIs, there IS a difference. You might want to learn about it someday.

      If I emulated windows then I would be looking for a horribly designed UI with even worse security, seemingly designed to drive me raving mad .. it would be easier to run Windows Se7en.

      I use Linux for STABILITY, then friendly *useable* UIs where I CAN find and use things. Also Linux security is light years ahead of the F-Troop security that clanks along in Windows AND for speed and best of all, no more nightmare DLL (or dependency) issues; and yes Vista and 7 STILL have those nearly 20 *years* later.

      MS also fails to fix 11 year old bugs that, you know, LOSE login profiles. MS also loads more DRM in their so called 'Operating Systems' than everything else *combined* ... this is a dictatorship that you pay to be abused by!!

      No Windows is not just a badly designed framework for drivers, there is a LOT of bad design in there!!

      Did I mention the UIs in Linux are functional, intuitive, AND shiny?

      Go try PCLinuxOS 2010.1 you can just boot from a live CD without any risk of Linux inadvertently changing your precious windows files. http://distrowatch.com/?newsid=06052

  30. MarkOne
    FAIL

    Didn't Linux beardies claim

    nobody needs Windows? if so, when why does Wine even exist?

  31. mj1

    love my linux but

    there is no real substitute for wavelab ( yes i have tried them all) for audio editing which runs fine under wine, also there is no good newsreader ,pan is ok but let down by lack of ssl and linux par 2 support falls a long way short of windows, so for me its linux and wine for the time being. with a big thank you to the wine development team for letting me use my fav apps in a better environment.

  32. P. Lee
    Troll

    wine = os/2?

    IIRC OS/2 emulated Windows so you could run windows binaries. Developers then did the logical thing and only developed for Windows.

    Wine is a great idea but it needs to be a stop-gap last resort, not the platform of choice. We need games properly ported. Valve has done some nice things with Steam on OSX (though L4D2 is still missing) but I suspect this is more of a dead-end than linux. Until reasonably-priced Macs have decent graphics cards, Valve's effort must be targeted mostly at hackintoshes - surely a smaller market than linux.

    However, Steam has a content-distribution network and a desktop client. Perhaps they are planning to branch out from pure games to other software. In that case, the OSX port makes a lot more sense.

  33. J 3
    Go

    VM?

    Fine.

    Problems is: did you pay for that copy of Windows you're sticking into the VM? Really? Cool. Because most computers come with that OEM copy that can't be sold or transferred, I think. Maybe that changed and I haven't heard.

    Where did you manage to find someone selling Windows 3.11 licenses nowadays? That or you are really good at keeping old floppies around (and the drive to read them) -- again, I'm assuming it's legal to install the old copy anyway.

    Ah, the joys of software licensing. I myself am lucky enough that all software I need runs on Linux natively. So no need for WINE. Kudos to them for the work though.

    1. Nuke
      Thumb Up

      Yes, @J 3

      >>>> Where did you manage to find someone selling Windows 3.11 licenses nowadays? That or you are really good at keeping old floppies around (and the drive to read them) -- again, I'm assuming it's legal to install the old copy anyway.

      <<<<

      Your question was not addressed to me , but I'm really good at keeping old floppies around. I still have boxed sets of DOSv3, 4 5, Windows 3.1, 3.11, 95, 98, and OS/2v2.0, 3.0. I still have the drive (several in fact) and it's in the PC I'm using now.

      There was nothing illegal about transfering those OS's to different machines. They are pre-DRM.

      Why throw this stuff away? The OS's and other software all fits in a printer box (which I have to keep anyway to return a faulty printer to the maker blah blah).

      They are or might become collectors items - although perhaps not in our day. Especially DOS 4 - the worst DOS ever, fairly rare (MS dropped it fast), and mine is still shrink wrapped - that all means worth something.

      1. J 3
        Happy

        @ Nuke

        Wow, you should start a museum with that collection.

  34. bass daddy
    Go

    Surely the point is..

    that wine is a serious geek-out for developers.

    I know codeweavers and others have made a business out of it but surely it is just the pinnacle of geekdom to work on this (apart from the kernel of course!!)

    Knowing how flippin complicated this is I'm always surprised when an app works under wine.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    VMware and Windows licences

    "did you pay for that copy of Windows you're sticking into the VM? Really? Cool. Because most computers come with that OEM copy that can't be sold or transferred, I think. Maybe that changed and I haven't heard."

    You raise an interesting point for home and SME users, but I'd expect that most corporate users of any reasonable size would have volume agreements with MS that are entirely unrelated to the OEM licences which came with their HP/Dell PCs and/or Tosh laptops.

    Corporates are of course the organisations with big IT departments and these are the people whose budgets typically depend on staying on the MS upgrade treadmill (whereas their budgets ought to depend on the service they provide to the business). The fact that this MS money is money down the drain rather than money invested will sink in one day though. Vista and the associate Office "upgrade" did a great job in encouraging management outside IT to question why their businesses spent so much time and money on MS-related stuff with so little business benefit in return.

  36. Magnus_Pym

    Specialist apps?

    A lot of people are claiming that they need Windows because some app connected with their business only works in Windows. Well doesn't that make Windows a niche product? Like Apple used to be in the publishing sector.

  37. FlameButt
    Thumb Down

    Regarding the OpenOffice comment...

    If they add the so-called 'feature' of Ribbon-style toolbars to OOo then I, for one, shall be looking for another package to use!! It's the Worst thing M$ did to Office!

    Just had to get that off my chest, phew.

  38. Displacement Activity

    No effin way to quote

    I wouldn't bother commenting on the first two points below, but the author seems to fit into his own "purist" category, given his comments on Photoshop, and his claim that "there is considerably less need for Wine now than when it first appeared on the scene years ago":

    1 -

    > Wine has always been a controversial app in the Linux community with purists claiming

    > Wine is exactly what Linux doesn't need – a Windows crutch that just undermines claims

    >that Linux can do anything Windows can do.

    Of course Linux can do anything Windows can do, but that's not the point: the problem is that Windows *apps* developers have done vastly more work than Linux *apps* developers.

    2 -

    > Rather than relying on Wine, the argument goes, Linux users should concentrate

    > on improving the Linux apps that cover the same territory.

    As others have pointed out, this completely ignores the point that commercial companies create the apps that many of us rely on, and not "Linux users" coding in their spare time. I want professional engineers writing my software, not Linux evangelists.

    3 -

    > In my testing, Office was stable and plenty quick, but – again – OpenOffice covers this

    > ground quite nicely

    Afraid not - I had to buy a current Excel recently because calc doesn't support some of the more advanced stuff

    4 - lots of people saying that virtualisation is an alternative to Wine. Not in my case; I need to run a Windows program in a Linux environment, so I can pass data around, use various other tools, and so on

    5 - the reason I use Wine - some companies produce full-cost professional versions of their code on both Windows and Linux, but a low-cost reduced-functionality version that runs only on Windows. Wine has been a real life-saver for me - I'm running a free Windows version of an engineering simulator on Linux, where the Linux version costs ~$20K.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Grenade

    Wine is just bad news.

    I wonder how many prospective Linux users have quit and gone back to Windows after being conned by that old 'you can run your windows apps in WINE' lie?

    They should really be told that 'if you're really, REALLY lucky, and the wind is blowing in the right direction, you just MIGHT be able to run your windows apps in a not-TOO-dysfunctional fashion.'

    Visit the Wine site, and you'll find lots of apps listed with 'platinum' performance. Actually try to RUN the damn things, and you'll discover that YOUR idea of platinum might be rather different.

    When people get excited and happy about wine, it's frequently like the story of the dog that walked on its hind legs - they cheer, not because it's done WELL, but because they're surprised to see it done at all.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      WTF?

      Windows is just bad news.

      <quote>

      I wonder how many prospective Linux users have quit and gone back to Windows after being conned by that old 'you can run your windows apps in WINE' lie?

      </quote>

      I wonder how many people have run screaming from Windows 2000, XP, Vista or Se7en after being conned by that REALLY old "its faster, stable and more secure" lie? Or how about the lie "It will run all your old programs"?

      They should really be told that each new release of windows is a train wreck version of the last version with shiny crap and DRM on top. It comes bundled with lies and FUD from the BS factory that is the Microsoft marketing machine. Windows also comes bundled with the most incredible lawyer's fantasy of a "license agreement", 90% of which would probably be laughed out of most courts in the world.

      And that is after paying MS up to half the price of the hardware it runs on. In any other industry MS would be sued into oblivion for that kind of false advertising.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Wineskin on OSX

    My little ones love playing the old I-Spy hidden object games made sometime around 1995 by Scholastic, WineSkin on OSX ( based on Wine ) they play flawlessly.

    There are not many great educational kids games now, like the old JumpStart series made for Windows 95/98, but with Wine a lot of these older titles run perfectly on Wine. It's not just for apps to allow people to cross over from Windows, it allows Unix based systems, Linux and OSX, to play older games. Games that do not have some dirty great corporate stamp like Maccy D or Nike on them, have some artistic and educational merit.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Licence obligation vs licence enforcement

    "There was nothing illegal about transfering those OS's to different machines. They are pre-DRM."

    Software is licenced and the terms of that licence are independent of whether DRM enforcement applies or WGA applies or whatever. Just because nothing stops you making 500 copies of Windows for Playgroups doesn't mean it's legal to do so.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Wine still sucks

    Sorry. Every time I have tried to use wine to get a "necessary" Windows app to run natively in Linux, I have been supremely disappointed. I can't even get MS Office 2000 to run properly or even stably in wine, no matter the version. I gave up and just run free VMWare server to run Windows, no dual-boot necessary.

  43. b166er

    Alt-Tab hypervisor required

    Just run Linux and Windows.

    Use linux for anything remotely risky and windows for games, photoshop, proprietary VPN software etc.

    Why can't we have a VM hypervisor that lets us Atl-Tab between OSes?

    I don't care about hardware, it's cheap and would be easy to have a machine that could run 2 OSes side by side.

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's been said before...

    ...but Wine is not the reason that the big players don't develop for Linux.

    For a start it's a pain having to develop for a number of different platforms, even if it's only getting the installers sorted. How many disks would you need to ship in a Linux package of something like Photoshop in order to cover all the Linux bases? How much R&D would that take over and above Mac and Windows versions.

    However I believe the major problem is one of perception of Linux users. Because the OS is "free" and most applications are "free" there is a perception, right or wrong, that most Linux users are not willing to pay for software. On top of that there is a perception,right or wrong, that people using Wine are not using licensed copies of software and would, therefore, not buy the software were it available for Linux. Now I don't know how much of that is true, but I do know it would be very hard to predict how many takers there would be for a Linux port of any of the major software packages.

    It is a big financial gamble after all. The software company would need commit to a costly programme of porting their product to Linux, which would involve hiring a whole load of new staff, plus of course there is the small matter of production, ,marketing, packaging, etc. All that outlay up front against an unpredictable income at the end.

    Taking Photoshop as an example, since somebody mentioned it above. It's not like it's impossible to replicate what PS does on Linux, it's just that you would probably need to install multiple packages. Staying in that area I know a lot of people who say "I have to use Windows because Linux doesn't support my camera". OK so the manufacturer may not provide Linux software for that particular camera, but that doesn't mean it won't work with Linux. The last two cameras I've had have not come with Linux software, but I've still had them working fine without doing anything techy. Install the right package in Kubuntu and they just worked. RAW support involved installing another package, but it wasn't hard since it was there in the standard repositories. The only real issue I'm aware of is a friend who uses a Sigma DP1 and can't get RAW support in Linux. Must admit I'm very keen on the DP2 but until there is good support for the RAW format in Linux I won't be buying.

  45. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Clueless questions'r'us: "how many fdisks..."

    "How many disks would you need to ship in a Linux package of something like Photoshop in order to cover all the Linux bases? "

    Why do you ask?

    If I buy a printer, I buy one with Linux support, not RedHat support, not Suse support, not (x900 others support). For the vast majority of applications and for the vast majority of drivers, it doesn't matter which modern x86 Linux you're using, the vendor's distributable package will be the same, regardless of distro. (Is there a different gcc for every distro, for example? Of course not).

    If you had talked about testing on a variety of different Linuxes, you might have had a valid point. But you didn't and you don't.

    If the question of testing and qualification does arise, then (1) we're talking about commercial distributions only, because free means NO WARRANTY in big letters (2) given that, it's something the vendor of the package AND the vendor of the distro might want to talk to each other about.

  46. Irné Barnard

    Wine not good enough

    Actually, it's not even close to getting there. My major program (at the moment)? AutoCAD ... apparently version 2005 "can be installed" in Wine, but doesn't work fully. And now someone's got 2008 "slightly working". WTF?

    FreeCAD? That's BS! Even BricsCAD is better ... and that's 5 years + behind ACad (still no dynamic blocks, tables, annotative scales, etc.) - even though you have to pay for it!

    And even IF Wine finally gets ACad 2011 (64bit - no i DON'T WANT the 32bit) working ... it's too late. ACad isn't where most in my industry are going anymore. I'd rather see something like Revit working there.

    Alternatives? You mean Blender? No ... I didn't say 3dStudio, I said Revit! Damit! There's a HUGE difference. The one's a 3d Rendering package (ONLY!), the other's a fully integrated Building Information Management / Parametric Control Modeling System. If I want a decent rendering package I'd go with Maya ... which is available on Linux!

    As for Gimp/PS ... I'm happy with both, and have used both. Actually I like using GimpShop over PS any day of the week and twice on Sunday! But then, it doesn't have all the newest frills of PS does it? So if PS has something new which is actually useful, then -1 Gimp. And then I actually don't like either for my line of "image editing" ... I prefer AutoDesk Alias as it's simply so much better for 2d Vector based "rendering".

    As for OOo going Ribbon ... that's simply not true ... there's a lot more to it than simply trying to copy MSO. Go look at the explanations about Project Renaissance again! It's all about making the UI better than anything else in current existence. If you think it's not going in the correct path, join the discussion and lift your opinions there. At least you "can" say what you want to OOo ... you simply have to take what M$ / Mac dishes out!

    And for those Purists ... no Wine ... no VM ... no Dual Boot? Fine give me something I can actually use. I don't ONLY type emails you know! I need something which is EASY to use when creating 3dModels & 2d Technical construction documents. Not something like Blender! Not even AutoCAD cuts that requirement ... so if you're trying to "copy" a near 30year old program (yes AutoCad v1.0 was released in 1982) you're missing the point aren't you?

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