back to article Version 7 of WINE is better than ever at running Windows apps where they shouldn't

Version 7 of the WINE compatibility tool for running Windows programs on various *nix operating systems is here, bringing notably improved 64-bit support. WINE has come a long way. It took 18 years to get to version 1.0 and another nine years to get to version 2, but since version 3 in 2018, it's averaged roughly one major …

  1. DrBobK

    Is there a native M1 Mac version?

    1. DS999 Silver badge

      There's no need, since the M1 Macs can run the x86 Wine faster than the x86 Macs they replaced can run it natively.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        but a native version would run it faster still?

    2. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      This seems like the sort of question that might be more fruitfully (fnar) addressed at the Wine project page. A quick gander at the macOS FAQ reveals the implication that WINE most likely only runs on the Intel architecture, since the only other architecture mentioned is PowerPC.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. LybsterRoy Bronze badge

        I can't comment for version 7 (well I don't think so) but I installed Linux Mint Cinnamon 20.3 on an AMD powered laptop on Monday. I had to install Wine and get a specific Windows program running on it.

    3. Hile

      From the announcement https://www.winehq.org/announce/7.0

      "The new Apple Silicon Macs are supported, including running x86-64 binaries under Rosetta 2"

  2. ShadowSystems

    It's true the old addage...

    That Wine gets better with age.

    I'm just not sure it would appreciate being locked in a dark basement for the next century to "mature".

    Let's save that for Microsoft & see if it gets any better.

    1. nematoad Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: It's true the old addage...

      "Let's save that for Microsoft & see if it gets any better."

      It might go mouldy, no chance of it getting better.

      God knows, its had enough time already.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: It's true the old addage...

        "It might go mouldy, no chance of it getting better."

        So, MS more of a cheese than a wine?

        1. martyn.hare
          Linux

          More like milk

          Cheese is a product which slowly matures over time.

          Windows 10 is more like raw milk these days!

          1. cyberdemon Silver badge
            Holmes

            Re: More like milk

            Goes rotten - and not even particularly slowly

          2. ShadowSystems

            Re: More like milk

            How do you know when it's time to stop drinking milk?

            When it's pasteurized (past your eyes).

            *Drum sting*

            I'll get my coat, it's the one with the cheesy puns in the pockets. =-)p

      2. ShadowSystems

        Re: It's true the old addage...

        Then lets treat them as they treat their users, keep them in the dark & force feed them poop. See how much they like it, eh? =-Jp

    2. swm Silver badge

      Re: It's true the old addage...

      I think it has turned to vinegar.

    3. LybsterRoy Bronze badge

      Re: It's true the old addage...

      It might be the same as for Windows - up to 7 it improved. After it well.....

  3. jeff_w87

    A better test might be Office 2016 or 2019. Office 2003 support ended about 7 years ago so running it is a security vulnerability since it probably hasn't had a patch released since 2014.

    1. mark l 2 Silver badge

      Its probably more secure to run Office 2003 through Wine on Linux than it would be on Windows these days. Plus if you are just using it to write your own docs and not opening files sent over the internet it will be just as secure as the new versions.

      1. katrinab Silver badge
        Meh

        Is there any reason why you would want to run Office 2003 rather than the latest version of LibreOffice?

        I can think of reasons why you would want to run Office 2016/2019/2022/356 rather than LibreOffice, but not something that old.

        1. ThatOne Silver badge

          > any reason why you would want to run Office 2003

          I'm with the OP, MS Office 2003 was the last version of Office I bought, and back at the time I wrote literally thousands of pages with it, which means I know it very well (and everything pertaining to chapters, indexes, footnotes, etc.).

          Nowadays I'm on Linux and use LibreOffice, but since I don't write much anymore, I never spent much time in it. As a result I still feel more comfortable in good ol' Office 2003, each time I need to do something special I know instantly where it is and how to do it, I don't have to sift through LibreOffice's menus in search of the equivalent feature.

          TL;DR, it's about familiarity.

        2. LybsterRoy Bronze badge

          My main weapon for WP is still WordPerect. Whilst I was still working, and being in recruitment, I had WordPerfect, Word, Libre Office, TextMaker and another one I've forgotten. I don't think I encountered a cv I couldn't open properly.

    2. Nate Amsden Silver badge

      A bigger problem than that probably is document compatibility(WRT office 2003). Wine is certainly neat. Last time I really touched it was with Cedega, which according to Wikipedia that service was retired in 2011 I probably stopped using it maybe 2008 or 2009(haven't played many games period since, most hours I have played since have been on PS4).

      But I'd never, ever suggest some business org use wine to run some app(s) just so they could leverage linux on the desktop, support nightmare for almost any IT team out there(I don't do desktop support).

      Different story if they are using wine to port their apps to linux or something. I played a lot with Wine in the late 90s/early 00s, seeing what could run and stuff but I gave up at some point, found more native Linux apps or just used a VM or another system to run some important windows app(s). Even today I have a Windows VM running in Vmware workstation 24/7 on my main laptop for windows things, have been doing that for over 10 years at this point, much better solution than using something like wine, even if the underlying windows OS in the VM is past support dates.

      I was a beta tester for Corel Linux back in the day as well still have my Corel inflatable penguin in a box on a shelf here(haven't had it inflated for a long time). Corel Linux was never good enough to be my main desktop though, kept that as (at the time) generic Debian, with Afterstep as my window manager I believe. Corel had some neat things though.

      I think Wine is a pretty important part of ReactOS too, though would never suggest to someone to use ReactOS for anything.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I used to do desktop support, and with what a complete pile of stinking you-know-what Windows is these days, supporting a few apps in Wine on Linux could not possibly be any more difficult.

        With Windows 10 (and even more so with Windows 11), its not fit for purpose as a business operating system any more. Its just an ads and data harvesting platform now. It ceased being a useful operating system with version 8+.

        1. Zolko Silver badge

          It ceased being a useful operating system with version 8+

          Windows 7 was probably the best OS they made.

          1. davidp231

            "Windows 7 was probably the best OS they made."

            Personally I'd take Win2K. Even if it is 32bit only. But that's just me :)

            1. LybsterRoy Bronze badge

              I still have a W2K disk. I tried installing it on an old PC recently, unfortunately the PC wasn't old enough - I needed a SCSI disk drive.

            2. Captain Scarlet Silver badge
              Pint

              Yup 2k was consitent across desktop to server, fast, stable (I also have same opinion of versions of Cent OS, Debian I used over 10 years ago as well, but I can stick to the text interfaces)

            3. usbac

              To this day I still run the Win2K theme on my Windows 7 PCs. I can at least feel like I'm still running Win2K.

              To me, the UI peaked at Win2K. Every version since has just been going down hill. I won't even mention the complete disaster the UI has been since Windows 8. No, I don't want my desktop PC to look like a f'ing smart phone!

              1. davidp231

                Exactly my point... to me, W2K was the last version of Windows aimed at professionals. And grown-ups.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            As far as I can tell, post Win7 it's all been about making people buy new hardware for new (unnecessary) features and CPU/RAM requirements.

      2. martyn.hare
        Thumb Up

        Winepaks make support doable

        Pirates managed to deliver decently packaged video games using Flatpak with Wine. The same approach would work for Office and many other apps, it’s just that copyright holders would cry so IT folks can’t all just crack the DRM and share portable working copies of common Windows software with one another.

        With the extreme simplicity (for better or worse) that is GNOME 3 these days, support is extremely simple compared to before, especially if sysadmins sync subsets of upstream distro repositories to allow users to “just install” anything admins allow in there. Due to the lack of unwanted functionality by default, most folks don’t even need profile/lockdown tools like Sabayon to make a decently functional corporate system. The remainder (Windows apps) could be dealt with using Winepak.

        Of course, this assumes that user training is outside the purview of IT, like it always has been for Windows (don’t know Windows? GTFO)

        1. Pascal Monett Silver badge
          Pirate

          Pirates ?

          If you think I'm going to download - not to mention install - an executable file from a pirate these days then I have a bridge to sell you.

          My pirating days are done, and even back then, I was only interested in the NoCD cracks so that didn't have to bother with putting the plastic disk in.

          Piracy today ? A slew of malware just waiting for the clueless.

          No thank you.

          1. ThatOne Silver badge
            Unhappy

            Re: Pirates ?

            Indeed, Internet's days of innocence are over.

            Gone the heady days you could accept programs from perfect strangers. Today they would most likely just steal your credentials, ransom you, use your computer as a proxy to do something illegal, or just simply wipe it for lolz.

      3. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Unhappy

        would never suggest to someone to use ReactOS for anything.

        Sadly honest. ReactOS isn't reacting very well... (sadly so, I like their potential, as well as the traditional look)

      4. Liam Proven Bronze badge

        [Article author here]

        FWIW, after the article was complete, I tried the Office 2007 File Format Converter pack. It worked perfectly. I thought there was a problem as it installed so quickly that I couldn't see the progress bar, but it's just running old code on relatively modern hardware.

        My apologies; I should have included that.

    3. Roland6 Silver badge

      Sorry, "Office 20nn" is not really sufficient, I also use Visio and Project, which (2007 version) seemed to be more problematic for WINE... Perhaps I need to reassess matters.

    4. Liam Proven Bronze badge

      [Article author here]

      Well, if you have them, by all means try it. The OS is free, the Windows bit is free... You only need the Office suite.

      I don't have it, as personally, I find the ribbon interface totally unusable. I switched from pre-CUA Word for DOS (3/4/5.0) to the CUA version (5.5) no problem, then from that to the unified menu tree of Word 6 for DOS/Windows/Mac. Although like all right-thinking people, I agree that clearly Word 5.1 for classic MacOS was the best Mac version ever.

      WinWord 1 wasn't up to much, WinWord 2 was clunky, but WinWord 6 was fine and I'd still use it today if it supported a wheelmouse and proportional scrollbar thumbs. But it doesn't.

      My point being that I have survived multiple UI changes in MS Word and MS Office. The Ribbon was the deal-breaker for me.

      So I run Word 97 under WINE on Linux. It does all I need, supports the same file format as worked until about 15Y ago, and it's very fast.

      But I have had issues with portrait monitor support and multihead. Word 2003 fixes those and now it works fine under WINE.

      Word 2007 and later are just plain broken for me, so I don't have or want copies.

      The reason I tried 2003 is that it didn't install under plain freeware WINE up until recently; you needed CrossOver Office for it. I am not claiming it's remotely current.

      TBH under Linux I don't need anything else from MS Office; LibreOffice and so on provide all I need, but LibreOffice Writer does not have Outline Mode, which for me remains Word's killer feature.

  4. midgepad

    Canon DPP would be nice

    I'll see if Canon's raw photo processor runs on it.

    Up till now it has been disappointing.

  5. bombastic bob Silver badge
    Devil

    run both 64-bit and 32-bit Windows apps side-by-side

    run both 64-bit and 32-bit Windows apps side-by-side

    a VERY welcome feature. A couple o' years ago I evaluated Wine on Linux and this major deficiency (inability for 32-bit and 64-bit to coexist properly) kept DevStudio and certain other things from working at all...

    Now, if they make sure that you can ONLY "corrupt up" the desktop of a selected user on your system with windowsey things, then I'll once again consider evaluating it. I really DO want a way to RELIABLY run Windows applications WITHOUT WIN-10-NIC including tax and accounting software.

    (and if I uninstall Wine I do not need to have all of those desktop menu items pointing at it, or have it in my path, either)

  6. PRR

    > this is running Word 2003 SP3

    I didn't know "you" could even find Wurd 2003 today. OR its service packs.

    _I_ have the CD image, passcode, service packs, and DOCX converters. I had it at an old job, saw I was never going to need it as much as MS thought it was worth, and hoarded all the bits. I was mildly shocked that it installed and ran on Windows 7 65-bit. (One of the MS compilers refused to run on anything newer than the day it was born, crying "non-MS OS!!".)

    We exchange docs written in W2003 with editors and publishers. My housemate has published two novels wrote in W2003 on WinXP, then exported through DOCX and thumbdrives.

    1. David 132 Silver badge
      Happy

      > I was mildly shocked that it installed and ran on Windows 7 65-bit.

      That's a bit too much!

    2. Al fazed Bronze badge
      Facepalm

      Considering

      the unconsiderable, my Windows 10 machines have never been capable of running an office or a business, not like earlier version of that damned Operating System.

      No Linux OS that I ever installed made itself a complete replacement for Windose XP/2000/7. I still had to run Windose machines for some work as the Linux distro was experiencing issues which I could not resolve.

      The most annoying of all these experiences was Open Office and/or Libre Office falling over every so often. Microsoft Word was not beautiful and their devs thought it cool to keep redesigning stuff until it finally broke altogether.

      So even though I own several incarnations of Microsoft Orifice I had to keep investing in rebuying the same programmes and Oses, only to accept less functionality and the none ownership of Office software, only re-paying again to write a fooking letter, but now of course much more slowly than I could using Word 6.

      I can see not that development in Office applications is digging it's own grave on all fronts, Linux, Google, Microshite, why can't I write a letter or use a small spreadsheet without the damn thing closing down "bad allocation" seems to be the excuse I get these days from either Apache or Libre......

      Bad allocation indeed....................

  7. The Unexpected Bill
    Happy

    In at least one way, Wine is a better Windows than Windows...

    I have a long-abandoned program written for 16-bit Windows that I was still interested in using, and much to my surprise, Wine on a 64-bit Linux platform had no trouble at all running it. I hope that's still true even with the changes that have arrived in version 7. (In case you really want to know, it's a simple household electrical wiring simulator. To my knowledge, nobody's written any program like it since. However, I'd love to be proven wrong.)

    Said program is quite limited, but still fun to tinker around and it's something from my youth that I wanted to reconnect with.

    Even when run on 32-bit Windows through NTVDM/WoW, some of the program's finer points (like the sounds it can make) didn't work properly. They did under Wine.

    1. Down not across Silver badge

      Re: In at least one way, Wine is a better Windows than Windows...

      (In case you really want to know, it's a simple household electrical wiring simulator. To my knowledge, nobody's written any program like it since. However, I'd love to be proven wrong.)

      Steam has a electrician simlator, but I suspect nothing like what you have.

  8. rfrazier

    Have Windows in a VM, but use Wine instead.

    I have been using a nifty bit of software for a very long time[1] It is Windows only, and I now have Windows 10 in a VM, but I haven't been even remotely inclined to switch from running the software in Wine to the Windows 10 VM. If something works well, best not to fiddle with it I say. And, I am happier relying on linux+wine than Windows.

    [1] Graham Baxter's escapement analyser for mechanical watches. Very useful in repairing watches.

    http://www.delphelectronics.co.uk/products.html

    Best wishes,

    Bob

  9. mjflory
    Windows

    Sometimes the antiques just work. Today a colleague sent a .docx document loaded with recorded changes and comments. I opened it on my increasingly creaky Mint 18.1 system in LibreOffice 5 but just to double-check I brought it up in Word 2003 -- I installed the compatibility add-on for .docx files ages ago -- and it opened without a problem. I checked my Wine version: it's Wine 1.6.2! It's not from CodeWeavers either, just the free release. Word crashes on exit and offers to report the problem to Microsoft, but I doubt they're too concerned about it. Neither am I, as I can open, read, and save documents with no problems.

    I'm looking forward to getting Wine 7 running, but I think it will require the Mint 20.3 system I'm setting up now... and my Office 2003 disks, wherever they are.

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