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How to install Wine applications easily with Winetricks


Working with Linux may bring various incompatibility issues sooner or later, no matter the case of use. You’ll either need to run commercial software that offers no Linux version, or just keep using games and applications that you preferred to use when you were back at Windows. Whatever the need, wine is your only chance. (winehq.org)

Wine is basically a free and open source compatibility layer that allows Linux users to run applications that were originally designed to run on Windows. Although Wine can’t run everything succesfully, it offers good support for OpenGL and DirectX applications and can take advantage of the working network for multiplayer or other uses. It can work with many keyboards, delivers sound through ALSA and OSS, can use Windows multimedia layer and has some partial support for 64-bit too.

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Starcaft II running on Linux with Wine.

To find out if the application you are interested in is running successfully using the latest version of Wine, you can use the amazing application database (http://appdb.winehq.org/) that users from around the world populate and update daily with new information. This database contains applications categorized in three functionality categories:

  • Platinum which consists of 3777 applications that work flawlessly with a default Wine install.
  • Gold that contains 3287 applications that work perfectly after some configuration.
  • Silver that concerns 2943 applications that can run to an acceptable point after some configuration.

For those Gold and Silver applications, you will almost always need to download some extra missing dll files. Then you have to put those under System 32, tweak the registry in some cases, use a different Windows version from the Wine configuration tool and generally read every user advice/idea that worked for others and try to apply it to your system.

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Configuring Wine to emulate Windows 7 when running Explorer.

Get some Help using Winetricks

It is possible to do all the necessary things by searching manually, downloading and installing things were they are supposed to be. Much simpler however is the use of the following tool: Winetricks. In many cases it will help you to get the job done fast and with no buzz.
Winetricks is not a part of Wine, so you need to install it separately. You will either find it on your distribution’s package manager, or on this website: https://code.google.com/p/winetricks/

To run winetricks you simply open a terminal and type:

winetricks

A simple GUI that lets you interact with the set of scripts provided will appear. You are offered the choices to install certain applications or games, benchmark tools, view help, or select a “bottle” that concerns a particular application.

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Let’s say you want to install a particular game. After choosing the corresponding option in the winetricks menu, you are given a list that contains all supported games with various related information like the size of data, how the content of the game is going to be retrieved (auto-download, manual, dvd etc) and the publication date.

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Apart from that, you can also tweak the registry, change wine settings, install extra fonts and libraries, open the contents of a “bottle” on your file manager, or simply delete everything that is contained inside a wineprefix. All is done in the most simple and quick way possible and using only the Winetricks GUI.

Winetricks may not be an essential tool that most people can’t live without, but it certainly is a helping hand when in need for boring and complex configuration that may allow you to run something you need to get running although you’re not supposed to in your current system. To anyone out there that uses Wine, get Winetricks, it will save you great amounts of time and frustration.

  • winehq.org

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