The One with the Thoughts of Frans

Using Wine to Ease Migration from Windows

According to its about page, “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.” That sounds like a good enough description to me.

I have some applications that depend on a specific drive letter configuration, so to be truly able to share applications between Wine and Windows I’ll have to set up my drives in Wine just the way they are on Windows. I may write a post later about how to auto-mount Windows partitions.

Setting up drives is incredibly simple: you start the Wine configuration program and go to the drives tab. There you can set up certain directories or mount points to correspond to certain drives for Windows programs, but you don’t even have to use the GUI. The reason this is useful is because you can run your programs like you were on Windows and they wouldn’t know the difference. As far as the programs are concerned they’re reading data from the same location as always. This greatly simplifies my process of switching to Linux. Rather than having to set up replacement programs and configurations I can simply let Wine pretend to my programs that they’re running in the same (drive) configuration as they would on Windows. This way I can switch more completely to Debian without having to exert a lot of effort at once. I can move away from certain programs more slowly, or perhaps not at all.

I found a Gnome to Wine Color Scraper to improve the look of my Wine applications, but the registry file it generated didn’t work for my version of Wine. I enabled the debugging option and had to edit the parts where it speaks of HKEY_USERS\S-1-5-4\. For me the number was different. Check in regedit for specifics.

There are many more things you can do with Wine, including playing a fair amount of Windows-based games. Check the website for more information on compatibility.

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