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Wine + 6 Other Apps To Run Windows Programs On Other Platforms



Make no mistake, Windows is still the most used (and popular) os's for desktops and laptops. So you can bet about it that many people are still counting on Windows applications daily to achieve their tasks.

If you are previously a Windows user who had migrated to a different platform or operating system, and therefore are missing your Windows applications already, there are a few different methods to get your Windows applications back.

You might want to use dual booting on Linux, or go along with Bootcamp or Parallels on Mac, or you can install these following apps that I’m going to show you. These applications will assist you to install and run Windows applications directly on your non-Windows os's e.g. Mac OS X, GNU/Linux, Ubuntu, BSD and Solaris.

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1. Wine

Wine is recursive acronym for Wine Is Not an Emulator. Started in 1993, Wine is an open source project, developed and maintained through the community beneath the coordination of Alexandre Julliard.

Wine is really a compatibility layer between Windows programs as well as the operating system. It converts Windows API calls to POSIX calls, thus allowing integration of Windows applications to POSIX-compliant OS (Mac OS X, GNU/Linux, and BSD). Rather than an emulator or virtual machine, it is a reimplementation of Win32 API.



Wine primarily supports Windows XP, but support for newer versions of Windows is actively incorporated into its new releases. Wine supports 32-bit architecture; support for 64-bit architecture remains to be under development. WIth Wine, you are able to run programs including MS Office, Windows Media Player, Adobe Photoshop, Max Payne, as well as some other games and applications.

More: Application Compatibility Database


2. CrossOver

CrossOver is often a commercialized, and supported, version of Wine for Linux and Mac OS X. It is proprietary software with out-of-the-box support for a lot of commercial Windows applications like MS Office, MS Outlook, MS .NET Framework, Adobe Lightroom, DirectX, etc.



On surface of that you'll be able to also play popular games like Counter Strike, Half Life, Diablo, StartCraft, World of Warcraft onto it. Though Wine is often a free alternative, CrossOver, supplied by CodeWeavers, is a better choice for professionals and organizations who would like to run particular software on Linux or Mac OS X.

More: Application Compatibility Database


3. PlayOnLinux

Now while Wine and CrossOver provides support for several applications along with Wine, you should customize settings to the particular app, and then for CrossOver you need to fork out money correctly. PlayOnLinux is often a nice alternative for both (in case you are on Mac, skip to the next one).



PlayOnLinux can be a graphical front-end for Wine compatibility layer. It simplifies setting up Windows apps and (especiall)y games on GNU/Linux by auto-configuring Wine. It provides wrapper shell scripts to specify the configuration of Wine for any particular software. It also uses a web based database of scripts to try to get different programs, plus a manual installation can be executed if the script is just not available.

More: Application Compatibility List


4. PlayOnMac

Like PlayOnLinux, PlayOnMac is a graphical software built on top of Wine. It aims to ease installing Windows programs and games on Mac OS.



You can use PlayOnMac to simply install many apps and games on Mac OS, while not making changes to Wine’s configuration for that particular program. PlayOnMac manages Wine’s settings so that you can don’t need to configure them manually, and you'll be able to enjoy with all the software or game.

More: Application Compatibility List


5. WineBottler

WineBottler is definitely an app packager, this means it packages Windows-based applications into Mac app-bundles. The name suggests it is connected to Wine, that's basically how it is possible to run Windows programs from it on your Mac. To use it, set it up. That’s it.



Click the Install button in WineBottler and this will take care of the rest. It comes with handy scripts that care for downloading, installing, and configuring an application for you. WineBottler can pack your Windows .exe software into Mac .app package and convert .exe or .msi into an app. It even provides options to install special dependencies. Read more on its documentation.


6. Wineskin

Wineskin, which also uses Wine to own Windows applications, is a porting tool. It enables you to port Windows applications in Mac application bundle wrappers, which can then operate on Mac OS X and in many cases shared with other Mac users. It works with Snow Leopard, Lion and Mountain Lion.



Wineskin uses a personalized version of X Window System, known as WineskinX11, to provide the graphical user interface for Windows programs around the Mac OS X. Once you have developed a Mac application bundle of any Windows program, you are able to easily run it on your Mac OS X as with every other native software. For more info, read the documentation.


7. Q4Wine

Q4Wine is often a QT4 graphical user interface for your Wine compatibility layer. It’s designed for GNU/Linux and FreeBSD. It helps you to manage Wine prefixes and installed applications in a easy-to-use graphical interface.



Q4Wine allows you to easily handle tasks for creating and managing Wine prefixes, controlling Wine processes, making backup of prefixes, and many more tasks that could otherwise be harder to handle.

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