Best approach of running Windows programs in Linux

Discussion in 'all things UNIX' started by Masterton, Jul 11, 2009.

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  1. Masterton

    Masterton Registered Member

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    I'm using ubuntu right now. Hopefully this Linux distro has the best support to run Windows programs on it. If not, tell me alternatives please.

    In your opinion what is the best approach to run Windows programs in Linux environment? So far those are the feasible options that I'm aware::
    1. Wine
    2. OS Virtualization (eg. VMware)
    Is there any other approach that I'm unaware of?
    How do you comment/compare on each approach? Which is better?

    The following factors come into mind:
    • Compatibility (ie. how many programs can I start successfully and run with as few flaws as possible?)
    • Performance (how much resources does it consume more than if I run Windows programs natively, generally speaking?)
    Any input is appreciated. :)

    PS:
    1. Assume modern PC like dual-core CPU, 2x2 GB RAM. They are cheap anyway.
    2. Production PC, not for modern games. I would like to know roughly about the performance drain when running advanced 2D video/graphic editors like Photoshop, or analysis/statistics software like SAS.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2009
  2. Johnny123

    Johnny123 Registered Member

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    Crossover is also an alternative, but you have to pay for it. I guess you could call it an enhanced version of Wine and the two projects cooperate with each other. At any rate, both of their websites have lists of applications and how well they work. The lists of course do not include every Windows app under the sun, so for some you may just have to test it yourself.

    Also consider that there are thousands of native Linux apps, which would of course be preferable if they do what you need them to do. For example, if you are not a professional graphic designer that absolutely needs Photoshop for whatever reasons, then the Gimp may be sufficient. You can try apps and see how they work and if they meet your needs. Google the type of apps you need and see what others say, the Ubuntu forums are a wealth of info. Then fire up Synaptic and give them a test drive.
     
  3. tlu

    tlu Guest

    Short answer: It depends. There are many Windows apps that run very well under Wine, there are some that don't run very well, and there are some that don't run at all. If you can't abstain from using apps of the latter category because there are no Linux alternatives you have to use virtualization. I recommend Virtualbox.
     
  4. Meriadoc

    Meriadoc Registered Member

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    Red Hat hypervisor, MS and RH have a virtualization partnership/deal to make respective OSes run well on each others platform.

    I remember something called Win4Lin but haven't used it.
     
  5. Masterton

    Masterton Registered Member

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    I supposed Crossover was for Mac PCs.
     
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