How To Use Wine

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By now (if you've followed the steps from Wine_setup), you've installed Wine, and run winecfg in a terminal to create the /home/yourusername/.wine directory, and subsequent subfolders used by wine to simulate the Windows environment.

To check that you have everything, open a Konqueror window (click the Home icon in your task bar), select View > Show Hidden Files, and you should now see the .wine folder. If you open this folder, you should see a subfolder called drive_c one called dosdevices, and some files called system.reg and user.reg.

If you open the drive_c subfolder,you'll see 2 very important folders Program Files and Windows. The Program Files folder is where most of your programs will be installed under wine. The Windows folder is where a lot of the required libraries (dll files) live.

What To Do Before Installing A program With Wine

Here's what I always recommend.

1. Go to the WineApp Database and search for the program you want to install. Have a look to see what successes people have had running it. Pay close attention to hints on what makes the program run better - especially dll files & settings.

2. If dll files are recommended, a good resource to find them is Usually you'll be told to put them in your /.wine/drive_c/windows/system32 folder. You then have to run winecfg in a terminal,and set up (under the libraries tab) for wine to run the program either natively or using the built in libraries.

How do I install A Program using Wine

Actually, it's pretty easy. If you are installing from a downloaded file, open the folder (where it's stored) in a konqueror window, hit F4 to open a konsole window in that directory, then type

wine yourprogname.exe

to run the install program. Usually the filename will be setup.exe or install.exe. From a CD / DVD, it's just as easy. Mount the CD/DVD, open the contents in a konqueror window, and do the same as for a single downloaded file: F4 for konsole in that directory, then

wine yourprogname.exe

If the installer is working OK, the program will install just as if it was in a normal Windows environment. It is usually best to just accept the default locations during the install (most of the time new installs will create their own directory under your /.wine/drive_c/Program Files/ directory.

How do I run the program with Wine

After you've installed the program, close your current Konsole window.


If the install was successful, your program should now be installed under StartMenu > Wine ProgramName.


Open a Konqueror window, and browse to your /home/yourusername/.wine/drive_c/Program Files/ directory. Look for the new directory created by the install. **For this example, we'll assume the program is MailWasher**. Open the MailWasher directory and note the files available. Look for the executable to run the program (in this case MailWasher.exe). Hit F4 to open a Konsole in the current directory, and then simply (in this example)

wine MailWasher.exe

This should run your program. If it doesn't, take note of any errors shown in Konsole, and try googling them, or asking for help on the forums. Have you checked with the WineApp Database first to make sure the program works in wine?

Wine Options

The winecfg command is a powerful tool, and when run from the konsole, opens up the configuration utility. Note under the Applications tab that you can choose the Windows version you want to emulate. This can be set globally, and also per program. If it's a reasonably modern program, try XP emulation first. If it's older, a lot of apps work well under Win98 emulation. It may be trial and error to find the right setting. The other tabs allow you to choose to manually install and work with native Windows dlls (Libraries tab), tweak your graphics set-up, choose options for desktop integration, adjust audio settings and drivers, and map drives (real and virtual). Once you become more familiar with wine, you can also change the settings in the wine registry by running regedit (or wine regedit - both seem to work)

How do I set-up a desktop shortcut to run my installed App with Wine


Your program will be installed in the Start Menu under Wine.


Using the Mailwasher example - first right-click an empty spot on your desktop, and choose Create New ... Link To Application. A new Window will open with following tabs:

1. General = Assign your shortcut a name and choose an icon.

  Handy tip - during installs, Wine store program icons in /home/yourusername/.wine/drive_c/windows/temp.  The icons are xpm format and are usable as desktop icons for linux.

2. Permissions = Change permissions, you don't need to touch this.

3. Preview = not required.

4. Application = where we set the short-cuts. The two fields required are Command and Workpath.

Under the command field, click browse. The window will open in your /home/yourusername/ directory (see the konqueror address bar). In the address bar, add the .wine/ directory and hit enter (for me it is /home/brooko/.wine/). click on drive_c folder, then Program Files folder, then (for this example) MailWasher folder. Click on the MailWasher.exe file and choose Open. There will now be an entry in the command field

 '/home/brooko/.wine/drive_c/Program Files/MailWasher/MailWasher.exe'

(note the quotation marks -this makes it easy to work with the spaces in names like Program Files which Linux doesn't like). Now simply edit this line by adding wine and a space before the string - so your finished command reads

 wine '/home/brooko/.wine/drive_c/Program Files/MailWasher/MailWasher.exe'

Under the workpath field, click the folder icon, and a tree window will open.

 Handy tip - right click a folder in the window (any folder) and choose Show Hidden Files.

You can now see your wine directory. Navigate by point and click to your MailWasher directory and then click OK. For me, this filled out the workpath field:

 /home/brooko/.wine/drive_c/Program Files/MailWasher

Click OK, and your shortcut is done and you can test it.

Uninstalling programs in Wine

Easiest way is to run a konsole, type wine uninstaller, and then from the program list that appears in the new window, highlight the program and click the uninstall button.

Good luck working with wine. If you need further help - check the documentation on the WineHq website, or ask on the MEPIS Community forum.

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