A new version of WINE has just been released, the open source Windows compatibility layer hasn’t quite reached version 1.0 yet but it’s getting close. Version 0.9.38 was released on the 1st of June. If you’re not familiar with WINE, it allows you to run lots of Windows programs natively on your Linux system. This is a great utility and while it doesn’t always work as well as I’d like, it’s rapidly improving and has even been utilized by software giants Google. When it came to releasing a Linux version of the companies popular Picasa photo management tool, the guys at Google just packaged the Windows version with WINE and it was job done. I’ve used the Linux version of Picasa many times and it always runs well. Many people complain it’s slow and unstable but I’ve never had any problems.
Improvements to the latest version are as follows:
- Beginnings of support for copy protection kernel drivers.
- More MSI automation support.
- Many 64-bit compilation fixes.
- A number of OLE fixes.
- Lots of bug fixes.
Many people use WINE to play their favourite Windows games on Linux, there are countless tutorials around on how to install World Of Warcraft, amongst other popular games. Gaming is often one of the major barriers to Linux adoption among home users and WINE could go a long way to fixing that. It’s even the basis of the popular Cedega gaming utility from Transgaming Technologies, which is well worth checking out if your a Linux gaming fan.
It seems that WINE has embedded itself into the heart of the Linux world in a similar way to the Mono Project in recent years. It continues to grow in strength and I find this very encouraging for the future. It’s essential to so many potential Linux converts that they have access to a specific Windows program they can’t live without. Hopefully that won’t be a problem for too much longer.
So, if you’re having trouble living without a certain Windows program my advice to you is this…. break out the WINE 😉